As snow drifts into winter wind and winter wind caresses snow into shapely domes, I cry for the igloo I once built around myself in a north-facing bedroom in a small Wisconsin town. I cry for a no-in-nor-out igloo, lacking a trapdoor for letting in love’s light. I cry for the sleepless thrashing nights spent ceiling-gazing, mind cascading through every awful incident of my short existence. I cry for you and for me and the force we could have been, had we known how to know each other. I cry for the million renditions of “Für Elise” cajoled from the greasy keys of our little upright piano, the only way I knew to weep, fall in love or scream. I cry for the steady march of This American Life and Radiolab on weekends piped through earbuds and into my brain to fill the aching maw of loneliness and self-doubt I’d long suckled there.
As tears wind their way down tingling cheeks, trembling lips, atop melting nose, they are also tears of baptism, I realize, salty shores of rebirth. Because as I cry, it comes to me that what I mourn is a past self, that right-now-me is really crying tears of gratitude, a drop of salt water for each blessing.