• Pam Newton

Dressing Right for Winter Cold


February 8, 2019

Pamela Newton

Dreamscape Collaborative


This time of year always feels unreal, even viscerally cruel, to me. Today it was dark at 4:30, and I feel ready for bed at 7PM unless I build a fire and leave lights blazing everywhere. I tend to be cold all the time. The impact of the frost, plummeting temperatures, wispy, desiccated bushes, and local grasses that broadcast “gone forever,” all make me feel alone, withering like my bushes, and insufficiently clothed. No matter how much I wear, I am distraught unless the layers I choose consist of a very specific order of material. A frequent sense of violent shivering also freezes my imagination into lacy diamonds on the shattered glass of a local storefront. I freeze in place and head back home if unprepared. I have to plan this out way ahead of time.


The first layer needs to be silk, slippery and billowing. Then, I have discovered, a layer of cotton that is thick enough to keep any prickly fibers from causing hives is recommended. On top of that I place wool that is pretty thick and full of lanoline. The smell even helps me to pretend I am feeling warmer as I tap away at the computer or do a couple of tendus. And then comes down and nylon. The nylon needs to be super lightweight in order to go over all the other stuff and hold the wonderful insulating feathers! Poofy glow spreads through my body and I want to dance.


The total effect is not determined by the sleekness of the outer layer. In fact, “warm as toast” creates an Eskimo outline to the casual observer. Though no sled dogs are available to rush me off to my destination, I waddle off feeling thankful for being warm and oblivious to how I look. Delicate, emotionally warm phrases can now ooze out onto the studio canvas from all the pleasure.

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