Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is just the train at the other end

"...Orpheus was so sad about the loss of his love that he composed music to express the terrible emptiness which pervaded his every breath and movement. He was so desperate and found so little else meaningful, that he decided address Hades. As the overseer of the underworld, Hades heart had to be hard as steel, and so it was. Many approached Hades to beg for loved ones back and as many times were refused. But Orpheus' music was so sweet and so moving that it softened the steel hearted heart of Hades himself. Hades gave permission to Orpheus to bring Eurydice back to the surface of the earth to enjoy the light of day. There was only one condition--Orpheus was not to look back as he ascended. He was to trust that Eurydice was immediately behind him. It was a long way back up and just as Orpheus had almost finished that last part of the trek, he looked behind him to make sure Eurydice was still with him. At that very moment, she was snatched back because he did not trust that she was there. When you hear music which mourns lost love, it is Orpheus' spirit who guides the hand of the musicians who play it...."

-The story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as told by Thomas Bulfinch. 

I've been thinking a lot about the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice lately, mostly because these last two weeks, I've been visually dampened in darkness (Hades), trying to fish my way out using my own voice. I've been shuffeling through old songs, spelunking through caravans of expired thought, padding through Pandora's lingerie drawer in search of a gift from cupid, cannonballing in the Thames, holding my breath under waterfalls, counting to ten. I've been frolicking around Eden's playground, afraid of being slapped by pliable wrists, afraid of being tagged and eternally addressed as "It," in a locked halcyon garden where Knowledge is forbidden and naivete is treasured.....

The myth of orpheus creeps open in my daily narrative. After trudging through the bowels of our own individualized rendition of Hades, after lowering ourselves, limb by staggering limb into a foreign milieu in order to retrieve that "beauty" which was once ours, that vision of possibility we once caressed, forever tersely; after bartering with Satan, after feeling my beloved's breath against my neck for the first times in years and spending seemingly endless months 'ascending', out of patched darkness and into the refulgent diadem of light,  after,  just when the golden atmospherical socket of reality is starting to herald the promise of pulchritude-- what do I do? I look back and perenially lose the grasp of my reward..... 

Alright, I hate feeling sullen. I'm trying to accumulate enough confidence in myself to strut confidently into Swords Hall tomorrow (where My Grandma worked for over thirty years) and beg for more money next semester....of course I'll get it, that's what student loans are for....
Part of my sour health stems from a time when I refused to 'get further in the hole' and insisted on working multiple jobs full time to support my academic habbit.  Looking back, cocaine would have been far less taxing to future credit bureaus.

I should feel more comfortable. The last two times I've requested funds the 'brother' (ahem) who is in charge of that department invited me over to his house for dinner, telling me that when he was my age, he never missed the opportunity to eat a free male...(smiles)

Money is such a weird thing. You're pretty much screwed if you have it and screwed if you don't. College is probably the worst financial investment an eighteen year old currency-dependent americanite can toss themselves into. I went to a horrible, simply awful highschool (where of course, if it wasn't so bad, I wouldn't have started writing) and monopolized a $1000 scholarship on a girl (Thank you Before Sunrise--of course, having your wayfarrying heart butchered at dreamy 19 is simply mana from heaven in terms of literati-experiences; it all but makes you immortal. I felt like Jack Kerouac when I got home). 

Things are looking better...when I'm not off sulking I can write an ok tune and I've been told by other prof's that I'm virtually guaranteed a free ride into certain MFA programs, which makes me feel happy.....

The real gift (considering the loan goes through, which of course, it will) is that, this semester I have the opportunity(for the first time ever) to be a FULL TIME COLLEGE STUDENT.... I can study and write full time without having to scan bar codes and make change behind a cash register or working til four am everymorning and cram (or bullshit) exams...I'm so thankful for this opportunity........fifteen hours of class and less than twenty hours a week of work!!!! It almost seems unreal!

Now, if only I can get myself to swords Hall.....  



4 comments:

daku said...

Good luck, D! we know you kick ass, so dazzle them with your brilliance. my thoughts and prayers are with you. SHINE ON, you crazy diamond! (-;

David Von Behren said...

Thanks daniela!!!! I've abandoned Orpheus and belle back in the annals of the underworld...I'm finally moving on!!!!!

daku said...

i'm sure you're flying. btw. this line "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is just the train at the other end" is a work of genius. i'm gonna be quoting this. (-;

David Von Behren said...

Isn't it Genius..Truth be known, I didn't actually write that line. I think basketball player Karl Malone quoted it a few years back while he was playing for the Jazz and Shaq had a dominating game....it is a work of genius though.....as are you. How's the Artist way going? Yeah, morning pages are a bitch! Blogging such a chic cyber alternative.