Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We could use some white magic these days

The sand in our township road was embedded with frost crystals early this morning. They sparkled in the flashlight's beam as I walked SiSi in the dark. It was magical. I almost expected to see fairies come floating across the fields we walked next to. I suppose this means that even mud can have its moments?

muddy Winter roads can sometimes hold magic
muddy Winter roads can sometimes hold magic
Photo by J. Harrington

It's doubtful, but not clear, if postings on My Minnesota have any magical powers. Here's a couple of recent events for consideration. Yesterday?, I think it was, we mentioned the succession of dreary days we've had. Today, Paul Douglas, in his Weather blog, noted a national dreariness index. Turns out my state of origin, Massachusetts, is rated even more dreary than Minnesota. That's a reason for me to work on my gratitude index.

Next, sometime within the past week or so, we mentioned Margaret Atwood's dystopian, speculative fiction novel, The Handmaid's Tale. At the time we wrote about it, there was at least one copy available in one of the local branch libraries. We had checked the online catalogs. Today, we stopped at one each of the branches of our two local library systems. Nada. Next time, we'll check out, or at least put on hold, a book we might want to read before we write about it, just in case we either exercise magical powers through our postings or, less likely, that anyone actually reads, pays attention to, and acts on these meanderings.

I don't know how you feel about it, but from where I sit, the world could use a lot more white magic, sort of like what SiSi and I enjoyed this morning. I am intentionally not writing about any of the goings on in Washington. It looks to me very much as though things are being done with little consideration of unintended consequences. Remember the old saying about a bull in a china shop?  I'm thinking about Mr. Spock's observation regarding much of human behavior "Fascinating," spoken with an arched eyebrow and sense of clinical detachment that I yearn for. Instead, I'll keep repeating the Serenity Prayer and remember that “Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.”—Unknown


Interesting Times


By Mark Jarman


Everything’s happening on the cusp of tragedy, the tip of comedy, the pivot of event.
You want a placid life, find another planet. This one is occupied with the story’s arc:
About to happen, on the verge, horizontal. You want another planet, try the moon.
Try any of the eight, try Planet X. It’s out there somewhere, black with serenity.
How interesting will our times become? How much more interesting can they become?

A crow with something dangling from its beak flaps onto a telephone pole top, daintily,
And croaks its victory to other crows and tries to keep its morsel to itself.
A limp shape, leggy, stunned, drops from the black beak’s scissors like a rag.
We drive past, commenting, and looking upward. A sunny morning, too cold to be nesting,
Unless that is a nest the crow has seized, against the coming spring.

We’ve been at this historical site before, but not in any history we remember.
The present has been cloaked in cloud before, and not on any holy mountaintop.
To know the stars will one day fly apart so far they can’t be seen
Is almost a relief. For the future flies in one direction—toward us.
And the only way to sidestep it—the only way—is headed this way, too.

So, look. That woman’s got a child by the hand. She’s dragging him across the street.
He’s crying and she’s shouting, but we see only dumbshow. Their breath is smoke.
Will she give in and comfort him? Will he concede at last? We do not know.
Their words are smoke. In a minute they’ll be somewhere else entirely.
Everyone in a minute will be somewhere else entirely. As the crow flies.


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