Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tonight I watched two episodes of television on my computer: episodes of Dark Shadows and Big Cat Diary. These are new shows to me and I know already that they will become favourites. Though on the surface they seem to have nothing in common in terms of narrative, genre, or aesthetics, they are appropriate for this winter. This is a dark winter, perhaps the darkest I've known. In different ways, these little bits of moving light on my eyes process that darkness with me and for me. It helps to see nature and the struggle for survival along with its beauties and stalemates when I see death, disease, and pain (moving slowly and quickly) on the edges. I love the black tear marks and yellow teeth of the cheetah when I cannot open my own mouth without pain. It is like the memory of this summer's stinging nettles or the urge to revisit a sort again and again before healing has taken place. It helps also to see the melodrama, and fun of sustained risk and danger. I can feel good getting lost in a story that can go on and on and develop without end in crazy limping circles vaguely inspired by literature. This helps with the uncertainty, fragility, and blindness with which our steps are followed. I hear the night rain outside and know I could be anywhere or nowhere in six months or a year.

New Year's Eve and New Year's day are not my sort of holidays at the best of times; the command to be merry makes me maudlin, but this year I worry that their spectacular ordinariness was positively dangerous. I fell ill on the last day of the calendar year and knew I was too catching to be around people. I stayed in and heard fireworks and heard of adventures and read about resolutions without having any. I didn't watch the border between 2010 and 2011 closely enough, and so far I've not yet had a good day in 2011. My lack of vigilance allowed the real year, the shining one, be replaced with a crying wooden doll. This year has proved a changeling thus far and it does not have the vitality necessary for twelve months and thirteen moons. Tomorrow, hopefully closer still to health, I board a plane to travel backwards. As I go back in time, I plan to toss this mannekin year to the sky and land to find the real 2011, Or, if I have to, make a new one.