Friday, August 18, 2017

There's Everyone and Then There's Us*

Me, reading circa 1974

The last time I posted the photo above was many years ago, and it was basically yet another post where I rhapsodized about my general bookworminess. However, such was the confusion around the photo and the object in the upper left corner that I had to then post this one:

The title of the second post that accompanied the second picture was "Let's Talk About the Gun," and as of this moment, it's been read 31,907 times and is the fifth most "hit" post on my blog. Counting this one, I have 4,103 published posts and more than 4,000,000 "hits" in total. It's all about "the gun," you know, which is actually not a gun but a telescope, a big ugly brass and veneered wood one that sat in my family's den in a Tudor house on a large wooded lot in a subdivision in suburban Atlanta in the early seventies. I'm not sure what there was to see out the back sliding glass door that slid open onto a wooden deck that hung over a grassy yard and woods, but I'm not sure either why my hair looked like that, why I wore a red-checked maxi jumper or why I was so thin then yet so ample today,  and god, why can't I read like that now, so immersed and lost? I'm even more unsure why so many people search for "let's talk about the gun," or "talk, gun" or just plain "gun." Then again, the most hit post of mine is about paper cranes with more than 75,000 hits so I guess you could also say that more people look up paper cranes than they do guns.

The telescope is meaningful for me today both because we're all getting ready for The Great Eclipse, and because I learned that there are hundreds of armed militias everywhere in these Disunited States of Amerikkka who are prepared or plotting to take back their country from brown folk and those who enable them. Are you catching my drift? Drift. Yes, I can drift. Even though southern California isn't on the path to see the moon completely eclipse the sun, it's going to happen, and there's something going on in the atmosphere in general that's causing a ruckus in the brains of the sensitive. Sophie's had an unusual number of large tonic seizures over the past week or so, but she recovers from them quite quickly and has none of the co-morbidities that we generally see during other seizure clusterfuck times. I realize that Science has found no correlation between seizures and moon cycles, nor is there established causation, but we in the epilepsy community -- the refractory epilepsy community -- those of us with the tiny little mother minds™ know very well that something goes on with the moon and the brain. I've heard of four children in my community who've died over the last week. That I can type that sentence out amidst all this seemingly idle chatter is the reason why I'm writing this post. Sophie is particularly alert in between these seizures with a penetrating eye gaze and smiles, seemingly sharpened, perhaps tensed, maybe even waiting. Aren't we all though, these days? Waiting? Not just for the eclipse but for what else and what more as we watch our country diminished by louts,  our heads whiplashed, events waxing and waning (like the moon) willy nilly with just about everybody at everybody's throats. I, personally, feel muzzled by Identity Politics (the Tina Fey backlash, for one), and am both earnest and defiant. I feel like I'm dancing on the ridge with the carnies and Death in a Bergman movie,  could perhaps be walking toward Guido in 8 1/2, one of his women, perhaps in a dream or the woman in Beckett's Happy Days, buried up to her waist in sand yet cheerful and getting on with it. Children are dying and Sophie is seizing, the moon will blot out the sun for some but not all, we are to be serious with intent, but (thank you, Chris), isn't life a cabaret and all that? Love is the answer but what if you live the questions?

Is that a gun or a telescope?

There's everyone and then there's us.

*The working title of my book in progress


  1. Isn't it weird what attracts traffic to a blog? My most popular post for a long time drew traffic because I casually mentioned the actress Tina Louise. So for a while I put Tina Louise in every post, just as a joke!

    You do look positively immersed in that book. Did you ever see anything through the telescope? Did anyone?

    This is a very weird time, with very weird energy. Maybe the moon is to blame. It makes as much sense as anything else.

  2. Oh, Elizabeth.
    I think it's always clusterfuck time but as you know so very well, sometimes the fucks are way more dense and come in stronger clusters.
    "Hang on, hang on, hang on," I keep saying to myself.
    What else can we do?

  3. What a fantastic post, Elizabeth. It made me think of the ending of Cannery Row when the guys, intending to buy Doc a microscope,buy him a telescope by mistake. I could go on and on here about looking inward and outward and how that's all connected and about how violence keeps us from seeing either direction, but I'll just say thanks for the post. Sending love to you and Sophie.

  4. Search term for my most read post? Dandruff. Go figure. I write about guns a lot, and vaccines, too, but those seem to not be the ones that direct traffic to my blog. I wrote about dandruff one time and voila. Weird.

    Sending love and light to Sophie. Man, would I love to know what she's thinking and feeling as all of this lunar madness grips the nation. If I'm being honest, I have to say I'm feeling a bit like a chick emerging from an egg - pecking away at the shell bit by bit and then stopping because I'm unsure of what is on the outside and maybe I just want to stay in here where it's warm and dark, after all. But then I get a wild hair (feather?) and start pecking again. Birth. Rebirth. Emerging. Staying put. It's a crazy time and all very unsettling. Love to you all.

  5. LOVE this post! My husband is an amateur astronomer , we have all of the gear but none of the sky- we live under constant cloud. Occasionally the clouds will part and we have a quick look - out there in the big yonder, perspective is everything. Our lives are claustrophobic especially for our geographical location, under heavy grey skies, in dense forested hills, surrounded by tall volcanoes blocking the sun- one glimpse of Saturn's rings in the daytime on a rare day is enough to sustain us for the next go around. Perspective is everything...and then we listen to NPR , or watch some clip from the insanity of humans- and are drawn back into the fuckery. I romantically wonder sometimes if Sophie is riding the rings of Beautiful Saturn- where does the seizing take her?

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  7. Maybe it has to do with the moon that is worn in a certain way?

    Re. working title of book... there's no separation between everyone and you. There just isn't. Even if it feels like it.



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