The world is begging to know! How’s it going with your practice? Okay, the world is not really begging to know. But there was a strange one last night. Warning: what you are about to read may get graphic.
I was sitting on a couch. There was this woman, roughly my age and disposition, sitting next to me. We were casually talking, and she leans over and kisses my lips. I look over and she’s returned to her side of the couch with a coy look on her face. I lean in and we kiss once more. She gasps, tells me she has a boyfriend and storms off.
So, this is what it’s come to: I’m a homewrecker. I’m not sure if this dream was there for the drama, or if I just needed to feel what it was like to kiss after all this time. When I say that, I mean, I could actually feel it. It wasn’t exactly as I’d remembered, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. One detail that was clear: she was subtle and hesitant, whereas I was rushing forward like a locomotive. Yeah, super hot, right? Nope.
So anyway, we were supposed to write a few lines of poetry about a picture, scene or object. Okay, this needs to be preserved for posterity. I was on a ship with a madman helheim-bent on loosing a giant wolf from its tether. For reals. I mean, like really really. In fact, it felt more realer than the realest reals, like, totally, literally, ever.
It started out as a little collaborative poetry. Which was all good and nice. The image was text written on a titel card on a facebook post reading something along the lines of I offer my wrist. Oh, okay. He’s playing Tyr and Fenrir. I’ll check that out.
I jump in, pop in a few lines, make a few jokes, why not? Cool beans, I think to myself. I’m doing the thing Paxson told us to, and it’s fun. The he starts talking about the sun going down, and someone else brings up the Beast. Some sort of dark disposition is coming over everyone, and they are crying for the moon. Then I suggest that the moon is bringing madness, and all of a sudden, we’re on a ship going through choppy waters. The beast is raging and the leader of the group is talking about cutting its rope.
I just remember being there, and seeing things that I don’t know if others saw. I’ll bet if you looked back at the poem, you wouldn’t get the impression of what I’m about to illustrate, not at all.
We’re in a mead hall in the evening, and the sailor, some conflation of a mighty Beowulf with the ghostly presence of the Ancient Mariner sits at the table, drinking his mead, going on about a prophesy he has that he will be offering his wrist to the Beast.
Various other patrons of the hall sit around, alive with idle chatter about the old stories, laughing and riffing on each others’ sentences, asking of where so-and-so is, or what are the words of the day. These people laugh and drink, but the man in the corner has a gravity that’s unspeakable. It’s almost as if the light banter around him was a rustic dance compared to the fierce and fearful gaze this man had towards the dimming of the sun.
I finish my cup, he calls, and the sun is lost! Oh where are those that were once among us? Why does this fate come nearer?
Mani, mani! The people cry. Come save us with your magic! Mani, the moon, has no salvation in store. Instead, the madness of the Night Wanderer brings all festivity to an end. A shield-maiden enters the hall and says, now, what of the Beast?
Instantly, the man in the corner, the shield-maiden, a Freysgotha and a library-keeper are transported to the deck of a ship. I am there, but I’m not. I’m a crewman on board, but I’m a wight circling in the sky. At some point, I am even Mani himself!
Water from waves sprays across the deck! The smell of saltwater permeates our nostrils! It’s all so real, and so rich with sensory images! I feel the chill, and hear the growl! The Mariner is cutting the tether, the beast is gnashing its teeth, the librarian, shield-maiden and Freysgotha are hollering to come to shore and quit this lunacy! Yet we stay adrfit, tossled around by the waves, the great wolf almost loosed upon the inhabitants of the vessel and then… and then…
I had to close my computer and go to work for a five o clock shift.
I could have stayed to reach the conclusion.
But is that the point of the journey?