Almost every February I go through some kind of phase in which I want nothing more than to clean out the Augean Stables of my life and find some kind of bedrock. I'm not sure what prompts it, exactly. Maybe it's the light returning, maybe it's the cold not yet going away, or maybe it's the lull between the holiday season and springtime. Doesn't matter, really.
Sometimes a ruse I had been maintaining for a while had become pointless, and I was ready to let it drop. At other times, a line of interpretation I had had about something or someone had run out of steam, and I was put in a position of rethinking matters afresh. Sometimes these two went hand in hand. Things had to change.
It's happening again, even though it's still January.
It's fine though.
In Southwest Germany, Fastnacht, which now has been tied to pre-Lent practices, was originally a festival of driving out winter. Unlike carnevale or Mardi Gras, which were more on the order of "party hard before saying goodbye to the flesh," Fastnacht is marked, in part, by dressing up as various grotesque figures which make their appearance and are then sent on their way out of the town. The monsters are confronted in full daylight, seen for what they are, and then are sent packing.
Time to eye my monsters head on and then show them the door, too.