“No voice comes from outer space, from the folds of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew how long the ruins would last, we would never complain.” ― Mark Strand
While I like poetry <but am certainly not an expert> I had never seen this poem. And ever since I saw it several months ago I knew I wanted to write about it … but I just couldn’t figure out how to pinpoint why I liked it so much.
The entire poem is nice.
And thoughtful (as poetry is supposed to be I imagine). And the entire poem is chockfull of verbal imagery.
But. I kept coming back to the name. Blizzard of One. How can you have a blizzard of just one? The combination, and literal contradiction, of blizzard … and one.
And not just a storm of one.
A blizzard. Snow <and snowflakes>. Of which each snowflake is … well … a unique one.
Finding the blizzard within each of us. The power of individual uniqueness.
There are so many things I like about this that it is difficult to know where to begin. Or even what to say.
So I will begin with the actual poem:
A Blizzard of One:
From the shadow of domes in the city of
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless,
entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair
where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it
landed. That’s all
There was to it. No more than a solemn
To brevity, to the lifting and falling away
of attention, swiftly,
A time between times, a flowerless
funeral. No more than that
Except for the feeling that this piece of
Which turned into nothing before your
eyes, would come back,
That someone years hence, sitting as you
are now, might say:
“It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has
- Mark Strand
I find the words extremely simple yet complex. it offers so many ways of interpretation and yet it is so brief.
But it has simply, so perfectly, put together a complex thought of life … well … simply … a blizzard of one.
I love the phrase. I love the thought. It is subtle but overt.
That within one, a self, there is a blizzard. Of thoughts. Of feelings. Of ideas. Of pain. Of laughter. And this storm of self is but individual pieces of snow gathered and focused.
The thought that even such a subtle thing as a soft puffy snowflake can inspire a larger blizzard.
The phrase is a reminder of many things which are good for us to remember.
Any of us can be a blizzard of one if we choose to be.
And as a snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless … in my mind it reminds me of a Buddhist thought … about the subtlest actions …
“Turn over a pebble. It is a teaching the Tibetan monks sometimes use to remind that the world could be changed by the subtlest of actions so long as it pure and even the smallest of actions was pure so long as it is free of fear and anger.”
One small action begets something in the future. Something positive <if the action is pure>.
And beyond the self aspect, and the action aspect … the last thing a blizzard of one makes me think of is … well … truth.
“even if you are a minority of one, truth is the truth.” – Gandhi
And with that … my last thought.
Each unique like a snowflake. With the strength of a blizzard.
Spectacular moment when I read it for the first time …
“A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that …”