Winter Songs

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Maybe it’s because I just installed some of those blackout curtains in the bedroom, but everything seems darker here in Phoenix lately.1 This morning when I dragged myself out onto the patio for my smoke I thought I was in Seattle, but a couple of months ago. It was chilly and grey and generally overcast.2 While most other cities have several distinct seasons, Phoenix has a giant on/off switch with a little flicker in between.3 It’s either summer or winter, without warning for either.

So this morning had the distinct air of “Hey it might possibly be winter, maybe, but also maybe not,” which I suppose isn’t really that distinct at all. Well one thing I like about winter is the Winter Song. For some inexplicable reason every time I think about winter I think about a little known song called One Less Addiction by a little known band called Embodyment.4 It’s a great song that has nothing to do with winter, but there’s this one beautiful line that triggers memories of the “other” season for me: “Naked trees are clawing for the air.”

I’m instantly reminded of a quiet drive down Highway 89. I think of my home town and the dry cold desert framed by the silver lake and rust colored mountains. Purple sky and a melancholy chill that reaches all the way to my heart. I always feel an unsettling calm, and sometimes I get a little moody.


  1. Blackout curtains are probably the best idea anyone ever had, except for mostly everything by Google. They also turn any room into a dungeon, but that’s completely acceptable as the trade-off is more sleep, especially if you’re in a north/east facing room with lots of windows. Regardless these should be purchased the instant you move into a new place. [return]
  2. If god had Photoshop he would have created a new layer, filled it with black and dropped the opacity down to 20%, then maybe changed the blending mode to Multiply for good measure. [return]
  3. It’s like when your parents would wake you up in middle school—come into your room, flip on the lights, and loudly pronounce that it’s time to get up. Then flip the lights back off, whereby you promptly fall back asleep. This prompts them to come back in, “Time to get up!” Flick the lights on and throw off your blankets only to realize that you are experimenting with sleeping naked, which completely does the trick, mostly because your little two inch wood is more prominent than your embarrassment [return]
  4. The first time I saw these guys they were a pure heavy metal band. I was at a festival with some really cool friends, somewhere in Texas, in the middle of summer. The bass player was drooling all over himself and by the end of the show not a single member was actually standing on the stage. Most of them were laying on the ground hitting their guitars. [return]