Cozy is one of those words that seems to have been exploited by Pinterest. It’s all about “cozy” interior decorating, “cozy” recipes for winter weekends or “cozy” winter trends. Cozy seems like milk foam in coffee: pretty but perhaps unnecessary.

However, when you take into consideration the bleak and barbarous backdrop for the word, you might feel a bit more in its corner. Cozy fights the cool grey wash that hovers over everything in the winter, battles the glum exhaustion that plagues student’s faces and replenishes everyone’s deprived senses, which are exhausted from the boredom of a snow-covered world. Really, cozy feels like a small soldier in a transitional time.

Out of all your transitions in flux at the University right now — between Thanksgiving break to finals season, from home life to campus life, from worrying about your current classes to building next semester’s schedule — the overarching transition is from late fall to established winter, a winter that has lost the excitement of initial snowfalls and has settled into something slower and darker. 

And quieter, too. The whiter the world looks, the quieter it gets. Natural sounds and human voices are pretty much gone, and if you take your earbuds out and listen to the ambient noise around you, you’ll find all that’s left is the mechanical noise of traffic and heating units. It’s not very pleasant, I’d actually highly recommend putting your earbuds back in. 

Once you plug your earbuds in, you might find yourself in the middle of a cozy playlist. You know the kind — singers murmuring, soft and low, among the susurrus of guitars and ukuleles, cellos and basses ringing rich and deep; all of the noises are soothing but a bit incomprehensible. That’s okay, though, because somehow the music fills a very human need: it’s warm. If the purpose of art is to accompany humans through life, then cozy art is vital. We slog through winter in search of warmth and company and are often met with bleak grey skies and an overwhelming feeling of isolation. All of winter can often feel like one massive, unending cloud passing over the sun, whose warmth is just barely out of reach. 

So we make art that has warmth at its heart. It’s humanity’s take on hibernation. We consume warm music and comforting movies and spiced dishes to fill our souls, as well as our senses. This art is a way to create a fire. We hang string lights and burn candles and brew tea to bury the bleakness of the ice and cold. 

The only true thing I know about transitions is that they are always happening. We as human beings are in a perpetual state of transitioning. Even endings and beginnings are not completely definite. Rather than endings, life seems to be strung together by infinite beginnings dovetailing one another.  

I think the same is true of the art we consume. The last few songs of our playlist often become the first few songs of our next one. One movie we like leads us to seeing another from the same director. We drift through art as we transition from excitement at winter into a slower seasonal sadness, from being able to freely enjoy the warmth of the world to being cooped up inside, from the comfort of a brief break at home to facing finals. Winter can feel like one big blank page, equally intimidating to artists students and humans alike. And so we fill it with our own warmth, our own art. 

With art, we make our own homes, we ease our endless transitions. 



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