Who’s More Somber: An Incan Mummy or Sigmund Freud?

My truck is still stuck on the ice in front of my house, icicles dripping from the doors down to the ground.  Inside is a stray program from a Guthrie performance, a few receipts, and my beloved hula girl stationed on the dashboard.  It’s a somber sight, like one of those frozen mummies found in the Andes, hair still intact and blowing about its face as if it’s merely resting, crouched in the snow.

My goodness, that was creepy.  Sorry, guys.  I’ll talk about my mummy obsession some other time.  (read an interesting article here, though)

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not to give you nightmares.  The purpose is to explain why exactly I haven’t been posting very frequently, and to use said explanation to gush a little bit about Virginia Woolf.  Because I’ve never done that before.

You see, although my Woolf class ended last semester, I didn’t feel done with her.  She’s a difficulty lady to get to know.  Since I have to complete a capstone project this semester anyway (in order to graduate with honors), I decided to take the opportunity to expand my existing Woolf paper from last December.  And because honors capstones have to be interdisciplinary, I get to bring my minor to the party and beef up my paper with historical context.

I won’t give away the paper topic, because I’m overly confident and wish to pursue publication someday if I possibly can.  But it concerns Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and makes arguments about the nature of domesticity in the novel, and the nature of domesticity in the late Victorian era.  

I’ve been spending my days reading luscious books about fainting couches and powder puffs and beaded dresses.  There are grim parts too, of course:  there was a certain amount of oppression in the Victorian household, especially if you were a woman.  And there’s also Freud, who’s literally unavoidable if you wish to study the era, and who doesn’t make it a point to be particularly cheery.

Generally, though, it feels good to dive once again into a research project of this caliber.

Bloodletting

The nurse didn’t see fit to tell me until later that I had bled all over arm, armrest, and

the corner of my sweatshirt.  She could tell, I suspect, that I was a little green,

and so withheld until it was over.

Then she called another nurse over to mop me up,

While I looked the other way and breathed deeply.

Still, I knew.

It’s not the needle, really.

For Cam it is.  He went pale on the way to the snack table and had to be bolstered up

and ushered over to a corner cot.

For me, it’s the bloodletting.  The concept of draining blood,

independent of instruments used.

It’s the bag full of warm blackness, which the nurses toss around like it’s a water balloon.

It’s the stacks and stacks of them, sorted and labeled and shipped away.

And so when I spurted (when the needle was removed, or so I am told),

It was too much.

I was a carcass draining, and it was too much.

Naturally, I fainted, even before I could make a joke about Find Me My Smelling Salts.