our wonderful household is wonderful in our wonderful house: two cats, a rabbit still living and thriving indoors only. A legion of expired pets are buried or somehow inaccessibly disposed within property lines of our sweet residence. And so, as my blessed wife left for a week’s fun in Florida, her final pleas to me before closing the back door upon leaving were these: take out the garbage because it stinks; please make sure the cats have an extra bowl of water and a heaping bowl of food; please change the paper in the rabbit cage and see that Cici (the rabbit) has plenty of water and food too.
But an hour before she left, my beloved apologized to me and begged that I cut the chicken, I didn’t necessary have to de-bone the thing, but I at least remove the remaining breast meat into separate bags and place them in the freezer. Would I please do it now because I’ll forget about it if I don’t.
Birth. Our nephew’s daughter entered Earth’s atmosphere in the vicinity of San Antonio. Hardly a moment later photos came as email attachments, precious new yet-to-be-swaddled human, her waxy white and vernix coat softening the blushing red. Other than in emails, this image was spared social media exposure as far as we know. The parents are commended.
The joy of a new family member spread quickly to the other side of the world. Our daughter in Seoul quickly shot back her observation. “Babies are gross.” Such candor attests to her lineage, and the adage: she is her father’s daughter. I’m so proud.
She’s right, you know. She, at birth, was no exception. None of us are. Caesar’s entry into life and exit from his mother, the method of which bears his name, was probably more especially gross. And of course all the accompanying baggage, you know, that cord and a couple of square feet of amniotic membrane, the child’s weight in placenta, have got to go somewhere and aren’t going to dispose of themselves.
Even the immaculately conceived Jesus, vaginally birthed in circumstances so abjectly humble as to emphasize the glory of his virgin mother’s deliverance, halos all around, angels attending, afterbirth lost somewhere in the hay, not unusual for that kind of place.
Civilization removes the grossness of childbirth. But there’s no escaping the reality. I was born in my father’s absence as was the custom in those days. He was in the waiting room down the hall. One could argue that my mother wasn’t even there. I don’t know if she was anesthetized for the event, also an easy option of the times. As for me? I don’t remember. And no manner of hypnotic regression will change that. What would be the point. My mother tells me she thought I looked like a red rat when she saw me for the first time. And looking at the black-and-white of me as a newborn, I’ve got to agree.
we know emperor penguins mate for a season, spawn, repeat with another partner next time around and never look back at what was with whom it was because, because, because of the singular focus at hand as both arch and bow as one as their instinctive bond doth command a commitment to memory unto bone and sinew through downy fir upon layered blubber, having survived the summer’s grazing under thinning sheets and menacing predators, and as the couple they are for the rearing of another half-clone of each, the call, the scream, the cackle, the chortle for which no human has a word that means the sound they make, distinguishable to each and to each only (until the fruit of their egg hatches into the din of its parent’s welcome) like a laser scanning (but not a laser because that’s visual) for the one-and-only barcode for which it abandons, indeed ignores all others in the huddled mass they join through darkest winter, mother and father, taking turns, sharing the responsibility of incubation until the happy reunion should will of Darwin allow as per the signal we’ve discussed, you know, the call of calls, the only one that matters, the one of the other, that is like no other, that of the partner of the moment, the moment being the here and now as much as their mutual identification results from a hear and now, the remarkable nature of which cannot be overstated no matter how loud the cry of one toward the other, yes, the penguin knows its partner to mission’s end
Yes, yes. This is only another idea, and idea in itself about ideas. What’s the big idea? What is a big idea? What’s so big about a big idea that offers little or nothing in return.
I carry around a notebook and pen. Sometimes I remember to write down a thing or two that occurs to me. I’ll write down anything that comes to mind that seems like it isn’t the kind of thing that comes to mind, usually. I got the idea to start doing this when I would review things I had thought of that I didn’t think I had usually thought of, an occurrence or two, like: notions; quips; word play; inventions; fresh etymological possibilities; allusions; melodies; techniques; character enhancements; plot elements, and on and on. If I’m lucky I remember to write them down. I can write them down if I remember to bring the notebook and pen. Maybe I should just text myself. Yeah, that would work. And here, I’ve already written it down. But isn’t writing something down in longhand part of the process of fleshing out the idea?
Ten or fifteen years ago I was interested in film. I wrote films as invited, some would say commissioned. Had never thought of writing for the medium until an old friend, a producer with a couple of movies to his credit that presented some respectable if not downright famous-name actors. I embraced the challenge, learned all I could, cranked out a bunch of junk and perhaps some enjoyable nuggets here and there. Even made a bit of money.
Mostly importantly, I discovered story structure, plot control and all that kind of thing I had never worried about as a poet, a journalist, or as a stream-of-consciousness narrative writer. This changed my life. No it didn’t Okay, it did. Just not as much as it should have. I didn’t allow it. Didn’t even encourage it. As a rule I do not follow rules. This, and other paradoxes, has set my trusty compass off any true direction by more than a few degrees. The long and short of my journey is that I must go around the world quite a few times before I arrive at my ultimate goal. Sorry.
No shortage of ideas here. The more disparate are the elements of a problem, the more creative the solution. That’s all there is to it.
and so, why not invest in your new possible ocean-front property. This amounts to some seriously aggressive real estate speculation, certainly. So far, we’ve got a 36-mile-long crack, 20-feet-wide at its broadest, opening from seismic activity in 2005. This is the stuff of doomsday movies. Afar, Ethiopia, the Red Sea, parting without Noah’s request ((though a case could be made, I’m sure, and it was Moses, anyway)) leading to who knows what and the kicker, who knows when. Projected time-lines strongly suggest the ocean formation will occur “eventually.”
Thanks for the heads up, guys. Exactly how eventual are we talking? Couldn’t some enterprising government real estate tycoon, dictator, tyrant, benevolent tribal entity entrepreneur type come up with a plan to market this stuff… futures? Nah, couldn’t be legal in any part of the world. Surely someone could develop an industry toward touring this amazing geological site. Its newness is its novelty. The Grand Canyon is how old? This thing, this new hole, is spanking brand shiny smelling of plastic new by any measurable geological terms.
I want to see it. I would pay good money to see it. Could I please have a show of hands from all who witnessed the birth of any other oceans of which we might be aware? That’s what I thought.
Okay, let’s charter the flights. Let’s get our passports ready. Let’s take a look at this hole while it’s still so tiny we can tell our grandchildren and they won’t believe a word.
One of my favorite tweeters tweeted this most zen-like principle:
It’s easier for you to act on your desires today if you don’t … More for Virgo
This is ambiguity on a poetic level, more beautiful as the accident that is its serendipity.
Yeah, sure, the elipsis leads to the completion of the sentence via the url that begs all Virgos follow it. But it doesn’t have to. The sentence is nice and sturdy as is. Just take away the dot dot dot and put a single dot at the end instead. (more…)