Living the Contradictions
09 November 2013
As it's just before the ides of November (the 13th), Fall Semester MMXIII is coming to an end. In my class on Greek Tragedy (as I call it; its official moniker in the course catalogue is "Theater of the Greeks"), I've had the unstated goal (i.e., not one listed in bullet-point form on the official syllabus under the "Goals and Objectives" section) is that, far from my students' working definition of "bad things and dead bodies at the end," ancient Greek tragedy is about contradictions, about living with and in them and trying, with our poor and definitely inadequate poor human tools, to make sense of them.
Maybe that should be the final exam question.
Or maybe I just did what I failed to do last week due to having one h-uvva cold, write up the topic for essay #2.
Life raising our Charlie guy is always about living the contradiction, in really dramatic (pun not exactly intended) ways and more mundane ones.
Having said plenty about the first, here is something about the second.
All through a typically long, hot, sticky, muggy, insect-filled, heavy-air Jersey summer, Charlie wore his heavy winter bike gloves, his "winters." Jim coined that term a few summers ago when Charlie refused to give said gloves up in June; when he took to going outside always wearing an old pair of blue fleece gloves.
We weaned him off those winters but not of the big black bike gloves this past June. When July rolled around, we shrugged and Charlie was as resolute as ever, if hot, through August and a summery September.
Now as it's November, we are deep into autumn and temperature lows are hitting the freezing mark routinely. Charlie has been proclaiming his wish for "no sweatshirt" really loudly, whether boarding the bus or his bike. I've had one successful episode of getting him to wear his new zip-up-the-front blue kangaroo pocket hoodie and zero getting him to wear a sweatshirt. So we've been providing Charlie with long-sleeve t-shirts and he's been assenting. I wouldn't say he was toasty warm at the start of Saturday's mornings Jersey horse country bike ride but doing 16 miles, some of it uphill, can make you warm and glad you're not overburdened with extra layers.
Besides, Charlie had, courtesy of his winters, warm hands all the way.