Friday, February 20, 2009

Me and Winter

I am not gonna lie, Winter and I do not get along.

It's funny that I should be writing this today, when the sun is shining and it's actually above 40 degrees. It's beautiful outside and, yet, here I am- at my computer, trying to finish up the post-production on 3 different jobs, and still whining about the weather. It's pathetic, I know.
It's just that the older I get, the more I find myself feeling the need to hibernate from the world from approximately December 31st until the end of March.

For 3 months of the year, EVERY year, I go inward. I ponder my life, I get scared that everything I do in the coming year will fail, I become paranoid and wonder out loud if a weakened sense of smell means I have a brain tumor, and I become an all-around difficult person. Believe me, my friends and family can attest to this. They have learned to patiently nod and pat my hand as I babble on about my latest fear, usually revolving around my business failing miserably and Joe and I living on the street. Then, when Spring rolls around and my energy returns and life ends up being more wonderful than I could have possibly imagined, they all politely refrain from saying "I told you so", and making me feel more like an idiot than I already do.

I blame all of this on Winter. I have fantasies about moving somewhere warm and tropical, away from the gray and rain and blah of Seattle during the cold months. I envision how my life would look- swimming in the ocean every day, eating mangoes and avocados that were bought from the fruit stand on the side of the road, and feeling warm without layers of sweaters.
I imagine feeling free and inspired and happy-- all the emotions I seem to be lacking during this time of year.

And yet, here's the thing;

I am beginning to open my mind to the possibility that this time- this grueling, emotional, scary time- is just a necessary part of the process of birthing something better. Spring would not feel nearly as magical without this time of darkness.

I know that is hardly a revelation. Death precedes birth, after all. But it's still hard to remember that when you are in the thick of it. When you are just trying to stay afloat, and have faith, and be hopeful, and trying desperately to get your energy back and feel inspired again.

I am going on and on for a few reasons.

First, this is a rambling and round-about explanation for my very intermittent visits to my blog over the past couple months.

Second, it's a reminder to myself that this time, too, shall pass.

And, third, it's a chance to post some words and photos that may speak to someone else who, like me, is battling the winter blues and waiting for the arrival of longer days.

Below is a random collection of images that I just really like. They aren't necessarily even "happy" photos, (although some of them are) and there is really no rhyme or reason to the shots I chose, (some are personal, some are from jobs) but I love them just the same.

I hope you enjoy them, too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Clare - Thank YOU for being so beautifully transparent. In this very public work that we all do, "going inside" and taking ourselves off the fast track - for a few weeks to a few months - is both an amazing opportunity and an emotional challenge. Here's my wish for you: an '09 filled with new opportunity, a few unexpected and creative surprises and perhaps a U-Turn to a new endeavor which truly allows you to shine even more brightly than you do in this moment! Annemarie Juhlian

Anonymous said...

I totally know what you mean about winter... I have
been having my own hibernation period. Thank you God that there are now signs of spring!

The pictures were beautiful and told such a story in the order that you had them. The solemn into the celebration!

I am sending you lots of intentions that Spring shows herself to you more and more daily!

Unknown said...

I think it is beautiful the way you can articulate your inner experience through both words and image.

I love the first 3 bird photos.

Anonymous said...

All of these are gorgeous! I really love them!

Gretchen said...

great to have you back! lovely shots

Anonymous said...

Clare-- I always adore your artwork-- thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Lovey! I love the photos, from the first pensive one of "birds on a wire" through the exuberance of children. Winter's message is about rebirth and you know how painful that can be. I love how you shared from your heart a message so many of us can relate to. I hope spring fills your heart also, with new life - all that was preparing in winter to be born again. I love you so much.

Anonymous said...

Clare! You so brilliantly expressed what I think most of the world has been experiencing... more than the change of seasons, we're in the birth canal of a new era, and for the human animal, the unknown is the greatest darkness there is. The visual narrative you created really describes the ride... it is so important to allow ourselves the darkness, while trusting to our bones that spring ALWAYS follows winter, life always emerges fresh from the ashes of our dying... and something greater is always seeking expression. I've said it before, I'll say it again... no one captures truth and magic on film the way you do. Love you!

Liza J. said...

I am totally with you regarding the whole winter thing! Great photos.

Anonymous said...

I'm a November through March girl myself. Thanks for describing our "plight" so eloquently. I wonder though if we might get some of this even in a tropical paradise? I mean a cyclical death and rebirth of sorts. If not I'm ready to live life without it!

I bought a nice SAD lamp this winter and I find my two small kids crowd around it in the morning! Interesting eh?

Thank you for sharing yourself and your beautiful art. I love seeing it.