* Thank the Goddess that Mercury is now out of retrograde. I’ve known some really retro Mercuries, but this one almost took the cake. “Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away:
And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!” Henry V, Scene III.
* Two Americas. One of the most interesting things about living in my shining city on a swamp is how history and important figures interweave our everyday lives. This afternoon, a firm-wide email warned to avoid certain streets, as the President was speaking at a local hotel and there would be motorcade delays. Driving home a by a different route, I was at a stoplight next to the Ritz Hotel. At the corner, I watched Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talking to a homeless man. I’m a fan of well-dressed men and Harry’s gorgeous, long, cashmere, navy-blue coat caught my eye on this hypothermia alert day. The homeless man was wearing a parka and knit hat; he was trying to keep all of his possessions together on an old hotel luggage cart. As the light changed and Mr. Reid and his attendants walked away, I handed the homeless man a few dollars and a card with information about hypothermia services. It’s a fascinating city, contrasts and all.
* As always, What Echidne Said. If she’s not on your regular bookmark list, she should be.
* Look at this picture from NASA of last night's aurora borealis and tell me the Earth’s not enchanted. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
* The truth about Iceland building roads around places sacred to the elves is a bit more complicated than originally reported.
* I wonder if Terri Windling is right that, “You can’t write fantasy on purpose.” I mostly write legal argument — a form of prose that is most definitely written on purpose. I do agree with Ms. Windling that:
At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence. A scientist who creates a monster in the laboratory; a librarian in the library of Babel; a wizard unable to cast a spell; a space ship having trouble getting to Alpha Centauri: all these may be precise and profound metaphors of the human condition. Fantasists, whether they use ancient archetypes of myth and legend or the younger ones of science and technology, may be talking as seriously as any sociologist — and a good deal more directly — about human life as it is lived, and as it might be lived. For after all, as great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.
When I write (and read) legal prose, I want specificity, exactness, knife-edge-sharp reasoning, and (and here’s where it gets a bit mysterious) a deep and loving dance with The Law, doing what one of my law school profs called Learning to Love the Law. It is something one learns, an acquired taste for the bitter over the sweet.
When I read anything else, I want the even deeper truth that can be told without citations.
* What Digby Said about hope. I’m reminded of Emily Dickinson’s assertion that:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops – at all -
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
I’m going to say that hope has been demanding crumbs and much more from me ever since I could remember, but like Rumi, my loving is always running after my life shouting, “What a bargain! Let’s buy it!”
* If I were going to be anywhere near Ann Arbor, I’d go.
* If you like Phryne Fisher and Inspector Jack Robinson, and who DOESN’T love Phrynee’s attitude towards life, her clothes, her hats! And who doesn’t love Jack Robinsons’s well, erm, whew, . . . everything . . . is it just me or is it warm in here? Well, at any rate, if you like Phryne and Jack, you’ll love Dorothy Sayers‘ Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Whimsey. Although, I must admit that, put to the choice, I’ll take Bunter even over Lord Peter because, um, well, omelets and hot water bottles.
Start with the books. They’re worth it for the line, “If anyone ever does marry you, it’ll be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle.” That’d be a good reason to marry a man, IMHO.
Is it just me, or are the twenties due for a huge comeback?
Picture found here.