"Black ice is the smoothest naturally occuring ice there is, as if nature were condescending to art. ... Black ice is an act of nature as elusive as grace, and far more rare. ... I have never skated on black ice, but perhaps my children will. They'll know it, at least, when it appears: that the earth can stretch smooth and unbroken like grace, and they'll know as they know my voice that they were meant to have their share."