Harbingers

So in my evening down-time, which I’ve actually had some of over the last week, as I try to clear my head from all the grading (which, by the way:

— 2 graduate Cultural Studies projects

— 9 Media Studies term papers

so I didn’t finish yesterday as I’d hoped, but today’s definitely the day, right?), I’ve been rewatching season 3 of Buffy. Somehow I’d managed to forget that Anya showed up that early in the series’s life, and I’d completely forgotten the first emergence of the First, the big bad of the final season.

I got all diverted onto another train of thought, though, by the Bringers, who are in this episode also referred to as the Harbingers. As it turns out, yesterday morning I went to the gym and lifted for the first time in eons — a collapsing arch is currently preventing me from running until I can get into the podiatrist and get a decent orthotic, but that’s a whole other story. There is a point to all this, though: I was reminded for the first time in a while that the brand name of my weightlifting gloves is Harbinger. Which got me thinking.

Can something be a harbinger of anything but badness? Every single time I have looked at these gloves for years now, the phrase “harbinger of doom” has run through my head — not a cheery thought when one is attempting to lift heavy objects. And I can imagine “harbingers of winter” as being a reasonable use of the term — leaves dying, that first snap of cold as everything settles into grayness. But: “harbingers of spring”? I want to say I’ve heard it used, but it seems incongruous. “Harbingers of joy”?

What I’m looking for here is “harbingers of being done with grading so that I can get on with my damn summer already,” but I just keep hitting up against doom instead.

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