In chapters 1:3 of Genesis, God happened to say “Let there be light” which sounds extremely sensible, even if it wasn’t madly precipitous.
If one lives in the Northern part of the Northern hemisphere and the Southern part of the Southern hemisphere, the request for light is particularly passionate, because when you look at the map which explains SAD, these are the regions where you will find it.
I reckon SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) has a lot to account for this year; it has struck a lot of us very low, and it’s very serious, and very real. I don’t need the NHS and Wikipedia to tell me. It’s real enough to cause extreme depression, and it’s real enough to cause nasty mental and physical symptoms and even suicide. This year I have heard so many of my friends and acquaintances saying things like “Why is it so dark all the time?” ‘It’s not just the rain, it’s the darkness.” “I think I want to hibernate until the spring.” “Will this winter night-time never, ever end?” and other things of this kind.
And yet we are all entranced with gloom and doom of Nordic drama (the poetry of The Killing, Borgen and the The Bridge) where it seems like it rains perpetually, and the sun barely crawls out to say “hallo!” Is this wallowing in suffering and pain and winter darkness like homeopathy, where one treats ‘like with like’? Perhaps while we all fester in a state of SAD, and suffer during these long dark days, we like nothing better than to listen to the lugubrious tones of Leonard Cohen and the sad songs of Dusty Springfield and watch Nordic dramas, and feel utterly miserable. Ho hum. What fun.