Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost." (Dante Alighieri)

I’m a winter person. There’s something about the cool darkness, the moon on the snow, that feeds my soul. I suppose that’s because snow was one of the first things I ever saw when my dad named me. It’s the first time I’ve voluntarily been awake at four a.m. in longer than I want to think about. I did it for years when I lived up north, calf check, and the time just sort of stuck with me all year, from high school and into my fourth year of college, more or less. It’s still my favorite time of day, even if I don’t get to check cows for babies in subzero temps. (Let’s face it: I could go check them, but they’re on pasture and it would just be more trouble than it’s worth and after all the rain I’d probably step in a night shrouded rabbit hole and drown.)

I keep asking myself why 4 a.m. Truth is, I don’t have a fucking clue. The world isn’t awake yet, at least not at my house. I have that same heavy-eyed tiredness that I do at 2, but I’ve got five hours of sleep under my belt, unless you count the tossing and turning that is oh too usual for me. Throw the S.J. Tucker on top of it and I feel pretty damn creative. I don’t have to compete with my Calvinistic work ethic (it apparently doesn’t wake up until about 7 or so), and I suppose I’m trying to make up for the fact that I just fucked off for two days. We ran a 5K on Sunday and I stayed in, watching tv and just chilling yesterday. (Who am I to fight with a guy who wants to cook me breakfast? Bring it on, baby.)

Dante’s Inferno seems to keep popping up at me lately. It started with Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle (great, great book that I highly recommend) and continued with Loreena McKennitt’s Spanish version of Dante’s Prayer. I’ve been trying to find the best complete translation of The Divine Comedy, since I read parts of Inferno in college. Like Beowulf, something in the story captured me, haunts me. Not many stories do that. Gilgamesh and tales of the armless maiden or girl without arms are two others. (Does Goodnight, Moon count?) J All right, I got up to work. I better get to it before the bitter, derisive little man in my head gets conscious. I think he went out drinking last night.