Three Important Things I Learned this Weekend

1. Women wear their garter belts under their underpants, thus allowing them to still go to the bathroom with ease. I have been doing it all wrong.

2. On my car, there is a little arrow next to the icon of a gas tank on my gas gauge that points in the direction of my actual gas tank opening. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I pull up to the gas station the wrong way because I’m still, in my head, in the Cavalier.

3. There is a reason Odin spends much of the Havamal talking about right relations between guests and hosts and no time telling you the make-up of the powerful spells he knows, even though, by the time you get to that part–after he’s told you the most successful ways to behave and which sexual conquests of his have gone well and which have not, you kind of get a sense of the Old Poet stepping back from the intimacy you’ve shared up until that moment and saying in a loud voice that both draws you in and excludes you from empathizing with him, “I know I hung from the wind-swept tree, nine whole nights”–that’s what you wish more than anything he was going to share.

And the way those three last words hang in the air, you know you’re switching from practical mundane advice to impractical cosmic advice.

But back to the practical mundane. A reason, I think, that Odin (or the poet of the Havamal, whichever you’re comfortable with) spends so much time on the right relations between guest and host is that there’s so much room for things to go so wrong.

Both guest and host mush have a clear sense of their obligations to each other for things to work. If we head over to the OED, we can see why. Guest and host are practically the same word. Both have a clear foundation in the concept of stranger.

Strangers entering each other’s homes to share the most intimate ordinary rituals… that’s some powerful boundary crossing. No wonder Odin, who never met a boundary that could hold him, is so fascinated by it.

10 thoughts on “Three Important Things I Learned this Weekend

  1. You need to talk about Odin more often, B.

    Well, maybe that would change the tone of TCP a bit too much. But it’s fun to see!

  2. p.s. I know there were other things we learned, but I seem to have already forgotten them!

    Stupid Brain!

  3. I’m going to have to check my car now. I’ve owned it for years but still get confused about where the gas tank is.

  4. i guess this version of the internet doesn’t include

    it’s spelled Valkyrie

  5. Advice on the proper way to wear garter belts and thoughts on Óðinn in one post. Clearly, I should be reading this blog more regularly.

  6. Sterna,

    I’m always trying to educate these folks on the wonders of the Aesir and Vanir.

    They tolerate it, so you can find lots of stuff in the archives, if you skim through them.


Comments are closed.