is a neglected season in the contemporary calendar. Beginning somewhere after Thanksgiving
and ending a week or so after New Year's, most of the time once given over to Winter has now been co-opted by Martin Luther King Day
, Black History Month
(I'm not knocking black people here, just the fact that it's hard to concentrate on winter with all these images of the American South), Valentine's Day
(which has now become a holiday given over to meditations about domestic violence
), Mardi Gras
(which, happening in a semi-tropical climate, isn't wintery at all), Spring Break
(ditto), and St. Patrick's Day, which is virtually Spring. While the grass lies dead and pale and the trees are bare of everything but buds, we're told to Celebrate Spring! with a riot of tulips, to enjoy "the colors of summer...all winter long" with Chilean fruits and vegetables, and to take vacations in warmer climes, lest anyone realize that the Sun is setting before six o'clock. This is the same mindset that cannot abide funerals, but must turn them into "celebrations of life", who hates penance, but joys in Reconciliation, who must turn all demons, if not into angels, into benign nature spirits, and can't even abide the notion of New Year's Eve
, but must turn it into First Night
. The truth is, sometimes it's good to feel bad, no matter if it's bad wicked, bad mad, or just have a good cry.
Truth to tell, sometimes it's good to walk under grey skies with a fine wet wind blowing, to come into a warm, bright house in the evening and eat stew, and roasted root vegetables, seasoned with dried seeds, with preserves and chocolate for dessert, to drink strong wines and spirits, to watch the snow fall and the bright stars come out, and to pass the night at home, wrapped in rich fabrics, with hothouse flowers, heavy music, synthetic perfumes, and all that is abstract and decadent...
It's also a good time to play Quake.