The delicate thing that is a mood


It's been four days since I split from the ever-lovin', everlasting sunshine of Southern California to the decidedly cloudier, grayer skies of Portland, and on this fourth day, which Nature chose to fill with uncharacteristic amounts of bright and cheery sunlight, I find my mood has shifted dramatically for the better.


I harbor these dreams, you see, of me, living elsewhere. Somewhere with a chill to it, and some weather. Somewhere I can wear one of my 14 light-to-medium-heavy jackets (accessorized with one of 25 complementary scarves and 10 or so pairs of leather gloves) every ding-dong day. Non-bikini, non-shorts, non-sunblock-wearing weather, where it is crisp all day, punctuated by an extra chill morning and night. Where politically incorrect fires can burn wastefully, beautifully in brick fireplaces, allowing more politically incorrect wastage of heat up the chimney than they emit from the hearth. Where soup and chili and roasty meats (again with the political incorrectness!) are perpetually on the menu, and the principal fruits and veggies are apple and winter, respectively.

Now I'm wondering whether I'm built for unrelieved gray or not.

When the one thought that punctuates the fog that wraps itself around you is "Damn, I feel low," and it only squeaks through at around 3 or 4pm, when the bulk of the sad, sad day is trailing forlornly behind you, you might want to have another think about this relo thing. Yes, I feel instantly at home here in Portland, weirdly, eerily at home, almost in a deja-vu kinda way. Maybe, however, that is less of an awesome thing than once I thought. Maybe it's better for me to be a somewhat uncomfortable stranger in a strange and sunny land than it is right at home in a place where my happiness baseline seems to float a good 15 inches in a downwardly direction. Maybe I am so unbelievably mundane that my naturally sunny disposition is not, in fact, natural at all, but like most folks', a byproduct of extra light during the day.

I get the whole as-much-coffee-as-humanly-possible thing in a way that I did not last year, up in Seattle. And I think it is because last September and October while I was there, Seattle was uncharacteristically sunny. The misty rain and gray I found so noteworthy was, you'll forgive the expression, a drop in the bucket compared to the usual fall weather. Dour skies call for more coffee, they just do.

Oh, well. Time and circumstances will tell. The BF and I have also toyed with the idea of relocating to a different yet equally grim climate, in a place far less fabulous in other regards than the naturally glorious and culturally significant PacNW. Part of getting away, much like peeling away and paring down, is making it easier to see what's really there, like it or not.

"Liking" is almost beside the point...