This morning, I woke up to the unmistakably different light that fills the room after a snowy night. You don't have to look down on the ground to know – it was snowing. In Western Siberia where I grew up, the first snow is a bigger deal. We have long, rainy and cold autumns, and the first snow ends it all, usually abruptly and irreversibly. Snow paints over the messy and imperfect picture of the last year, and primes the canvas for something new. The world is white like a sheet of paper waiting for a poem to be written on it. I love snow, and the first snow especially. It is nostalgic, poignant, and hopeful. We went to Boulder, and walked on Pearl Street. The leaves were caught in the early snow, still green but down on the brick pavement. They smelled like freshly pickled cucumbers, maybe because the salt on the street. We ate a little sushi and had some hot sake befitting the weather. Then we went to the Borders on 29th street; I read The New Yorker, while Svetlana browsed art books and journals.
What makes a good day, a day worth living? Is it what we are able to accomplish? Or is it what we were able to experience and to enjoy? With our jobs, there isn't really a border between work and leisure anymore. What I read in The New Yorker may show up as an idea useful for my job. At work, my experiences are often as enjoyable as today. We don't work to live anymore, nor do we live to work, I hope. The art of living well has something to do with finding pleasure and beauty in both work and leisure. I am certainly still have to master it, so don't ask me for advice on how. But some people – very few – find something enjoyable and entertaining in almost anything they do. Every day is the first snow day to them. That is what we all should try to achieve.