“Death is dirty old man who smokes and drinks too much.”
Rose Red

Well, it didn’t end the way I wanted……..but this is the sound of total relief and reinvigoration.

Hell is a blank page and cabin fever doesn’t help. I’ve spent most of a week staring at a screen and keeping to myself and my notes. A long, LONG time of research and preparation built up so much inertia, that I couldn’t write. I felt powerless. I don’t think I ever felt as dismal about my talents as the last few days. Let that be a lesson. Research and preparation is all well in good, but sometimes you have to strike when things are chaotic and messy – in order to keep up the energy and innovation. My brain had a clog and it was painful.

But I’m past it! I won’t go into the details (I’m too tired) or the things I had to do and to think about…but I’m past it, at a clip. But now…I realize I’ll be here another semester. I have two days to have a rough draft…and don’t think I’ll realistically have one done until the beginning of May. Oh well I say. After running (which is getting more invigorating than tiring) I drove around with the top down…one of the best feelings in the world. The world!

Had to study Papa Ghede, the loa spirit of Death in the Vodou pantheon (he plays a bit of a role in the story). He’s the top hat wearing, cool shades donning, copious amounts of rum drinking, cigar smoking spirit of the cemetery. But voodoo folk don’t see him as morbid. He is also the spirit of healing, sex, and humor. He protects children…as they are too small to die. He has a lewd sense of humor, as unpredictable as a child, as dirty as a sailor. When he visits during a Vodou ceremony (by possessing the practioners) he brings a bit of levity to serious affairs. The ridden person takes on his persona, tries to kiss or press up (very suggestively) against all the women, and cause general mischief. But this isn’t for mere entertainment purposes. This is a spirit and a people that come from hard times, death, and a country with a high mortality rate in infants. In the face of that, you have to form a persona, a mask that can smile and laugh at mortality and sexuality. Whether we are in a coffin, making love in a bed, or just born – those are the moments when everything else breaks down and we’re at our most mortal and vulnerable…and Ghede laughs at it.

When you can crack a wicked grin in the face of the worst life has to offer, face mortality and see things through the purple shades…well that’s powerful magic.