New Year, Winter, and the Yuki Onna

I had thought to write this post about being all excited and energized for the new year. Perhaps I could come at you with some inspiration and encouragement, meant to help fill you and myself with a beam of energy to help lift us all towards great new creative heights. But this is the deep of winter, and it doesn’t feel right.

I had this image in my head this morning of working hard in winter. I couldn’t place it exactly, but it felt good. I like the idea of doing things in the snow, in the cold. Of moving with energy when nature seems to be trying to knock you out. It seemed romantic and full of a kind of wild vigor.

Then slowly, the scene came to mind. And I realized it was from Kurosawa’s ‘Dreams,’ a series of short films of Kurosawa’s dreams strung together into a film. I tend to like this film a lot more then many folks on the internet.

Here is the scene on Daily Motion

Yuki Onna (Versión “Sueños” de Akira Kurosawa by Cantardebardo

This is the image I had in my head. Trudging. Finding our way through the wintry mountains. But of course, the end of this scene features the arrival of the Yuki Onna to take the life of the fallen men. The result of their trudging through the endless winter is simply the end of l. Their surrender to winter and the cold.

I see this turn of my thoughts as a fairly good metaphor for my feelings on the winter new year. It isn’t really the time to take on new things and build oneself up for new projects. Instead it is a time to keep the hearth of our minds warm, and slowly prepare for the arrival of spring.

The Yuki Onna is one of the scarier youkai in Japanese mythology, and she captures a part of winter I think I would like to be a bit more respectful of. That being, that as lovely as winter can seem and be, it is still a time for the dead, still a time for darkness. She also talked about in stories that seem familiar to Greek mythology,

My feelings are to embrace this rest, fall back to dreaming the winter away. Complete what you have started and then emerge with the warmth to start something new. It works for many of our other species, so why not we humans too?

This year I will be starting the new year in spring. I will try to just complete a few projects I have already running throughout the cold months, and once it warms, and the spring starts up, I will get on to my new ideas.

There is something just so off and wrong about being in the throws of darkness and cold, and then being asked to ponder your aspirations and goals for the coming year. Here we are in a world of rest and renewal, and then we should be asked to stir and get to work. It’s simply unnatural.




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