I was already in a bad mood a few days ago, in the aftermath of the Eric Garner case. I spent the weekend focusing on things that would be fun, in an attempt to fight my way back. And it helped.
And then this morning’s foul weather threw my subway off-kilter and made me late, and the beginnings of a cold are starting to creep up on me, and by noon I was already feeling like I wanted to crawl home and get a cozy blankie and some hot chocolate and lay on the couch.
And then the CIA report on torture use in the wake of 9/11 got released, and that’s all just knocked me back to square one.
I’m just spent. I can’t get any more despondent. All I am right now is cynical – I’ve got a couple friends outside the country and have sent them jokey messages about whether they want a roommate, but that’s it so far.
The thing is, I was already in a bit of a downswing anyway – I get moodier and pensive in winter, when the light is low and stays for a shorter amount of time. Tonight is supposed to be the earliest sunset we get all year, and it’s going to be darker yet on top of that in the aftermath of a Nor’Easter that’s blowing its way inland right now. The worst of it has passed, but it’s still not going to be sunshiny and cheerful during my struggle to get home.
It’s reminding me of a line from Bruce Cockburn’s song Lovers In A Dangerous Time, about how you need to “kick at the darkness ’till it bleeds daylight”. I listened to that a few days ago as well – and took that as my motto for the weekend. Look for the light, look for the good things. Kick back at the darkness, both the moral darkness that seems to be overrunning us now and the astronomic darkness that’s coming to us in the depth of winter. Keep faith that it will turn back. Find the light and hang in there.
That’s not cutting it today, though. The light may be coming back, but it’s not here now. We have another couple weeks to get through before the solstice, and things are fated to get darker yet. Trying to gather light in the oncoming gloom just feels premature, just like trying to put a brave face on the continued ills we’re uncovering just feels wrong.
And that’s…not fair.
I lied when I said I was cynical – what I am is angry. Angry that I need to wait for the light, angry that we have yet more darkness to go through. I’m kicking the darkness, alright – but because it’s a temper tantrum.