Lenny went off to sleep at eight o'clock. This is unusual, and really good, because at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, he enters the care of the state until half past three in the afternoon, and he's going to need to be well rested. The prep teachers sent us a very tldr email about the behaviour expected of parents of new members of the learning community (the LC, which is annoying for me.) Highlights included five lengthy dot points explaining why we're not to accompany him into his classroom in the morning, a string of most upsetting references to what we're meant to do with the stationary pack, and the assurance that readers won't commence for at least a month as they are too full on.
I'm sitting on the couch. Out the two windows visible from here is the most beautiful sky - all blue and grey with slashes and scribbles of quietly glowing pink. The fast fading evening light is just warm enough to bring out the richest and deepest colours in the trees and fences and chimneys and rooftops. In my own garden the crepe myrtle began to bloom a few days ago, so now there's splotches of magenta against the green. There are birds, and soon there will be bats.
Did you wake up this morning and check online to see whether Trump had declared war on China overnight?
Tiny personal concerns are almost all-consuming with me at the moment. Even if they weren't, I think my feelings about what's happening wouldn't be much different: it's a tsunami of dread. I both do and don't understand what's going on, if that makes any kind of sense. It's the uninventable Steve Bannon's intentions and strategies overlapping with those of the longtime disturber of the equilibrium of this blog, Slavoj Zizek, to force our tired, sick, limping world to use its last energies in finally smashing itself to pieces.
It's dark now, and there's a jet roaring across the sky. Nuclear codes? Shock and awe. The cat is crunching up his food in the laundry. The ceiling fan hums quietly overhead. Now the cat is sitting on the coffee table. He's going to jump on the couch and rub his greasy head on the corner of my laptop, and bite my feet, any minute now, it's going to happen.
Under these conditions I find no useful explicators of the situation in the deluge of news, analysis, opinion. I can't retain any of that. There's too much, it's happening too fast. Trying to gain a toehold, the things I've been thinking about are mostly products of other people's reactions. They produce images I can hold on to. I'm wondering what the/our/my next move will be.
From the top:
Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor. That's a still from the 1981 movie with Julie Christie. This book is a talisman, my talisman, for trouble. The newspapers are howling 'read 1984' - but you know what? People have been telling other people to read 1984 for a very long time now, and as far as I can see it hasn't really done much good. Read this instead. Or watch the movie. I have it on DVD and I will consider lending it where that is practical.
Mike Lynch's Trump cake, via Instagram.
Godzilla, via The London Review of Books blog
An American friend wrote that she feels she's now living inside a political version of Lars von Trier's film Melancholia. Honestly, this remark has been the thing that's gotten it across to me. We're all sitting in the teepee made of sticks now.