This afternoon Venetian blinds let in their ladders of light, blurred at the edges, bleached, like the land itself, covered in snow, the trees blown ragged and restless. Stray branches snap in the wind and scud across the yard. Everything else is on hold. Evening comes early, filling the window. on the wall, the painting holds a field of snow, a cluster of buildings huddled under two pines—the blacks and whites of my son's twentieth year. The scene is so real it holds the restless light exactly as though the intervening years were simply a border across which I might enter his lonely room, look through his window toward snow-covered hills that rise in latent strips between the blinds.