Monday, November 17, 2014
Here in the civilized world, the darkness of winter doesn't just creep up on you. No, in this age of "Daylight Slaving" and other so-called modern advances, winter creeps up for maybe the first couple weeks of October and then BAM! It leaps up suddenly, unsheathes razor claws and mauls you from behind.
What is up with this "Daylight Savings" business anyways? This is our crude attempt to adapt the human timekeeping construct to the changing pattern of sunlight? Well it sucks. I mean we all enjoy those superlong days of Summer Solstice, but at what price? As if the fast-receding days of late fall weren't bad enough, it feels like we are effectively gypping ourselves out of an entire hour of precious sunlight when it comes time to change back. All this tampering, in the name of "progress". Yay. We shift time forward so we can enjoy a sunset at nine o'freakin clock. Then in the fall, technically you could say we are "re-gaining" that hour we lost back in the spring, but bullshit--that's not what it feels like. Turning the clock back feels like nothing but losing.
The whole concept of the 24-hour clock is a flimsy construct to begin with. We chain ourselves to it in a voluntary act of self-slavery. Work. Must. Begin. On the number 9 and end on the number 5. Even if we have to concoct some bizarre clock shift charade and change the very definition of those numbers temporarily. But if we were truly intelligent, if we were truly in touch with the Cosmos would we be carrying on like this, couldn't we just agree to all go to bed a little bit earlier, start the day a little bit earlier? Instead of all this nonsense trying to pretend that 1 is 2 and so on.
I used to assume that cold weather was the reason that winter is the miserablest time of the year. But how wrong I was. The darkness is by far the absolute worst, most soul-squashing aspect of it. Nightfall before 5pm--that's the real killer. Cold by itself is not so bad. January and February are actually the nippiest times of the year, yet they do not feel so bleak because by then days are lengthening, the sun sets at what feels like a normal time; hope is on the rise. November and December on the other hand, these are the real winter of our discontent. Now at last I understand the real meaning of Christmas--it is, more than anything else, a desperate attempt to inject some light and cheer into the dankest, darkest, shittiest, lose-the-will-to-get-out-of-bed weeks of the year.
The cold is not inherently bleak or dismal. We got down feathers, we got synthetic fleece. We got Gore-Tex® for crying out loud. Besides, cold air is bracing. It's exhilarating. It wakes your groggy ass up. Also it's nice not breaking a sweat each time you go out the front door. Besides that, snow sports are some of the funnest activities on the planet.
Nope, what a golfer needs from Mother Nature above all else (besides consciousness) is daylight. Extremes of temperature, wind, rain, even snow... all these things can be dealt with. But like death, darkness won't be negotiated with. As with yin and yang, good and evil... what is the opposite of golf? The answer is: darkness.
My friends, let us face it. The window to play golf is now perilously narrow. (I know that for some it has already slammed shut entirely--sorry.) We are now left to stand at the threshold, peering through, hoping against hope for another shot at it, all while knowing that any round played during these darkening days, could very well be the last, until a whole new phase of the earth begins. Alas! Make the most of it. Play if and when the opportunity presents itself. F the cold. If you follow some of my cold-weather layering advice, you can withstand it. Believe me, you can withstand it.
For most of the golf year I am the perpetual pessimist. But that all changes now. These are the days I become the hopeful, the eager checker of weather forecasts, anticipator of the next possibility. While it's still technically fall, so far the gettin' has been pretty good. And there is plenty to look forward to yet, whether or not the weather cooperates. We're lucky in 2014--we have the comforting glow of the internet to console us through the darkness. Speaking of the internet, soon I'll make an Legitimategolf announcement that could potentially affect every single person who reads this site. That's right, jack. Everyone.