Friday, January 09, 2015

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


January's always bitter
But Lord this one beats all

You're told that the New Year begins on January 1st, because the old year ends on December 31st. But January is not a beginning, it is a transition. Janus is the god of gates, of doorways - that place between where you've been and where you're going. The threshold over which new brides are carried, the doorframe upon which a mezuzah should be placed. The interstitial space. This is January.

Janus sees the past and the future. Looking forward while looking back, but never looking within. What's gone before is reviewed, what's yet to come is planned, but what is... that gets lost, swallowed, forgotten. Where the other months are enjoyed, January is barely endured.

A space of unknowability, the place of transformation that we pretend happens immediately. Though it feels like stagnation it is the necessary delay, for nothing happens instantaneously. It is the pause, pregnant with possibilities. We think that because we know where we've been and we believe to know where we're going, we know where we are. As though it is the past and the future which locate the present.

I know where I've been. I know the trajectory I intend to go. But January is bringing about a hell of a metamorphosis, one I will only understand in hindsight. It has pried my frozen hands from the delusion of control, but the sensation hasn't returned to my fingertips. And while I realize these pieces of me have not been wrenched out - amidst this rearranging there is an emptiness and an ache. But I must keep a warm heart, staying supple and malleable. If I freeze, I'll shatter in the wind.

Tonight outside my window
There's a lonesome, mournful sound,
And I can't help but thinkin'
'Bout the ones the wolves pull down

I wrote this blogpost originally in January 2011. I had just started receiving letters of rejections from PhD programs (for the second time) and had learned the real extent of our fertility issues. After I placed my son for adoption in 1998, I had two goals: to be a professor & then to be a mother again, when I could provide a stable home.

In January 2011, I felt that both of those dreams were wrenched from me within days of each other. That is where I was when I wrote this piece & I am reposting it because that's not where I am today.

Today, I am grateful to have escaped the abusive relationship I had with academia.
Today, I am listening to my sixteen month old twins giggle as they chase each other around the house - occasionally, stopping to wave or smile at me.
Today, my spring has come even though the snow is falling outside.

So I am posting this in case you are in the midst of a dark winter. I promise you, your spring will come. Until then, I've got extra blankets, hot cocoa, and mulled wine. You're welcome here anytime.


  1. Did you write the verse at the end? It's lovely, sad, but lovely.
    Hang in there.
    BTW It's nice of you to read my blog. I was pretty sure I was writing to myself.

  2. The beginning and the end bits in italics are from a Garth Brooks song titled "Wolves" - not me. I tend to stick to prose most of the time.

    Also nice of you to read my blog. Once upon a time I posted regularly and had regular readers, but now it's mostly a ghost own with occasional blurbs. :)