Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Truly, there is neither problem nor trouble, not in any real sense, but if there were it would likely be housed somewhere in our amyclaean silence, in our refusal to mention the holes in our defenses until it's almost too late. Maybe we should mention the arrival of the Spartans when we notice them lurking around our walls, instead of waiting until they've invited themselves over for dinner and pillaging. As an experiment.

We all already know that I'm incapable of even having a hand without showing it to everyone, but there's got to be a middle ground somewhere. Periander, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, concealed his burial spot through a remarkable trail of carnage, hiring two men to kill him and then four to kill those two, and then another bunch to find and kill those four. The plan worked, in that we still don't know where Periander was buried, but I'm just not sure that all of the mayhem and baroque planning is the way to go about getting anything done. If Periander hadn't been such a jerk his whole life, he probably could have just found a faithful friend or two that would divert a river over his grave and then take the secret to their own final resting places. Not to belabor my point.

Somewhere between Periander and putting all of my cards on billboards, I think. Figuring out the moral instead of writing out instructions. In all of that space in the middle there, there has to be a reasonable place to settle.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I think that we've probably taken our farming metaphors too far, that we've moved from sowing seeds to slaughtering lambs, and really our whole economy is wrapped up in vending those tiny lamb pieces even though we've convinced ourselves that our worth is just measured in wheat and cotton and soybeans. But if we planted ourselves in our fields, I don't think we'd be so fond of what we'd sprout.

But then there are things in the world like that salt mine in Poland, with a cathedral and statues and chandeliers carved out of salt. All of those miners down there over all of those years, coaxing shapes from the walls because it wasn't as though they were doing anything else. Just, you know, farming table salt for a few hundred years. All of this under our feet that the planet--the same one with the supervolcanoes and intraplate earthquakes--has arranged for. To keep us guessing, I suppose, in the way that everything that's already big just gets bigger until it turns out to be so small you could fit it in your pocket.

If, as I fear, my bones really are made of cement and the only roads that I won't sink into are the hard ones, then maybe I should plan a trip to the Valley of Flowers. You know? To sink into the soil someplace beautiful, plant myself somewhere hard to find. Become a statue, or a signpost, or a warning.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On Wednesday a lady walked up to me while I was waiting for a bus. She didn't look crazy, so you can imagine my surprise when she squinted at me for a couple of minutes and then, nodding, let me know that it's lucky I'm so thin, because otherwise the skirt I was wearing would make me look like a fat pregnant lady. Her civic duty apparently done, she kept walking down the block. The woman standing next to me caught my eye, and the only thing to do was laugh.

Morale around here has been low lately, and I notice that this is when my list of irrational fears is the loudest. All of the rational ones, too. Supervolcanoes and intraplate earthquakes and how the ground is basically waiting to explode and then swallow us up all the time, even when it seems like it shouldn't. After all, it isn't as though it hasn't all happened before. The planet is hostile, if more friendly that all of the alternatives.

It's the thinking around it that makes me so tired, to the clear spaces where gravity never fails but also doesn't hang quite so heavy on the shoulders.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spiders need breakfast too

Sometimes...sometimes I get distracted by the misdirection, rolling hearts between our fingers like marbles, absently, eyes elsewhere. Not even noticing all of the juggling we could be doing, if we knew how.

Sometimes the nights smell of lavender and jasmine and brine, of the undersides of newly fallen leaves, sweetly rotting moldy things and bourbon and fire. And maybe that's when the moon leans in close to watch, I can't be sure, but I'm pretty certain that even still the only thing left to do then is stand very still and wait. For whatever happens next, or doesn't.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So, I never learned my times tables. I've been faking it my whole life, and then recently a friend who is a teacher mentioned being appalled that her students didn't know their times tables, and it felt like the time to come clean. I still count everything on my fingers, or on little dots made next to the number I'm trying to multiply. I know most of the fives, and a bunch of the threes because of Schoolhouse Rock. (Well, mostly because of the Blind Melon cover, if I'm being perfectly honest.) The rest is just a total mystery.

The school I started at believed less in math and science and more in praying and coloring, and when I switched to a public school in the middle of second grade they were already on division. Since asking for help might just make me burst into flames--you never know--I didn't mention it to anyone. And then not knowing how to multiply just got to be embarrassing, so I continued to not mention it. Still, multiplying is a thing that comes up all the time, and I'm starting to think that my times tables might be a useful thing to learn. Memorizing them can't be more difficult than continuing to fake it for the rest of my life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just in case 10/10/10 actually is lucky, I'm glad that I spent part of it celebrating a wedding, all attractive people and funny speeches and happiness. I love weddings, and how there is a specific set of jokes that are only amusing at weddings, and watching families and friends all mixed up in one place and dancing.

Of course, after all of that is the part of leaving the wedding, alone in the unseasonably heavy rain with a pink umbrella and a black trench, because that part has to come some time. Anyway, it's more cinematic like that, all curls and contrast and a tiny girl on a wide empty street. And maybe that's its own kind of luck.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

You'll have to forgive me, but I have been researching bat fungus kind of accidentally for something related to school, and so I have bats and fungus and their particular relationship on the brain. (There is no connection between getting an MPA and learning a lot about bat fungus, but somehow this is not stopping me. Not that that surprises anyone.)

Anyway, the thing about this fungus is that it's creeping all over all of these hibernating bats in North America, colonizing their wings and throwing off the balance of what keeps them alive during the winter. They won't necessarily even realize it, instead just getting colder and colder and not waking up. Similar bats in Europe get the same thing, but it doesn't kill them.

They think that maybe the bats in Europe have had it longer and learned how to survive around it. And now it is here, and these bats have to learn to do the same. Though how one is supposed to learn to survive something that happens during sleep is anyone's guess. I suppose it's mostly a matter of waiting.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Our merry band of reprobates did Orcas right, with the weather on our side and all of that scenery just begging to be looked at. On Saturday morning a deer walked right up to our porch like it was going to ask for a cup of sugar, which is the closest I have ever been to a deer. On Saturday night we sat around the fire with cabin tea warming our hands and Vacation Josh making everyone laugh until they cried. In between, we wandered through the woods to some waterfalls, played some ping pong, and I managed to successfully catch not even one fish off of the dock. (It took me until I got to the dock with my fishing pole to realize that I have never caught a fish in my life and would have no idea what to do if I did. I mean, aside from shriek and probably drop my fishing pole in the water.) There were at least two impromptu dance parties, a couple of rounds of Celebrity, chili, and mimosas. Although I have no basis for comparison, I'm pretty sure that Orcas is my favorite of the islands.