I’m liking paradox lately. I’ve recently finished listening to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (amazing! highly recommended!) and she talks about the paradox of creativity in that book—perhaps I’ll talk about that in a future post, but in the meantime you should really just read that book.
I’m sure that having something both be and not be drives some people crazy. Those people probably think in terms of black and white. But I rarely see things as black or white; all ideas, thoughts, actions seem to be in countless shades of gray— if I ever see anything in terms of black or white, it’s really going to be black and white.
Anyway, as I was continuing to think about this transition from winter to spring, it occurred to me that I am living in a paradox:
It is spring. And it is not spring.
It is spring because we have tapped our maple trees and started making syrup. It is spring because the snow is melting and the rivers are open, and because there are geese and swans and cranes in the sky.
But it is not spring because there is still snow, and the sap in our buckets is frozen solid. And it is not spring because we went ice fishing today, and I cannot believe that one can ice fish in any season but winter.
It was a great day to go out. I haven’t ice fished in almost 10 years. Sexy and I went a few times long ago, but there was always a mishap: a broken heater, forgotten bait, something. So we only went a few times and I don’t think I ever caught anything. In recent years, I help out an our local fishing derby but don’t actually fish. But I’ve been wanting to spend more time outside, and this seemed like a good way to pass the time and a time of year (winter, not winter; spring, not spring) when there isn’t much else to do.
Our neighbor showed us where to go and lent me a shack, and we caught 17 crappies.
In trying to decide what season it currently is, it would be most appropriate to say mud season. I was thrilled to learn that there is a Russian word—rasputitsa—that describes when the roads go to hell during muddy spring and fall seasons. But if there were a mud season, I’d still be trying to figure out: Is today winter, or is it mud season? When does mud season officially become spring?
This is why paradox is better: because there are no crisp edges to seasons. It is spring. And it isn’t.