Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A small streak of insanity

I am convinced the world is divided into people who hate snow and people who love snow.

I know of no one who is as ambivalent to snow as they are to, say, fog or even rain. We may balk at several rainy days in a row; but a single rainy day we accept as a necessary part of the natural order of things. But let the threat of a single day of snow loom on the horizon and suddenly everyone separates into two camps: the snow lovers and the snow haters.

Incidently, skiing and snowboarding are taken out of the equation. A true opinion about snow can only be formed apart from recreational activities requiring said precipitation because most people cannot just pop off to Aspen when the weather is conducive.

Common sensically, it stands to reason we'd all hate snow. It wreaks havoc on infrastructure, it's inconvenient, and it can be downright dangerous. On an intellectual level, snow haters are absolutely justified and are, hands down, the wiser of the two groups.

Which is why I think there is a small streak of insanity in every snow lover. Our only argument -- that it is beautiful -- pales miserably in light of what should be our penchant for survival. Yet its beauty overwhelms us to the point that we just don't care. We love it just the same and think snow haters are speaking some incomprehensible babble when they whine about "digging out" or "clearing the roads."

So I present to you my favorite Night Gallery episode which truly separates the snow lover and snow haters. Snow haters see it as a young boy's descent into insanity. Snow lovers are just a little envious of the boy Paul and in awe of the world he's built for himself.

So, as we approach what looks to be a snowy first of the year, enjoy the beautiful (if you are a snow lover)/ disturbing (if you are a snow hater) poetry of Conrad Aikens' Silent Snow, Secret Snow.

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