Saturday, November 21, 2020

Writing Life

I've been spending a lot of time writing, and the result is getting to do even more writing. This week I get to draft a chapter or so of my book on Libraries -- it's advanced to the final round for possible publication.

I presented the work this time last year, and I'm very excited, Friends.

Between this and the great stuff coming from the memoir work, I'm starting to feel like an actual writer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

I was not captured by an octopus.

After a week-long migraine episode, I am starting to feel human-ish again. I had a protracted appointment at the acupuncturist and then an hour session at the massage therapist, who is basically another form of PT. We did cupping in the trouble spots, which ended up being everywhere, and now I look as though I have been kidnapped by an octopus.

Since I was out, I picked up milk and checked the mail -- a couple new books to review have arrived which makes me happy.  Today has been a Very Long Day, and I'm headed to a bath to soak before taking Tiu out for his evening walk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Lost and Found in Translation

 A brief note, and hopefully a good one (N.B.):
The title The Republic comes from Cicero's (50 b.c.) translation of Plato's (357 b.c.) Politeía from the Greek into the Latin; he gave his work the title res publica, Latin for "things of the people." The Latin edition stood for Western scholars until Taylor put out an English translation in early 1800s, notably titled The Republic (and a lesser known translation was put out by Stens in the mid-1700s, also titled The Republic), and we in the academic West have mushed forth with the title since.

So it's not the translation of the work that is distracting me per se, but the notion going back to the city as a body, self governed and focused in its own ends, the original (500 b.c.) structure [no need to put "state" at the end, since that would be obvious to contemporaries]. 

In all my research and analysis over the years, I continually find that distance is problematic, moreso even than swelling population itself. One simply cannot govern justly those who are far away; this leads to a lot of my sociopolitical assessments about Town Hall governance from the mid90s, in which I theorized that a sense of remoteness of government leads to violent rebellion through terrorism and that the United States was then overdue for internal terrorism from any one of the many groups of people who felt voiceless, unheard and unseen by a remote and disinterested ruling body. The United States, I argued, has never really considered home-grown terrorism a credible possibility, despite carrying forth the legacy empirical structures that seemed to Foster and possibly demand such action by the disgruntled.

It bears pointing out that I wrote this a couple months before the Oklahoma City bombing. 
And now here I am, back where I started, and thank you, @DarK_RaideR because honestly my enthusiasm had begun to wear thin. This was just the right observation-question to turn the lens a bit.
I don't have my 1995 essay anymore (it was literally typed), but there are a gajillion points that, looking back, serve as guideposts for the way ahead. The philosophy of rebellion has always been here, and now it's this glimmering thread in the twilight.
Who wants to hang out in the Philosopher's Salon and dig around in the notion of rebellion, governance, and power?

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Drafting Table

 I drafted two pieces today and will turn them into Actual Papers tomorrow -- The Republic Book 7 and a response to I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.

The headache is receding, but there is a profound tiredness in its wake.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Crown, Season 4

Season 4 of The Crown pulls no punches as it opens: narration from Sinn Fein rallies and a montage of black-and-white scenes from Bloody Sunday protests overlay Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in her home, at her dressing table, rehearsing her statement of confidence that she will deliver to the press. The scene with Anderson echo a similar scene featuring Elizabeth I in a movie, and it works just as well here as it did there; woven against the stark uprising in the north, it might actually be better than the scene in Elizabeth. 

Anderson is phenomenal. 

The writers took a great many liberties with history this season, and I'm not a fan of that, but on every other front the season is a success. The careening toward the infamous anus horriblus unfolds like a train wreck in motion. Every mention of Charles and Diana as the perfect fairy tale couple has a slight beat of silence to allow us to wince, all the while showing the union of crown prince and young lady in context of the titular focus: the crown. Nothing and no one matter but for the crown, and when Margaret suggests that perhaps we ought to stop telling people whom to marry and whom not to marry, there is a sense of wistfulnes, as though we all know its a good idea but one that simply cannot be. 

The story of the love triangle with Charles as the apex could take over the show, but it doesn't. Anderson becomes prime minister and the country falls further into social decline including an assassination; the young couple go to Australia (and New Zealand, though we don't actually see any of that) as part of their state duties; the Crown keeps calm and carries on. 

Olivia Colman has inhabited the role so thoroughly it seems impossible to think of her in anything else, and when the vignette of Claire Foy from and earlier era graces the screen, it seems she is now the interloper. Colman is pitch-perfect.

Season 4 undeniably belongs to the women, but keep your eye on Josh O'Connor. His range delivers a Prince Charles that we believe through a spectrum of emotions and attitudes, each of them distinct and undeniably royal.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Writers Wrap

I finished the Writer's Wrap, just in time for the cold snap to come through. I look forward to a time, probably in 2022, when I can go to Meeting House again. In the meantime, I'll be wearing this over whatever for Zoom meetings and trips to fetch milk or vegetables.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Outing: Layman Farm

The morning at Layman Farm was really delightful, filled with an easy good time together. Vivian and I both feel most at home walking around the Land, so it's no surprise that she seemed her "old self." 

We walked the farm, rode on the hay bale truck, and navigated the corn maze. She bought a stuffed llama and a tee shirt, and made sure I took home a stuffed sheep. She made me promise to bring the sheep to our next visit so that they could play together.

She told me about wanting a ranch when she grows up, so she can have horses. Her favorite horse is a morgan, just like mine, and she wants to learn barrel racing. I said I'd take her to the rodeo the next time it's in town.

We talked about my new apartment and I showed her pictures. She loves the meditation room and said she wants to start meditating with me again. As if to prove she still knows how,  she climbed up I to the huge rocker near the hay wagon and sat in lotus. God, I love her so much.

She asked about Ian, Chris and Francie's son who is three weeks younger than she is, who usually visits at Christmastime. I told her I wasn't sure if they were going to visit this year, but that I'd find out. 

From the tetherball to the cow ride, the zip line to the bouncy mat, a good time was had by all. She said she wanted to come back again soon, and was a little sad that this was the last weekend of Fall activities. Next year we can get a season pass, I told her. We were both tired and ready for a lunch break as we walked towards the parking lot. She leaned into my hug as we parted and called, "Love you! Bye!" and climbed into the back of her dad's car.

Life is good.