“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” - William Blake
by Chason Gordon
- The Capitol Hill Times -
I’m not beginning this article until somebody plays the opening of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. I don’t care if people are waiting. This is an article about spring; it should open with Beethoven’s No. 6! What do you mean it’s not available? Make it available! No? You won’t do it? What about my bowl of peanut M&Ms?
Hey everybody! It’s springtime, which is a thing. As you may know, we have five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall and Pilot Season. We also have “seasoning,” but that’s something else, and there are way too many of those to list here, though I think cumin is one of them. I’m not really a spring person myself. Spring is about growth and rebirth and new beginnings, which is fine, if you like that sort of thing. I tend to prefer fall (I’m not calling it autumn), with its death and death-related themes. “You’re going down leaf,” I often say, standing by a tree for hours.
Nevertheless, the signs of spring are everywhere… in other parts of the county. We don’t experience varied seasons in Seattle, unless you consider rain and passive-aggression seasons (which I do). To be fair, there are some minor hints of spring in the air. Starbucks has a new spring beverage, hipsters are taking off their already unnecessary winter hats, and, according to The Seattle Times (our main competitor), grey whales are making their annual spring appearance in North Puget Sound, feeding on ghost shrimp after spending the winter at birthing lagoons in Mexico (like my Editor).
I don’t want to blow your mind, but spring actually occurs when the axis of the earth tilts more towards the sun, causing vases everywhere to fall off the shelf. As the hemisphere warms up, plants and zombies spring forth, lending the season its name. It’s kind of stupid, because plants don’t just spring up; they rise very, very slowly. You know what does spring up? Oh, never mind, but it would have made a much more interesting name than “spring.”
One of the themes of spring is spring cleaning. Did you know that? I was barely aware of it; I actually had to Wikipedia “spring cleaning.” According to the unemployed guy who wrote the article, spring cleaning is the practice of cleaning in spring. Did you get all that? Some say it dates back to the Nouroz, the Iranian New Year; others say it comes from the Jewish celebration of Passover. I don’t want to start some sort of religious war, so let’s just say that Hallmark invented it.
You see, in the old days, the added warmth and sunlight made it easier to clean. This meant that cavemen could hang their fur wife-beaters outside to dry, and use the extra light to organize their collection of wooly mammoth teeth (I may have this wrong). Now that we have dryers and heating and windows, the whole spring cleaning thing isn’t necessary, but we still keep it going, because human beings like continuity or something. By the way, if you hear your boss mention the words “spring cleaning,” you’re probably getting shit-canned. That’s also why I like fall better.
I probably should get into spring cleaning, because I tend to be a messy person, much worse than whatever you’re imagining. At the extreme, this means dishes piled up on the floor, dirty laundry in the sink, and having to share the bed with newspapers from the prohibition era (I hope no women are reading this). It’s the kind of mess where you never have anyone over, and if you do, they end up saying something like, “Chason, seriously; how do you live like this?” Yeah, like I’m the only one who throws pistachio shells in my shoes.
I feel sorry for us, Seattle. Yesterday was the first day of spring and I felt absolutely nothing. Winter was a bust. We barely got any snow, and when I heard Seattleites complain about how cold it was I wanted to punch them. And now it’s spring, and what? Nothing is different. We have no demarcations, no dividing lines and no sense of structure. We’re all lost in the grey abstract without any sense of time or space, drifting ever farther from our own humanity into bleak and endless nothingness, the night quickly enveloping us, like a coffin sinking in a sea of black, putrid oil.
But don’t get too down. You can always have a spring fling! It rhymes and involves sex. That’s win win!