Song for a Winter’s Night
Winter is nearly here; the trees are bare, the mornings are coated in hard frost, and the days are painfully short. The frigid inky darkness of those long nights infects some hearts; we struggle to keep it out of our dreams and bloodstreams. We watch with trepidation as it leaves its telltale stain on everything we love, despite our best efforts otherwise.
The shadows call with their siren song, offering refuge from those impervious souls shocked, frustrated and saddened by smudges they cannot scrub clean. The pressure so ironically generated by holidays designed to inoculate against the void is thick and heavy with guilt and shame. Isolation’s seductive protection draws us further into the clear, sharp stillness until tears freeze on cheeks and aching gasps cut voice from vapor.
Frostbite settles in, and anything but a slow, gentle thawing scalds. Even that means relinquishing the safety in numbness, the relief hiding beneath pale pink skin. Warming by the fire seems a foolish pleasure; a painful reminder of the cold in fleeting contrast. Besides, someone might notice a shiver in the glow of those embers.
That’s the nature of darkness. Drawing poor, good hearts into an emptiness that folds over onto itself eternally. The blackest of psychic black holes, trapping everything in a nothingness that is only strengthened by resistance.
So I won’t try to coax you towards the light. I won’t insist that you find contentment, pleasure and gratitude in the stunning clarity of the winter sky, or whatever shelters you from the fierce northwestern wind that slices bone deep. You won’t find me standing over your dark places with a wire brush and a stiff jaw.
Still, perhaps you’d like someone to sit with you, in a chilly and dimly-lit room, with a mug of something to take the edge off. Someone who can see the flowers and fruit of spring waiting beneath your frozen soil, someone to clasp your icy hand in hers without wincing. If you need someone who can brave the darkness with you, or just breathe a contented sigh when you grasp a little tighter or worry her palm with your thumb?
I’m right here.