Saturnalia

It’s Saturday night! Even though I work eccentric shifts at eccentric times eccentrically it doesn’t prevent me from getting swept up in the ancient idea of how the week should be. The day of Saturn, agricultural God of bounty. A little mini Saturnalia every week, where you behave as if you never have to work – as if the cornucopia was overflowing. Time to sacrifice the prize ox, blow £200 on cocktails, have an orgy, order a £30 pizza at midnight and only eat 3 slices, dance wild, get naked, laugh, cry and howl.

I’ve been learning lines and now I’m in the bath. That involves hot nudity which is a start, though not necessarily what The Romans had in mind.

Despite the glorious day, I barely left the house. Thankfully a friend/extended family member visiting from Jersey was nearby. I don’t get to see her often despite the best of intentions. It provided me with an excuse to get a little bit of sun on my face and air in my lungs. I walked to Sloane Square for lunch at The Botanist. She kindly bought me a bloody good Waldorf salad after I tried to get away with the “I really feel like *insert cheapest thing on the menu*”. She saw right through me. Lettuceycheesygrapeygoodness. For today that salad was as close as I was getting to sacrificing the prize ox. It was great.

We laughed and talked for a good while and it was a tonic especially as I’ve been deliberately very solitary this week. But after a while I went back home to my self imposed drudgery. I’m on a mission. While mumbling lines to myself in the living room and occasionally bursting into unaccompanied song, I have got myself within a hair’s breadth of finishing all the cataloguing of all the comics so I can offload the damn things and get my living room back. It’s worth losing a bit of fun over this and despite myself I’m extremely good at it now. I’ve registered over 2,500 of the bloody things and logged them all correctly. The next stage is to get extremely good at eBay. This will be helped immeasurably by the fact that, having lived here for a decade or more, I have only just discovered that there’s a post office NEXT DOOR. I usually walk half an hour but no. The Chelsea Pensioners have had their own post office all along, and it’s open to the public.

Not tomorrow it isn’t though. Tomorrow is the ancient day of the sun, our great creator Ra. The Lord’s Day where we rest and give thanks for his life giving rays. And then the moonday calls us back to our regular cycle, the day of Tiw,  gets us back into the struggle, Wodens day challenges us and reminds us that wisdom comes through sacrifice, Thor then gives us his strength on Thor’s day, before Frigg closes the week with her kindness and nurture, letting us off the hook a bit before the next mini Saturnalia.

You can tell my mind has been in comics and fantasy worlds today. These vast and complicated ancient repeating stories that contain all the parables and myths that we have habitually understood our existences through since we’ve been around as a species. We need stories to make sense of the world. It’s why it baffles me how people so frequently hate or kill over an unprovable idea.

Joseph Campbell should be compulsory reading in schools despite his overly dense prose. Perhaps because of it. I was going to take a photo of Hero with a Thousand Faces but I think I’ve lent it out again. Here’s a load of random glorious fantasy instead.

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Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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