Monday, February 16, 2009
MOODS AND MOMENTS
Have you ever noticed how a single moment can change your mood? Today has been mostly overcast. Not dark and dreary, just a bit on the gray side—somewhat dim, as if you’d mistakenly put too weak a bulb in your favorite reading lamp. Flat light that would normally have been soothing and soft, great for close-up photography, but which today somehow made the world beyond my workroom window appear bland and lackadaisical. I admit, it was probably more me than the low-intensity light. And I certainly didn’t mind about the few snowflakes I saw swirling about from time to time. In fact, it was odd. Days such as this normally seem to energize me; if anything, I’m the opposite of a SAD sufferer. No winter blues or seasonal depression. Short days, long nights, no problem. But last night had been a restless one; I spent as much time awake as asleep. I arose at my usual pre-dawn hour and didn’t feel particularly tired. I have, however, felt chilled and lethargic all day, though not as if I were getting sick. Yet I couldn’t seem to settle into my work. It wasn’t a case of lazy, or a bout of creative ennui. In fact, I couldn’t even chuck everything aside temporarily and lose myself in a book—which is almost without precedent. For want of anything better, I’ve spent the time futzing, fiddling with this and that since midmorning, busying myself with small tasks that didn’t require much in the way of concentration or energy. And then…I happened to glance out the window just as the afternoon sun came pouring through a seam in the otherwise wooly-gray sky. Bright light streamed down, into the sycamores and onto the river. I grabbed my camera and rushed outside. It was still cold, below freezing. But the sun made it seem warm—at least I didn’t notice the chill, in spite of not having put on a jacket. I only had time for two quick shots of the interplay of light upon the water before the overhead clouds sealed their leak, as if realizing they’d made a mistake and allowed an errant shaft of bright sunlight to escape. As suddenly as it appeared, the scintillating illumination was gone, switched off. The gray returned, the light went flat, and I headed back inside. But that brief time of light had been enough. An internal fire had been lit; I could feel the energy returning. My mood executed an abrupt 180 degree about-face. All it took was that single moment.