|Joan of Arc at Prayer, John Everett Millais, 1865|
Some say that Joan of Arc, or Saint Joan, received her visions directly from God. Others say that Joan of Arc might have had temporal lobe epilepsy and with it came the intense and revelatory hallucinations that directed and guided her to save her people. I don't know, but I imagine that in every way, Joan of Arc was guided by Love, a godly Love -- something divine and certainly other-directed. I was thinking about Joan of Arc and her visions and her epilepsy while I was taking a shower this morning. I was also thinking about the little card I got in the mail the other day along with the letter to Anthem Blue Cross from The Neurologist. The card was a discount card from the manufacturer of clobazam, the drug that The Friend Who Loves Jane Austen recently ferried across the great Canadian-American border for me. The letter is part of a larger grievance against Anthem to add the drug to Sophie's covered formulary so that it's affordable. The little card gives the user a $50 discount monthly up to a year for the drug, and I wondered whether the drug manufacturer thought itself kindly or cooperative in making this gesture. I thought how the nearly $1,000/month price it charges in the United States compared to the $63/month price it charges in Canada suggested that only the proverbial 1% could afford the drug. The rest of us are supposed to be grateful for the discount. When I stepped out of the shower, the aroma of the gingerbread cake I'd put into the oven wafted through the steam in the bathroom, and as I toweled off, I thought of Joan and her visions and her epilepsy and her zeal. I thought of the families, again, in Newtown, one of whom is dear to me, and I thought of the people who have rushed, with zeal and fear, to buy up guns much like the ones used to slaughter little children, before they are, perhaps, out of reach.
Guns, I thought, for the free and the brave.
Quelle rackette, Joan of Arc might have said, as she climbed on her horse and drew her sword, her eyes directed outward, her brain's marvelous mapping obedient to the Divine.