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).