Thursday, April 30, 2020

Grateful Day

I woke up a few minutes ago - normally, I don't sleep in this late (7 am), but I had a tough night. The rain that had been hovering around all day finally fell, taking with it the power. My sweet husband had just happened to buy some battery-operated bulbs that had a hook attached; he was able to put a few up to light the way to the bathroom.

We sometimes forget just how dark the world can get at night. Without streetlights and all of the electronic devices blinking in the dark, it was black, indeed. I'd have loved it, if it were not for the aching in my joints. Rain, or any weather reversal that brings about an air pressure change, is hard on arthritis.

But, when I woke again, after going back to bed, the lights were on.

There is a reason that electric lights are a hallmark of modern civilization; like many mammals more active in the daytime, we see poorly at night. The world is filled after dark with menacing shapes lurking around the edge of our vision. We can't perform our normal activities in the dark - no reading, needlework, or visual stimulus beyond poorly seen shadows.

It's a quiet time, and, yet, if you step outdoors, it's noisy with the movement of predators, and the swoop of owls on the hunt. In the dark, when much water vapor lingers in the air, sounds don't travel at quite the same speed, lending an eerie, other-worldly atmosphere.

We are daytime critters; the dawn brings us a grateful optimism for the events of the day. All seems possible at dawn.

I have a full fridge, a roof over my head, sufficient money to ease our shutdown, and family and friends. Others are not so lucky. But, this morning, I am optimistic that this will end soon.

So, I have hope for our country. Today, at least.

Yesterday, I watched Jeopardy; the final question was based on the last words of an 18th century novel.
Today’s Final Jeopardy question (4/29/2020) in the category “19th Century Novels” was:
Its first line ends, “the period was so far like the present period…for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only”
 I bet my husband that both of the women would get it, but not the man - which was correct. I knew the answer (I love that book in high school), but my husband did not remember it.

The full line (which is also the first paragraph) is:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
That line, and much of the chicanery of the ruling class, reminds me of our own uneasy and troubled times. We volley from hope to despair as we listen to the news that ruling class permits us to hear. Those Elites, those 'anointed' ones, those whose entire life is designed to prepare them to take their near-hereditary place in our society - they are simultaneously ignoring the real pain their restrictions have placed on the 'rabble', and pretending that they are suffering, just like us.

I understand that Marie Antoinette and her friends used to play at being peasants, dressing up in milkmaid costume, and living that life - in her spare time, and with none of the dreary parts - actual work, exposure to disease, hunger and such.

Sounds a lot like the Instagram and Twitter antics of the celebrities and politicians that want us to know "We're in this together".

Kind of.

Hidden Question: What is A Tale of Two Cities?


Ed Bonderenka said...

Well, I got it.
What I want to know is, if you bet your husband, what did the other person bet?

Linda Fox said...

Ha. I would never put him up as stakes for a bet.