October is the cruelest month
In the past, two or three times, I have written a few words here about T.S. Eliot. Once, I specifically concentrated on his poetic masterpiece, "The Waste Land." The first segment of the poem, "The Burial of the Dead," begins with these words: "April is the cruelest month ...."
After those words of his, I have written here that for me the cruelest month is not April. It is October.
October is the cruelest month.
Some would say that this is imagination. Or, that this is coincidence. Or, that this is mere superstition which I have come to delude myself as fact. Call it what you will, but, to me, it is part of my reality. As many bad things happen to me in October as they do during the other eleven months combined. It is a pattern of my life, and has proved to be as real as it is true that the sun rises in the East.
Leaving October behind for the moment, about ten days ago I watched a film on television entitled, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." It was based on an actual incident. How actual, I have no idea. Emily Rose's initial encounter with "demons" began at precisely 3:00 a.m., when she awoke alone in her room to the scent of something burning. The time, 3:00 a.m., came up a few more times during the movie. As is my habit, I also was on my computer "working" at the same time I was watching the movie. One eye on the film, one on the computer screen, so to speak. Therefore, I did not catch the significance of 3:00 a.m.
That night, I went to sleep on my "love seat" bed. It is not unusual for me to awaken approximately four hours after I go to bed (old, odd habit), so when I woke up in the middle of the night, I thought it probably was about four hours later. I said to myself, literally out loud, "At least it is not three a.m." I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was three a.m. -- exactly, precisely, to the minute. I am not kidding you. A real shudder and a real shiver ran through my body. Then, I laughed, literally out loud, curled up and went back to sleep before I would start thinking about it and scare myself silly.
I later assumed this was my subconscious mind reacting to what I had heard in the film. A bit strange, though, is it not?
In the morning, I did a bit of research to learn what, if any, significance the time 3:00 a.m. had in religious lore. I learned it is called the "devil's hour." There is belief among some that Jesus Christ died at 3:00 p.m., and that the opposite hour on the clock belongs to the devil.
It was a few days after this event that I really began to think about it. This was not a dream. This was not something I had thought about for a single second after the film and before I went to bed that night. Just as a spark might light a literal fire, so, too, might a word light a metaphorical fire.
A few days ago, I wrote these words to a friend: "Mankind wishes to explore the depths of the oceans and outer space, but the greater mysteries, I believe, are inside our minds and probably within fourth, fifth, sixth dimensions that so far are impenetrable."
So, what do a poem by T.S. Eliot, bad experiences during the month of October, a film about an exorcism, the devil's hour and my awakening at 3:00 a.m. have in common? Well, me, of course. I am the common element. At least, the only common element of which I am aware in this set of circumstances.
I guess the bottom line here is while you concentrate on your reality, I concentrate on moving the curtains back from my reality to see what might be behind and beyond them.
I wonder why more people are not trying to do this in their lives.
Forgive my sarcasm, but most of them probably are too busy trying to please someone other than themselves.
On second thought, do not forgive my sarcasm, but, rather, congratulate me for having managed to survive another October. It ends today, but I do not.
"The Triple Fool" by John Donne
I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry;
But where's that wise man, that would not be I,
If she would not deny?
Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain;
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when 'tis read.
Both are increased by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.