Is it time for bird? I just want to stop staring at the godawful bridge, there are artifacts everywhere and mess but it’s been four nights straight picking at it and I just can’t, it’s burned into my retinas. (Thankfully, none of these things is visible in the screencap. Take my word for it.)
Eagle commencing this weekend. First, I’m giving myself a break. Only halfway through the battle, and I’m not getting any faster. -_-
Francis is 35 years old and an only child. He came to Germany for his work and of course to learn the language (he speaks English tho). He sees it as a new beginning and a new adventure and it sure will be with his new neighbor. Of course he brought his French habits with him and so his German neighbor gets genuinely confused when he eats dinner at 8pm or later. Sadly tho he’s got a fear of dogs due to a traumatic experience in his youth, so the dog of his neighbor scares him a little.
Food is Francis’ great passion! he LOVES food and is therefore an excellent cook! He loves to invite people over to cook for them. But of course he’s also a great baker, something he has in common with his German neighbor without even knowing it yet. His knowledge about food also is quite grand and sometimes he likes to show it off a little. As a Frenchman he of course knows A LOT about wines as well.
Francis loves flowers and taking care of his garden. In his old town he used to be very famous for his beautiful roses in his garden. He wants to do the same now in his new home; to have a beautiful garden with lots of pretty flowers. He could spend hours in his garden, just relaxing and smelling the flowers.
One of his hobbies is panting. Francis is quite the artistic person and painting is one of his natural talents. he enjoys painting all sorts of things, landscapes, portraits and other objects. It also gives him relaxation in stressed situations. Who knows, maybe one day he’s able to paint his neighbor?
Of course Francis is a fashionista so he enjoys shopping a lot! He always pays attention to what he is wearing and likes his overpriced good quality items. He therefore doesn’t hesitate to buy some expensive things. But he also likes to just go window shopping and look what they have in store.
that Donald Trump is not ‘stupid’ or ‘crazy’ – those are a smokescreen he uses to use people’s own smug satisfaction against them, and that’s how he won this election, and if you have any sense at all you’ll take it as the deadly serious thing it is, and not just laugh at “How can this guy go any further?” as he strips rights from every minority group in the country.
I kind of knew he’d won last night.
I wasn’t looking at the election results. And the last I’d heard from anyone telling me anything about them, things were going Hillary’s way.
I didn’t trust that.
I didn’t trust it because before I went to bed, I looked around.
I hadn’t looked around in a good long while. I’d been absorbed so much in NaNoWriMo that I hadn’t had a chance. But I’m a few days ahead on my word count goals, so instead of frantically trying to get everything written by midnight, I’d already written what I was going to write, turned in my word count, and gotten ready for bed.
And then casually, without even thinking, I looked around.
I can’t tell you how I look around. I can’t explain how it’s done. I do it the same way I visit the redwood forest I lived out my infancy in on a regular basis, without ever leaving my apartment in Vermont. It’s just something my brain does, a way I take in information. It’s not the usual way, it doesn’t yield the usual results. But it tracks well with what people doing things the usual way get – well enough that I think it’s just as reliable a way to pick up information about the world as any other, even if I can’t understand or properly explain it.
So I do my brain’s equivalent of looking out the window, looking at the country as a whole, without even thinking, I just do it…
…and I see something I’ve never seen before.
I’ve seen bad things before, mind you. There’s bad things all over the landscape of America for anyone with any eyes to see it in this way. The legacy of a country built on slavery and genocide can’t just be paved over and forgotten, it sticks like a disgusting kind of polluted muck on the ground, it won’t come off. And I remember how things looked in Japan after the Fukushima disaster. And so many other things going wrong in the world that when my mind even glances at them it can just see Bad written in capital letters all over the place.
But this one was different than most.
The best analogy I can find – and it’s only an analogy, mind you – is giants. Like fairytale giants.
Walking over a dark landscape, tearing up the ground, throwing it around, killing people right left and center, causing chaos and mayhem of the worst sort.
I’ve never seen them before. I don’t know what the fuck they are, in the real world. I just know that’s what they looked like in my head as i looked out my window at the entire country (my window was actually behind me at the time, which doesn’t matter with this kind of looking).
I’m not always too open about this particular way of getting information about things. I’ve found that sometimes it’s worse to be taken seriously for it than to be bullied and laughed at, if being taken seriously means having people put me on a weird kind of undeserved pedestal that’s just as creepy if not creepier than being bullied and taunted and called crazy. It’s not about being crazy (that’s a totally different part of how my brain works, this if anything is one of the least crazy things about my brain) and it’s not special supernatural powers or something. It’s just one of many ways that the human (and probably other species too) brain can get information about the world. Sometimes it’s culturally accepted, sometimes it’s shunned, sometimes it’s put on a pedestal, but honestly it’s just one more way of sorting out information and it’s better at doing some things than the usual ways, worse at others, and should be considered on its own merits, not shunned or worshipped or anything extreme like that.
But whatever it is? I’ve learned over the years what situations merit trusting it more, and what situations merit trusting it less. And this is a situation that calls for trusting it more. There may not be literally giants running around out there ripping up our landscape, but I would bet my life and everything dear to me that those giants are something real. I don’t know what, and I am a little scared to know what, honestly. But we’d better find out if we want to fight them.
This morning my kitten, Igor, woke me up by jumping on me and purring as usual. I forgot to take my neck pillow off when i stood up to get out of bed, and instead of getting off me, Igor rode around on my neck pillow. I asked him if he was planning on just riding around on that neck pillow all day and jumping on the backs of those giants to shred them with his claws or something. I think a kitten could probably fight giants surprisingly well.
But all joking aside (and that’s not totally joking, I think kittens have a lot going for them at the moment, and he’s been very serious about something the past day or so, maybe just picking up on the tension of just about everyone around here – we all voted for Hillary and we’re all terrified of Trump) the giants are real, Trump is real, the danger is real, and Trump is cold, calculating, and terrifying to anyone who can see him with any kind of clarity.
And he’s had some kind of glamour going on that’s been fooling people into thinking he’s just a blowhard who doesn’t know what he’s doing, may even have something wrong with his brain, ha ha, don’t take him that seriously, so he can creep right into office under people’s noses. You have to stop falling for that. Have to. The right wing in this country has been using that sort of bullshit to dupe you guys into complacency for years, you have to wake up. It’s bullshit, learn to sniff it out. It really does stink.
And we need to learn what these giants are, and we need to fight them, and everyone capable of seeing through glamour has to work overtime at doing that and helping others to do it, in any way possible, because we have to see what’s really going on, not what he wants us to think is going on. Or this nightmare will only get worse.
And speaking of nightmares, do not get me started on the kind of nightmares I had all night. They were probably just as meaningful as the giants, and they weren’t remotely pleasant. It was good to wake up to the cat.
Cats are good. We need more exuberant ridiculous doofus Ravenclaw kittens with outsize brains and ridiculous ideas about the world, and fewer giants ripping everything to shreds. All Igor ever rips to shreds are the paper towels. Always the expensive ones, too. But if that’s the worst he does, he’s not bad at all. Frigging hell, I wish I was more surprised by this election result, but I wish even more that everyone else was less surprised, because everyone who is surprised by this is someone he and others like him and all those working with him, can fool again in the same way if you don’t watch out. And this is going to have a body count. If you’re not already awake, wake up now. Please. I saw this coming. Many of my friends with similar ways of perceiving the world saw this coming – there’s something about us he hadn’t learned to slip past and fool, probably because there’s less of us and he wasn’t aiming at us? Whatever it is, FFS, please listen to people who saw this coming, whether through cold logical analysis of the situation or through looking out the window behind us at a bunch of fairytale giants ravaging the landscape of the entire country (I’m convinced there’s more detail that can be seen, but I can’t force myself to look no matter how hard I try). You can learn from all of us, regardless of what cognitive styles caused us to be able to see this better than other people did. And all of us, we need each other.
Most of all… if the systems that take care of people start getting dismantled, then people need to take care of people. It’s like the part of Lacy J. Dalton’s song “This Ol’ Town”:
Well Bane was a farmer Was a mean old man Used to scream at us kids Chase us off of his land
But you know last summer Old Bane broke his arm All the neighbors pitched in And they painted his barn
That’s just the way that we live In this ol’ town
There’s towns, and places much larger than towns, like that, all over this country. Where it’s just a fundamental value that you help out your neighbor even if you hate his guts, because none of us could survive without each other.
And disabled people – people like me – are often the first to be considered utterly disposable by people like Trump (and secretly also by lots of left-wingers too, which is a big reason we’re often the first – too many people agree that we’re disposable, look at Britain, fucking look at Britain). They gut the programs that take care of us, and if we don’t have family, we’d better damn well have neighbors that step up, or we are dead. Literally dead. Not figuratively. Not in some imaginary world. Dead. In coffins and urns and whatever else the dead get put in these days. Corpses. We’re usually among the first, but we’re not usually the last, so everyone else needs to watch out too. And never get complacent that disabled people, people of color, queer people, and everyone else who can become disposable, will become disposable, even more so than we already are. (And never think that because we already are, it can’t get worse – it can always get worse.)
So wake up, and pay attention, and that’s one part of it.
But also, practice actual love and compassion for your fellow human beings, check in on your neighbors, set up systems to take the place of the government systems that may get dismantled, try to keep the government systems that keep us alive from getting dismantled in the first place, all of these things are important. But the fundamental love and compassion is the most important of all, because that’s what will mean life or death for whoever gets targeted as disposable. Whether we live or die will come down to whether you have it in you to think we’re important enough to keep alive, even if it means sacrificing things you would rather be doing right now. Learn to live as people who value each other – who value everyone, whether you like them or not, and who act on you valuing of everyone, not just talk about it. That’s the most important thing anyone can do to build up resistance to these giants, I suspect. Love – practical love, not a vague fuzzy emotion but one of the deepest properties of the world enacted in your life in human terms – usually is the best thing to overcome evil. And this is evil, there’s really no way around that. So get to seeing it clearly, and get to loving all people in the most active and practical way you possibly can. It’s the only chance a lot of us are going to have, it’s not like countries accept people for political asylum on the basis of ableism, because all countries that accept people for political asylum accept a deadly level of ableism as normal. We can’t fight this all ourselves, and we can’t just leave, not unless we can prove to whatever country we’re fleeing to that we’re an asset to their economy that will offset the potential cost of our disabilities, and how many of us on SSI and other disability income can possibly do that? See what I mean about accepting deadly levels of ableism as normal?
Anyway. Wake up, certainly, but don’t despair, because that’s exactly where they want you and it’s no better than being oblivious. Love and hope are both vital right now. And you have to put everything you have into love anyway, if you want anything you do to turn out right, even in far less troubling times than this. So love, love beautifully, love actively, love powerfully, but love. It’s an action, and a power, not a feeling.
[And now I’ll go back to saving most of my writing ability for NaNoWriMo, but don’t think I’m keeping that separate from these issues either. In fact, a lot of them are right at the heart of the novel i’m writing, even if it’s not obvious to everyone.]
Part of the pleasure of a good lyric poem is the way it allows us to exist simultaneously in all time, not simply to transcend the present, but to pull fragments of past and present together into one charged moment.
Nance Van Winckel, from “Charles Wright and the Landscape of the Lyric,” The Point Where All Things Meet: Essays on Charles Wright, ed. Tom Andrews (Oberlin College Press, 1995)
When we see Fili for the first time, as Bilbo opens Bag End’s door, his first words are the traditional introduction of Dwarves, which expresses respect and joviality. Happy, confident, smiling, proud, but also well mannered.
Who does he speak to? To Bilbo, of course, the owner of the rendezvous place.
A few months later, at the end of all things, in the icy landscapes of Ravenhill, Fili’s last words are a last thought for his family’s and friends’ safety, not a cry for help.
Who does he speak to? Also to Bilbo, who is a shocked witness of this brutal scene.
Therefore Bilbo is present from the very beginning to the right end of Fili’s story arc in the quest to regain Erebor.
Bilbo could tell that Fili’s life ended as it began, thinking about others first, and then himself, because a true King is at the service of his people.