26 February, 2004

I want hobgoblins around me, for I am courageous

I love this one, so funny. "He' is a nutty French nihilist talking to the author.
Excerpt from Journey to Ladakh:

“He stood flexing his biceps (very small) in the light. He said, ‘ I am going. We will never meet again. Be careful. You are very enthusiastic, you are a great fool, you will be eaten alive if you don’t watch out. I wish you all the melancholy wisdoms and a relatively early death! Ha! Yes!’ and ran out into the morning laughing and slapping his thighs. ‘All the melancholy wisdoms and a relatively early death! What rhythm! What style!” -Andrew Harvey

Tonight I had a conversation that may change my life. (Of course, it is nearly three a.m.—so maybe not.) Not that all of it was new—but that it came at me in a way and a time that I can comprehend it, learn from it, and, God willing, apply it to my life. I want to share a bit of it, as well as I can with you.

NOTE: This is very intimate and personal. This is also very self-deprecating. I know, but I feel there is something to it, if only a bit. At least it is something to think about. Please anyone who has an opinion on it write to me and give me your advice.

I am the sort of man that likes to be intimate; I love women; I love relationships, friendships that is, relationships in the broadest sense: two people loving and communicating and sharing some aspect of life together. To me this is one of the great pleasures of life. I see relationships as a metaphorical sort of triangle: The base, the foundation for relationship, is the friendship: the mutual sharing of experience and compassion, interrelating, and commonality. All relationships should start this way. But the higher you move up in the triangle, the higher the love, trust, and understanding. This is where I see sexuality as being an option in a relationship, not at the bottom. Sex shouldn't found any relationship.

However, I learned that there may be a fissure between what I say and what I do. People will always believe what you do: actions stronger then words. Some people aren’t able to reconcile my flirtatiousness with my sincerity: in short, they think I am pursuing a sexual relationship, a committing relationship, when I don't mean to. I have failed, until now, to see the inherent similarity between physical attraction and dating interest. Yes it sounds stupid, but it is not so simple. The look the same, but aren't. What I am saying is that there are women whom I am interested in physically, friends, who I have no desire to date, but whom I would be interested in knowing more intimately, grow closer to. My flirtatiousness is not meant to be an invocation of a dating relationship, but a flag to my attraction only, an invitation to a heightened form of friendship. I expect my friends to know, either through reputation or explicit conversation, the latter almost always, that I am fond and capable of carrying a sexual relationship with a friend and deepening, not spoiling the relationship forthwith. I love my friends too much. And I am a man.

This is all coming out because I have a friend that I kissed, and since then she has been kooky. It hasn’t worked and I haven’t been able to understand why. I haven't had this trouble before, but now I think I may understand. We have been friends for only a little while, have always flirted a bit, been close. I can’t speak for her intentions, but I find her mildly attractive, but I know I never would date her. But she is a good friend. All the same we flirted and flaunted. I explained that, per chance, if we ever were to hook up, the sexuality would be secondary to the friendship: the friendship was the foundation, what was important. It couldn’t work if we had unbalanced desire: if one of us had a crush on the other or higher expectations. This tends to be painful and thereby undesirable. But it seemed we were on the same page. So it seemed.

So one night we kissed. Kissed was all we did—no big deal. It wasn’t really the opportune time. I wanted to take it slow, see what happened, if anything. She was a little younger than me so I didn't want to put any pressure on her. We were drunk and that never suits me in intimate situations: it is more difficult to be conscious of the other. But to my surprise, the next day, she was clearly uncomfortable and out of sorts. She wouldn’t look at me for any normal period. When we started talking it was a mess. She became defensive as hell, rude even. She said how the kiss wasn’t a problem because it would never happen again. This, I thought, was unnecessarily confrontational. Why make such a statement? To me it was baffling.

So I let it go. We went back to being friends, no problem. But I always remember how defensive she was. Strange. Since then I have been able to watch her behavior with other men, and things are becoming much clearer. I realize my fault. Vicki explained it to me clearly tonight: Of course, any women in her position is going to say she can handle my proposal if she is interested (Actually, this is not entirely true: I know a few who would admit to not being able, but they are more mature—but from Vicki's perspective); she will want to go for it and say, “yah, I can be unattached; I am strong and mature, just watch.” If I had known this girl as I know her now, I would know beyond a doubt that she was not capable of that sort of control: she is young, freshly out of a long relationship; she is all over the map chasing boys and not knowing what to feel about it. I didn’t know this at the time. Then, she was stable and seemingly mature. I trusted her.

But she flailed; she didn’t know how to act normal with me again, not for a little while; she simply pretended it had never happened. To me, this was a travesty. Something sacred to me had been degraded. Sexuality to me is a very spiritual undertaking; I am very Tantric: it is holy. I’m not perfect; clearly, I’m a man. I’m horny like everyone, but I will not sacrifice someone else’s health for my pleasure. I will not lie; I will not deceive. This doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. This essay is about a mistake. But sexuality should grow out of love of one’s selfhood: who are you? And let my worship that. I can see a divine image in you, let me love it, admire it, and be close to it so I can see the real beauty of ourselves and our world. I’m not playing around.

I haven't lost a friendship over this affair: that is not what this is about, but a miscommunication, misunderstanding, a separation between what my words mean and how they are interpreted, what my actions say in conflict with my words. I feel I am misunderstood. I think this girl thinks or thought I had a crush on her—regardless of the fact I said explicitly to the contrary. This happens to me. But I said I didn't. Ah, but you acted like you did! What is a man to do?

But perhaps what I have learned is twofold. First, when considering making an advance on a friend who is acquiescing, I need to be sure of their maturity and capacity to handle this sort of change of relationship; it is an intimate shift, but it can be reversed, in fact it must be at some point; at some point you must stop being intimate or be married. Hence the importance of the foundation of the friendship: remember what is truly important here. I have been twice now na├»ve in becoming intimate with women perhaps whom I didn’t have the proper relation to. In other words, it wasn’t the thing to do. Part of the miscommunication comes directly from the second lesson of the day: namely that I misrepresent myself.

I say that I don’t want a dating relationship, but my flirtatious nature can lead women to believe to the contrary, that I am only putting them on. In this case, I think that the girl wanted me to have a crush on me, but didn’t want to date me. I don't obviously like this at all. I was a sort of validation for her (don’t ask me, this has been a strange trend in my life). Maybe she was just drunk and didn’t know what she was doing, didn’t hear the plain words I was saying, words that meant so much to me. I truly value my friendships. I don’t wish to tarnish them, but also I like to take them to the pinnacle; I like being as close as I can. The women who I have been intimate with are among the closest beings to me on earth: I love them, adore them: it’s religious. I don't lose them. And for me I have been blessed enough to have this as reality. Pretty rare, I admit. I am proud and fortunate.

Misunderstanding, I realize, is only half my responsibility. I need to be a better judge of who understands me and who doesn't. I am not wrong for being who I am. It isn't my fault I am misunderstood—only to a degree. But it would help for me to be aware of who sees my heart, who knows me: these are the people I can trust.

So what now? How do I change and what change would be appropriate? I need to be more aware of the consequences of my rampant natural flirting. I need to look for interpretable discrepancies between what I say and what I do: see possible alternatives to my true intensions. I have heard this all before, but now it strikes me with new vigor and pertinence. I hate being misunderstood; I hate thinking that people could think me lascivious or manipulative or dishonest or hypocritical. I am sensitive to this sort of thing, and I’ve put myself in position to be accused. This girl is going to say that she has been uncomfortable because she thinks I want to sleep with her and she has said no, hence the subtle continued tension between us. She can gather this from the fact that I flirt with her, we have hooked up, then she said that she never wanted to do it again. This hurts. What a gross misunderstanding, a demonizing of my intent. I am not so base. But now I know that I can appear it. What an awakening! Is this real?

This is life. I hope I have learned something. I certainly don’t want to change much: I have been so happy and so fortunate. Have I hurt anyone? (Come forward.) But I want to learn. I don’t want to confuse anyone which is what I have done. So to any friends reading, I am sorry. I didn’t realize.

Am I wrong? Is this out of line? I think, perhaps, that most of us communicate fine; we understand each other and listen and voice confusion or dissatisfaction. But with some this is clearly not the case. Wendy and I, no matter the desire to do so, could never see the method to each other’s living: I thought she was crazy, and she me. This other girl, as well, is not able to hear my words and understand them in the context of who I am, what I believe, and how I act. She sees me in a different light, lensed differently than the way I see myself.

25 February, 2004

All New

Now you can leave me comments, so this won't be such a unilateral, one-sided affair.
See, right above the entry, there is a comments tag--click on it and tell me how you are or what you think of this particular entry.


24 February, 2004

Life is damn dynamic, prismatic right now.
My one-dimensionality has morphed into a myriad of different daily tasks: I am running again—which pleases Widge to no end; I am climbing three times aweek—which pleases me to no end; I am getting addicted again I fear; I am learning how to play a pennywhistle—to Widge’s dismay—every night before I go to bed; and what else?

I don’t know, but it is awfully better than the seat to seat movement, the reading recliner to the computer desk.
Still I am determined as ever to learn how to write: I want to cut back my reading further and work harder on my prose.
I am still determined to get a website up—this has been the slowest process, but it is still moving forward, day by day.
My communication of my goals, plans, dreams, has continued, and continues to reap reward and new ideas.

Life is so good. Thank you all.

19 February, 2004

Rare image of self

While talking about autobiographical writing in class, we thought about how, when writing about home, often it is portrayed as a place that no longer exists, a place that in some sense we ourselves don’t fit into anymore, we’ve outgrown the rooms of our childhood.

The idea absorbed me for a little while: I imagined myself as a grizzled and hardened old man, a man that has now come to know pain, loss, love, sacrifice, death, suffering, glory, and maybe something of life; I imaged this old figure, grey and a bit stooped, standing by my bed in what is now called my mom’s room, but it was my first room and my last. I felt like I entered the mind and imagination of this old man, and I could feel the distance and the absurd gap between the reality of his life and choices and the innocence of myself as a boy growing into myself in that house, room, and bed. It wasn’t so much the years that separated the two as much as it was the sensibility, the inner growth.

The dichotomy between the innocence and experience, between my memory of youth and my dream of the future—all present in an image of an old man by my old bed, a bed that looked just the way it does now, or the way I remember it being, but won’t be forever.

A Southern-belle Camping in Idaho in the Winter
A Valentine Story

Etta arrived in Missoula on Wednesday night clad in the latest urban wear. She lives in Pensa Cola Florida selling pharmaceuticals for Organon. She spends her money on fashion and manicures—massages on the stressful days. She’s about my age, 25, damn motivated and cheerful, loves her job, loves her life.

So she decided, well, we decided it was time for her to come out west for a visit. We dated for a summer while in school in Tennessee and have been close friends ever since. If we split cost of the ticket then the trip would be great for us both. Why not Valentine’s Day? This was a few weeks back so I had time to plan. Where should we go? What is the best I can offer of Montana to a girl who has never seen this country?

Skiing was the obvious choice. I had three days and four nights. We could hike Waterworks hill behind my house, cross-country ski in the Rattlesnake Wilderness north of town, or take a trip up in the Jocko Canyon where I used to live in the Mission Mountains. But when I think of something that epitomizes Montana to me, I think of hot springs. This, to me, is ironic as hell seeing how all the hot springs I visit are in Idaho—but state lines are arbitrary; it’s all northern Rocky wilderness. I’ve been to Weir; I’ve been to Jerry Johnson—but the one I’ve always wanted to visit, the one I have always heard the highest praise for is Goldbug.

South of Salmon, Idaho about twenty miles is a little trailhead at the end of an unmarked gravel road. If you walk up the trail through the mountains into a high canyon the steam starts to gather in the trees. The hot springs run hot and strong this time of year and the thought of camping in the cold keeps the crowds low.

But I’m getting ahead of my story.

I figured this would be the great spot to show the glory of the west to Etta. Romantic too. And I’d get to go—at last. So it’d be good for all.

So Wednesday night we walked around town, ate good Indian food at Tipu’s, drank some wine. Thursday we went to a class, Joyce’s Ulysses, rode bikes, drank tea, hiked up Waterworks to watch the sunset, ate good Italian food at Zimmerino’s—my first time—drank much more wine, danced, and were merry. Now Friday, we woke up a bit drearily and went to packing our gear. The plan was to go skiing at Lost Trail which is on the border of Idaho-Montana and only twenty miles from Salmon. From there, after a day skiing, we would drive south for a soak in the springs and a night under the stars.

She bathed and groomed while I packed. I threw it all in the car and we hauled off by nine-thirty. The sky was densely blue, a rare winter day, not too cold or blustery. The drive was great—great tunes on the college radio station. Etta had never skied but made it down the bunny slope first try, just busting at the line to the rope tow. Up the mountain she was rather stellar, learning all the little tricks fast. She was confident and smiling, loving looking like a ski bunny as much as actually skiing. The blue kicked her ass, but I think she was just tired.

We turned in her rentals and drank a celebratory “local” beer. Widge hopped out of the car and yellowed the snow and rolled and twisted and scratched his back on the packed ice. We loaded up and headed south. Rather exhausted Etta passed out right early on, leaving the road and the scenery to me. Going down the pass into Idaho there were no radio stations to be found, no traffic either—just ice and slow going.

We hit Salmon—only twenty-three miles to go. I got Etta awake to read the road signs to me. At mile post 282 we crossed a bridge and saw our road on the left. The gravel and snow road didn’t look so welcoming, barns and sheds and other human structures dotted the land. Not so sightly. But it was starting to get dark so we focused on getting out and ready to hike.

I should say I. I got us ready to hike, well in the sense that I packed the packs, organized everything, ect., ect. Etta saw to it she would stay warm. She sat in the car organizing her jacket and gloves and I don’t know what. There was nothing she could have done anyway. It was my show; I was bringing her out into this strange cold world. The responsibility was mine.

With that said I should mention that it was Friday the Thirteenth. The stars, the Heavens, the fates, and all the rest had been against me all day. But they had never slowed us down a hair. I say this all in a sort of preliminary defense, because our luck would not ostensibly hold out.

We set out at dusk, Etta in her skiing attire and hiking boots and me in thin sneakers, Etta carrying sleeping bags and me everything else. Etta has strong legs, big calves and thighs; she made her way up the trail steadily. The light and mountains were beautiful. I hadn’t seen Idaho in a couple of years and I had wanted to see Goldbug for about four years. Dusk is my favorite time of day. The snow turned purple and red. There were scattered spots of ice which Etta first navigated gingerly but with a certain self-confidence. But as night sank in and the trail reached higher and higher into the canyon and trees our going slowed.

I prefer hiking without a lamp. I am used to it and so long as the moon allows for it I am happier. But the darkness began to make Etta nervous and the trail was getting a bit treacherous, so I deemed it time to get out the headlamp. Here the fun begins: there is no headlamp. Left it in the car. How could I?—the lamp? A lamp is a pretty darn handy piece of hardware while camping. I know where I left it. In the rush to get out I buried it in the truck while packing. Fool. I hate telling Etta this, but she’ll have to suck it up. I think fear is a good thing to experience
from time to time, but I don’t tell her this.

Within the next twenty minutes she is totally mortified. We stop and I calm her down. I look up and see the glow of someone’s camp just a bit farther up the trail. Etta blames herself for her “de-compensation.” She said she is prone to being emotional when she is exhausted. We find a camp spot; we drop packs and I get out the thermos of hot chocolate to keep her warm. I hurry to the task of getting camp up as quick as possible. I set the tent up in the dark and Cas, another camper below us brings us a light at Etta’s request, which I grudgingly accepted. Sleeping pads out, sleeping bags zipped together, empty pack at back to rest feet on, toilettres, food, stove, water, ect all stored and organized.

The stars shone like mad. They hung like they were right over our heads. Orion’s belt was just over the mountains in front of us. I figured with two good sleeping bags zipped together warmth wouldn’t be an issue. My tent has a flap that can be unzipped from the top of the tent so that I can look straight up at the stars from lying comfortably in my sleeping bag. For this reason I opted not to put the rain fly on. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and life was a lot more romantic this way.

Etta was cold so I told her to get into the bag while I cooked dinner. We could get warm before going down to the springs later. This idea of getting naked, getting wet, then getting out, getting dry and getting back to camp baffled her. It does sound rough when it is twenty degrees out—but it is worth it.

So I get the stove and the fuel out. Knowing that I have all that there is, I stare quizzically at the fuel bottle: it is capped, that is to say that it has a top on the bottle when it should have a pumping mechanism. How had I not noticed this in the morning? Well it was about five hours earlier then I like to wake up and I had hardly slept the night before, not to mention all the wine. Plus, where was the pump? It is always on the fuel bottle. Ah, I bought a new one, or I replaced a part; I fixed it.

Oh this sucked. I laughed out loud, and Etta asked me what was so funny. I told her I didn’t think she was going to find it so funny. It took a while to summon the courage to tell her. No cooking, no mac ‘n cheese, no more cocoa, no oatmeal; in fact, since I had bet on boiling snow for water and didn’t bring the iodine which I frankly just forgot, no more water either. We still had a couple of quarts, so not to worry. In the back of my mind I knew that as long as we had the wine, a big bottle of Yellowtail Chiraz, Etta would be fine. That was all that we really needed.

She brought it up first: “Well, I guess we’ll just drink more wine.” She was a hell of a sport. I went for the corkscrew. I needed to warm her up a bit. I turned the screw in the cork deep and gripped the handle of the army knife ready to pull. As I pulled back against the bottle, something gave, but it wasn’t the cork—no pop, no vacuum seal—and it wasn’t the screw, it was still bedded in the cork. Instead I looked at the knife. The base of the corkscrew had rusted away and broke off, leaving the knife in my hand and the screw in the bottle. I looked at the bottle in awe.

This was almost too much. When in one hour had so much gone so awry? Up until this point I had been impervious, perfect, a good, true southern host to the mountains of the north. But now, in the cold, in the remote night, far from anything comfortable or seemingly safe, all was crumbling. I knew better than to pack for a trip in the groggy morning. I hate mornings: we don’t work well together, only for sleeping. Now because of a morning and a little time since my last jaunt into the hills, I am rusty and poorly attuned to the delicate art of camping.

No wine. No dinner. This was too much. I took the bottle and headed down toward Cas to see if he per chance had a screw, not that it would work at this point, seeing that there was already a screw in this particular cork, but I had to do something. It was one of those new synthetic corks, not so susceptible to being pushed into the bottle. Miraculously I was able to thread Cas’ screw betwixt mine and popped the bottle open. I was quite proud of this meager accomplishment and sauntered back up to camp with a bottle and further knowledge of where the springs where.

But Etta, to my surprise, was still rubber-cold. I gave her a little wine, but she didn’t want to sit up. So I took off my shoes and climbed in. Widge huddled at our feet. We all snuggled and to me it felt cozy warm. It should only be a matter of minutes now before the warmth comes back to the girl.

But there was no such luck and I got a little concerned. I slowly stripped layers off of her (She was still bundled up like a skier). I zipped up the tent. I took off my clothes as to get my heat as near to her as possible. Nothing worked. She was only in her spandex-like long johns. To my amazement, when I stuck my hand in her pants to feel her leg, it was soaking wet. Her long johns were trapping her sweat against her skin. I stripped her down and rubbed her dry. I gave her my long johns and we spooned and she started to warm up.

As the night proceeded to get colder, the tent produced a thick inner ice layer. Leaving the fly off was a huge error. We didn’t care about the stars; we just wanted to be warm. We snuggled and rubbed to stay warm. I fed her water and snickers bars. We had a fair time of it. Of course, the camp site was far from level so we kept listing to the side.

As the sun began to rise and it was still cold as hell I told her it was time to motivate. I had to pee anyway and was sure she did as well. We needed to get up, throw on our shoes, “create fluids,” and make a dash for the springs. I stood up, grabbed the towels and felt oddly rejuvenated by the light and movement. It wasn’t so cold as I’d thought. I packed a little bag: wine, banana, candles. I forgot the tobacco; it was morning after all. But it was no longer Friday the Thirteenth. I found a brownie I had brought as a surprise desert—now it was breakfast.

I went down to the pool and found it empty in the vague morning light. I stripped naked, shivered, and found the stones warm under my feet. Etta was close behind me. She looked so beautiful, standing on the brink of the pool. We had worked hard, paid a price for this moment. Etta wore a look of amazement: “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said; “Oh my God, this is so unbelievable.” It was for sure. I had wanted this moment for so many years and never, until now, had made it happen. And I was so glad to have her with me, a friend since my early college days in Sewanee. I hadn’t seen her in years, but have always loved her and been close to her if only by phone.

We sat with wide eyes full of wonder and warmth. All the ills of the night were paid for. I poured the wine, icy cold and fresh. The taste was strong to an empty stomach. Somehow I wasn’t hungry. Etta was so pleased by the brownie which we savored. We talked for hours, staring down at the valley below and the mountains and clouds before us. Etta could hardly believe it all. We did make it after all. By twelve or a little before I got my first good rumble in my stomach. All of a sudden I realized how damned hungry I was. My hands and feet were ghostly white and wrinkled like never in my life. It was time to go.

I told Etta to stay put and I would go and strike camp and pack the rucksacks. She stared singing “Cheeseburger in paradise.” This would be our next quest: to find the great hamburger joint in Salmon and belligerently feed ourselves. I was ready. The air was so arid that I dried almost instantly. My core temp was so high that the air only felt mildly cool to my skin. I got dressed easily and jogged back up to camp. My hands cooperated as I unloaded the tent and stuffed the packs. The sleeping bags were now great cubes of ice from all the condensation. I shoved it all in and looked up to see Etta coming up the trail.

My hands were cold now but it was time to head down. I was pumped. I had saved one mini Snickers to give Etta a little boost on the hike down. We hoisted our packs and with smile and glad hearts headed downward.

The trail was much easier in the light of day with our troubles behind us. We made fast time. Etta could really spread out her gate and I had trouble keeping up. I found my car keys first try and cranked up the hoopdee. “We survived,” Etta said. I forgot this was her goal, but I was none the less thankful myself. Of course I still had to drive the three hours home, tired, dehydrated, starved, and still thinking I may be traveling under a doomed star.

Etta fell asleep; I tried not to. We made Salmon and we found the greatest hamburger joint in all the universe and time. It was a painful gorging; it hurt, but it was a glorious pain. A soft drink was never so good. Etta had a Corona.

After that, the rest of the drive was a breeze. It was Valentine’s Day. I had flowers hidden in the closet at home. We got home at six. At nine-thirty we had dinner reservations at Sushi Hana’s, my favorite restaurant in Missoula. In the fridge I had a bottle of Irish Cream. Before bathing, Etta’s feet were still cold so we had to get into bed and cuddle for a while. After dinner we came straight home and fell dead asleep.

18 February, 2004


I’ve been working on a little story for ya. It’s about ready; I’ll have it tomorrow. My dear friend Etta came out to visit me last week. We met at Sewanee in ’97 and have been close ever since. She came out and I showed her around town, we ate a bunch of good meals, talked and drank wine. On Friday I took her down toward Idaho to teach her to ski and then we would go south of Salmon to some hot springs that are in the mountains there.
The story of our two days there is a bit hilarious. It was Friday the Thirteenth and I botched all sort of stuff—half of it by freak chance, half by my own personal lunacy. We had a great time though and it all culminated into a great Valentine’s Day.
I am pretty laid back these days, not working or stressing like I have the last couple of semesters. I really want to enjoy the winter before it’s gone. I am determined to work on my skiing every chance I get. I am climbing more and feeling strong and stronger—getting healthy again I think. Now that I have a car I am going to start taking Widge on runs and hikes into the Rattlesnake; I hadn’t realized how much we both missed that place. Having a car is such great fun.
Going down to Idaho was my first trip with her and she drove like a champ.
I’m going to leave on now and head to the gym to climb. I’ve been on campus for a while and had the most inspiration conversation with B. Baxter—he talks to me in a manner so similar to the way my mom used to talk: a compassionate devil’s advocate. I know he doesn’t disagree with me but always turns the question, always offers the contrary assertion. We talk about everything. It was incredible. Life is good.

09 February, 2004

Synchronicity you won’t believe.

Let me list for you a little taste of the coincidences that have been happening to me recently. I swear this is all absolutely true, no exaggerations whatsoever. It is a bit crazy for sure.

Jan 28 - Feb 8

Quick reference to the naming of the days of the week:
Most of the names come from Nordic mythology and some from Roman. The days were named after the “seven heavenly spheres” of the time (which were named after the gods).

Monday = Moon's day. Self explanatory
Tuesday = Tiwes' day. Mars in Germanic is Tiwes
Wednesday. Woden's day. In Germanic Woden or Odin or Othin is the equivalent to Mercury and Hermes.
Thursday. Thor’s day. Thor is the Norse equivalent to Jupiter (Roman) or Zeus (Greek).
Friday. Frigg-day. In Germanic Frigg is the name for Venus.
Saturday. Saturn's day Saturn is a Roman God
Sunday = Sun’s day. Again, self explanatory.

So the crazy synchronic events of the last week or so...

--I already told the dream I had with my cousin—where she wouldn’t tell me who she was dating and I guessed who it was, and it was a certain boy that I have good cause to dislike. My blood ran cold. I have only ever met him once, I only know him through a few horror stories of friends. At ten that morning, Thor’s-day I met with a professor to see if I could join his class. He says, “well four people who are registered in the class didn’t show, yeah, ‘John Doe’ (Morpheus, Dream boyfriend) didn’t show up. I jumped. Why, of all four people, did he name the one guy I had had a dream about the night before? Why that name—I don’t have any reason to know him. So strange. I thought he showed up for class but it turned out not to be him—a different guy with the same name!

--Saturday night I had a dream where James and I were looking out of the window of a Victorian-style house, looking at a flock of pigeons in the yard pecking at something or other. When I woke up, this was still fresh in my mind. I walk into the kitchen to get a drink and the phone rings—it’s James.

Oh, it gets much better. . . .

--A couple of weeks ago I saw a movie based on the novel “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. I loved it and watched it again a few nights later. Since then, it continues to pop up. Moon’s-day’s night I was reading Joyce’s “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” and there is a whole section with Stephan Dedalus’ dad reading Dumas’ novel, talking about “the dark avenger,” Dantes. And then Tuesday in the mail I got “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco—and on back it says, “An intellectual adventure story, as sensational, thrilling and packed with arcane as ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ or ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’” I guess I’ve gotta read this book—that’s pretty high praise.

[an almost identical event as this will happen later in the week]

--Tiwes-day. I walked into my friend Nic’s apartment and see a new poster on the wall; it’s a piece of artwork, nice but plain, just two colors. Facetiously, I say to her, “Nice, it’s very. . . orange and yellow.” Then I walk up closer and look down at the fine print to see who created it, and it is called “Orange and Yellow,”—that was the title. I jumped again.

--Woden’s-day. Reading Dante’s Purgatorio, I got to Canto 28 which takes place in the Garden of Eden. When Dante meets Matilda, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something sensuous about it. I started to think about how I would possibly discuss this with my class; I turn the page; I thought, “this Canto is ‘pregnant’”—meaning that is was Canto was embedded with meaning, but also using the word because of its sexual connotation. I look down at the page and start to read as I was saying it I then read the word “impregnate” in the paragraph I just started.

[I know this isn't the most exciting synchronicity--but this too happens twice]

--Woden’s-day. When I was in Nic’s apartment, I met this guy, a really good man, named Dustin. He let me borrow a DVD of his that contains ten or so lectures on philosophy. I thought this was great—a lot was existentialism which I am studying right now. I also thought this was such a cool idea, a company, The Teaching Company, taping lectures to sell.

How this happened I don’t know, but Thor'sday, only eighteen hours later, in the mail I received a catalogue from The Teaching Company which lists all of their lectures for sale. Until dustin, I had never heard of them. I don’t know why I was sent their catalogue. I had never heard of them before Dustin lend me the DVD.

[Friday. My good friend Lydia is going on a date with the guy who owns the DVD-not Dustin-but the guy Dustin got the disk from, a guy named Justin. So wierd. Read on.]

--Thor’s-day. After a long awaited jaunt into the Rattlesnake for a run, I went to Red’s Bar to meet Rachel. Her soccer team was having a fund raiser and had a bunch of chili and cheap beer. Rach and I were small-talking when I brought up my brother and how much he liked her friend, Tauk—and how much I liked him as well. We were still talking about him when I looked up and saw him walking through the crowd toward us.

--Thor’s-day again. I checked my email and found a message from a friend to enquire about a boat named “Aeolus.” I recognized the name; we had looked at her before, but it struck me in a different way; I didn't know what the word itself meant. I wasn’t familiar with the term, though it smacked of classical Greek. Later in the day, when I opened up “Ulysses” to read, I noticed a chapter heading, “Aeolus.” I suddenly got a real good feeling about that boat. (Though I think that it has already been sold.) The word is Greek and is from Homer’s “Odyssey.” Aeolus was the God of Wind.

--Saturn’s-day. This is another good one:

After a great day of skiing at Discovery, Will, two friends and I have the two hour drive home. Just outside of Clinton, Will’s friend Drew starts talking about literature, how he thinks that if you really want to learn, you have to read. He first was ranting on about how he doesn’t like John Updike because some of how some of the stuff he writes “is just freaky.” But then he went on to say one of his favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. He couldn’t remember the name of one book in particular that he had in mind. I then mentioned that I had often wanted to read “Mere Christianity,” which was a piece by Lewis. “That’s the one,” he said—“that’s a great book.”

We pulled in to Missoula late; I grab the Hoopdee from the Law School where I had parked it in the morning and drove home. I parked and picked up my mail on the way into my house, just a small package and one parcel of junk mail. I assumed that the package was one of the books I was still waiting on (I buy books online), but then I noticed the address in the corner was my aunt’s. This was unusual. I got inside, talked to Widge, gave him a little dinner and then sat down to open the letter. My aunt is a staunch Christian, orthodox in everyway—fundamental Baptist I think. I thought back to my conversation in the car; I thought of Lewis. Sure enough, as I tore the brown paper away I saw the name C.S. Lewis, and then “Mere Christianity.”

If this weren’t enough to be shocking, one of the quotations on the back was written by John Updike, Drew's nemesis.

And lastly, Moon's Day. To end where I began. I read the word "enprenate" after having thought "pregnant." Last night I was looking up words I didn't know from a list I keep. I was having trouble with "apostasis." So I looked up stasis, hypostasis, apostacy, permastasis--until I started to get a feel for it.
I left my computer; I thought I should read a little before I went to bed. A book that I was reading over break and have put down for three weeks now is "Doctor Faustus." I need to have it finished in a few week and still have 250 pages to go. I open up to the last page I read over break. On that page is a word highlighted in flourescent pink, which means I don't know what the word means.

The word is "metastasis."


"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did
do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe
harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

03 February, 2004

Widge got arrested yesterday. For those who don't know, he is my nine-year-old chocolate lab. My god, he was so forlorn looking. He was taken down to Animal Control; I had to pay forty bucks to get him out.
He was terrified--he's never been to the pound. He still hasn't recovered. At dinner he hardly begged at all, so sad.

Perhaps I should say that life ROCKS right now. Everything is great-climbing, reading, writing--everything feels natural and preordained. My animosity toward some friends around me has passed--mostly. I feel as though things are taking their prescribed course.

"Truth can only be experienced."
-H. Hesse