no YOUR face is bleak

January 27, 2011

I looked in the mirror yesterday morning and didn't recognize the face looking back at me. Pale. Gaunt. It's the face of winter, long months spent burrowing under blankets and falling asleep early to escape the shamockery that is the gray bleary sky.

Winter has charm at first. I love wearing coats, layers, scarves, boots, and hats. Unfortunately one cannot survive a season on apparel alone. Just after the holidays the chill loses its luster. Oh there are glimmers, here and there, of moments of joy– I would never argue that a quiet evening snuggled up as the snow falls isn't pleasant, or that a vivacious romp through fresh snow isn't thrilling. And winter is paramount warm-snack time, making hot coffee double-delicious and baking divine. There are bright spots, full of love, that I can see shining in her hair, the lovely winter, the problem is just that the rest of her locks are dull and gray.

Maybe she has a problem with mineral buildup. I bet we can get her a shampoo for that.

The problem with winter is that after the fun has passed it just keeps sticking around. And around. And around. I feel worn thin, tired and hopeless. There's a chill in the bones of my fingers that I can never really escape for very long and it settles in like an old chummy friend that I've never really liked. I grow weary of the gray film that coats everything in sight, dulling the contrast of the universe. I reflect on my daily grind of endlessly repeating tasks, even what I write here, the photos I take, and wonder... why bother? Why am I doing this? Why does the same thing happen everyday? Will there never be an end?

But there will be an end, I just have to wait for it. I get itchy and impatient around this time of year. I'm ready for something new. I fluctuate between peace and complete madness. Actually when I put it like that it sounds fun and endearing– Madness! It's the new vest! The reality is more like apathy and despair. I can't really explain the source of all this stir-crazy but there it is, every year; the winter that never ends, dragging me down down down in a field of gray. Not even a good wintery-mix joke can save me now.

Outlook: bleak.

We took jude out to play in the snow last weekend and I brought my camera. There's something about dogs in snow that I simply cannot resist. I crouched down to get a better view of the jude and leaned back against the side of the house to stabilize the shot. I could feel the warmth spreading towards me, through my coat, where the sun was beating down on the wall of our house. It was surprising and comfortable, and I sat there for a long time taking pictures letting the heat remind me what it feels like to be shiny.

The warmth is driving, trying to get to me, if I can just find it.
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