Friday, February 4, 2011

My Winter Song To You

I’ve written before about my inexplicable hatred of fall…but I’m not sure I’ve ever written about my inexplicable love of winter. Yes, I’m a knitter so I love to wear my hand knits, and yes I’m a quilter so I love curling up under my quilts. And I definitely love, love, love that it is now February and it's after 5 pm before it gets truly dark out. But there’s more to it than this. I'm not sure I can really articulate it, but I'm going to try.

One of my favorite books is “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin (despite the author’s political leanings…). Coincidentally, I just read today that the book is being adapted for a film, which ought to be interesting; it’s a strange and complicated story and I cannot imagine how they will manage certain scenes. At any rate, in the book is a character named Beverly who is dying of consumption and has such a raging fever that she spends most of her time up on the roof in the dead of winter. I don’t know why, but I could see myself doing such a thing, had I the time and money (or access to my roof). Yes it’s cold and I hate being stuck inside during storms and I hate trudging around in boots and I loathe what this particular winter has done to my commuting (see my Twitter feed for the painful details). But there’s something invigorating about all that fresh air, the way it opens your eyes and clears out your lungs and flushes your cheeks. I love it. It kills me that I am so completely uncoordinated, because I think I would have otherwise really enjoyed skiing and the other winter sports. I’ve put my order in already; if there is such a thing as reincarnation, next time I want better hand-eye coordination along with stronger knees and ankles.

But mostly I love winter because there are mornings like the one I had today, when the sky is blazing blue and the trees are covered in ice, branches glistening in their little cocoons of frozen water, and the snow sparkling diamonds through the forest. It’s about as magical as things can get, at least around here. And when you are stuck on a painfully slow and clunky commuter rail train for the umpteenth day in a row, eating your Luna Bar for breakfast, it’s easy for even an almost 40-year old woman to imagine herself a more pleasant version of Narnia’s White Queen. Even when dressed completely in black.

Anyway. I’m loving winter at the moment, the oodles of snow and pain-in-the-arse commute notwithstanding. And in a deliberate attempt to be more positive, because something else in my life decided to fall apart this past week, here are a few more things I’m loving:

1. Ingrid Michaelson’s new album, Everybody. Also, the Ingrid Michaelson/Sara Bareilles song "Winter Song", which makes me happy every time I hear it.
2. Skinny caramel macchiato’s from Starbucks. My sister says that even when they are made with skim milk they are still loaded with sugar and caffeine, but they have become my Friday afternoon treat.
3. Apples. My appetite finally showed up again, which I had some mixed feelings about, and it kicked into gear with apples. Growing up my mother rarely allowed junk food, and if I had a dollar for every time I whined about being hungry in between meals and she told me “Have an apple!”, I would never want for cashmere yarn again. Alas, she was right; it's a perfect and portable snack. My favorites are honey crisps at the moment, but braeburns work just fine in a pinch.
4. My work. I’m currently working on 2 grant proposals that I’m really excited about. Neither is for a ton of money, but they are both unique and are forcing me to really think creatively and strategically about how to write them. It’s the sort of mental challenge I enjoy.
5. I finally applied for my passport! I kept putting it off because of the state of my hair, which is just about the most ridiculous thing I could ever say but it's the complete and utter truth of the matter. The downside is, no drastic haircut until after I get back from Ireland, lest they not let me out of the country.
6. My old journals. I had to haul them out this past weekend, as I was on a fact-finding mission to prove a certain someone wrong about something. *ahem* Now that the dust has settled it's fascinating to read what was going on inside my head back in 2006/2007, leading up to my move to NYC. You know how every once and awhile you think to yourself, "What was I thinking?" Well, thanks to these journals I can actually answer that question. And I wasn't half as crazy as I had begun to think, which is frankly quite comforting to know.

I know there's no knitting in this post, nor any sewing. I finally downloaded the last batch of photos I took of my various projects, and not one of them was usable. I must begin again. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas as to how to hand felt a pair of Noro mittens that came out a little on the big side, please drop me a line!

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