Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, April 7th of 2022, the first Thursday in April this year unless I’m terribly confused and mistaken, and—of course—it’s time for my weekly blog post.
I haven’t been feeling well this last week, or at least for the past several days. I’m not sure why. I don’t have any obvious signs or symptoms of any acute respiratory or otherwise localized infection, but my body aches quite a lot. That generalized soreness, as well as fatigue, is consistent with the experience of fighting some illness or other. I described it to a coworker yesterday as feeling as if I’d spent the previous day playing tackle football with some of my friends from high school…but they were still high school aged, while I was my present self.
I stayed home from work Tuesday, which is why I didn’t post the next portion of Outlaw’s Mind until yesterday. I just didn’t feel up to doing much. I didn’t feel much better yesterday, nor do I today, but I know that staying away from work makes everything all that much more stressful when I come back to the office, since there is so much catching up to do after even one day. When I have Saturday off—which is every other Saturday—I come in the following Monday and find that there is an inordinate amount of catching up to do. It’s frustrating.
I’ve likewise done very little guitar playing; whole braces of days at a time have passed in which I didn’t so much as touch or pluck or pick a string. That’s a fair indicator of how “low-energy” I’ve been.
Given that I haven’t been feeling well, I’ve gotten almost no new writing done, neither on Outlaw’s Mind nor on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado. Hopefully none of you find that too disappointing. In any case, this physical process shouldn’t last too much longer—either I’m going to feel better rather soon, or it will kill me, presumably. I’m pretty much fine with either outcome, when it comes right down to it. What I definitely don’t want is to continue to feel so rotten.
My walking and other exercise has suffered nearly as much as has my writing. This may be useful for consolidating the healing of my old blisters, but I don’t want to lose the calluses that may have formed, because then I’ll just blister again when I go back to walking.
I was going to say “Sisyphus, eat your heart out,” after that last thought, but I realize that would be a gross and melodramatic exaggeration of my current situation. It’s also more appropriate to say “Prometheus, eat your heart out…or your liver, anyway.” That, unfortunately, would be an even greater hyperbole* regarding my current challenges, and rather pathetic, though at least the imagery is good.
That last little thought makes me stop to wonder, and to wonder what you all might think, about who had it worse in mythology, Sisyphus or Prometheus. The former, of course, had to do a lot more work, always only to find that his work led to nothing, so he always had to start over rolling his boulder, supposedly forever. Prometheus didn’t have to take active part in his punishment, but his was surely more painful, at least in the acute moments when he was being fed upon by Zeus’s eagle.
I’ve occasionally wondered why Sisyphus bothered with his task. There must have been some force or drive operating that led him to need to push his boulder up the hill, lest he face some pain or stress or anxiety worse than the boulder-pushing itself. If his body just moved on its own, then it could hardly be considered his effort, and then his punishment would be “just” the muscle aches and pains and the knowledge of the endlessness of his task. Which would make it similar to Prometheus’s punishment.
All of this is pointless mental meandering, but I would be interested to know if any of you have thoughts about which fate you might prefer, remembering that Prometheus at least would have a form of respite, and of course, he was eventually freed. Not that either figure actually existed, but you know what I mean, I think.
That’s pretty much all I have to say for today. I don’t really have the energy to write much more for the moment. I hope you’re all doing well, and hopefully next week I’ll have more productivity to report to you. If you have any requests or suggestions for topics of my random, walk-in writing, please feel free to share them. I can’t promise that I would follow any possible suggestion, but I well certainly read and consider any serious thoughts, and it would be pleasant to hear from…well, someone in the world.
I hope you’re all as well as it’s possible for you to be**, and that you are treating yourselves and your families and your friends and any other loved ones as well as you can possibly treat them***.
*I’ve long found it at least mildly interesting that the word “hyperbolic” can mean “of or relating to hyperbole(s)” or “of or relating to hyperbolas”.
**That’s not as straightforward a notion as it might seem at first glance.
***Again, not in some simple-minded fashion like giving them all your money or something stupid like that. Short-term and long-term outcomes and inputs must be weighed and continuously reassessed. That’s life. I can’t unreservedly recommend it.