Sunday, April 1, 2018

Brooks is Risen

The Cruelest Month

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.

First, winter kept us warm. It covered earth in forgetful snow. It fed a little life with dried tubers. Second, summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee with a shower of rain. We stopped in the colonnade and went on in sunlight into the Hofgarten. Third, we drank coffee and talked for an hour.

The other day, a woman I'll call Marie told me, “I'm not Russian at all. My family is from Lithuania, authentic German, and when we were children, staying at the archduke's place, he took me out on a sled. The archduke is my cousin. I was frightened. He said, ‘Marie, Marie, hold on tight.’ ”

In the mountains, there you feel free. I read much of the night, and go south in the winter. What are the roots that clutch? What branches grow out of this stony rubbish? I can't speak for everybody, but I suspect it will be something higher and more lovely, reminding me of Abraham Lincoln, as things usually do.

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