I look up — the winter sky cold & full of light the way water flowing over boulders in the river is cold & full of light, the way the foot-thick ice on the river fills with the neutrino blue color of evening. I am standing on a metal ladder leaned against the porch roof of the house on which I hold the mortgage & just now my astonishment is complete. Miles of thin blue air separate me from outer space & I couldn’t be more surprised at my life & that I live here even if I’d seen God. I have not seen God, though if I did he would not appear to me in a burning bush but in a chunk of ice. Five-hundred-pound ice dams threaten to collapse the porch & — because the house is warm & for other reasons that have been explained to me but which I do not fully understand — water is pouring down the living room’s north wall. The laws of mundane physics, not the fancy laws of cosmology, have me swinging the six-pound sledgehammer to batter the humps of ice & heaving the chunks of God down into what used to be the garden. I admit it. At this moment I hate my life, 10 degrees in the lee of the two white pines — what it must be out in the wind, I don’t want to know. O the world conspires to make believers of us! Not looking for anything of the kind, I tilt my head up & see dozens of crows wheeling black against the winter dusk, the sky suffused with pink light, & only by slow degrees do their voices come down to one clinging to a freezing ladder, gazing up at nothing & listening to nothing but crows.