Today – Tuesday, Feb. 2 – is Groundhog Day (again) – although in the age of the pandemic, isn’t every day sort of like Groundhog Day?
Give Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck a break – poor things have to have their winter naps disturbed just so we can see if they see their shadows – and instead revel in midwinter with a film and an art classic.
First, “Groundhog Day” – the 1993 comedy about a selfish weatherman (Bill Murray) who keeps reliving Groundhog Day – has become a metaphor for the pandemic and any monotonous situation that people have to suffer through. But it’s also a terrific story about finding meaning in life through love, reminding us what the great 19th-century novelist George Eliot, also known as Mary Ann Evans, once observed: “It’s never too late to become who you might’ve been.”
Then enjoy Andrew Wyeth’s “Groundhog Day,” 1959 egg tempera work inspired by his Pennsylvania neighbors’ farmhouse. Wyeth creates an intimate, almost claustrophobic work focusing on an incomplete place setting. But notice the view outside the window. The two logs, like a groundhog, cast long shadows, suggesting six more weeks of winter.