Thursday, January 11, 2007

I thought I was just incredibly vitamin D deprived.

Let me explain.

I work in a space called the Top Secret (TS) Room.

To get to the TS room, I use my key to unlock the door to one windowless closet-like room. Then, I walk to the back of this room where I use my key to unlock the door to the TS room - another windowless closet-like and radiation-proof space.

In the TS room I sit and work on a laptop that has been specially built so that no electromagnetic waves escape. No secrets radiate out of the TS room.

And no natural light gets in.

For the months of November and December, I sat, often alone, in the TS room and worked. And that was all I did.

Mid-December rolled around and I sat in the TS room and missed my friend’s Chanukah party. He was planning a group candle lighting – something I look forward to every year.

When I was younger, my mom wouldn’t let us go to sleep with the Chanukah candles still lit. “Big fire hazard,” she’d say.

So I’d stay up with my family until the candles burnt themselves out. I have memories of the very specific warm light that would fill the kitchen, emanating from just above the microwave where the menorah sat.

But this year there were no candles.

I celebrate the winter solstice every year in Toronto’s Kensington Market. There they hold an annual parade where the street is shut down and everyone carries paper lanterns of all different shapes, sizes, and colours.

My favourite are the big dragon lanterns that make coloured patterns on the faces of the lantern holders.

But despite the passing of the solstice, the length of my days and nights stayed the same.

Finally, I emerged from the TS room – sometime just before the new year – feeling weak and very ill at ease.

I rubbed my eyes and squinted at the sun. It was about 8 in the morning on a Sunday. I bought a coffee and began what I'd decided was to be my restorative walk.

I started my day by walking east. I walked in the direction of the light. Sometime later, the sun was overhead and then, soon after, it was in the west.

I turned around and walked back home.

The next morning I studied my face in the mirror. It looked slightly less sallow. But I still felt out of balance.

I thought that maybe my steady diet of coffee, chocolate pecan squares (from Bridgehead), and cereal might have left me lacking in one or two vital minerals.

I went to the grocery store and bought some organic vegetables, lentils, and spices. I also bought some pomegranate juice. (Incidentally, does anyone know how pomegranates so suddenly became the new “it” fruit? Is there some powerful pomegranate marketing board that was recently formed? Seems everyone is pushing them these days. I, personally, don’t get what all the fuss is about.)

That night, I ate a giant nourishing meal.

The next morning I woke up and took stock. My energy levels felt a bit higher. My face was definitely starting to have a bit of colour.

But still, I felt decidedly ‘off.’

Last Sunday I arrived in Vancouver very late at night. I’m here for work.

Yesterday, still not adjusted to the time change, I woke up at around 5:30 a.m., local time.

The sun had not yet risen and the coffee shop had not yet opened. I brought my laptop into bed with me so I could check my emails.

The electric cord not being long enough to reach, the screen gave off only a dim battery-powered glow.

But then something remarkable happened. A message was sent from many provinces away. It traveled through space encoded in bits of zeroes and ones and landed on my screen –

Cordlessly, Wirelessly.

And then I realized what had happened – I’d come unplugged.

I had that afternoon off. I called my best friend and caught up on our news. I made plans to see family. I went to the coffee shop and chatted with the man beside me who was reading the paper.

I started writing.

This morning, again, I took stock. And I feel more like Myself.

This year, I’m making an effort to get my vitamins, buy halogen lamps for the office, and take regular walks in the sun.

But more importantly, I want to keep control of what is important- my personal (and virtual) connections to myself and others.

And that may be the first real illumination I’ve experienced in the last two months.



Anonymous kimusan said...

Welcome back. Quick, lay some breadcrumbs to remember your route.

8:45 AM  
Blogger scott. said...

yippeeyoo ;)

11:07 PM  

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