Millions of people, especially in the northern hemisphere, suffer the depressive effects of SAD [sleep affective disorder]. Neurobiologists have been reporting this for years. It has to do with the interrupted balance of such brain chemicals as Serotonin and Melatonin. Usually brought on in the wintertime when there is far less sunlight.
The little sun-deprived Norwegian village of Rjukan, just outside Oslo, has recently invested in an ambitious solution: Three giant mirrors circling the village in order to capture some of the sunlight above the engulfing mountains. They hope this daily reflection of the winter sun will keep the village brighter than it has ever been in its 600 year history.
Think of it, all you pale, gloomy Chicagoans! Giant mirrors above the tops of downtown skyscrapers which currently leave your streets in a perpetual dimness. One over the Sears Tower, another over the Tribune Tower, and a few others attached to the Trump and NBC towers.
Voila! an Olympian burst of light drawn from the sun and streaming down into those dark steel canyons. All of a sudden happy stock brokers…traffic cops…taxi drivers…street crews…and assorted tourists. One more bold step by mankind that literally snatches the fire of the sun and streams it down upon our little pale bodies. Who can tell what might happen? how many smiles break loose? how many otherwise catatonic pedestrians come alive?
But now here’s how a professed skeptic reacts to what seems to be good news.
What if I don’t enjoy the constant glare of the sun…? what if I sometimes prefer the solitude of the shadows…? what if my Serotonin and Melatonin are content just the way they are….? oh and what if I’m one those poets who is troubled when we are instructed that our chemicals, circuitry and DNA are what in the final measure define us?
I am sending a letter to Mayor Emanuel to advise him that before he considers the Rjukan model, he should form an advisory committee of professed skeptics who don’t mind being SAD on occasion.
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