I sit in bed, candles burning, heating pad turned on, thinking about Oliver Sacks and distortions in the brain.
It took me until approximately 5:30 pm to feel awake today. I wonder where this lethargy is coming from—do I need iron supplements? Am I anemic? Have I somehow acquired mono? I sleep 6-10 hours a night, generally. Am I not eating right? I try to eat a variety of fruits and veggies and local meats. What the heck gives?
I tried swapping my 20 ounces of black coffee for 16 ounces of black tea today. Needless to say, this did not really work for me.
So I guess I’ll go back to sipping my light roast coffee, my cold brew, my multiple cups a day. I’ve only been a student for three days, so it looks like I’m not going to be lowering my coffee tolerance any time soon.
Today in class, we read the first book of The Odyssey out loud. I was surprised by how accessible it is as a work. I was anticipating Shakespearean convolution, more rhyme, more…Beowolf-ian lineage. Some of the language was downright modern, and most characters refer to the others by addressing them as “father” or “mother”, which made keeping track of everyone’s relationship fairly straightforward.
My teacher told me something about the text which arrested me—she said to pay attention to “the space” in the writing, what Homer leaves out and what that means. I was captivated with this idea, which we tied together to the space (rests, sustained notes, etc) in music. It gives the work breath, and gives the listener access to deeper potential than simply a timeline of events. Imagining The Odyssey being sung by a bard seems nothing short of a small miracle. A tale so long, so epic, so nuanced…almost makes me wish I’d been around in ancient Greece.
Besides that, I think the Greeks were really on to something with how they viewed divinity. Personifying their gods and goddesses with human qualities creates a more neighborly relationship with the divine. Knowing a god could show up on your doorstep in disguise would mean one really should treat everyone as if they harbor divinity. I see you, ancient Greece. Not a bad modus operandi.
We are entering fall—the season when the proverbial veil between light and dark, life and death, growth and withdrawal is at its thinnest. Last year around this time, I was leaving offerings to the goddess Hecate (or Hekate, depending on where you look) and praying to the goddess of crossroads. This year, I will be looking for a goddess with a closer proximity to Olympus. I hope to channel my inner Athena going into winter—lord knows weathering the dull grey December in the Pacific Northwest requires at least a little nudge from the divine.
So for tonight, I will read about entrepeneurs and so-called “change makers” who took a look around their community and strove to implement change. This is a Homerian journey in and of itself, right? Wanting to come back home to beloved Ithica amidst the throes of an angry ocean (the hero’s trials). So maybe these classes aren’t as terribly different as I previously believed.
More thoughts on the hero’s journey to come…