this month's collab for Journeys: moody weather.
They Call It Stormy Weather
the weather has finally cooled off tonight, so i can concentrate enough to actually write. the heat wipes me out, every single time. it just wrings every scrap of energy out of me, leaving me a limp, inarticulate mess.
there are some very real physical reasons for this. i have low blood volume, which means that my blood pressure gets messed up pretty easily. any extreme swing in the weather, and i'm on the edge. think of trying to run your engine down a quart of oil.
in the summer, in the heat, my blood races around, desperate to cool down, and i wander gingerly from place to place, trying to stay hydrated and not pass out. sometimes, there isn't much i can do. it just hits me and i lose my legs right out from under me. most of my friends know about this, and watch out for me. but every so often, it happens when i'm in the middle of a crowd, or around strangers, and it's embarassing. see, as soon as i'm horizontal, things even out. and i come back from the episode pretty quickly. in the process, tho, i end up sort of blue around the edges. scares the crap out of people.
very cold days do much the same thing, as i lose circulation in the extremities. apparently, when it gets cold enough, my brain is deemed an extremity. and once again, i'm out like a light. this is a little easier to protect against, at least. just bundle up like a madwoman in 57 layers of thermal wear, and you look like an idiot, but at least you're a functional idiot.
storm fronts are another fun one. migraines run in the family, and i've talked about some of the entertaining side effects of that (Gregory Hines apparently has a private dance floor on my scalp). there are a lot of possible triggers for migraines, and they vary from person to person. for my mom, it's often a low pressure system. this never used to be the case with me, but our bodies cycle thru about every 7 years or so, and what you might not have been allergic to a few years ago may now set off a huge allergy fit. migraine triggers can be the same. your triggers and patterns evolve over time. lately, i've gotten to the point where i can feel a really big storm coming in the day before. my head gets all muzzy, and if i were smart, i'd start taking the meds then. cussedly determined wench that i am, i always think i can power thru it. silly me. migraines, like Mother Nature, will kick your ass every time. one of these days, i'll take that little truth to heart.
more often, tho, the weather outside just informs my mood. when the weather matches my emotions, it amplifies whatever i'm feeling. for example, i was headed back on the train the other day, reading a philosophy book, getting deeper and deeper into some murky and challenging ground. and the skies opened up. a huge thunderstorm, complete with sheets of lightning, swirled around us as we came thru the marshlands. it was perfect. i sat there, peering across the heath, feeling very Jane Eyre, letting the ideas mull around in my head.
other days, it's the sun. it can be good, or bad. hangover mornings? the sun is not my friend, and i feel bitter and cranky. sometimes, the warmth on my face as i wait for the bus or walk out at lunchtime is a gift. and the perfect sunset? what better gift can there be than peach clouds, tinged with purple, as the sun sets over the water?
clear, starry nights are right up there, too. we had one perfect night, down in southern Rhode Island, many summers ago. we had driven down there just because we could. no expectations, no ideas, just a car and a beach to get to. we threw down some blankets, and stared up at the sky, just awestruck. you can live in the city long enough that you get jaded by the ambient light and forget how gorgeous the sky is. that night, it was clear enough to see the dust between the stars. lying there, counting stars until we lost track, breathing in the soft, salty air... i've tucked away that memory to get me thru the days.