The Mixing Bowl – A Poem by David Rothman

Post by blogger | January 6, 2006      

(comments are turned on, use link at bottom of post)

I love ski themed poems. David Rothman sent me this one some time ago — I’ve been meaning to work it into the blog and finally got around to it. David is a writer and backcountry skier living in Crested Butte, Colorado. Many of you might recognize his name from the ski articles he’s published over the years. Thanks David!

David writes: “The Mixing Bowl, as you may know, was (and still is) the name of the beginner lift (and slope) at Mt. Snow, VT. If you’re curious, go to, click on “main face,” and you’ll find it, still there, in the middle of the map at the bottom….that day I remember must have been in 1965 – ’66. Lace-up boots, wooden skis…”

by David Rothman

All this because my mother’s mother would not allow it,
So that at 30 when she decided her life was her own
She packed us into the car and headed north…

The entire day is splashed with blue,
The deepest sky blue, bluer than any blue
Could ever be, with pine trees lining
The side of the utterly white hill, which seems immense
But is not, as it is the smallest learning pitch
Tucked in at the bottom of the resort,
Served by a low, slow clanking chair
That lumbers uphill like an old coal train.
And I remember it is warm, that warmth seeping even into the memory itself
Until it is not only a memory but also a promise, but of what, of what?
I will give myself to it as to an ocean, willingly, carefully, joyfully, cautiously,
But giving, giving, for that is how it must be
If one wants to learn how to swim.
And my father is trying to ski on shorties smoking a cigar,
Which I think is odd in the sunshine dripping delicious.
And it is winter but the snow is getting a bit wet
On the bottom flats and I can’t stop
Laughing and go tumbling into a fence
No longer merely six or contemplating it,
But also now a concentrated solution of joy,
A vector-boy with flying and soaring and freedom
Stuck suddenly somewhere in his spirit forever.
So that when a strange man who seems to be as old as time
Comes up to me and says “Are you alright?!�
I still recall that great word “Yes!� and a laugh as I stand up
And scramble around him to get back on the lift,
Time and my body now merely the newborn media of a kinetic ecstasy,
Every cell aching to invite gravity to do that to me again.



  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version