"In my nineteen ninetiesSometimes songs become seared in one's consciousness - yesterday my MP3 player brought up the one-two punch of Sister Hazel's "All For You" and the Wallflowers' "One Headlight", both of which are decent MOR songs admittedly but are embedded in my mind mostly for the fall of '97, specifically a driving trip up to Kittery, Maine from Boston, off to get my first-ever set of winter gear. All throughout, while we moved in and out of the range of various radio stations' transmitters, those two songs were unavoidable earworms, occupying every channel, burrowing insidiously into my mind. And even now listening to them calls up, in the manner of Proustian madeleines, the deep reds of autumn foliage, dipping my toes into the cold Atlantic Ocean, and the dim knowledge that all this preparation for the onset of the cold was part of the first steps towards something life-altering, being in America, four years of finding the person I was meant to be.
I never dreamt that I would get to be
The creature that I always meant to be"
- The Pet Shop Boys, "Being Boring"
So winter has always been a time of hope in my mind, oddly enough, given that actually I quite hate being in the cold and my ears always feel like falling off. And hope springs (or winters) eternal: it will be winter again for me soon, as I head for London and Montreal on work and pleasure (which unfortunately means, dear readers, that this blog is likely to be on a slight hiatus from next week till around Christmas). Eight years since my first winter. Sometimes I look back and it seems like yesterday; other times I am utterly bewildered by how far I have come. Eight years on, I don't have the answers in life - far from it, the questions I have have multiplied to reflect all of life's glorious complexity - but I have faith in myself and I have hope in the world, and I think that's a pretty good way to go forth.