Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joan of Arc, Drug Mules, and Guns

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.


  1. Your last paragraph gave me chills. I am forever in awe- of you and Joan, both.

  2. Joan of Arc is endlessly fascinating.

    The price of drugs to help people...appalling.

  3. I fantasize that Joan of Arc knew to whom she answered and was absolutely unwavering in her determination. I don't know that that's true, but it's certainly the way I see you and so many other fierce mothers. Thank goodness for you all.


  4. You have taken your life and world around you and you have made art and beauty.

  5. This is beautiful, truly.

    Did you ever read David Guterson's (I think) "Our Lady of the Woods" (or forest--I can't remember)? It's about a girl who sees visions, and the priest who believes her, although it turns out to be something 'mal'-functioning in her brain. It's beautiful and haunting.

  6. lovely. disappointing. pathetic. xoxoxo

  7. I think you share a similar energy and relentless spirit (in advocating for Sophie) with the noble Joan of Arc.



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