dual personalities

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It happened in the North China Sea…*

This week I really hit the entertainment jackpot. I found a 1964 adventure/drama starring Yul Brynner, Richard Whidmark and George Chakiris! Flight from Ashiya is no Kings of the Sun, but it certainly entertained me. Spoiler alert! The following leaves almost nothing out. The film begins as a typhoon rages around Ashiya, Japan. As part of the U.S. Army’s Air Rescue Service, our heroes must save some Japanese civilians adrift on a small raft after their ship goes down in the typhoon. George and Richard will fly the plane, while Yul, a very bald, very virile half-Japanese medic, will lead the actual rescue. So far, so good. They board the plane and start the flight, but then….

George has a FLASHBACK! Now we’re in the Alps a few years earlier flying a different rescue mission — one that goes tragically wrong. The crew manages to save one group of victims, including a mother whose baby Yul delivers, but when, despite Richard’s warning against it, George insists on making a second trip to rescue the remaining victims, tragedy ensues. Yul, who has the flight door wide open even in a blizzard, notices that George has flown too close to the mountain. Though he yells a warning, it is too late.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Somehow the vibration of the helicopter rotors has started an avalanche.

George has managed to kill the very people he is desperate to save. He feels terrible.

“I killed them!”

Returning to the present and the typhoon, George has doubts about whether he can fly the mission without killing everyone. Fortunately, Richard, the crusty veteran flyer, has plenty of confidence AND a cigar —

until he, too, has a FLASHBACK — this time to the Philippines just before WWII, where he meets the love of his life and we enjoy (?) a twenty- five minute love-story interlude until the war intervenes and tragedy strikes again. Richard’s new wife dies in a filthy Japanese POW camp. By some weird miracle, Richard arrives just in time to hold her in his arms one last time. Oh, and did I mention that she has lost their baby as well?

“They killed my wife and child!”

Meanwhile, back in the typhoon, after one rescue plane crashes in an attempt to land at sea, Yul offers to jump into the water, inflate a lifeboat and thereby save the people stranded on the raft. The plan works perfectly until a little boy gets swept overboard and Yul has to leap into the sea to rescue him. He manages to save the boy but a wave sweeps Yul away from the raft.

His last thought are of his first love…

As his strength fails, he has a FLASHBACK — this time to somewhere in North Africa during WWII, where he falls hopelessly in love with a young local beauty. An even lengthier love-interlude (after all, Yul has top billing) ends in tragedy. The enemy has arrived and Yul has to leave in a hurry. His love Leila runs after him

only to get blown up by the bomb that Yul himself set.

Yul feels too bad for a close-up, but he does get rescued from the sea. Then both George and Richard pull themselves together enough to rescue everyone in the lifeboat, although Richard breaks his arm in the process. Everyone gets back to Ashiya safely. With only one arm, Richard comforts the wife of one of the men lost in the plane crash.

His confidence restored, George greets his lovely wife.

And the studly Yul returns to his latest lady-love but then abandons her for the little boy that he saved.

“We’ll get the biggest mess of sukiyaki you ever did see” (I kid you not, that’s a line in the movie).

His girl understands and smiles quietly to herself.

That Yul is quite a guy!

Let’s review. Location-wise, the movie goes to Ashiya, Japan, somewhere in the Alps, the Philippines, somewhere in North Africa, and back to Ashiya. It involves at least three long FLASHBACKS, some racial tension (Richard’s hatred of the Japanese ‘runs deep’ but Yul understands), loads of trauma, and a very ‘fine’ script. Perfect viewing for an evening in quarantine!

Flight from Ashiya is available on Amazon Prime and on Youtube. You really should see it.

*Voice-over from Flight from Ashiya

Sieges tremendous*

Now be witness again, paint the mightiest armies of earth,
Of those armies so rapid so wondrous what saw you to tell us?
What stays with you latest and deepest? of curious panics,
Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what deepest remains?*

Well, another week of Zoom meetings…

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and cramped working space has come and (almost) gone. I can’t complain. Like my DP, there is a part of me that really enjoys being home, far away from the madding crowd. Another part says, Let’s try to make the most of our predicament! And, of course, I am counting my blessings.

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Since it is Friday, I am, of course, thinking of movies to watch over the weekend. Did you watch siege movies last weekend? I watched Rio Bravo (1959) and The Desert Rats (1953)–both were great!  This week’s theme, in consultation with daughter #2, will focus on our other preoccupation–babies!

The 1980s supplies the lion’s share of our titles. (What is with that?) We remember these movies fondly as being lightweight, but fun:

Willow (1988)–Warwick Davis plays a dwarf and aspiring sorcerer, who protects the infant Elora Danan from an evil queen in this fantasy directed by Ron Howard.

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Three Men and a Baby (1987)–Tom Selleck, Steve Gutenberg and Ted Danson play three bachelors attempting to adapt their lives to pseudo-fatherhood. Mishaps and adventures ensue. I had forgotten that it is directed by Leonard Nimoy and is based on the 1985 French film Trois hommes et un couffin, which as I recall, is also worth watching.

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Look Who’s Talking (1989)–A RomCom starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Bruce Willis plays the “voice” of the baby, Mikey. This was the movie that re-launched Travolta’s career.

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Baby Boom (1987)–Diane Keaton as a yuppie who “inherits” a 14-month-old girl. Sam Shepard co-stars.

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Of course, our favorite “baby” movie of all time is John Ford’s 3 Godfathers (1948)–there is no resisting John Wayne, Harry Carey, Jr. and Pedro Armendáriz as the fabled outlaw godfathers of a newborn.

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Meanwhile our own wee babes are sheltering at home and learning like little Einsteins.

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Brilliant.

One of my students shared this with me. It is très amusant.

Have a good Zoom-free weekend! Sunday is Palm Sunday! Can you believe it? Be sure to go to virtual church!

*Walt Whitman, “The Wound-Dresser”–read it all here.

Lessons from the Pequod

Rockwell Kent. Illustration to the novel by H. Melville "Moby dick"

My mother’s comment on my last post pointed to a Stubb quotation from Moby-Dick: “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” This got me thinking about Stubb, Starbuck, and Ahab, and it dawned on me that Moby-Dick might be the perfect novel for these self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine times. I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of lengthy passages, below.

From “The Gilder,” three approaches to stormy weather:

Oh, grassy glades! oh ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye, — though long parched by the dead drought of the earthly life,- in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover; and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal on them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause: — through infancy’s unconscious spell, boyhood’s thoughtless faith, adolescence’ doubt (the common doom), then scepticism, then disbelief, resting at last in manhood’s pondering repose of If. But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally. Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling’s father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it. And that same day, too, gazing far down from his boat’s side into that same golden sea, Starbuck lowly murmured: —

“Loveliness unfathomable, as ever lover saw in his young bride’s eyes! — Tell me not of thy teeth-tiered sharks, and thy kidnapping cannibal ways. Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.”

And Stubb, fish-like, with sparkling scale, leaped up in that same golden light: —

“I am Stubb, and Stubb has his history; but here Stubb takes oaths that he has always been jolly!”

And from “The Symphony,” if we really want to go there with Ahab…

When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain’s exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without — oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command! — when I think of all this; only half-suspected, not so keenly known to me before — and how for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare — fit emblem of the dry nourishment of my soul! — when the poorest landsman has had fresh fruit to his daily hand, and broken the world’s fresh bread to my mouldy crusts — away, whole oceans away, from that young girl-wife I wedded past fifty, and sailed for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent in my marriage pillow — wife? wife? — rather a widow with her husband alive? Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey — more a demon than a man! — aye, aye! what a forty years’ fool — fool — old fool, has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now? Behold. Oh, Starbuck! is it not hard, that with this weary load I bear, one poor leg should have been snatched from under me? Here, brush this old hair aside; it blinds me, that I seem to weep. Locks so grey did never grow but from out some ashes! But do I look very old, so very, very old, Starbuck? I feel deadly faint, bowed, and humped, as though I were Adam, staggering beneath the piled centuries since Paradise. God! God! God! — crack my heart! — stave my brain! — mockery! mockery! bitter, biting mockery of grey hairs, have I lived enough joy to wear ye; and seem and feel thus intolerably old? Close! stand close to me, Starbuck; let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God. By the green land; by the bright hearthstone! this is the magic glass, man; I see my wife and my child in thine eye. No, no; stay on board, on board! — lower not when I do; when branded Ahab gives chase to Moby Dick. That hazard shall not be thine. No, no! not with the far away home I see in that eye!

Needless to say, I hope we are not aboard our (metaphorical) ship for forty years. Might I suggest cracking Moby-Dick to help weather the coronavirus storm in the meantime?

Guitars, Cadillacs, hillbilly music, is the only thing that keeps me hanging on.

Well here we are. These unprecedented times continue. I moved my office to my front sunroom and it has really improved the quality of my life. Not only am I looking out a window, I can monitor the comings and goings of the Capitol police (they do a lot of circling the block) and the grounds crew at the Supreme Court. I’ve also observed that one of my neighbors (who works for the Governor) drives to work (across the street) and drives home for lunch before driving back across the street to work. IMG_9525

In less thrilling news, we had a monstrous hail storm in Jefferson City on Friday night and my poor car was severely damaged. While I have wiled away my days waiting for the insurance adjustor to come look at my car, I did not get to make my trip to the grocery store so I’ve entered that stage of digging in the freezer. Thankfully, I bought all of that wine last week–but I ran out of candy yesterday!

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I’ve been breaking up my days by taking a walk after lunch. We’ve had sunshine the past few days and it has been a real treat. I can walk up to several scenic overlooks and gaze at the Missouri River.

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I’ve also spent some time working on my stitching. I have started working on a sampler I began over a year ago and I’ve made real progress. Stitching is a great diversion because it is hard to think about anything other than counting while doing it. This is the perfect activity for me. I like listening to music and podcasts while stitching.

Today, I indulged in a little Cousin Dwight and it really lifted my spirits. I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to Joe Diffie, who died this weekend from COVID-19. He is a staple on the Mid-MO country station I’ve written about–and had a lot more hits than I realized. And truly his hair and mustache were among the greats of country music. He was a member of the Opry and will be missed.

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Also, don’t forget to check out the blooming trees in your neighborhoods. They are lovely!

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“When through the deep waters I call thee to go…”*

…the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;

for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

They sang this hymn in the Morning Prayer service at Christ Church, Charlottesville, which I tuned into remotely as is my new Sunday morning routine. I do not mean to be disloyal to my own Grace Church, but it’s a nice change. Anyway, the words to this well-known hymn are perfect for our time. Read them all here.

So have you resorted to cleaning out drawers to amuse yourself yet? I have. I’m sure you can imagine the things I have found! Lots of snapshots from back in the days (the ’90’s) when we still used camera with film…

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… but survival cards for Southeast Asia?!

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…the Shakespeare Game?

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…and lots of half used candles (for emergencies) and coasters…so many coasters!

I also cleaned up the Florida room and moved all my plants out there.

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Ah, progress.

Besides all this sorting and cleaning, the OM and I went on an outing on Saturday to Lone Elk Park where we practiced social distancing with buffalo and elk.

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This drive-through park is perfect for this time of enforced isolation when the zoo and botanical garden are closed. Of course, lots of people had the same idea–the traffic was bumper to bumper!

Meanwhile the wee babes are hanging out at home, eating outside and studying remotely…

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…and you can picture me at the virtual salt mine…

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Take time to smell the flowers!

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*”How Firm a Foundation” attributed to Robert Keen, ca. 1787.

Highs and lows

As I’m sure is true for everyone, I am experiencing a variety of highs and lows these days. I oscillate between feeling grateful for my relatively good conditions and unavoidably anxious about all that is outside of my control. This weekend I felt quite low by Sunday afternoon and had to pull out all the stops to cheer myself up, including calling my mother for a second day in a row. She helpfully reminded me that on top of everything else I might be subject to some third-trimester hormonal swings. Touché, I say!

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This half-hearted attempt at a smile sums it up pretty well

Anyway, you can probably guess what the lows are. Mostly I miss the spontaneity that comes with the freedom to leave one’s house on a whim. I mean, we plan out our meals for 2 weeks at this point. There is no moment to say, “I’m craving guacamole! Go grab avocados!” And I read in someone’s personal essay on the topic (yes, the personal essay has really had a comeback in this context) that she felt like anticipation didn’t exist anymore. We don’t have things to look forward to, because we can’t plan anything! So there’s less last-minute whimsy fun, and no long-term planned-for fun. The closest thing we have is the thrill of productivity — I am still, of course, embracing my at-home to-do list! It’s sad how much I’ve embraced the joy of vacuuming — but I must say, that joy is fleeting.

That’s enough of the negative. We did have some highs…

DN’s birthday was last week, and I think I did a pretty good job making it feel festive. Who doesn’t appreciate a silly banner like the one below? We enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls for several days, and wrapped presents (even if you have to use the dregs of the wrapping paper reserves) are always joyful. The fact of the birthday forced us to try to feel celebratory, and that was a good thing.

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We (haha, DN) also assembled the crib, and the nursery is feeling a little more put-together. How do you like Tintin as decor? I think it’s perfect and colorful.

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Do I need a crib skirt?

Last but not least, we retrieved a number of Steve McQueen DVDs from our basement. We enjoyed The Thomas Crown Affair first, which was comforting in its abundance of style. To watch something that was so of its era — so sixties — really took me out of the present moment! Next up:

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The Quiet Life

I’m having a hard time keeping track of the days. It’s Saturday, you say? Zut alors! We are managing well in our isolation but it has ruined my sense of time. Every day is the same: I drink tea, work on classes, take a walk, eat, read, sleep, and then start the process all over again. Occasional phone calls or online meetings add some color. It’s all very quiet and stress free and reminds me of something Shirley Jackson wrote in Life Among the Savages:

I cannot think of a preferable way of life, except one without children and without books, going on soundlessly in an apartment hotel where they do the cleaning for you and send up your meals and all you have to do is lie on a couch and — as I say, I cannot think of a preferable way of life…

Frankly, the quiet routine could get a little creepy. If you need some action but also want to learn something, here are a couple of recommendations. I think I’ve blogged about them all before, but there’s nothing wrong with revisiting the greats, right? All of the following are available for fee download at Project Gutenberg. A shoutout to my son, for I got the idea from his Melville Minute column.

  1. The Iliad (I would recommend the Fagles translation, which is not available from Gutenberg) — one of the most perceptive accounts of war and human nature ever written. Contra DN’s literary take on the epic, to me, the very indecisiveness and changing moods of the characters are what make it such a brilliant portrayal of human experience. In war, as in life more generally, people sometimes feel confident and sometimes they despair; sometimes they love their comrades and sometimes loath them; sometimes they revere the gods and sometimes curse them. Our moods and the decisions we make change with our circumstances. If you haven’t read the Iliad, do! But read it with compassion for its characters and appreciation of the wise poet(s) who made them so real.
  2.  Caesar’s Gallic Wars. I’m teaching this right now and reading it for the umpteenth time. I can’t think of a better way to learn about leadership, strategic thinking, and political acumen than by reading Casesar. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because he wrote over two-thousand years ago, he isn’t relevant anymore. The man who wrote, “all bad precedents begin as justifiable measures” understood politics. Too bad our current politicians don’t seem to have read their Caesar.
  3.  Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. More than a time-bound condemnation of badly executed colonialism, this work takes on deeper problems of human nature and existence. It recognizes that civilization is but a thin veneer — an illusion that allows us to make sense of our world and believe that we control it. Read it, dissect its many layers, and bask in the Conrad’s lyrical writing.

Well, I think three is enough for now. I apologize for posting another list and no photos, but I haven’t done anything worth writing about.

Stay healthy and don’t let the isolation get you down!

What’s playing at the Roxy?

Thank you, Neil Diamond. You made my day.

Well, the week is almost over, and though we still can’t really leave the house except to take a walk, still it’s Friday and that means the weekend starts tomorrow. We’ll have a little more freedom to do what we want and not just sit at a makeshift work desk pretending to feeling guilty about (not) doing work.

I have been trying to think of appropriate movies to watch during this weird time and I’ve come up with a few recommendations. Here they are:

The Alamo (1960)–John Wayne stars as Davy Crockett and Laurence Harvey as William Travis, leading a small band of Texicans besieged at the Alamo.

Zulu (1964)–Stanley Baker and Michael Caine and 150 British soldiers defend themselves against 4000 Zulu warriors while besieged at Rorke’s Drift. 

Rio Bravo (1959) and/or El Dorado (1966)–Two films with the same plot directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne wherein a sheriff and a handful of volunteers hold off a rancher’s gang who want to free their boss.

Tremors (1990)–Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward attempt to save their small desert town from giant, carnivorous, subterranean worms who hunt via sonar and footsteps. They are helped in their task by local gun-enthusiasts Michael Gross and Reba McIntyre who supply a whole arsenal of firearms and munitions. 

55 Days at Peking (1963)–This film epic dramatizes the siege of the foreign legations compound in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion. Charlton Heston, David Niven and Ava Gardner star.

 We could also watch any movie which takes place on a submarine, because they involve people who are certainly trapped and submerged for long periods of time. Which is the one where they’re hiding on the bottom of the ocean and running out of air? That would be perfect.

Any other ideas?

Well, keep up the good work and chin, chin. It could be a lot worse. A lot worse (see above list).

What are you reading? Venality, pestilence, and joy edition

Today we have a guest post from DN, on his birthday! Our at-home festivities will be low key, but I thought it would be appropriate if we celebrated him by hearing from him on the blog.

“What are you reading?” is a great question for these times of quarantine, of course. In my case, I am finally able to keep up with the New Yorker subscription for which I ambitiously signed up after completing my dissertation. DN, on the other hand, has been toggling between Infinite Jest and The Iliad. So let’s see what he has to say!

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…I was already reading Infinite Jest when the virus traveled here. My father had decided to tackle it, and I wanted to talk with him about it, but my memory of the novel was hazy—I had read it maybe 10 years ago or more. Also, there is simply a lot of it. I am currently about halfway through, and I might write about why I appreciate it (and why it is unfortunately misrepresented!) when I finish. Because—teaser—it really is the ultimate novel for our times.

However, some texts are timeless. What compelled me to pull Homer’s Iliad from the shelf I’m not entirely sure, but I think I felt drawn to something whose scope was commensurate to the (epic, historical) present. And I was rather delighted to find chaos.

Epics famously begin in medias res. I always took this truism to mean that epics throw the reader immediately into the middle of the action. They work to grab attention right away. And this is true: the first chapters of the Iliad are action-packed. They primarily concern disagreements between Agamemnon and Achilles, the highest leader and preeminent warrior respectively among the Greeks. Agamemnon and Achilles squabble, debating whether or not to approach Troy at all, and the gods likewise bicker among themselves. Everything gets described in long ablative clauses, and everyone’s actions and countermeasures unroll line by line by line. However, what I did not previously appreciate about in medias res is how it also denotes a tangle of motivations. Reading the opening chapters of the Iliad, it is nearly impossible to parse why Agamemnon and Achilles act as they do. Each will make a long pronouncement about what they propose to do, and then proceed to do the exact opposite. It. Is. Infuriating.

For me, this frustration about human motivation leads to the conclusion that the Trojan War begins for no good, earthly reason. Rather, the war begins on account of veniality and pestilence—specifically, because a bitter Apollo decides to shoot plague-laden arrows into the Greeks, sowing confusion.

   He came as night comes down and knelt then
apart and opposite the ships and let go an arrow.
Terrible was the clash that rose from the bow of silver.
First he went after the mules and the circling hounds, then let go
a tearing arrow against the men themselves and struck them.
The corpse fires burned everywhere and did not stop burning. (1.47-52)

To me, what is most affecting here is the spatial and temporal disorientation. Apollo is everywhere—“apart and opposite”—and all the time—“did not stop.” And I was only a handful of days into self-isolation when I read those lines! Were we ever so young.

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Eventually the Greeks do go to war. I guess this is a decision, but really it’s more an outcome of circumstance. And in the middle of a tumultuous windup to war comes the invocation of the muse, which made me laugh out loud. This is a moment when the text takes a very deep breath. I want to include the lines preceding this moment so that you get a sense of how surprising this interruption of rhythm is:

These, as men who are goatherds among the wide goatflocks
easily separate them in order as they take to the pasture,
thus the leaders separate them this way and that way
toward the encounter, and among them powerful Agamemnon,
with eyes and head like Zeus who delights in thunder,
like Ares for girth, and with the chest of Poseidon;
like some ox of the herd pre-eminent among the others,
a bull, who stands conspicuous in the huddling cattle;
such was the son of Atreus as Zeus made him that day,
conspicuous among men, and foremost among the fighters.
Tell me now, you Muses who have your homes on Olympos.
For you, who are goddesses, are there, and you know all things,
and we have heard only the rumor of it and know nothing. (2.474-486)

Among the rolling verse describing human action line after line, the muses, set apart by punctuation, simply are. While the men are boiling over, the muses just abide. It really took my breath away, this unity of substance and form.

The Iliad is not all venality and pestilence; it has many joys, too. For example, the way that Hera, who supports the Greeks, expresses her exasperation with Zeus—currently in support of the Trojans and their king Priam—reminds me of certain choice work interactions.

Majesty, son of Kronos, what sort of thing have you spoken?
How can you wish to make wasted and fruitless all this endeavor,
the sweat that I have sweated in toil, and my horses worn out
gathering my people, and bringing evil to Priam and his children.
Do it then; but not all the rest of us gods will approve you. (4.25-29)

Yeah look, Hera says, you obviously can create hardship for the Greeks. I can’t stop you. But don’t expect me to like it!

More often, the Iliad shows me a quiet truth that feels eternal in a small way. This is especially the case when it describes something about the natural world, for example, when, as an aside, it likens the Trojan elders to cicadas. Below, the elders are the substantive “these”:

Now through old age these fought no longer, yet they were excellent
speakers still, and clear, as cicadas who through the forest
settle on trees, to issue their delicate voice of singing.
Such were they who sat on the tower, chief men of the Trojans.
And these, as they saw Helen along the tower approaching,
murmuring softly to each other uttered their winged words… (3.150-155)

You know, now that I think about it, cicadas really are mysteriously old. And lofty. But subtle! I have just as much difficulty imagining old age.

Such joys are on nearly every page.

No TV and no beer make Homer something, something.

Well, I’m not there yet.

But, it has been a full week of social distancing for me. And my only social interactions for the past seven days have been during my attempts to virtue signal by ordering takeout from downtown restaurants within walking distance. I really can’t believe we have finagled a situation in America where staying home from work and ordering takeout makes me a hero. Because don’t think for a moment that I am not a hero for staying in my apartment.

I have also ventured out to the Hy Vee. Today, I bought enough wine to get the 10% discount for six or more bottles.

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Now I feel prepared .

I am lucky for many reasons but one of them is that I have my craft room turned office so I am able to separate my work life from my home life. During the day, I try to minimize time out of my office–taking a break of lunch–so that at 5p, I close the laptop and move to my living room as I would if I were getting home from work.

Of course, like most people, I am stressed by all of this. And I look forward to the day when we return to normal (if that’s possible). However, I am also trying to find joy in the midst of my social isolation. For instance, I think we should all take a moment to appreciate that we are basically glazing over the awkward dress period of Spring where it is hard to know what to wear. It’s cold in the morning and often gloomy, but I’m always tired of wearing the same winter clothes by the time March/April roll around. Well, now, it’s just my leggings and sweatshirt and no one to see me. By the time I’m back at work, it’ll be fully spring and my wardrobe will make a smooth and safe transition.

So, I’m trying to focus on some positives…even if they are a bit of a stretch (like my pants).

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