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[very light] Pain

 
Ranch Hand
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A collegue of mine hit rock bottom, -- he got fed up with the New England winters and is moving to Florida. He says, "Eugene, I am feeling like I am stupid because I live here". I never quite undertood what he meant until I went to Cancun. We had a little balcony with the ocean view in our hotel room, and we would fall asleep listening to the ocean. With 80 degrees, no humidity, and light breeze, I felt as serene and easy as the weather itself. It never occured to me before that the weather could have any significant impact on a human's mind, -- but there I was, a changed man, thinking not about the weapons of mass destruction or the relative morality of murder, but about the connections between me and my surroundings.
In New England, you are pretty much confined to your house for 5 months a year, and it gets pretty nasty outside. In a way, the connection between a person and the nature is broken. It occured to me that the effect of the chill on the skin is a form of pain, and the people who say that they don't mind the cold are the masochists, -- they enjoy their daily struggle with the ice, snow, and frost somewhere in Fargo, North Dakota. I guess it all can be explained in terms of the Stockholm Syndrome, -- you get used to someone who continuously rapes and torchures you, and eventually fall in love with him. But that doesn't make it less stupid, does it?
I never thought about it when I lived in Siberia. I was too busy thinking about how to resist and oppress the communist authorities. But now that I live here in the US and have nobody to oppress except the local US patriots on the ranch, I question my sanity for letting myself being victimized by the New England winter.
There was an interesting movie a few years ago, -- "Magnolia". The way I understood its main theme is that the weather is much like humans, and vice versa. In New England, the weather is capricious, unpredictable, impulsive, and annoying, -- she is like an ill-mannered child who doesn't know what she wants. In Cancun, the weather acts like a man of wisdom, -- thoughtful, purposeful, tranquil, and reassuring.
[ February 09, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
Ranch Hand
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Joe says he questions it too
 
Ugly Redneck
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I dont know about you Eugene, but exile me to New England anyday!! I love that place! New Englanders are the best people I have ever met. (perhaps I should restate that Connecticut Yanks are the best!)
 
Sheriff
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
New Englanders are the best people I have ever met. (perhaps I should restate that Connecticut Yanks are the best!)


No need to restate, all New Englanders are the best.
 
whippersnapper
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EK: With 80 degrees, no humidity, and light breeze, I felt as serene and easy as the weather itself.
I know that feeling. For me it was Bali.
(Then spend the next day inline skating for a few hours in Singapore. Or hiking up a hill in Malaysia for a view. 90+ degree heat, 90+ percent humidity. You start to wonder: is *this* a form of masochism?)
EK: In New England, you are pretty much confined to your house for 5 months a year...
Persephone complex, Eugene?
Don't think of winter as some aberration from a norm, as if summer/warmth is the natural state. Realize that seasonal variations are part of the cycle of our planet.
EK: In a way, the connection between a person and the nature is broken. It occured to me that the effect of the chill on the skin is a form of pain, and the people who say that they don't mind the cold are the masochists, -- they enjoy their daily struggle with the ice, snow, and frost somewhere in Fargo, North Dakota. I guess it all can be explained in terms of the Stockholm Syndrome
I like winter. I like all the seasons. I like that I live in a temperate climate and experience the standard four seasons a year. I think it can be explained partially in my case by a sense of balance and being part of a cycle. I once read something about achieving a healthy work-life balance that said that people who have such a balance enjoy their home life, but look forward to going to work each day. They enjoy their work, but look forward to coming home too. Transposing that sentiment to the seasons, I enjoy each season, but look forward to the next. As I grow older and as time seems to pass rapidly, it seems that seasons are a natural way of marking time.
Sure I spend less time outdoors in winter, but I really don't mind the cold, and I don't think I'm a masochist. I find winter sports exhilarating. Spend a few hours skiing, snowboarding, shoveling snow, or even walking briskly in the winter -- enough to work up a sweat -- and I get an overwhelming sense of *being alive*. (And no, I'm not just cruising on some endorphin high. Been there and know what it feels like. This is different.)
This winter exhilaration and intense sense of being alive is like the warm-weather serenity you describe -- blissing out on what the season has to offer.
I have wonderful memories of playing in the snow as a child. Did you play in the snow as a child, Eugene? I know Russia has much more severe winters than where I grew up in the States (I've spent two winters in Russia) and exposure to cold there can have severe and life-threatening consequences. But I've never known many Russians to take delight in the snow. As far as I know, Russian children don't grow up making snow angels and I've accused Russian acquaintances of being joyless for not joining me in doing so. Yes, I have plopped my ass down in the snow and flapped my arms and legs making snow angels wherever I've traveled in Russia in winter (ok, a slight exaggeration) -- much to the horror of lookers on.
Eugene, get dressed in warm clothes and march yourself outside. Plop yourself down in the snow and make an angel. Try to find the joy of winter. (Contemplate moving to Florida if you can't.)
 
slicker
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In New England, you are pretty much confined to your house for 5 months a year, and it gets pretty nasty outside. In a way, the connection between a person and the nature is broken.
Oh really? I bet Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King would disagree.
Check this out:Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
 
Wanderer
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Who is this "Ghandi" character? Sounds vaguely familiar.
 
John Dunn
slicker
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From the following URL:


Common Errors in English
GHANDI
GANDHI
Mohandas K. Gandhi's name has an H after the D, not after the G. Note that "Mahatma" ("great soul") is an honorific title, not actually part of his birth name.


I'm very common...
 
lowercase baba
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I'm sure it's all relative. I have a friend from Prince Edward Island, Canada. He now lives here in St. Louis. When he first got here, he found our winters laughable. 8" is a LOT of snow here, but he's used to 3' or more at a time. So he would have found HERE to be paradise.
Now that he's been here a few years, THIS IS NORMAL, and he hate's going back to PEI.
so, if you moved to Cancun, Bali, or whatever, what happens in 5-10 years, when you become acclimated to it??? (not that i'm suggesting you shouldn't try it and find out!!!)
good luck down there!!! ;-)
 
John Smith
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I found it useful to perceive the cold as the low speed of movement of the air molecules and low energy. This works in trivializing and discounting the discomfort, but the altered perception requires energy, which I'd rather spend on cooperating with the nature instead of fighting it.
 
Jim Yingst
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[JD]: I'm very common...

Me too, actually.
 
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