Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Alice, Mystery, Wonderland

It is to Alice’s credit that she doesn't hesitate for a moment to discard her preconceptions when she comes across situations that patently refute them. In doing so, she displays an admirable readiness to encounter reality on its own terms, a receptive cast of mind that many philosophers would include among the most important “intellectual virtues” or character traits that assist in the discovery of truth.
George Dunn and Brian McDonald in Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast
via Brain Pickings 
I don't know what the hell was wrong with me yesterday that I felt so upset the entire day. I happened to read a bit more about the high school football rapists in some godforsaken town in this country and I also listened to some economists talk about the cost of the Iraq war -- not just in dollars but in lives lost, both Iraqis and Americans. I heard Terri Gross interview someone talking about the toll of that war and the one in Afghanistan on literally hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and how that toll will be tolling for decades and decades. I briefly thought about George W. Bush whacking weeds on his ranch in Texas and Dick Cheney exulting with no regrets at the evil he wrought. I wished that they, like the two young football players who raped a drunk sixteen year old girl could sit in a jail cell with regret imposed on them like a pall. If I were an evangelical, I'd pray for the soul of America which seems, on some days, to have been swallowed up and spit back out in the form of people fighting for their right to protect themselves with assault weapons. I don't know what the hell was wrong with me yesterday other than that, the news. I took a walk in my neighborhood by the purple lavender bush scraggly on the Orthodox lawn. I ran my hand over the papery pink bougainvillea draped over a chain link fence and squinted my eyes at a Louisiana sheriff's car parked alone. The encyclopedia I carry with me told me that vampires could very possibly be in that house behind the car. I might have eaten a dark-capped fungus and shrunk to a size commensurate with a long tunnel, the dark a mystery, light at the end.


  1. I wish I could blame how I feel on fungi. What the hell IS that sheriff from LA doing in your neighborhood? Something to do with Duck Dynasty, perhaps.

  2. i feel sometimes as if i have landed in a parallel universe, much as Alice did, and i am screaming soundlessly to get back to the one where i imagine things make more sense. because especially when you put it the way you do here, it is absurdly nonsensical and tragically so. it's hardest when things are clearest, and you had a day of piercing clarity it seems—or many such days, you being you. if only bush and cheney could glimpse what you have. i doubt they ever will.

  3. 'the news' usually causes a great funk to arise in me, too. Often, I have to take a news vacation to maintain my balance. I do what you have done, walk the neighbor, take it the sights and smells of the plants and take delight in beautifully landscaped yards. or, 20 minutes of lap swimming -- that helps too.

  4. It's the light at the end that's always so elusive to me - I feel like I can never reach it.

  5. Well, I know why I am in a funk. Two of my favorite characters in The Game of Thrones book I am reading were killed off. I planned to steer my way back to equanimity by watching a few episodes of True Blood, only to realize the DVD set I purchased was for Season Four, which I have already watched. And without vampire porn to distract me my day just got darker and darker.

  6. How bizarre. If you ever get the story behind the Louisiana Sheriff, I'd love to know. Maybe that car is a movie prop.

    Believe me, I understand about the news. I was torturing myself last night watching John McCain expound about the Iraq war. He basically said MORE intervention was needed from the beginning, not less, pinned the WMD fiasco on Colin Powell, criticized Obama for pulling out (even though that's what the American voters wanted!) and advocated for us to intervene in Syria. I do not get it. These people never learn. It's like they live in their own parallel universe of greedy mendacity.



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