Saturday, October 6, 2012

The weather made me do it

Pedi cabs, before the weather shifted.

Shalom from stormy, dramatic Washington DC.

I love it when a big weather front blows through. In DC, since no building is allowed to be taller than my buddy the Capitol, you can see the weather arriving from the west - not that I need to see it actually because I can feel it coming. I feel it in all the places in my body where I've been injured, also everywhere the inevitable drying out that's a part of aging has rendered me less flexible, like my knees (for instance). I feel it in my sinuses.

What's really interesting is that I feel it in my mind. There's an anxiety that precedes the front, an ominous sense of foreboding. I'm sure not everyone feels this way when a front approaches, but I am one with the weather. Just before a storm arrives, I feel so apprehensive! I'm sure this mood is instinctual. It can't be rational because after last summer I can't wait for cold weather to arrive - that is - in my conscious mind.

All my life I've had every physical comfort you can imagine. I've slept in warm, comfortable beds, always had enough to eat, etc., yet my brain stem still fears the coming of winter. It's interesting and even a bit alarming to understand how strictly we homo sapiens abide by the power of instinctual cues. We make up lovely stories about our behavior of course, which we rarely seem able to connect to what we call the "natural world." (As if we aren't part of nature?)

We are elaborate in our frontal lobes. Nevertheless, the source of of most of our mythology, most of our rationalizing and figuring out of the world springs from the same part of the brain that regulates heartbeat, gives us gooseflesh when it's cold and churns up romantic fantasies of undying love when we lust for someone.

Where would the arts be if not for the survival instinct that insists that we mate and have children? It's interesting to think about.

In response to today's plunging temperatures and brisk winds, my brain stem motivated me to make a hearty stew with the grass fed beef I bought from the organic meat lady who is at Eastern Market on Tuesdays. The stew will simmer for awhile. The smell of the simmering stew is calming my fear of winter. In a little while I'll add carrots, onions, potatoes, peas and when it's done, lots of finely minced parsley. I'll light a lot of candles in the chateau tonight, wear something cozy and warm.

All this, to please my brain stem. Good lord.


Reya Mellicker said...

Why do I love storms even though they unnerve me? Because I am an energy whore. End of story.

Rebecca Clayton said...

If you can't cater to your brainstem, who can you cater to? Happy autumn!

Reya Mellicker said...


Kerry said...

I have no doubt that you are especially sensitive to the weather, and that sometime in the past maybe we were all more that way.

One of my favorite things about the coming season of long nights is that they are so beautiful to light up with candles. I love candles, and once set the New York Times on fire because I was too close to a candle.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ha! That's perfect. I love candles, too. One of my great teachers said that candlelight "connects all the worlds." It feels like that, doesn't it?

ellen abbott said...

Oh we are all connected, yes. perhaps you are very sensitive to the changing of the barometric pressure.