Chipping at the ice
It is like I am chipping softly at the ice, a little bit at a time, trying to get to the clear water underneath, but the ice is thick and I can only chip a little bit at a time and every little bit that I chip fills up with water and when, the next morning, I come back to try to make more progress, all the cracks and crevices I have chipped, all the progress I have made, all those fissures have filled up with water in the night and refrozen, becoming once again just more ice. In some cases it seems the seams have somehow become even stronger, harder, more intransigent and resistant to my efforts to break through to the water beneath. I know that there are fish down there. I have seen flashes of them on occasions when I have managed to make the ice thin enough to see to where the sun penetrates into the depths and I know that if I could get through then I might capture one of those fish and make a meal or a trophy or at least I might have a solid, silver moving thing for a moment in my hands, painfully cold but brilliant and gleaming.