Go outside

Jennifer Hecht offers a precise neuro-optical account of why we have a harder time adapting to the dark than to the light, if you’re into that sort of thing. But I prefer her poetic riffs on the splendors of the great outdoors, and how they can cure “the crazies.”

Your crazy is contained in the room you are in. The room in which you loiter. When you step outside, outdoors, into the wide open upness (if urbanly not side-to-side), your crazy expands immediately to fill the immense space and almost none of it is left in your head.

Crazy taken outside does not act like an eye going from lightness to dark, but rather like an arm being asked to swat a fly off your picnic. It’s not a slow influence towards sanity, it is Jack stands up and gets out of the box. Climbs out of his little metal cube, regards the winder with some wry distaste, shudders, walks away.

Which is what I’m going to do right now: just walk away. (I’m already outside.)

Those helio-phobes and dermatologists who warn that any solar exposure at all invites unnecessary risk of melanoma, and even those vitamin D enthusiasts who say 15 minutes a day may be enough? They’re the crazies. Reducing your risk of skin cancer and meeting your vitamin D quota are important, but so is your sanity. You only think you love it in your room, Brian Wilson… and beneath your laptop, Older Daughter.

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