The creation of some sort of winter theme has become almost as much of a staple on my blogs as the annual takeover by the ghosts and squash of Halloween. I like its colors, I like its feel and texture, I like having something that matches the exterior display of snow and now sleety slush that has been collected on my front yard just outside the office window.

I particularly like this year’s entry: that the titles are foggy and almost hard to discern against the backdrop of leafless trees and oversnowed shrubbery. The centerpiece here is Old Queen’s, the revered elder statesbuilding on campus that we’ve scored as the epicenter of our tournament in somewhat of coup that, once again, reflects Rutgers acknowledging debate as perhaps its foremost intercollegiate team. The tournament’s just over a month away already, a more valued spot on the schedule reflecting APDA’s recognition of our improved place in the world.

I toyed with the idea of trying to jumble together all the possible imagery of this time on a muddled canvas that might wholly embody the tangle of my mental frame at this juncture. A tunnel, a stack of books (both mine and others), a rising blue pyramid in the distance. But I like the simplicity of this more, the cold starkness of the reality. It is not a time, for better or worse, for collecting various possibilities and pulling them in. It is a time for breathing icy gusts of harsh air in, swallowing, and finding the strength to gulp again.

Bundle up!