In a dream, she stood at the center of a cold grey ice-skating rink that
was flat, without sparkle.
She moved gingerly across the ice. Her weak ankles, trussed into white skates, bent inward and outward. Her bones ached as she negotiated the wide slippery surface.
Inching along, she observed people and animals from her life, just beneath the transparent surface. They slept peacefully, frozen in motion and time.
This dream evoked memories of ice-skating as a child.
Smaller than the rink in her dream, she recalled the frozen pond
across from the Krups Foundry,
a Superfund site, where toxic chemicals would later leach into the
surrounding grounds, next to the town park,
the community pool and homes.
She visualized an image of her father on the ice.
Skating backwards, his blades etched large arcs into the silvery surface.
Suddenly he would jump and spin around, his body turning in the air.
He had the grace of a dancer in those moments
which is not how she remembered his movements otherwise.
In her dream she had skated clear across to the edge of the ice.
Here, she glanced back over her shoulder at the flat surface which now
shimmered a nearly blinding white light.
(image from “Orlando” by Sally Potter)