"Gotta get through January, gotta get through February…"

January is bitter. It sometimes feels as if you spend the month locked in a darkened room. 3 foot square. Fed on nothing but white bread. Nothing ever happens. The exception is when something bad happens.

Perhaps it was the imminent end of the month, but a chink of light entered the room on my long drive north yesterday. Something reminded me of Woody Allen’s famous soliloquy in Manhattan. In his own pit of despair, Woody reminds himself of all the reasons why life is worth living:

“Groucho Marx; Willie Mays; the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony; Louis Armstrong’s recording of Potato-head Blues; Swedish movies; Sentimental Education by Flaubert; Marlon Brando; Frank Sinatra; those incredible apples and pears by C’zanne; the crabs at Sam Wo’s”

As I drove, my own list took shape:

A live recording by Van Morrison with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra; a brisk walk on a cold clear day in Dorset; the Glastonbury sauna; a play by Stephen Poliakoff; sunshine on my skin on a secret beach; old friendships renewed; establishing clarity from confusion at work; a goal scored in front of the Chapel stand at St. Mary’s; Clara’s smile when I return from working away; Tom’s joy at seeing a bittern; making lists; the kindness in my lover’s eyes and the touch of her cheek.

February’s a little brighter.

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