I am looking at a wintry scene in my backyard. I wish it were a Currier & Ives quality scene with mid-19th Century sleighs and horses and people having a jolly old time. Rather it is a 21st Century snapshot of a ratty deck and a statue of Our Lady giving ju

st a touch of dignity to the picture. It is not a beautiful snow. The sleet currently falling squeezes out the charm, and the virginal wedding dress whiteness to a grungy off-white, as if it needed bleach.

Winter is what it is. Some days were made to hibernate. This is one of them. Soon I will trudge up the stairs and go back to sleep.

But I hope you become aware of the cultural programming that says we have to be doing something, either working or playing. We must be playing with the same focus and intensity with which we work.

Silence too is a rare species these days. I hear the noise of the sleet, the hum of the electric motor of the refrigerator compressor, and the television in the upstairs bedroom.

But my sweater keeps me warm. And sleep has already closed one eye. I take to bed with me the lovers in my head. And wish you all Adieu.