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No winter made me discontent

#thisweekinpoetry: Every week I look back at the past few days and try to find a poetic quote to match. Or maybe the other way around, I find good poetry and try to match the week with it. Whichever works.

January 23 - 29

"Now is the winter of our discontent

made glorious summer by this sun of York"

From 'Richard III' by William Shakespeare

So I took some poetic license. In this quote the speaker, our main man Richard III, isn't talking about an actual winter or an actual sun (though he does refer to son, thanks to some Shakespearian wordplay). But it was actual winter and something almost like actual summer this week that reminded me of this quote.

The cruellest month

There was discontent, yes. April may be the cruellest month but January sure is the dreariest. Winter in the Netherlands is hardly fierce. Or frosty. It's the type of weather that slowly wears you down. January in Holland is drab skies and soft but endless rains. Usually there's the sting of water in the air that makes you long for a good freeze.

But this week, the air softened, there were sunny days or something like it and one afternoon, I almost thought I could smell it, that scent that usually only manifests itself no sooner than the end of February: glorious summer. Well, spring.

Is that a good thing? I don't know. Sure, Holland's 50 shades of grey don't work miracles for my moods, but this seemed excessive. It throws nature off-balance. And we too are confused.

Something is not right. 'This isn't how it's supposed to be,' we say. 'Winter shouldn't be like that.' Animals and plants though, who have different memories than us, respond without worry, all instinct and just behaviour.

A funky good time

Spring or no, I needed something to get me out of my funk. So I went to TedXUtrecht to get inspired. It was pretty awesome, though it did make me wonder about how so many people find so many different ways to expressing basically the same truths (make a change, don't be too hard on yourself, do what you like best and please save our planet). Maybe it's about finding the words that work for you. For me, the talks of Luk DeWulff and Aiman Hassani were the highpoints of an inspiring day. DeWulf speciality is talents, which in his definition are more like "approaches to life" or "ways of doing". He called for a positive revolution. In a way, Hassani did the same in his heartwarmingly weird talk, where he equated life with a blue whale and rejected normalcy and hearsay. Hear, hear!


Meanwhile, back at the car park, Richard III went on to have both the best and worst of times. Shakespeare immortalized him - and what king doesn't dream of that? But after his death he was quite unceremoniously dumped at Leicester, where his remains were unearthed a few years ago when they were excavating a car park.

Things can change, a Dutch playwright famously wrote. In this case he probably meant: shit happens. Which, in conclusion, might be a good perpective on the whole winter-gone-mentally-spring conundrum.

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