ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς

Sorry for not posting lately. The inspiration to write just hasn’t been there, nor the inspiration to do anything artsy lately. Which can be frustrating, but at least there isn’t any active drama.

I’ve been re-reading the Odyssey, since I realized that the last time I did so was my freshman undergrad year, and if I’m going to eventually have something interesting to say about Ulysses it’d behoove me to reacquaint myself with its literary model. It turns out that, as you may have heard, it’s still pretty great, and certainly more fun than the Iliad.

I find also that I relate more to Odysseus this time around, mainly due to my insecurities. Like, I’m an overeducated 30-year-old whose career is currently going nowhere and whose adult life has just zig-zagged in weird directions. It sometimes can’t help but feel like I’m foundering out at sea while the world is moving on without me. I don’t like to dwell on it, as it breeds self-pity and envy (and it’s likely a rather common anxiety at that), but the feeling is there sometimes. So I empathize with Odysseus’ frustrated journey home.

But anyway, no real drama lately, in part because I’ve done more to internalize that my tendency towards pessimism is itself as much of a cognitive bias as anything. It’s easy to be seduced by the logic of “this sucks, so it must be true because I have no selfish reason to want to believe it’s true”, but more often than not it’s just about feeding a morbid side of me, and I’ve had to take stock of how this has hurt my spiritual life, my relationships, etc.

I’ve also been “reading” Finnegans Wake, which marks the third time I’ve “read” it. The thing is still quite nonsensical to me most of the time, but I’ve discovered it to be one of the few books I can actually fall asleep to (most books are too stimulating, I find) and so have been keeping it (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) at my bedside. I dunno if I can vouch for it as great literature, but it feels like a weird alien friend I made.

On that note, while I still remain a bad sleeper, things have vastly improved from the nightmare that was last autumn. At its worst, my insomnia had me rationing out sleeping pills so that I could get enough sleep to remain functional for work without developing an addiction. It’s frightening when something essential you thought you could take for granted suddenly becomes a struggle. Makes me thing about what it’s like to be hungry and not sure when your next meal will be.

It’s already almost Ash Wednesday. Dust thou art, etc.

About Josh W

Scribbler and doodler
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2 Responses to ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς

  1. Hi. I think “I dunno if I can vouch for it as great literature, but it feels like a weird alien friend I made” is going to be the best sentence I read this week, so thank you! I haven’t read Finnegan’s Wake but I did make the interesting(!) decision to speedread Joyce’s Ulysses in order to write an essay once. I could have chosen another text from the reading list but I was feeling inspired. I was ledt feeling rather uncomfortable, and sleep-deprived. Not friendly.
    I do like the Odyssey though! Which translation/language are you reading?

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