Friday, January 26, 2007

The Wall

I was really worried about how I'd handle moving back to the Pacific Northwest (I lived here for a few years in the mid 90s). In the summer, this is the most beautiful place in the world. but the winters can be ... daunting. Especially for a sunny-Southern girl like me. I have to say, however, that so far, I've been doing a better job of dealing with it than I thought I would, in spite of the frequent power outages (I have an inverter to power my computer during outages now - Yay!) and the cold. That is, I was doing better until today. Today, I met ... The Wall.

I took the above photo today at 8:06 am. It is slightly blurry because, to get the shot, I needed the slow shutter speed normally used with a tripod for night shots, but I don't have a tripod. I'm sure most everyone is used to gloomy days like this, but The Wall isn't made up of a few dreary days here and there. It isn't just grey skies; it isn't just rain; it isn't just cold. It is a series of days when all of these things are in combination with the low, low clouds shown in the photo. It is the point at which there seems to be no light left in the world.

The number of days it takes to meet The Wall varies; some people require only a few days; others can take weeks, or even months before meeting it. After a while, however, most people here do seem to arrive at The Wall. However long it takes, once there, one must respond.

Responses to meeting The Wall also seem to vary:
  • Some descend into depression and spend the rest of the winter in bed (or become suicidal, but let's not go there!).
  • Some swear by a certain shrink.
  • Some recommend light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.
  • Some take antidepressant medications.
  • Some get the hell out, either permanently (like our friend from California, who sold his house, moved to Seattle, and lasted all of 4 months before abandoning his practice -- he was a shrink of all things -- and scuttling back home to the OC), or temporarily (any place that's sunny will do).
This time, my response to The Wall is going to be the last one. The temporary version, that is. I'm going to Arkansas via Houston (for my grandmother's birthday celebration). And to keep myself sane until then, I'm going to look at a photo taken last summer from the same window where I met The Wall.


Tess said...

Sorry to hear about The Wall, Doubtful Muse. Hope the trip home really helps :-) I don't seem to have the same issue - in fact, I actually LIKE grey, rainy days. Just call me weird. And I'll like them even better next winter in MY OWN HOUSE!!

Gillian said...

I like rain and cloud, but that Wall is intimidating. I should send my horror-writer friends to you to gather Atmosphere.

Please say happy birthday to your grandmother from me and give my love to everyone I know.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I love rain and cloud and lowering weather. I suspect in a past life I must have spent my life up ont' moor as a sheep or something. I love curling up with a good book and a mug of something hot and and watching it and I love being out in it providing I'm wrapped up. What gives me the bleuggghs is mild, vaguely grey, vaguely nothing winters where it's too cold for a T shirt and too warm for a sweater and just...nothing.
But sorry to hear you're battling the Wall. Whatever gives you the bleugggs has to be dealt with. I hope it's a therapeutic break for you in Houston and Arkansas, and that by the time you get back, the Wall will be less Wallish. Also best wishes to your friends and relatives. Have a good trip.