Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Halfway there

Happy Groundhog Day. If you happen to live in the northern hemisphere, welcome to the midway point of winter. Six weeks ago was the first day of winter. Six weeks from today is the first day of spring. It can seem like it’s been winter forever and it’ll be another eternity before spring shows up.

Long, long ago people began to take to wishful thinking that perhaps if the groundhog saw no shadow on this day the seemingly interminable winter would get over with more quickly. Call it the Phil Connors syndrome.

Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day finds himself on this midpoint of days stuck in a time loop that seemingly destines him to repeat the same day over and over again. It’s a sadistic variation of “same stuff, different day.” Only it’s “same stuff, same day, every day.”

At first, Phil tries to manipulate his circumstances and the people around him to somehow break the grasp of this endless string of days. When he comes to the conclusion that he cannot change his situation, Phil turns to hedonism. When that strategy fails to satisfy, Phil repeatedly kills himself, only to be awakened by his alarm clock to the same day all over again. However, Phil eventually realizes that he does possess the power to change one thing – himself. Having come to this realization, Phil begins to live selflessly and eventually breaks free of the time loop.

The lesson here? Live selflessly. Give of yourself. If anything can make the seemingly endless passage of winter days seem shorter, to both you and those around you, this might be it.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Horse crossing sign © 2006 James Jordan.


ROB said...

Dont know why but I have always loved that movie. It drives others crazy, but some of the lines Bill Murray has are absolute classics. And I just saw on the news the groundhog did not see his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter for you!

James said...

Boarding room guest: "Think it'll be an early Spring?"

Phil: "I'm predicting March 21st."

Great film and I'm fully prepared for the next six weeks. Thanks!