Yesterday I wrenched my back painfully enough to excuse cleaning gutters today. I am morally driven in many ways but defying pain is not one of them. I took two Advil and went to bed early. The cats, who had enjoyed going up and down the ladder (it's one of their fav things) even with me in the way, went to bed early as well.
It takes about four hours for a brain to pucker up its cells so that fluids can wash out the debris of thinking all day. That's scientific If you sleep that long, you won't end up hallucinating -- at least not quite. So about 2AM I was awake and checking Twitter.
One post claimed that parts of Khashoggi had been found in the ambassador's garden. It sounded bogus but possible. More vividly, Putin was shown at a table with his closest henchmen, including that fellow with the limp and the rather Satanic cast who had been the Russian ambassador to the UN (Lavrov) yukking it up in the Oval Office with his buddy, Trump, Putin's least secret weapon for the destruction of the USA. Putin normally is stone-faced, but these snaps showed the whole table actively laughing at their easy success.
Luckily, when I can't sleep, I resort to British Commonwealth conspiracy movies, esp. Aussie series, which rarely include major explosions or even guns. The ideas are about the unexpected, the currents of modern demographics: very much as they have always been -- major forces acting on individuals whose only defence is courage. They are meant to encourage us all to endure and remain sceptical. Aussies do.
Good thing, now that I've slept in and the cats have gone outside to terrorize grasshoppers. Bad thing, since the big C-sequence airplanes from Malmstrom Air Force Base are in the air again and I can hear them growling. They are said to value practice along the East Slope of the Rockies where they cross the Canadian border. Today Twitter is full of pipe-bomb news.
This is all very exciting and worrisome, but much less so when you live in Valier which is very small and has no bigshots -- just people who would like to be. Celibate isolates are quite common here but totally unorganized and too old to be violent. Many people are multi-generational immigrants, but 30% are enrolled indigenous, assimilated and therefore invested in peacefulness. In fact, moved here -- just across the line from the rez -- not for the sake of access to beer, but because of escaping from amphetamines. Most people don't relate to the world "outside" as portrayed on television except to go shopping. To them the world is a stage and all of it is unreal. They WILL vote, however.
None of them will quite admit that a small old-fashioned town is an ideal place for evil dealings, like drug labs. The town was so short-sheeted by the county authorities when it came to law enforcement, that they made a deal to find an excellent candidate somewhere, pay to send him through "cop school", and find him a good place to live in town. How many years will it be before he develops a map in his head of both the stubborn and predictable locals and the potential crime markets only miles away, convenient for people who can afford dependable anonymous cars.
I'm not talking about the rez. If you know how to cross the Canadian boundary covertly, which many teenagers around here do, Calgary and Lethbridge are major cities. How serious is it? Last spring badly "cooked" meth killed half a dozen people in Calgary. (I probably have the specifics wrong, but you could Google.) American journalists have a line in their heads like the line where weather stops on American television weathercasts, as though rain and wind had to use the port of entry. Their articles are about factoids and personal stories.
To keep all this in perspective, I subscribe to the websites that look for the big picture -- I mean REALLY big, like cosmic -- and ancient peoples. Not Egyptians and Romans, but hominins across the world. I read neurology and how brains work . . . or don't quite. All this makes me quite fatalistic. I mean, we all know from birth that we will die and that making up reassuring stories about it doesn't really work. In fact, it's a bit of a relief that there will come a time when I'm gone, Valier is gone, the North American continent is gone, and no one needs to clean the gutters anymore.
Many of my Twitter readers are western Canadian indigenous people who have not bought-in to a country that was so recently run by a department store, Hudson's Bay. I hear a different set of issues that go a bit deeper, addressing human organizing in the actual managing of life and how it should relate to faraway people entirely focused on monetary greed. Much simpler version of the same struggle.
Strangely, in the face of all the ideas of terror and suspicion, there is a parallel but opposite strand insisting on love, beauty, romance. They post exquisite artwork with moons and birds and silhouetted trees, distant horizons and peaceful waterways. They're like oppo-shadows, cast at the side of grim death. Most of them are young women.
My household is at the edge of chaos because I'm trying to simplify and to eliminate a lot of things (books, clothes, pillows) which means spreading them out for sorting. I take it that the whole world is in that state. I could glorify it and talk about "liminal time," how we are creating a space full of possibility. But then I look at Trump's prancy dough-faced squinting panic or Putin and Lovrov's grinning Jack o'Lantern rictus, and wonder why we can't seem to get rid of them. They'll rot like old pumpkins on their own, of course, but it would be so much better if we could just toss them over the edge of the world without a lot of fuss. No talk about love saving the planet, since it isn't. Anyway, love of what?