We are enmeshed in an incredibly complicated web of interdependency. If you awoke to question and examine every web of this interconnection in your immediate surrounds, you would spend hours in bed – your pillows and blankets and bunny slippers have vast histories of becoming and arrival all their own. Throw in a lover and you might as well be John and Yoko.
Naming is part of the primal act of creation and holds profound meaning. Just look at how significant (and upsetting) it is that Jacob’s smoke monster brother hasn’t been named. Living together we agree to certain names for the sake of this shared venture, as you calling coffee herbert and me calling cat herbert just wouldn’t work. However, we inherit a linguistic contract that was signed in a faraway time and place and has surrendered much of its power and meaning. That’s why Butch can assert in Pulp Fiction, “I’m American honey. Our names don’t mean shit.”
Today is Wednesday, and why the hell is that? I say Wednesday, maybe you think Hump Day, to which I’m not entirely opposed. But seriously, why Wednesday, which sounds like Wends Day, which makes me want to go picking blackberries along a country lane, but which generally doesn’t conjure anything besides the hope that you will survive until Friday.
So I took a look, and thank goodness we have etymologists who can help us remember, if not celebrate, these cunning lingual histories. I found the pod cast by Charles Hodgson. Most of us already know that Thursday comes from Thor’s Day and how awesome is that? Get your hammers motherufckers, it’s Thor’s Day!
Well, so, Wednesday is nearly as awesome since it comes from Woden, which is Anglo-Saxon, the Norse name Oden being more familiar, Oden basically being the Norse Zeus, and Thor’s dad. It’s Oden’s Day today, did you have any idea?! Raise the goblet and stroke your beard and think of Valhalla!
And it just so happens that Thor’s brother is Tui. That’s right, Tuesday! We spend our whole middle of the week celebrating Norse gods if you can believe it. Come Friday and it’s time to honor Frigg, a pagan goddess of fertility! And yes, I will resist saying that’s so Friggin cool.
With Saturn Day, Sun Day, and Moon Day, we’re all just a bunch of undercover somnabulistic Pagans, secretly waiting to break out in bacchanal dance any second.
Today we curse Monday, maybe coincidentally celebrate Hump Day, sigh to our cubicle buddies TGIF, and sit inside on Sunday. What fun.
Thought becomes language, language becomes thought, and dead languages belong to dead worlds. I know that to get around I need to know how to answer debit or credit, maybe even whether I think that derivatives should be non-subsidized entities, and that I probably can’t know the etymological and physical history of everything in my daily world.
But I can take little bites, really taste them and go from there. Maybe I want to raise some mead in triumphant salute to that ancient beard today, and maybe I don’t have any interest in honoring a Norse god. If I want to really be authentic to this moment, perhaps I will just honor Wednesday as Wends Day and go for a nice wending walk (too early for blackberries sadly).
In any event, happy Day of Oden Country Lane Hump Day. Please celebrate accordingly.