Writing Through a Mood

“The seed is in the ground.
Now we rest in hope
While darkeness does its work.”

-Wendell Berry

I’ve recently diagnosed myself with a raging case of Februaryitis. My mood lately has been as blah as the weather. The urge to hibernate is strong. Winter brought us ice and snow this week, COVID got us after three years, and some friends and family are going through particularly challenging times, as is our country. In other seasons, sun and warmth and time outdoors burn off this dread and dreariness, but February in upstate New York drapes us in a gray weariness that’s hard to shake.

So what is one to do?

I’ve chosen to do what I know best—to write through the mood. Fueled with coffee, of course.

Get out of that cozy bed, pour a glass of homemade cold-brew, and simply write. About strange dreams where you’re riding a bicycle without brakes down a winding path. About the ominous noises the house made in the middle of the night when the ice on the roof cracked and shifted.

About all of the rushing around you’re doing lately.

About the unsettled weather.

Most importantly use pens and inks that lighten the mood, that lift your spirits, that make you smile. Ink your pens with colors that are the opposite of the season. For me that’s been a cheerful purple (Waterman Tender Purple), a bright red (Levenger Cardinal Red), and a high-sheening green (Birmingham Pens Emerald Fusion), as well as a fresh blue (my last cartridge of Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue). Create a colorful world on the page to make up for the dull scene outside your window.

This is my prescription for this mood. To show up every day. With coffee. And pens. And ink.

To simply write though this season and this mood, knowing that both will pass, and that there are small joys to be found in each day. Like the bright red cardinal at the feeder and a letter from a friend. And pens. And ink.

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.”

-Ranier Marie Rilke

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12 thoughts on “Writing Through a Mood

  1. That’s a wondeful way to get through the winter doldrums. I am sure your ice coffee is good, it just seems incongruous with all the ice and snow. Love the inks. Thanks for your note.

  2. I hit my personal doldrums in July each year, when you can’t escape the draining heat and it’s light until bedtime, so I’m the one who moans at everyone when they’re enjoying their summer! I, too, have Waterman Tender Purple on the go at the moment and my red of choice is Diamind Wild Strawberry, although I’ve got it in an uncharacteristically wet pen so it’s looking almost wine-coloured most of the time. I’m having fun this weekend deciding which colours to use in March.

  3. What a delightful and inspiring post, and you blessed us with the colorful photos of your pens and inks.A thousand thanks, and assurance of prayers for the health and strength of yourself and your loved ones

    • I’m weird that way, though I do enjoy hot tea now and then. Just not a fan of hot coffee so cold brew it is no matter the season!

      • Understood – I LOVE a cup of hot tea even in the hot, southern summertime of Arkansas. 110-degrees in the shade.

  4. Whoa, I hear ya… February blahs big time, topped off by COVID, too! 😦 And a squirrel living under our roof! Your solution was cheaper than mine, though… I spent my COVID time administering online retail therapy! 😉

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