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The Snowflake and Sylvia Plath

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The Snowflake and Sylvia Plath

Snow falls in soft, caressing flakes onto my window sill.
I sit very still,  my legs crossed into some new-age yoga pose with the tip of my nose almost pressed against the window.
As I sit, I start to think about how people describe snow, and I watch it fall silently on the other side of the cold glass.
The translucent edges of condensation are starting to spread and cling to the patch of glass I had wiped clean with the sleev of my jumper. I do not bother to wipe it clean again. It is pointless.
It always seems, I think,  that when people describe snow, they will say snow falls ‘softly’ and it always seems, in stories, that snow falls on a window sill. I think it helps set the scene for snows performance. Maybe its just a cliche…
Anyhow, this time its real. Snow really is falling onto my window sill.
I realise I don’t actually know if it is falling softly, or heavily.
I suppose it is falling as only it can, and that will be the weight and force of how it falls. Not particularly softly, lightly, or heavily.
It just falls how it falls. It’s 1.80 billion molecules un-defying gravity.
So I am sitting here, crossed legged, telling you it is falling onto my window sill because I am looking out of thew window at the dirty, muddy sky, waiting for something to happen, although I don’t quite know what yet.
Just sitting here, looking into the vast emptiness waiting, waiting, waiting…
This is why I am telling you that snow is falling onto the window sill.
I am wondering what I would look like if I was a snowflake. The people who study snowflakes (and I have no idea what they are called, and no particular interest to find out) say that every single one is different, like people.
Apparently, they all have six sides. All of them. So if they all have six sides, then what is the contributing face that makes them different?
Maybe its size or texture, even? And if they are all different sizes, then surely the texture will be different? Each one will have more weight to it, and so on and so forth.
Still, each one will always six sides. Always. How many sides do I have? Am I like a snowflake? What about you? Or the guy that delievers the mail? Or the girl who works on the till in Sainsbury’s?
I tilt my face upwards, and the sky is still empty.
Sylvia Plath once said this. She said ‘I talk to God, but the sky is empty.’
I have a strange understanding, I think, of what she means. Maybe I am just in love with the idea of this statement. Poetic. Maybe profound. Depends who you ask, I suppose.
The sky is empty.
Did Sylvia Plath ever think about snowflakes?
Did she sit at her bedroom window and look into the sky, waiting for something to happen?
Was that what she was doing when she took out her notebook and wrote that she sky was empty, or was she really talking to God. Or Ted Hughes.
Was she having breakfast with Ted Hughes? Did she put him on a pedestal, and call him God, as she asked him to pass the orange juice?
Did she ever do that with someone she loved?
Like I did. Like you did. Like we all did. Do not lie.
So I am sitting, still waiting, and nothing is happening. Will it ever happen? A while ago my eyes started to sting, and my head started to ache. Starts to Pound. Maybe this is the start?
Is something is starting to happen?
The sky is cracking. Great black crevices are splitting the sky open. Dividing it.
The more my head pounds, the more the sky will open for me.
My clothes start to feel heavy. They are dragging my down towards the floor.
The fibers are made from tiny threads of leaden material.
Is it God?
Is the sky empty?
I am on my knees.
Am I praying?
I am on my knees.
Is this the way it was supposed be?
I need to rid myself of these clothes. Hot needles prick into my skin.
Off come the socks, the pants.
The jumper, thrown onto the 70’s threadbare carpet.
Teeshirt, vest, bra. Crumpled heap by my feet.
The air is thick and humid. Heavy. Electric.
I feel as though I might not be able to breathe. To feel. My senses need to be resuscitated
I scramble to the door, half falling off my bed in haste. I claw at the door, swinging it wide open into the hallway. In the corridor other students turn to stare at the naked girl with wild eyes. Me.
I ignore their bemused stares, and I turn to run as fast as I can down the stairs. The air is trying to swallow me, but I will survive. Down the hall way.
Through this aura that has trapped me, I can hear loud music.
Joy Division. How fitting. Almost too predictable.
I reach the front door. I Throw it open. I scream.
I am screaming so loud that no one can hear me.
I throw myself face-down into the snowdrift that lines the driveway. The cold is soothing.
Will people walk past and try to save me? I do not need to be saved.
I am alive.
I am a snowflake.
And I belong.


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