Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Three Weeks

Halloween always marks the beginning of my least personal least favorite holiday, 'The Three Weeks.' The three weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving are, for me, the worst time of every year. The lack of sunlight and eternal gray, the dying of the trees and absence of birds, the wet rain colder than any snow... I find November so much more difficult than winter, when we've all adjusted to this new world and have occasional outbursts of snow, color, good cheer, and light.
Bad things just seem to happen to me during The Three Weeks in manners that seem almost occult. I won't give many examples... but last year's Three Weeks were made still much worse by an unexpected and very messy breakup, devastating enough to make me move into my childhood home for nine months because the general loneliness of a small apartment was just too much to bear. I'm now back home for three months, and the mess I left last 'three weeks' is still not picked up - dishes, trashbags, bedsheets... it's just a wonderful life to come back to... and very difficult to resume in any way that invests faith that things can improve.
Judaism has its own 'Three Weeks of Mourning' in the three weeks before the Ninth of Av, the summer holiday that commemorates the destruction of the two Israelite Temples in Jerusalem. On the one hand, it's very difficult in a modern context to mourn what our more skeptical era would perceive to be a malodorous slaughterhouse. On the other hand, it is a commemoration of all the time immemorial destruction of imperial occupiers, who slaughter for glory rather than sacrifice.
Can the world exist without this kind of senseless domination and subjugation, or is there just a wheel of humiliation, where some people are inevitably up at the expense of people who are down? History so far would seem to show the world can't, and yet no decent person could get out of bed in the morning without believing that it can. It's a very cruel paradox, and one with no real resolution.
Tomorrow I will be kicking off the festivities with a visit to the cardiologist to investigate my omnipresently accelerated heartbeat and shortness of breath, even after losing roughly twenty pounds in twenty weeks. This is roughly par for the course. I suspect the news will not be all great. We're all not supposed to believe in hexes but sometimes it's difficult...
Due to a mixture of health, disenchantment, and anxiety, I barely socialize anymore, my once extremely social self finding that all but the closest friends and family are extremely anxiety inducing unless indulging in substances that are clearly deleterious to my body.
There aren't that many consolations left to me, and the paradox is that the more you isolate yourself, the more you ask yourself 'where did it go so wrong?' and 'was there ever a way to right this ship?'
And so I grit my teeth, put my head down, bare whatever bad news comes - as it does every single year..., and await the end of The Three Weeks and the coming of Thanksgiving and Holidays, hoping that my resolve to not indulge in food and drink will hold, and at the same time any celebrations coming my way will give any satisfaction without the haze of food and drink to abet it.
What shitshow is in store for me this year?

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