I’ve been struggling with inflammation and the overall discomfort that brings. But we we did a Sunday run anyway. I need it most when I want it least. It rained. I actually can’t remember the last time I went outside and it was not raining. Everything is on the edge of freezing, and at two-thirty in the afternoon the sun was already touching the horizon. It made the afternoon even softer, but melancholy as a good mourning.

At 11:02 we Northerners tilt on our axis: leaning into a new half-year of leaning towards the sun. I am ready. I am pushing it. I’ve pulled the little goLITE out of the drawer.

I should have done it weeks ago as a preventative measure, before my body swelled with melancholy and cold, softening inelegantly in the darkness like something giving in, waiting passively to be reconstituted, reconstructed.

This morning I stretch through warrior positions, and feel an internal resistance with every move. After a crying jag, the skin around my eyes feel swollen and vulnerable – today my whole body feels this way.

Even though the days will be getting longer, that fact will be imperceptible until March. Maybe it will be because Christmas lights were taken down in romjul, because the sky exploded in light and color on New Years Eve, and New Years Day was predictably anti-climatic.

New years are as difficult as colicky infants. Expectations are almost inevitable, and weigh heavily on short days. But we’ve stepped in it and there’s no turning back, no option to avoid the follow-through.

Push on.


Svulstig is the Norwegian word for excessively emotional things like love ballads or national anthems. It also describes hollow flattery, and flowery platitudes. Navel-gazing profundities like I’m wallowing in here.

I’m thinking the word describes winter’s paradox- this svulstig state of swelling wetness. Even when it all freezes, it swells yet again.


I learned this week that romjul means the days where there are no rules. The flip side of lent without the carnival. This I am ready for: ring out the bells of Christmas, then wring out the heaviness of this passing year!