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!

Monday is rest day, so no running. And this morning I’m grateful: the wind is gusting wetly against the window. Fortunately, it hits the house at an angle and spares us the worst of it. I sit with my back to the cold and write while wrapped in a red blanket that was a gift from Di. The tealight is burning under a spiced Christmas tea mix I bought to try to get me in the mood.

It’s not working.

The coffee gets cold too quickly this morning. I’m on a second cup already, wondering how the minutes have been spent.

How I spent the minutes.

I’ve mostly been unraveling last night’s dreams. We got away for the weekend and stayed at a little bed and breakfast in a little town down south. Tiny wooden houses covered in Christmas lights, and on Sunday morning the bells peeled four times over the course of the morning. It was charming. Even in the rain.

I thought I’d put work behind me: relaxed. But last night my body pinched and twisted in frustrations and I woke in pain for the first time in a week. I’ve been sorting metaphors for real situations from outright fears and fictions. My subconscious still finds a defensive position familiar and comforting. My body, however, is no longer comfortable with this. It can no longer handle the effort of jousting with windmills.

I close my eyes and hum: haaaaaa. I imagine the gusting whipping the lake with white-tipped waves and then watch the whole world calm down. When the sun rises, the sky turns deep orange and pink. And all it if is mirrored on the still surface.

E. describes the weather this time of year as raw. When the cold feels much colder than measurements suggest, and it cuts through everything – wind or no wind.

On mornings like this, the sun rises behind a veil and the surface of the lake reflects the white, the wind. Still: haaaaaa. Because this is also true.

Even as the dancer moves across the stage, there is a stillness in the connection of her energy to the energy of the earth. A constant. There is the haaaaaa.

Because everything else changes around this one truth. And resting here in this point of reflection is the only option for peace.

what can I put in my mouth but rainwater and the truth? looking upward, the sun, a few wispy clouds, and a dream.