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Hotter than the devil's drawers
Hey! What keeps you going?
For me it’s hard to say.
At this very moment it’s writing this newsletter, but who knows what it will become later.
Before diving into that thought, I want to bring up the nostalgia found in the mornings after a trip. The feeling of old dust settling on sheets after shifting floors from hostile hotels and hostels.
Travel on trains,
Sleeping on planes,
Late night taxis.
The motion blurs and bleeds into the return of the routine. The inevitable march of time into scheduled hours and the minutiae of minutes.
The summer sun doesn’t make it any easier either. Rigging the game and forcing a bet against the house on a pair of twos, going anything but gently into that good night.
That’s where I am now.
Fighting the heat again. Fan on full blast as I work through my thoughts. Organizing a week after a weekend away and wondering whether the colors are as beautiful to you as they are in my mind’s eye.
In Besnowed, there is a steady stream of stress and anxiety that runs through most of the book. A part of that is - at least for me - the natural result of a long-awaited family reunion.
The weight of every what-could-have-been forcing itself upon our life against the odds of all the unforeseen consequences in innocuous actions.
That nervousness is concentrated within the dreamcatcher as it drifts through the chapters. A recurring reminder of Swefen’s regret. The one thing making the trip home to Besniwod imperfect and fractured.
The pain of that emotion stirs and stews, flaring into nightmares and night terrors that paint somber shades over some of the celebrations.
An exaggerated reaction caused by stimuli outside any single person’s control.
Yet even in the darkest moments shrouded in doubt, hope lights a flame and love conquers all.
My recent journey made me relive a taste of that. Traveling through multiple stops and destinations, something was bound to be lost or forgotten along the way.
In our case it wasn’t a dreamcatcher, but a key part of the morning routine. Nothing too important in and of itself, but a small mistake tumbling into a rushed Monday and an off-balance commute.
While the toiletry is easy to find and replace, the added weight to the week will surely impact moods for nights and days.
An unwelcome annoyance at best.
Swefen, on the other hand, finds it much harder to see his mistake as a simple annoyance. Losing track of the dreamcatcher feels like a personal failure and he struggles to overcome the negativity digging through his mind.
⚠ SPOILERS BELOW ⚠
However, when the dreamcatcher is finally found, it is not a momentous event.
After building up emotions that seep into the holiday, Zori end up finding it stowed away, stuffed somewhere between her belongings in a messy suitcase.
The calm conclusion is less about grounding everything and more a way to show there was never much missing in the first place.
Family, friends, meals, and snow were all the gifts anyone wanted or needed. The monster in Swefen’s head well beyond his control, but also of his own making.
That’s not to say the moral is meant to be that Swefen should have just gotten over it. On the contrary, I wanted to emphasize how there is no easy way to overcome those powerful negative emotions.
But there is relief in finding an understanding. Letting the fog settle and seeing the love shared between everyone he knows.
Peacefully winding down before returning to the daily routine behind the stone walls of Veranum.
⚠ SPOILERS ABOVE⚠
No matter how convoluted the path, there’s always a way home. The changes in who we are and how we live matter less than the time we spend together.
I wanted Besnowed to highlight that idea.
A reminder that against a steady flow or a raging current, no one can stop or stall the passing of the seasons.
Constant flux defining ourselves and our interactions as what they are becoming rather than what they are.
Even if the philosophy is fractured in fragments, Heraclitus and his words are as powerful to me now as they were to scholars many millennia ago.
I should add, I don’t expect everyone to share my thoughts or reach the same conclusion.
All I hope is that you enjoy the time you spend with my story.
Escaping the heat, gently floating downstream, and betting on whatever may be or is becoming.
Until next time.
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