Catawampuses, Moths, and Moonroads

image via The Carterhaugh School

But if there is to be no modus vivendi, if the battle between the crocodile of Realism and the catawampus of Romance is to be fought out to the bitter end–why, in that Ragnaruk, I am on the side of the catawampus.” ~Andrew Lang

I have been out of sorts, to say the least, lately. Adventures in Prehistoric Epidemiology is an ongoing battle to clear Bodach and Púca of giardia, and then Oisín developed an eye issue (it’s been cleared, he’s fine), and we had to change vet practices in the middle of everything, and it’s just been marrow-deep exhausting. 0/10, do not recommend.

Trying to find time, energy, and maybe half a spoon to work with while dealing with 6 solid weeks (and counting) of feline medical drama has been challenging, to say the least. I figured out a portable set up for working outside the studio, but dredging up an idea of any kind has felt like trying to pull a mammoth out of a tar pit with broken chopsticks and a piece of thread.

To be honest, everything has felt like that, lately, not just creatively. Yesterday I hit the point where I was so tired, in pain, and just plain miserable from wrestling with the crocodile of reality (yes, I’m taking liberties with Lang’s quote) that I wanted to cry. So, I pulled out my tarot deck and asked for some directions.

It told me to go take a drive and clear my head and I’d feel better, for the love of little orange pumpkins. Yes, I listened. It was right, too. I got a good 50 miles of sun and wind and movement, and I saw an old house that was growing pumpkins along its white picket fence and there was a big, beautiful, bright orange pumpkin right there next to the road, and it was exactly what I needed to scrape some of the sludge off my brain.

While driving, I started thinking about a post from The Carterhaugh School I’d read a while back, and when I got home I dug it out. I got thinking about catawampuses, and cheshire cats, and roads made of moonlight, and moths, and pumpkins, and the way that the smells of caramel apples, fried dough, sun-baked midway dust, and autumn leaves combine into one of the best smells in the world, and….

and then I remembered why I am, and will always be, Team Catawampus. Reality (and Realism) is so often harsh and exhausting and leaves one drowning in tar. Give me the catawampus, and it’s grinning tabby cousin, any day.