Brain Pickings BY MARIA POPOVA has another fine article about Edward Gorey’s work. He was born on this date (February 22, 1925–April 15, 2000). I’ve just ordered The Gashly Crumb Tinies from Amazon. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I can’t believe I don’t own it. It’s an alphabet book of manic and magical proportions, unbelievably anti-normal.
Old Moss Woman’s Secret Garden
An earth nest reflected empty as a future without bees, all swirling around the great galactic cosmic nothing, stretched between the prime pillars on high.
Art in the eyes of the beholder observing life’s weave of tomorrow’s dreamscape.
Quote and photo posted from Moss Woman’s site. New illustrator, artist to me—Superleuk. Thoughts brought from the memories of Colorado: The time the major highway through the state was closed in Colorado Springs due to the tumble weeds blocking the road. (There had been a great windstorm that day, and the one before.) I loved it. Where else? The straw or vine dried weaves of lean-tos, bridges, huts, and tunnels, laid out on the uni campus lawn like the photo shows, or more intricately expressed, as on Superleuk’s site. Memories that came like the wind and fog, swirling and breathing, all brought on the feathers of a bluejay’s call… Other states, other dreams, other rivers, a sudden transport in time. Only a whisper left to wonder in amazement with a scent of jasmine lingering there. Returned, the body first, then the spirit slow, reluctant to be so earth bound.
When I was younger, if anyone said, “The Church,” the meaning was The Catholic Church as in, The Holy Roman Church. I wonder if it is the same today. At that time in the past the Church was the primary mode of communication, certainly of news for RCs (Roman Catholics). It was the 50s, and it was the Church which delivered the news through its own filters and dogma. At least that which was disseminated by the local parishes. It was The Church which gave us our social norms, and in turn to some of us, the difficulties leading to an ultimate tearing away from the robes of Catholicism.
Witness the “wait-a-minutes” caused by the the Monsignors of old. Those who spoke from the ornate dais above us during Mass, symbolizing that they too, were above us. Thus the burning and chaffing from the chastity belts of youth:
- It is wrong to read the comic books with Superman in them. No creature on earth could be greater than God or comparable to Him. “Stop it, child!” A terrible sin in the making. *Gasp* I was not stopped. I did not believe that Super was greater than God. After all, he wasn’t real. He was a creation of both a human being, and God. (An easily assignable hierarchy—from a child.)
- We should not go to softball games where the men or boys take off their shirts. Ah, to gaze upon that muscularity of sex would certainly lead to longing and desire. (Hadn’t occurred to me.)
- To question is to doubt. Especially if it is an unanswerable issue of dogma. And yet it was a mind, a God-given mind which led to that train of thought. No room for discussion. That was a real toughie and led to yet more puzzling streams of consciousness. (Did that foster the meaning-assigned fabrication of answers—those not necessarily accurate—or was that an attribution of personality?)
- The song lyrics, and therefor song—along with others unacceptable for listening—is “Love’s no good unless somebody loves you/ all the way…” I was so naive that I did not understand the intent. For me this went into the realm of the Spirit, not sex. *Sigh* (It took years to catch unto this one.)
- The best of the least was anything touching upon knowledge or curiosity. A child of the X list for movies and books, my catalogue of forbiddens only increased yearly. This led to a varied and expansive platform for life. (The mind thing again.)
It seems to me I learned the difference between exports and imports of tariffs was not only in the coming and going, but also in who paid the tariff. Incoming tariffs were to be paid by the importer. Ergo, if the U.S. imported, the U.S. paid—not China.
How is it I can drink two vodkas and it’s okay, but it’s not okay to drink two diet colas in succession? The latter would be over indulgence, gluttony.
What puts us at odds with such expressions as “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” is the cognitive bias of others. So, the literal idiot—one whose plans include being a company G.M.—who does not know she cannot accomplish such, has an inability to recognize her lack of ability. She lacks a self-awareness meta-cognition. She belongs to a large group of people who cannot objectively evaluate their own competence or incompetence.
There is not an equal distribution between the knowledge of a quoted line and the author. Many people know “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” but few know that A. Pope wrote it within an essay. Especially when credit is not given to one who is deceased. Think “The center cannot hold,” by Yeats.
I have only recently come to understand the importance of Intention in an action. Not legally, but morally. Although I’ve not thought through how intention might be applied to breaking the law.
TTFN. A lovely expression, or abbreviation, but not an acronym.
Saturday night was devoted to pain pills and anti inflammatories for both Tula and me. Tula could barely walk and I was just sore, from all of the places I’d bumped and scraped against as I was bobbing down the pier side. I was also wrapped in a heating pad. (They are marvelous things, by the way.) And there was a bit of anxiety traveling through the rooms where we were, considering the lost phone, credit cards, driver license, insurance IDs, etc.
And the kid kept saying there was nothing to worry about—she was sure we were going to be able to rescue all. In the morning—Sunday, she went to the hardware store to get some pole extensions and advice on how to make poles longer, attach nets, grabbers, and so on. She came home loaded with search equipment to put together and a huge roll of duct tape. And off we went to the evil-event pier. I was feeling much better—to everyone’s surprise—and was so able to assist in the search. Poles extended into the water and nets dragged along the bottom.
We did the poling for some time, and then some time more. I pulled against the lake water and poked back and forth. I did that for some more time. The kid netted several things, including a nice rod and reel. But no wallet. She netted for yet some time more. And more. Until the futility quite set in, or had set in some time previously. Even though the found rod and reel had encouraged us to continue hoping.
We then made our way to a cell phone store and purchased a new phone for me. Even if I had or would have gotten my phone back, it could not possibly work. And then we went home to talk about guns and shooting. (seriously)
The kid, as notoriously persistent as her mother, was able to get a hold of a scuba diver who would meet her Tuesday morning at the pier. On Monday we went to our respective homes and workplaces. I drove well within the speed limits along the way, not wanting to get pulled over.
Tuesday morning came and went to great success! Yes indeed, the diver eventually found the wallet but could not recover the dog leash. Regardless, we considered that a wrap. Tula will recover and I have recovered. The wallet arrived on Thursday and my kitchen smells like rotten fish—but the cards dried nicely. Oh, and I continued to walk while balancing on a rolling pier for two days.
The trip to visit my daughter—well now. Nothing much went as planned. Some of it I guess, in the general direction. But then.
I arrived in good order albeit later than either of us planned. Nevertheless, the four of us set off for boating on the lake. (The four—2 dogs and 2 people.) And it was a beautiful, a nicely warm and sunny day, but windy. Very windy means lots of waves and rough waters. This didn’t matter much setting out and spending a lovely afternoon aboard. As we were late getting out, most of the docking places (sandy, clear) were taken but we did manage to find a place. Not as lovely as our usual, but the dogs were in delight. As soon as we pulled in, they jumped off in unison. Butts abound!
Sullivan is not as big on swimming as is Tula, who swam and swam to make up for all of the times she couldn’t. Sullivan mostly ran back and forth through the woods. Eyes as bright as the sun, it was difficult to get Tula back in the boat when it was time to go. She was willing to stay there and catch up with us later. She even dug a bed to demonstrate. At last with everyone aboard, we went back to the docks.
Remember that wind? It made it a bit difficult to tie off, but we managed, the kid being an expert at handling it all. Then she took the dogs and went off to get the truck to trailer the boat, and I waited with the boat for their return. The pier was like riding a roller coaster, so I reached out with my right hand to steady myself by holding a brace for the canopy on the boat. I used my right hand as the left side was filled with bottles, dog leash, and phone—in a wallet pack. After a few minutes of bobbing and rolling, I became concerned about my hold on the metal brace, it being not terribly sturdy. Then several things happened at once. Remember that wind? Just as I decided to let go of the brace, the boat moved quite rapidly away from the pier and me, opening up an expanse so that I could not let go. I became a flat reach between the pier with my feet and the boat in my grasp with my right hand
And the boat kept moving, swinging the stern away from it all. And then I took an unplanned dive into the lake—that water between the boat and the dock. Remember my left side and the hand holding the wallet-phone? Sure enough. For some unknown reason, in my haste to hold unto it, I let it go. And there I was, between all of the tied off boats and the pier. I made my way forward, holding onto the pier with my recently emptied left hand while doing some creative form of dog paddle with my right arm while in 20 feet of water. Everything was bobbing.
A fine young man came up and offered to pull me with our hands linked toward land. No pride left whatsoever, I agreed. It took a while, but we made it to where I could touch ground. And as I was making my last little way to the end and a place to sit, I watched my daughter and the dogs walk right past me, faced firmly ahead. Huh, didn’t even say hello.
After a while my daughter gathered enough information from bystanders to find me at the end of the pier. Her words? “I never should have left you alone!” Her volume was mixed with concern and a slightly left-over panic. After all, the boat ascue and no mother, she had a right to more than wonder what had happened to me. And she couldn’t see my little bobble head as she walked past. Credit due: who expects to find their mother in the water below the pier, when you left her quite dry next to the boat? I don’t suppose it helped that someone was telling her not to worry, “she’s okay.” “What? Okay? What do you mean, okay? What happened? Where is she?…”
The notables from that afternoon: the knot from the stern tie-off did not hold, hence the boat’s attempt at an escape from the rear. One wallet-phone and a dog leash in the lake. One dog already showing signs of too much activity in swimming. One very soaked and bedraggled woman walking slightly tilted from too much bobbing.
But wait!…there’s more. The next day the adventure continues—stay tuned. And no photos posted here. Why? The phone camera is in the lake.
I’m eating Twinkies. I haven’t had one since I was a child. And it was rare then, only upon occasion.
Then the mailman’s name was Ray, and the mail was delivered twice a day. When there was a letter he would ring the doorbell or shout through the screen door. If it was a letter from my brother he would persist until someone answered. (My brother was off fighting whichever war we were giving then.) He didn’t have to persist often or long—we always watched for the mail.
There were milkmen who delivered milk in glass bottles and you could hear the bottles clanging in the carrier as he walked to your door. Some people got chocolate milk and we knew the houses they went to.
We played softball in the street in front of my house and quit when the streetlights came on. We had to go home then. If earlier and some other reason to go home, you would hear someone’s father’s whistle. We all knew the different sounds and pitches that belonged to us.
Those nights you could hear the sounds of laughter, and children’s voices, and cicadas calling with the tree toads, and a few birds still visiting. Sometimes you could hear wandering bullfrogs calling for their mates. And crickets. The sound of crickets was the music we fell asleep to. Once in a while you would hear a car go by, and the thump, thump of the tires as they went across the tarred strips.
It was quiet on Sundays, after the morning of ringing church bells. Whole families walked down the streets to the Church, girls wearing dresses and gloves, just like their mothers, men with hats, and suits and ties. Almost everyone went to church and afterward you came home to your big Sunday dinner and the readying for Monday—schoolwork, newspapers, clothes laid out, shoes polished.
We knew all of the neighbors and the houses around our block, and the stories they held. We knew the house where the woman had hung herself in the basement because her husband went out with other women. We knew the house where the poker parties were held on Saturday nights. Sometimes there was a special game on Friday night and you knew because of all the cars parked in the alley.
After supper you had to eat your desert inside, before going out. You couldn’t walk out with a Popsicle unless you had more to give your friends. And you ate your Twinkies inside, or out on the back porch.
Reading the New Yorker, you will find an article written by Elizabeth Barber on October 28, 2018. The article is about Lucetta Scaraffia, the lovely lady we see below and her campaign to have women play a larger role in the Catholic Church. She believes this can happen, and that it can be accomplished from within the Church. There are, in fact, many roles that could be filled by women, not the least of which is that of a Cardinal.
Cardinals, in any case, need not be called by God—only man. “Cardinals are an invention of the Church, to govern itself,” Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova said. So it is that Catholic theology does not mandate that cardinals be ordained. Theologically speaking, laypeople, including laywomen, can be cardinals. This is how we got the Medici boys as Cardinals and how they (then with voting power) got to elect a Medici papa as Pope. (Think Borgia. Think The Godfather.) It wasn’t until 1917 that the Holy See changed canon law, restricting the cardinalate to the ordained.
Lucetta Scaraffia Is Trying to Fight Catholic Patriarchy from the Inside
Scaraffia and others are pointing out the differences between actual Church doctrine and Cannon Law. And there are many arguments that ensue around the purpose, intent, and traditions of the Church, not just about what can be done—but what can change—what should change. Yes, this in a Church that is run by men, and men alone in places of authority where women (nuns) are kept in subservient roles and are used to cook and clean for the men. The women serve and the men dictate everything from behavior to law.
I am impressed by the number of women, the newsletters, and the activism. The movement is strong and viable. The goals and hope and logic seem impermeable.
But the changes they covet will not happen.
The Church is run by men.
I have come to believe that women can only truly infiltrate the world of men in politics, in religion, in corporations, when women do not ask of men, but form themselves, and give themselves permission. Why aren’t women dictating? Why aren’t women forming their own enclaves? (Enclave, by the way, is a feminine noun.) Why don’t we say if and when men can join us?
Women have to acquiesce in order to be subjugated. It is women who allow men to rule. There are too many women who are afraid of power, because with it comes great responsibility.
So. In the meantime, the Church will be infiltrated by women who will influence, and maybe change, the Church from within. I just won’t see it in my lifetime.