The snow outside seems to be melting. No puffy blobs of it frosting the fir trees this morning, and everything is dripping, and there are even shadows (caused, it seems, by the SUN - quite the visual phenomenon!) visible to the naked eye for ... oh ... whole minutes at a time. Not during this minute. But still. I've seen the shadows and the sun in the past 24 hours.

Since the snow started falling a couple of weeks ago, the whole weather pattern has reminded me of something and today I figured out what it is. It's the too-heavy blanket. I have been under a blanket of snow.

Back when I was a teenager, I figured out that another world of sub-conscious escape and resulting refreshment and restoration was possible under certain conditions. I'd gotten an electric blanket for my bed, and I figured out that if I turned it way up - all the way up - my bed would get impossibly warm. It would be a dry and nearly suffocating version of a nearly-too-hot bath, and it didn't cool off the longer you stayed in like a bath of water would do. If you fall asleep in these conditions, the dreams are surreal and clingy, and it's akin to something that happens if your brain is being chemically toyed with. (Don't suspect anything here - the chemicals that touched my brain back then were prescribed by over-zealous doctors, and I get a mild panic attack just thinking about it.)

Back then, the blankets could get hot enough to induce weird dreams and mental trips to emotional wastelands and deserts and operas and orgies of feeling not possible while conscious. This last couple of weeks of the heaviest snow I've been in since moving here has been nearly the same thing. But it lasts all day and all night. My dreams are insane and my waking moments feel slightly unreal. The emotional and psychic waves and colors and sounds are very near consciousness, and now that the sun is trying to come out and the frozen fluff is turning to compacted dripping hardened water, I can breathe again. And I can understand how people get cabin fever.

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