Still not ready?
Why starting the new year is always taking its time | The Muse Letter No. 116
Wrote it last year, reading it this year again.
This is still winter.
I knew this would happen, it happens every time after I take a long break: I am reluctant to dip my toe into the water again. Not because I don’t want to be immersed by cool liquid life but because after a while of standing on the side line you begin to wonder about all the possibilities on how to do it: Jumping in head first / feet first / elegantly gliding or smashing with your bum hitting the surface. You start to think about who you want to be, who you were, if you’re still able to perform a backwards flip?
– And then it’s Saturday evening and aubergines are gently cooking in tomato sauce and you realise that hibernation is over and work has to start again: now.
This is still winter. I’ve been thinking about that for the past days. It got colder in Scotland, the coldest it has been so far this year and the pavements are slippery and going out for five minutes to the shops has to be debated and proven necessary before even considering it.
Most days I am still tired, still unrested, like hibernating for two weeks was not enough.
I feel like Moomin in Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter when he feverishly is waiting for the sun to come back, for life to start again. Every morning he is waiting for her to make an appearance as he is told that she will come back within the next days but when the sun is finally rising it is only for a few seconds, only peeking over the horizon to disappear again. Disappointed that winter is still not over that darkness still outweighs light Moomin gets frustrated. Understandably.
I think every new year feels a bit like this: You set intentions, make resolutions, write out plans, fueled by the buzz of everything new and then you realise that the new is just the same old and that actual change takes time / energy / effort and even if you don’t do any of these things because you’re oh so clever and not governed by arbitrary time markers however the holidays ended, the winter break is done, we all have to get used to say twenty twenty three now and scratch out all the 22’s we still automatically want to write and it takes a while to arrive, to feel welcome in this new year. Sure slowly it gets lighter each day but we’re far from sowing any seeds. The soil is still frozen, nothing is ready to grow just yet.
This is still winter. I whisper the words forming little clouds in the air.
This is still winter. The sun knows it. She keeps saying Hi everyday a little bit earlier but she doesn’t dare to get to her old peak just yet, she’s not ready and neither are you.
She keeps a low profile, taking it easy these days. The plants don’t need her anyway, nothing needs much light in January.
This is still winter. Not the time for frantic action.
This is still winter. Not the time to hit it big.
This is still winter. Close your eyes.
This is still winter.
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I am all about writing a reading list and then ignoring it and impulse buying anything that takes my fancy. However, these are the five books I am absolutely going to read this year. Promise.