Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The last week or so we've been saying a variation on this phrase: "Oh, but it's raw outside!" This means we've come into the house or the cafe or wherever, with hands that feel nipped at, like the air is trying to get a bite out of them.

The air is cold, and there's moisture in it. The wind is up, and it sucks at your face, trying to get at your warmth. There is much bundling happening, when one wants to go outside, and the landscape is shades of brown, grey, white and purple.

"Raw" is also what you use to describe uncooked food, food still crisp. I've been eating a fair share of carrots, because a neighbour planted a lot this summer, and as I'm slicing them for whichever cooked dish I'll be putting them in, I eat some raw. I slice them into sticks or into rounds, and then bite into them. Crunch, crunch, crunch go my teeth and my jaws as they masticate the carrots into sweet orange pulp. Crunch, crunch, crunch: the sound of raw.

Then there's meaning 6c from my dictionary: "Sensitive to emotional pain, etc." I think that a combination of the shortening daylight hours, demands which I allow to be placed on me, and stress which I allow to get to me, leaves me feeling raw. You know that feeling when you're tired and your eyeballs feel dry, like you can't blink enough? That's sort of how my soul feels at the moment.

I debated writing about this, because it's not a catastrophe or anything. It's not a crash, or another depression. It's more like November having its way with me, which it does with everyone. And that's the reason why I decided it would be good to write about it - because we all feel crazy from time to time, tired out and drained, yet a lot of us go through this alone. "Oh, I've got to be the only one feeling this way," we think. "I don't want to bring this up because so-and-so will think I'm crazy!"

But then we do bring it up, and lo and behold, so-and-so was feeling the same way! Tired, drained, raw. And we all feel a little less crazy, by talking about it. It's the emotional equivalent of coming in from the cold outdoors, stamping our feet and shivering, and saying, "Oh, but it's raw out there!"

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