Seasonal Affective Reading

I originally wrote this for Strangelet Journal’s blog in April 2014. I rescued it when that blog was murdered two months later.

Snow in mid-April doesn’t have to portend doom, but it does strike northerners and robins as an omen. Maybe it’s an omen to move to California so we can read and nest, respectively, on Venice Beach.

The weather took a turn for the pleasant last week. The birds sang at dawn and dusk, and people lied about riding their bikes to work.

Then the blood moon rose, the snow came, and so the omens foretold that we each should start memorizing one great work of literature to write down after everything else is burned.

Okay, get it together. Apocalyptic dystopia isn’t here yet. It’s just late-season snow and a regular-though-uncommon celestial event.

But can’t we just steel ourselves against the still-bad weather with stories full of life and sunlight? I mean, I am. As I write this in the evening, I should be checking web copy, but instead I’m drinking tea (named “Sanibel Island Sunset”) and reading American Vampire comics (set in Los Angeles, those poor old creatures of the night).

Now, I vaguely know where Sanibel Island is and I assume I can’t really hang with the West Coast branch of the Vassals of the Morning Star. But I do find seasonally directed reading a spirit lifter. Reading about warm weather in the cold and cold weather in the humid makes me less hopeless. I just need to find the right story.

At the onset of winter? Read “All Summer in a Day.” In the worst of summer? “To Build a Fire.”

At this point of the year, with winter refusing to turn to spring yet with a few breaks of warmth, I find all I can really do is read hopeful works not involving snow zombies. Though I’m not opposed to some Game of Thrones coming back on HBO.

— Andy