Wintry Lament

Here in Austin, it’s 73 degrees. I ran the air conditioner in my car while driving to a friend’s with my son. Tonight, Mom texted me to say she was driving home in an ice storm. I hope she made it back safely. I remember those Pennsylvania winters well, and not at all fondly.

I woke up with itchy eyes set between pressure that only comes from exhaustion. I had a somewhat decent night sleep, save for a dream in which I was boxing George Foreman on a bus (don’t ask). I woke up afterwards, at 1:30 A.M., with a pressing need to piss. But otherwise, no complaints. Still this pressure. This itch. Maybe it has something to do with the beer I had last night. I only had one, but it was of a higher proof and very heavy. Maybe it’s the winter blues belting out their ugly melody despite the warm weather. Maybe it’s the itch and the pressure I feel to get as much writing done as possible before the semester (my last semester) begins. Maybe I just want to be financially secure again.

My son is a joy that constantly breaks my heart. After he fell asleep leaving the park, I decided to take him home instead of to a friend’s. When he woke up and realized our friends were nowhere nearby, he got very upset. So upset that he wanted me to pour his water in his mouth for him, as if he were a baby taking a bottle. When we put him down tonight, he wanted to read a bunch of old books we haven’t read in a while. It was weird and sad. I love him so much and want him to be happy.

My friend gave me a copy of The Hero With a Thousand Faces the other night. I’ve read so much about the book, and indeed, I’ve had many crash courses on the hero’s journey in its many variations, but I’ve never gone right to the source. A lot of times, going right to the source is the best way to really learn. Regurgitated information is never exactly the same as the information ingested. I’ve found this to be true everywhere. In classic works of literature. Religious texts. Bills written into law. People tend to take the pieces that speak to their biases the most, and then build their arguments around that limited information. It’s fucking bonkers when you think about it. Like, is anything really fully true?

Anyway, I digress. It will be interesting to get Joseph Campbell’s argument formed from his biases and based on the limited information he provides. 🙂

I’ve been on a hero’s journey of sorts myself. Since enduring a genuine crisis at the beginning of the summer, after dwelling in the underworld for four years, it’s been all progress, save for difficult dreams, difficult news, itches and pressures. I’m happy, despite having a day in which getting out of bed seemed a horrible chore (been a while since I’ve had one of those).

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve got something to keep you warm and bright this winter. Even if you live somewhere the temperature doesn’t drop, keep the fire burning. The blues still tend to sing through the leafless branches of sleeping trees.

I wonder who’s singing them.

Sweet dreams.

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