Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's that time of year

The weather has been cold lately. I think it is reflection of the writing pool within my head. Seriously, it’s like a breeze is blowing around in there moving tumbleweeds and not helping much for the imagination.
I know a performer in Kansas by the name of Pete Gile. Pete lives in Scandia, Kans. and travels throughout the Sunflower state doing his solo performances. He has two studio albums, last I knew, and is simply enjoying life.
He has a song about hating this time of year. In fact the song is titled, “I hate this Time of Year.”
While I don’t exactly hate it, I can agree with the sentiment. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the spirit of Christmas, and genuinely wish everyone the warmest Holiday possible.
What I hate is the funk, the stagnation, the absolute feeling of grey and, to some extent, hopelessness. Let’s face it, depression is at its highest during these months. No, I am not depressed. I am generally in pretty good spirits. But still, there is that creeping sensation of darkness.
I once read that many settlers in these parts went insane during the winter months. I can believe it. Everyone is stuck inside with little to do and even less sunlight to help elevate their spirits. It’s not much fun really.
A good example of this is in the book “Giants in the Earth” by Ole Edvart Rolevaag. It is is the story of Norwegian settlers making their claims in the Dakota Territory. As the story unfolds, one of the main characters teeters on the brink of insanity as she tries to cope with the wide open prairies, the lack of people, and the seemingly endless winter.
Her sanity appears to finally break when she gives birth to a child on Christmas Day. While in labor she tells her husband that he must bury her in their large chest and then leave this place. She tells him that it is unsuitable for human life in this desolate place.
While this is clearly not true anymore, one can almost understand the thoughts. It’s cold, windy and very rural in some parts of the Panhandle, lending to the feeling of absolute isolation.
Seeing as I am quoting things lets bring this full circle. In the movie, “The Crow”, the main character, Eric Draven has a catch phrase that really sums up how I tend to feel about things.
“It can’t rain all the time.”
How true.