Friday, October 10, 2003

Cloudy Days

It's a nice cloudy day here in Dallas. That makes several days in a row now. And I love it -- it's such a nice break from all the sunshine that we had been getting.

You may think I'm joking, but I mean it. In fact, I'd be much happier if overcast days (preferably with dark, threatening clouds) were the norm, and sunshine the rare exception. I've read that people tend to get more depressed in the winters because they don't have enough sunshine. In me, however, those biological or mental processes, whatever they are, seem to have been wired in reverse.

Well, not precisely in reverse. I don't get literally depressed when there's too much sunshine. It's just that sunshine is so boring and unromantic (I use that word in its artistic sense). Sunshine is like one of those relentlessly and oppressively cheerful works by Mozart (one of my least favorite "great" composers), while a dark overcast day is like the swirling chords of Sibelius. Cloudy days remind me of one of my favorite passages from C.S. Lewis's autobiography Surprised by Joy:
I had read . . . the words Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods. What I had seen was one of Arthur Rackham's illustrations to that volume. I had never heard of Wagner, nor of Siegfried . . . Pure "Northernness" engulfed me: a vision of huge, clear spaces hanging above the Atlantic in the endless twilight of Northern summer, remoteness, severity.
Anyone else feel that way about cloudy days? Or am I the only one?


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