Not long ago, I did some dog sitting and some cat sitting respectively for some family friends of mine, reaffirming for me that I might actually want a menagerie of animals. Recently, I have taken to doing the Times crossword puzzle. The Times crossword is like a game of monopoly: you never actually finish it. The crossword puzzle starts off easily and then gets progressively harder throughout the series, presumably to match the growing terribleness of the work week.
One of my classes is the “Perils of Passion: Ancient Greek Wisdom for Today’s Troubled Times.” As you can imagine there’s been much discussion of democracy in action, but also much discussion of the defects of leaders and sexually predatory behavior then and now. So far, the class has consisted of me pouring over girthy volumes of books, reading about the history of ancient Greece, encountering words I’ve never seen before.
I yearn for the day in which the Times crossword asks me what the ancient Greek word for a non-Greek speaker was, so that I can fill in the word “barbarian” and apply the ancient Greek wisdom I have learned so far.
Otherwise, I’ve been reading through Flannery O’Connor pieces that I may or may not have seen before throughout my career as a student. During a light day I made dinner for my family, Cacio e Pepe and steak tips with bleu cheese, then I drank hot chocolate that I made on the stove while I watched “Murder on the Orient Express” (the Kenneth Branagh version).
I’m trying to figure out how, if any way, I can learn from this time and use it for the better. I kind of think that reflecting on this time and learning from it is a bit overrated, but not wholly unworthy of trying. I’m not sure what to make of all of these disappointments. I could sharpen my brain, cause some trouble, and make my own fun whenever the opportunity presents itself, not unlike the gutsy heroines of the novels that I’ve read, but those things are always so much easier said than done.
Regardless of what I end up doing, I will, in the meantime, be reading my Flannery O’Connor and my Herodotus. I’ll see what ideas I get from those.
The Tragic Queen,