I refuse to call it ‘Harper,’ because the naming of winter storms is not done by the National Weather Service, but by the Weather Channel, and repeating these ridiculous names is simply giving them free advertising. But it’s a brutal winter storm, and it’s finally here in New York. We’ve been spared any major snowfall, which is sure to prompt the usual derisive snorts from the usual quarters, but today is still going to be a day of brutal, dangerous cold. The wind will be vicious, the streets will be iced over, and given that today is a holiday there is absolutely no reason to go outside at all.
Is it wrong that I’m delighted about this?
The most productive writing days I had last year all happened during brutal, blinding snowstorms, as I ground out page after page while learning the meaning of the word “bombogenesis.” I’m currently mired in the prep work for a new project, and some more enforced alone time, cut off from the rest of the world by the raging winter weather, is exactly what I need. So I’ve been gathering up my notes and watching the weather reports with giddy anticipation. Today, I’ll be cut off from the cares of the world, free to finally get some important work done. For me, this storm is a godsend.
But what about everybody else?
As I said, this cold is dangerous. People who are homeless, or who live in buildings with inadequate housing, are at genuine risk today. Am I really going to ignore their suffering? Is my day of uninterrupted writing worth the risk to their safety? I mean, it’s a holiday – I didn’t have to go anywhere today anyway! There’s no reason why I couldn’t have stayed inside and been productive on a day when the temperature was safely in the low 40s! Isn’t that sort of callous indifference to others, that inability to see beyond our own needs, the whole problem with the world today? Hasn’t it caused enough damage?
Screw it, there’s enough time to write later today. I don’t care how cold out it is, I’m going to the gym. Just to prove that we’re all in this together.