Friday, November 18, 2016

November 18: Prayer Tunnel, Mr. Tumnus, Son's New Medication

The prayer tunnel was a tunnel fully enclosed by solid snow.  It was cylindrical, and its diameter was the height of man.  Only an Eskimo, and then only very rarely, could survive in the prayer tunnel.  There was, however, no exit or entrance; but I nevertheless understood that if I--if almost anyone, volunteered to enter it, death would follow after a long and bitter struggle.  Inside the tunnel it was killingly cold, and a hollow wind like broadswords never ceased to blow.  But there was little breatheable air, and that soon gone.  It was utterly without light, and from all eternity it snowed the same, fine, unmelting, wind-hurled snow.

Every time I read Dillard's description of the prayer tunnel, it reminds me of two things:  Narnia under the spell of eternal winter and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from November to about April.  Unending cold and wind and snow.  If you don't believe me, come to my house about mid-December.  You'll probably see Mr. Tumnus the faun and Aslan the lion walking down the street, talking about Christmas.

Tonight, the first major winter storm is barreling down on the U. P.  About 3 a.m., the winds will start screaming, and the Trump signs on my neighbor's lawn will hopefully be picked up and carried away to the ice castle of Jadis, the White Witch.  It could happen.  The forecast is for 50- to 60-mile-per-hour gales.  All day long, it's felt like a prelude.  Gray and damp.  Clouds heavy as wet bed sheets.

My son took the first doses of his new medication today.  The pharmacist warned us about sudden drops in blood pressure and uncontrollable sleepiness.  We're keeping a close eye on him this weekend.  In a way, it's like watching for the first snowflake to come roaring out of the sky.  Something's going to change.  Either it will be pleasant--a fairy tale filled with gnomes and talking beavers--or it will be difficult--a blizzard with tornadic snows.

I'm cautiously hopeful.  I didn't really notice any difference in my son's behavior this evening.  He was tired and stubborn, repeating his current catchphrase ("I don't even care").  Yesterday, I attended a meeting with the guidance counselor and my son's teacher.  It was primarily to discuss ways to deal with his sometimes aggressive behaviors.  As I was leaving after the meeting, I thanked my son's teacher for being so patient with him.  "I know he can be very challenging," I said.  I think she could tell I was little down about the whole thing.

She smiled and put her hand on my shoulder.  "But he's worth it," she said.

Saint Marty is thankful tonight for caring teachers.

One of my neighbors

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