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.

24 comments:

KGMom said...

Hmmm--not normally affected by SAD--but it sure sounds like a brief case of SAD.
But, a shaft of sunlight streaming through the clouds providing a virtual stairway to the heavens is enough to brighten anyone's mood.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Yeah, it does. But I think it was just a case of the middle-age blahs.

What I really don't like is day after day of blue skies and bright sunshine. I like storm fronts, any kind of heavy weather. I'd rather work during the rain or a really dark day than at any other time—I can get a lot done then, easier and quicker. And I love to drive around in the rain, or hunker in some small shelter out in the boonies.

Celtic temperament I suppose.

giggles said...

I think I'm with ya there, too, Scribe.....

I tend to want to nap when the sun shines and I feel very productive and energetic when it's rainy out... (The world says "Zig!" and I will zag!)

Love the glints on the water....!

JMS said...

Weather here changed every few minutes, and my mood with it. I'm glad your sunbeam snuck through, I enjoy your blog.
~Jain

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I'm like a steelhead trout, always headin' upstream. Not always the smartest, but at least against the traffic and never a herd animal.

I liked those sparkles too. That was the deal.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

JMS…

Hey, I have those days when my mood changes two or three times before lunch—up, down, up, down. I just figure at least I'm not stuck in a rut. That was a needed sunbeam today, though.

I'm pleased you enjoy the blog. You're always welcome.

Gail said...

Hi

"Thank you" for your gracious welcome on your earlier post. I, like you, am inspired by cloudy days. I love days that are ominous, promising a mystery of change at any 'moment'. Your thoughtful and visual words allow me to see your surroundings even without the photo.
I like it here. If you get a moment to visit my site I would like that.
Peace and light
Gail

Gail said...

Hi -
I really thought I left a comment here, huh. I wrote it and thought I published it but it's not here. huh.

Anyway, I wanted to "thank you" for your kind welcome. I wrote about how I can see your lovely surroundings by your words, even without the photo. I also spoke of how I am inspired by cloudy days. I like that they are ominous with the promise of change in any moment.

I also invited you to stop by my site if you get a chance.

If this is all a 'repeat', sorry.

Peace and light
Gail

Gail said...

oops! now I see that you moderate, and that is why my earlier comment didn't get posted yet. oh my.

gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Sometimes I just get slow in moderating comments. This may be due to my being out on a ramble, actually working, running errands, or pure and simple laziness.

I would claim geezerhood as an extenuating factor, but I'm not quiet old enough…yet. (There are times, though, when I'm definitely in geezer training—or my body is, anyway.)

The welcome mat is still out—just give me time to answer the door. :-)

willow said...

I'm popping in via Ms. Weaver of Grass, and see that you are a fellow Ohioan! And to think I met you by way of the UK. It's a small world.

Gail said...

Hi- and thanks for your understanding. I also really appreciated your visit to my blog and your advice and thoughts about my writing. I am not sure which post you commented on soI could nt reply to you there.

I did want to say that I struggled for a brief period with finding my place, or better said, getting back to my place on my own blog. And I did use metaphors only a few times as part of a 'tool' to help me remember some things. If you look further back to perhaps, "James-Daniel-Jill", and "The Kid In Me' and almost all others I am writing from my heart and soul. And recently the ones about my brother-in-laws death are as real as real can be. "A Room With A Window Facing East" and "Two Chimes And A Blue Light" are quite intimate, to name just a few. THere are 59 posts!! I feel sad that you may have missed the true essence of me through my writing based on a few.
I really appreciate the time you took to give such an overview.
And do you recall which post you commented on?

And I know it takes time to read comments and such and that life and time have a way of getting away! :-)

Gail
peace....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Willow…

We Buckeyes do roll around, eh?

I see by your blog that you live in a stone house, like old bookshops, tea, art, and have been bitten by the genealogy bug. You therefore ought to feel comfortable here.

I live and write from a stone cottage, beside a river (with a few willows, BTW), collect, deal, and actually read books, cook and enjoy good tea, amble though art museums when I can, and have been digging in my own genealogical mines for nearly a decade. Sooner or latter, all will become fodder in one way or another on this blog. And all are equally good reasons to visit here again.

You're always welcome.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I read those posts you mentioned, that's why the comment—not because they weren't good, but because they were. I thought from that other comment someone made to you, you might decide you needed to change your style and starting couching your direct honesty in metaphor.

Be yourself; write as who and how you are, from the heart. Good writing puts it out there, gives away your self to whatever extent you're willing. You can't make people who don't like you, your ideas, values, interests, etc., come around. But those on the same wave length will like you even more because they do understand—and because they see the honesty in your words.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - I know that feeling so well. There is no accounting for it - I don't have it very often but when I do it takes some snapping out of. A gentle, quiet walk is often one way - I also notice if someone calls and says would I like to go out somewhere, I am usually instantly better. That shaft of sunlight certainly did the trick for you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

There is indeed no accounting for it sometimes. Physical? Mental? Emotional? Environmental? Situational? A look from the dog or the way your breakfast tea tasted? Lord knows! But thank goodness you can fall out of it just as quickly, though perhaps less mysteriously. A word. A look from the dog. A friend calling. Or a shaft of afternoon sunlight on a winter river.

I'm not as moody as I used to be—but I do have my moments.

Bella said...

I love overcast, low-light days sprinkled with rain. A forecast of rain and wind and I'm at peace...An added bonus is the huge reduction in sightings of herds.

Charming post!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bella…

You have described near perfect weather for me to relax or work (which sounds like a paradox, but isn't) and it does indeed limit the herds.

I'm pleased you share this penchant. Let them have their sun and blue skies—we'll opt for foul weather.

Gail said...

Hi again-

Again, "thank you" And you are right, I was challenged to write differently and I did but it wasn't me. I do think metaphors can be helpful especially when my reality is too harsh. But for the most part I like just being me. And I SO appreciate your reminding me of that. Phew.

Love and peace
Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Metaphors, similes, anecdotes, dialogue, quotations—all are simply tools for telling your story, describing an event, passing along information. As are punctuation and vocabulary. Fancy terms for ways of communicating you doubtless use every day when you talk with your friends.

Writing is like building garden shed. The wood and shingles are the raw material. That’s the story, the point you’re trying to make. With a few tools—a hammer and some nails, a saw, a square and level, (metaphors, similes, anecdotes, dialogue, quotations, punctuation and vocabulary)—you can cut and assemble and secure the raw materials into a shed. How good a shed depends on skill, experience, amount of time and labor, and talent. Same with writing. And please don’t worry about the talent part—most professional writers depend far more on skill, experience, time and labor than talent. If you can talk you can write. Just find your own voice and put down one word after another.

And one final thing—if reality is harsh, it's harsh. The truth doesn't—and shouldn't—need to hide in a metaphor. If life has handed you some tough times (which I know it has) don't be afraid to say so.

A few hours ago I drove 30 miles each way to sit for a couple of hours by my best friend's bedside. He has Parkinson's Disease and he is dying. Not transitioning, or winding down—dying. A harsh word, and I can't tell you how it hurts me to think about it, let alone write it. But it is the truth—he knows it, I know it, we discuss it openly. If it makes other folks uncomfortable, who cares? That's their problem.

Reality; truth; honesty. Tell it like it is, don't coddle the facts, don't apologize or feel guilty.

Gail said...

Hi-

I enjoyed your "metaphor" about the building of a shed as it relates to 'building a story'. Fascinating.

And also, I agree 100% about not hiding my truth. The metaphor was a process to get at a piece of my truth that was hidden - and it worked like a charm. "Memory work" is very personal and I have found that we remember when we have what we need to handle the truth. It was one piece haunting me and it surfaced and I am fine with integrating it in to the fabric of me design that is me. :-)

Your friend who is ill is lucky to have you and for many reasons you are lucky to have him too to be able to share in his final days. Such a gift! I am filled with gratitude for every moment I shared with my brother-in-law for a life-time and in his final moments.

Love Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I hope I've helped in some small way to make you feel more comfortable about your writing.

Thank you for your kind words re. my friend. I'm indeed grateful to have and be able to share this time with him. We've been friends for 30 year, shared countless adventures; he has been one of greatest blessings in my life. As his friend, I want to be there with him, to do whatever I can for him as death takes it hold. That's what friends do—share and comfort.

Gail said...

Hi-

Yes, your validation and urging reminded me of what I lost sight of for a brief period -

I SO understand your intimate relationship with your friend - I love my brother-in-law and have for iver 40 years. He was one of my biggest "cheer-leaders" - always and no matter what.

When he died, and I laid my head on his chest, my long hair and tears covered him - I sat close to him for over an hour - the blue light shining on his door!

Peace-light and love
Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

In the end, love and friendship is about the best we can have to show for our life.