Main Entry: sot·to vo·ce

Pronunciation: "sä-tO-'vO-chE
Function: adverb or adjective
Etymology: Italian sottovoce, literally, under the voice
1 : under the breath : in an undertone; also : in a private manner
2 : very softly -- used as a direction in music

Friday, December 09, 2005

the dark days of winter

I spent two hours today, after stupidly insisting i would go for "a drive" in a blizzard to take some photographs, i found myself stuck in various snowbanks, spinning my wheels and almost smashing into various poles and trees and other vehicles. I thank god i'm a good driver, for were it not for this simple fact, i am convinced that i or someone else would have been seriously injured... and no, i'm not exagerrating or making this up. It's that bad and with lightning too: who ever heard of lightning in a blizzard? in all my years, i've never heard of such a thing, but then, maybe i'm limited to my own area and we just don't get that here.

Winter is full on and with it come the dark days and we find ourselves growing more depressed, harder to reach, more reclusive (why go out when we can hide behind the computer and we have all the nourishment we need). In fact, the only reason i can think of to go out is for cigarettes if you smoke and even then, i'm not sure i would bother.

I recently acquired a lightbox (oh, laugh all you want) - one of those things for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which i do not have, but have another condition which they felt it might help. Why not, i thought, just stare into it or have it touch my eyes while i'm working on the computer and it will be fine. The doctor warned me though, and quite seriously, But be careful, dear. People have been known to have high manic swings using lightboxes. High manic swings! You mean great periods of productivity and work when i can spit out article after article without nary a thought or trouble? This hardly seemed a bad thing - or to me anyway. It struck me as a rather good thing. It would ward off all of the crap that keeps us down in the winter. It would ward off my bad memories of last winter (she says with a shiver, both to the weather and the people involved at the time) and don't ask because it's a long and boring story.

But really, who would or could in their right mind complain about a feeling of euphoria, even if it is or would be manic. Sure, there are aspects of this that would be undesirable; mainly the lack of focus but hell, i could deal with that, couldn't you? it beats sitting around listening to obscure Moby songs, who i otherwise love, but in the winter, believe me, he can be depressing as all hell. Wouldn't it be nice to have all of our friend's around to play instead of listening to too much Elliott Smith, who again, i adore, just not when i'm in this winter-depressed and reclusive state. Even in this state of mind, i know it's not good for me. Even in my worst moments, i know better than to stay this way.

So with that, i encourage everyone to get a lightbox, and short of that, make your own by buying a light for plants at any hardware store and it supposedly does the same thing la meme chose, and get out there. Don't go driving in blizzards like i did, but do not allow yourself to become a Howard Hughes recluse. It's gotten to the point where although i am not saving my own piss in bottles, i am using way too much Purell hand-sanitizer whenever i go out and i keep forgetting to cut my toenails and i am in desperate need of something with my hair. How long can it be before i stop shaving my legs and go the full route and turn into a complete weirdo; i mean, i'm halfway there already with this recluse stuff and though i work extremely hard on external projects, that is not the same as genuine human contact which, truth to tell, i miss. I don't want to sit around watching Sylvia and reading her goddamn poetry, good as it may be at times. I don't want to think of what it would be like to tape your children in a room and stick your head in the oven on a tea-towel because although it's not something i'd ever do, it is something she did and it's something that i know far too much about from the death of one of my own siblings (in Winter, as it happens).

And so, it's a dark season. My prescription: listenn to French pop. Download some Charlelie Couture, Carla Bruni, MC Solaar, Daniel Levi, and others. Get into a different grove and get creative. You don't need a lightbox for a real upswing, though it helps (this much is true) but a lot of it is state of mind. Fight the good fight, and i'll fight with you.

Thanks for listening, and have terrific and happy holidays,

sadi ranson-polizzotti