By Carolyn Forché
Horses were turned loose in the child's sorrow. Black and roan, cantering through snow.
The way light fills the hand with light, November with graves, infancy with white.
White. Given lilacs, lilacs disappear. Then low voices rising in walls.
The way they withdrew from the child's body and spoke as if it were not there.
What ghost comes to the bedside whispering You?
-- With its no one without its I --
A dwarf ghost? A closet of empty clothes?
Ours was a ghost who stole household goods. Nothing anyone would miss.
Supper plates. Apples. Barbed wire behind the house.
At the end of the hall, it sleepwalks into a mirror wearing mother's robe.
A bedsheet lifts from the bed and hovers. Face with no face. Come here.
The bookcase knows, and also the darkness of books. Long passages into,
Endless histories toward, sleeping pages about. Why else toss gloves into a grave?
A language that once sent ravens through firs. The open world from which it came.
Words holding the scent of an asylum fifty years. It is fifty years, then.
The child hears from within: Come here and know, below
And unbeknownst to us, what these fields had been.
My father had surgery for his kidney stone this morning -- more complicated than they originally anticipated, they needed to use general anesthesia, and he'll have to have a stent and more tests and other very not-fun things. But at least now they know exactly where the problem is and how to fix it. In typical style, my parents did not tell me that they knew yesterday that he would have surgery this morning, but only called right as it was about to happen (I found out that my father had melanoma from a friend of his who called to see how he was doing, and that my mother had breast cancer on the morning she went in to have it operated on -- I was pregnant at the time so I was hardly a child). I can't figure out if they feel like it isn't real or scary if they don't tell their kids, or if they are trying to protect us, or what. Anyway, he's home now and resting, and it's a good weekend for that considering we have up to eight inches of snow forecast; we shall see how many actually arrive.
It was a less pissy day than Thursday all around, though -- the news didn't say one word about Dubya, having big thrilling salt trucks to cover, and UPS finally brought my replacement battery charger, so I can use my new camera to take pics in the snow we should in theory receive in abundance soon. perkypaduan and I had talked about going to see In Good Company, but given the chaos in both our lives, we decided to hang out locally instead (we both had coupons for free California Tortilla which made it easy to decide where to have lunch anyway). Just in case I had not had a sufficient Paul Bettany fix yesterday -- and can anyone ever have sufficient Paul Bettany, anyway -- we watched Wimbledon, which she had not seen before, and I either regaled or totally annoyed her with tidbits learned from the commentary track (since she had a cat asleep in her lap while I was playing that for her, she was pretty stuck on my sofa regardless). Tonight, since my parents were out of commission for Shabbat dinner, we took the kids out to stock up on emergency supplies for the snowstorm, along with every single other person in the greater Washington area; the food store parking lot looked like a tailgate party at the Redskins stadium, and people were being vicious trying to get those last boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios.
I was totally unaware until today that living in a pineapple under the sea was code for being gay. I must encourage my kids to watch more Sponge Bob. Meanwhile, since we all watch Enterprise together, here is my quite scathing review of "Observer Effect". Because while last week the flagrant ripping-off of past TOS and TNG episodes was somewhat charming, this week it went much too far and wasn't even enjoyable. I will get more hate mail than I can answer in a week if I say this at the Trek Nation, so I am saying it here: I think Manny Coto is damned mediocre, and Enterprise was better last season than it is this season. Not only are the storylines mushy rehash of much better episodes of the earlier shows, but the show has gotten considerably more stupid in its portrayal of women. Even while I was falling asleep during BSG I couldn't level that complaint.
Having gone irrevocably over 500 people on my friends list, I refriended some communities I was reading via links just to stay under. As before when I went over 500, LJ is randomly reporting that some people are "also friend of" rather than "mutual friends" even though I have not removed anyone from the list and I am still showing up on those people's "friend of" lists. Please don't be distressed if this has happened to you, as I assure you I have no control over it whatsoever and would fix it if I could. Now here are the Friday memes in lieu of photos:
fannish5: Name five fannish topics you would like to have a discussion on, but never have.
1. The whole character/actor blur -- what do other people make of the continuum in which we know perfectly well that Kate Mulgrew isn't Kathryn Janeway but we sometimes believe with great confidence that she is that person "Kate Mulgrew" whom she plays so charmingly at Star Trek conventions, even though we must know from watching her on talk shows and reading her interviews that that's as much a character she puts on as anything she's done onscreen or onstage? (I picked Kate as the most screamingly obvious example from my own fannish experience, but I could easily have said "Viggo Mortensen.")
2. Like many other fans of my age, I wrote fan fiction before I had any intention of showing it to anyone, ever. Now, however, I am quite disappointed if I write something and it seems like no one has read it. Did the internet change how we think of the function and purpose of writing fan fiction? Would this have happened anyway? How acute is it for others?
3. Why do some people seem to believe that the only positive criticism is to be compared favorably to someone else?
4. Why do people get off on wank? What is the appeal of ridiculing other fans on a broad level? I think we all understand that sometimes there's a post so stupid we want to show our best friends, or a proposal so outrageous that we have to rant in private, but why make it something for dozens of people to jump and flame all over?
5. Do all the remakes of popular entertainment from my childhood -- Starsky and Hutch, Battlestar Galactica -- ever seem to anyone else like a form of commercial fan fiction? Is it hard for anyone else to take a remake seriously as "canon" no matter how good it is?
1. Which is worse, the Burning Question ~OR~ the Painful Truth? The painful truth. The burning question is exciting and passionate and something to pursue ardently, even when it's driving you nuts. The painful truth is something that sometimes benefits no one -- not the person revealing it, not the person being told it -- it gets used for power when it could be gently broached as something constructive.
2. "Live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" ~OR~ "Live long and prosper"? Oh be serious! Which do you think I'm going to answer?
3. Let bygones be bygones ~OR~ Bitch, I'll cut you!? Let bygones be bygones, but sometimes it takes awhile of not even hearing the person's name -- not out of fear of breaking into violence, but because it still hurts, unexpectedly, way too much.
4. Private hell ~OR~ Sharing is caring? Sharing is caring. Would I talk this effing much if I believed otherwise?
5. Open hearted ~OR~ Walls around your heart? There was a time I would have said the former without hesitation, but get stabbed enough by people you didn't even know had knives, and you get a little more cautious. Though really it depends on the situation -- I was defensive in high school because I felt like I had to be, not very defensive in college and grad school because it seemed foolish to be, not at all defensive when I first had kids because I didn't remember how to be, and online I've probably been much too open in a lot of ways.
fridayfiver: Stump the...
1. Number of jobs you've held: Counting college work/study or not? Counting grad school assistantships or not? I have no idea how to answer this, as my "career" such as it is has not by any means followed a traditional path. Does "homemaker" count for shit, here, either?
2. Biggest raise, by percent: Again...I have no idea how to answer this. My single biggest raise was when my company was bought out by another company but since I was technically a freelancer on contract, it was article by article.
3. Have you ever quit? Dropping out of grad school cost me one assistantship. I also quit my very first job at a travel agent after three days, one summer in high school.
4. Have you ever been fired? Only if the company going out of business still owing me $3000 counts.
5. Worst mistake, while on the job: NOT quitting when it became obvious said company was going down, and believing them when they said I would get paid even if they did.
And from my long-lost friend from Janeway/Chakotay fandom, ancarett, The Big Five Word Test. This "emotional stability" score makes me really curious about why we were asked to rank ourselves on a heterosexual-homosexual continuum for these categories, which ones it impacted, and why. I'm fairly proud of the orderliness one, and imagine this ties right back into that jobs meme.
Big Five Word Test Results
|Extroversion (81%) high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity. |
Friendliness (60%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Orderliness (31%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, random, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of structure, reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.
Emotional Stability (41%) moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
Openmindedness (76%) high which suggests you are very intellectual, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
personality tests by similarminds.com