Thursday, December 18, 2008

Phoenix rising

(Written sometime in October, somewhere in the Bering Sea)

I might try my hand again at fiction in November. Why then? Not exactly sure, but it seems a good month for such an undertaking. November has always been my ill-placed month of rebirth. October scours me clean and in November I rise anew. Why these months over any others? Wouldn't it makes sense for my rebirth to be at New Year's, particularly since I've made a cult of it's celebration? Or maybe in the spring when new life springs forth or summer when it grows? Why be built fresh in the season of dying, with leaves falling and days shortening and temperatures falling?

If I had been consulted in the matter, I might have chosen differently but my rhythms seem to have been mostly preset. As to this one in particular, I grow restless in the fall. As soon as the summer starts to cool even a little bit, I get hit with wave after wave of ecstatic wanderlust. At first there is mostly wonder and joy in this feeling, calling me out to explore and enjoy. If, as I am doing now, I can heed this call and take flight and explore, then the feeling can keep some of the joy about it and I just flit about like a kid in a museum for the first time, all big wide eyes and gaping smiles. If I can't, the feeling turns dire and I feel like there is a freight train continually slamming against the inside of my skull, violently and persistently screaming for me to move. I have a hard time sitting still. I have a hard time dealing with other people and retreat deeper and deeper in myself and catch myself wanting to scream out loud or smash things. I do neither; I'm not the type to give into such whims, but I might manage better if I occasionally did. I find myself wanting to force away every familiar thing around me and start over completely. There were more than a few years where it was speculated that any relationship I was in could not survive October unless I was completely sequestered away from my beloved. This was both true and not: October doesn't inspire me to just destroy anything in my reach, it simply refuses illusions. Without illusion, many things fall apart.

Anyway, the point is that this time of year is when I'm rattled to the core. Pleasant or otherwise, every loose thing is shaken loose and all the joints and bends tested to see what will hold and what needs to be repaired or removed. Then comes November, whose main significance to me seems to lie in following October. And so I begin again...

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