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  • In Vermont, I can't sleep. Either the world is too quiet, or I have come into this like a long dream, which sleep would ruin. Returning home always feels like this -- like reliving a chapter from a dream, though the characters all look older. Angela Carter wrote: "you think there is no winter but forget you take it with you." I can't sleep, so I wonder if winter does remain in the bones, or if after years it begins to thaw, so that after decades making a new home you are no longer burdened by the heavy snows of your childhood.

    Then, perhaps I can't sleep for lack of snow. And isn't that what northerners are? A few months of thaw before the ice hits again. And I am a northerner, displaced and awake from a three-hour time difference, in the season when everything is slowing down in preparation for a long, cold sleep with little daylight.

    What I wouldn't give for a long, cold sleep. The brisk wind. It closes you up, so you can remember the importance of opening again, or freezes you so tight you burst. In Vermont, in late September, I am awake for another night. The window is open, and I can finally feel the air.
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