One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the daft and happy hills bareback, it snowed and it snowed.
Rafe hadn't been around women much, but since he'd gotten married to one of the little critters, he'd noticed they seemed to have to say out loud every thought in their head. Including stuff everybody already knew. It'd snowed. Today it was real nice. It was called weather. What was there to talk about?
In many companies, the person who talks the best usually gets the job. I got snowed by a few of those people over the years. I still think communication is important, but I don't think there's always a correlation between being a great communicator and other virtues that make for a great leader.
Why do so many children love the idea of being snowed in or shipwrecked, of having to survive on one's own? When I was a child, I was no exception. I wanted to hunt with a bow and arrow like the Stone Age people: to skin deer and build my own shelter. And I desperately wanted a wolf. As we lived in London, my options were limited.
Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn't it wonderful? Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new! A new year ... a fresh, clean start! It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy ... let's go exploring!
Kids have little computer bodies with disks that store information. They remember who had to do the dishes the last time you had spaghetti, who lost the knob off the TV set six years ago, who got punished for teasing the dog when he wasn't teasing the dog and who had to wear girls boots the last time it snowed.
It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city. At all hours it was necessary to keep a lamp lighted, and Mrs. Miller lost track of the days: Friday was no different from Saturday and on Sunday she went to the grocery: closed, of course.
My father, Benjamin Shiller, told me not to believe in authorities or celebrities - that society tends to imagine them as superhuman. It's good advice. People are snowed by celebrities all the time. In academia people have this idea of achieving stardom - publishing in the best journals, being at the best university, writing on the hot topic everyone else is writing about. But that's what my father told me not to do. He taught me that you have to pursue things that sound right to you.
Robert J. Shiller
Winter Song The browns, the olives, and the yellows died, And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide, And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed, Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed. From off your face, into the winds of winter, The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing; But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter, When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing, And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.
And again it snowed, and again the sun came out. In the mornings on the way to the station Franklin counted the new snowmen that had sprung up mysteriously overnight or the old ones that had been stricken with disease and lay cracked apart-a head here, a broken body and three lumps of coal there-and one day he looked up from a piece of snow-colored rice paper and knew he was done. It was as simple as that: you bent over your work night after night, and one day you were done. Snow still lay in dirty streaks on the ground but clusters of yellow-green flowers hung from the sugar maples.