It’s Sunday and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.
New York City: Day 51
While I’m still a bit on the achey side, I actually feel like a normal human being today. It’s a fantastic feeling after over a week of wondering if H1N1 was morphing me into some sort of Mutant Blob Mucus Creature.
I’m actually a little bit nervous about returning to classes tomorrow. I’m having visions of my classmates fleeing when they see me approach. Jacob (bless his heart) came to visit me last night, but he wouldn’t come inside the apartment. I was supposed to meet Siri and Mariah in Brooklyn to work on our presentation, but we decided that a Skype meeting would be better, so as not to spread any swine-related germs that may still be lurking. I anticipate being the cohort outcast for a few days. It will probably look something like this:
But every situation has its bright side. I’ve been sleeping away most of my days trying to fight off this curious virus. During those mid-day sleeps, I’ve been having the most vivid dreams. I dreamt yesterday that my sister and I were chasing after a giant, runaway gum-ball that was obviously of some serious significance in our lives. This morning, I was dreaming that Chris came to me, excited for me to hear a new poem he’d written. I only remember the first line: “I think of you as in the north”. The poem continued from there. After waking up this morning, I tried to remember the rest, but I couldn’t. In my dream, he read a few more lines before saying, “And blah blah blah…. you get the idea.” The lingering mental image is still making me laugh. A poet, mid-poem saying, “And blah blah blah… you get the idea.”
I can’t get that line out of my head. “I think of you as in the north.” Chris wrote it in my dream, but I dreamt it, so is it mine? I’m not saying that the line is anything on its own, but it’s certainly something I foresee myself using. And the idea of art produced in a dream (literally!) is a concept I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the majority of the day. It’s wild, really…
My mind’s been in many places today, trying to wrap itself around many things. Mariah, Siri, and I are giving a presentation in the morning on Commedia Dell’Arte, Commedia Erudita, and Machiavelli’s The Mandrake. I’ve fallen in love with masks in general. (Don’t worry. We’re definitely incorporating surgical masks into our presentation.)
But the thing I can’t stop reading about is the mandrake root. Not Machiavelli’s play, but mandrake roots themselves. The mythology and folklore surrounding them is fascinating. Check out Genesis, Chapter 30. Leah uses mandrakes in order to conceive a son with Jacob. There’s one legend that says that mandrakes were formed out of the same clay with which Adam was formed. Since they resemble humans with little root torsos, little root arms, and little root legs, mandrakes were often thought to be used by witches. People get creepy with anything slightly anthropomorphic, don’t they? Myths surrounding this plant are abundant– hang it above your bed to help you sleep better, wear it around your neck to ward off enemies. But (!) be sure to sound a trumpet just as you’re pulling out of the ground. Their shrieks kill people, you know. The tid-bit I found most fascinating is the belief that mandrakes grow only in patches of the earth where semen has fallen from the body of a hanged man. Yeah. You read that correctly.
Perhaps I should’ve studied Mythology and Folklore.
How very cuddly. In an anthropomorphic way.
In preparation for tomorrow’s presentation, tonight’s song goes out to Scaramouche, one of Commedia Dell’Arte’s stock characters. Will you do the fandango?
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