The equinox has turned, winter’s turned to spring, and that bright evening star visible for several weeks in the western sky now graces the darkness before the break of dawn. That evening star was Venus, named for the goddess of Love, but tonight feels more like the realm of Erebos, god of the primeval darkness, whose wife was Nyx, the goddess of Night, who spreads her dark mists to the world’s farthest reaches.

Take heart. Each morning the darkness is dispelled by their daughter Hemera, who scatters the mist to let the sunlight shine through. So the sun will come out tomorrow.

But tonight the dark prevails, and it’s a moonless sky, and strange black clouds hang low, and coyotes yipping in a distant field, and I look out my window and I see something move, God knows what, and I hear another sound, but this time it sounds closer, and it more like a howl, so such a night belongs to the man who called himself Howlin’ Wolf.

I just listened to one of his greatest songs, “I Asked for Water (But She Gave Me Gasoline,” with its smoky, mysterious, fated story, its spooky vocal, its swampy, foggy, music and unavoidable beat — and its long black hearse — and he asked her for water — and its church bells tolling — and she brought him gasoline…and the Wolf’s howl is the sound of night, mingling with the wind and rustling of things unseen in the gloom.

Here’s a video of the Wolf singing one of his most famous songs:

Lock your doors. Lock your windows. Build a big fire in the hearth. Hide your women. Here comes the Wolf!


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