It snowed again last night. Again. It’s been a long winter. Feels like it has been freezing forever, even though I know it has only been a few months. Everything is white. Bland and cold. Lots of things are cold and frozen and without flavor. When you go outside you can see your breath hanging in the air. Kind of like words unspoken. Kind of like a voice that is waiting to be heard.
Winter is hard on me. My body gets stiffer. My spasms get more intense. So there is much more pain. More soreness. Which makes it harder to move. I have to go slow. My balance and coordination can be out of whack. So my life gets a little more challenging in any case this time of year. And it seems like my feelings get a little more frozen too. As I try to breathe through the effect of that misbehaving muscle. As I try to go through my routine feeling like my body needs an oil change. I find it hard to focus, and not feel the frustration. Add to that there have recently been some caregiver issues and some medical issues and some “life” issues if you know what I mean. White ground. White sky. White landscape.
And I wait.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I struggle with depression and that some of my days are hard to get through. The best way to describe that currently is that some of my life feels white and bland. Lots of things feel cold and frozen. Am I sad in this season? Usually. When my body doesn’t move well that means that I don’t get out as often. Like most people I would guess, it’s easier for me to feel more isolated in the winter. Which just doesn’t help anything.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not desperate, I am just feeling down. Finding motivation when I am in this state is difficult. Finding reasons to laugh out loud takes a little more effort. Things aren’t black. They are white. I have trouble seeing all the colors out there. And when there is too much snow, I have to squint even in the sunshine.
So I wait.
One of the ways this mindset has manifested is as writer’s block. In searching for ideas to write about, I’ve come up dry and empty. Blank pages in my journal. A blank computer screen with a cursor daring me to make it move. And I just can’t. I got nothin’. Zip. Zilch. Nada. My go-get-’em attitude has become a little stale. The feeling is like when I go outside and I see my breath. But not in a “Wow, that is cool” kind of way. Words are hanging in the air but I can barely see them before they disappear. Ideas aren’t fully formed and feel like a voice that is waiting to be heard. What does that voice have to say? I really don’t have a clue right now. I can’t connect. And I am frustrated that I can’t seem to figure it out.
So I wait.
What is there to do about it all? I guess I am in the same boat as the rest of nature and society. I’ve hit the point where it feels like winter has lasted too long and I am waiting for everything to thaw out. I’m just tired of the white.
In the last few weeks, the days have gotten longer, but that didn’t happen all at once. Winter is going to leave in the same fashion, drip by drip, with patches of green peeking through the frozen ground.
My hope is that inspiration will whisper in my ear soon as well, with color and texture and noise and emotion. There have been times in my life when I’ve had so many ideas to write about that I could not flesh them out fast enough, like the rush of a river above forty degrees. Those days will come again. I know it. Along with the warmer weather and easy laughter and the movement in my body that will make exercising fun for me again.
Some artists I know call this phenomenon trusting the process. For me, it is simply trusting myself.
And waiting out the white.