Mr. K. Knees
Me: That's nonsense. I can't read minds.
K. Knees: [Rolls eyes toward ceiling] What am I thinking now?
K. Knees: See!
Me: So that was a test?
I'm supposed to be sleeping. I'm not, as you can tell. I'm still struggling through the changes in my medications. On the good side, things are not as dark as they were. On the bad side, the deep muscle aches are awful.
Okay, enough whining. .
My desk fronts a window. All the spring weeds are sprouting in my poor garden. It's been too cold to work out there, but we have to start next week no matter what or they'll take over the world. Garden weeds are the plant kingdom's version of wicked Fairies.
I'm sorry if I seemed cranky in a previous post. I am cranky, and I know it. I'm trying hard to be nice, polite and sweet - failing of course, but I am trying.
It's very dreary out. The clouds are stacking up and turning gray. It's supposed to rain tonight. I don't mind the rain as long as I don't have to be out in it. Water soaked wings can ruin my disposition. This should be a fairly light night. I hope so. The past two weeks have been very difficult because of my medication issues.
I've sorted through insurance papers today until my eyes are crossed. Do they have to make this stuff so difficult to understand?
Oh! I found a like-new copy of the Paragon edition of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. It's a lovely book, illustrated in color by June Goulding. It's not at all a rare book, just a pretty book. Lewis Carroll may have been a horrid pervert, but he could write.
That touches on my current fretfulness. As I see it, my writing ought to improve. The more I write, the better my writing should be. I'm so profoundly unhappy over the quality of my writing that I could bite basalt. I don't know what's wrong with me lately. Everything I write is trashy, amateurish.
There are many exceptional writers out there, but the person I hold up as the standard would probably surprise you. You may never have heard of her. Back in the late 1940's a German historian, Veit Valentin, wrote The German People. It was tanslated into English by Olga Marx. (She also translated works by Gustav Schwab and Stefan George.) She set an English language standard few meet either in academic writing or fiction. I should write that well. Maybe I will - some day.
I also found a really nice, nearly as-new copy of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. This is the first American edition (volume 2 only), and it still has a very sound dust jacket, though it is sunned on the spine. I already have all the volumes of his History of World War II. This is the better book.
My oldest has fretted about career choices for two years. Right now she's thinking strongly about becoming a radiology tech. I do not know where that choice came from, but I will support her in any decision she makes. She already has a scholarship to any university in the state. All she has to do is keep her grades at their current level. But her interests have ever been practical and not academic.
Her fight with learning disabilities has been long and hard fought, and she maintains a nearly 4.0 grade point. It has been painful to watch her struggle.
I'm very discontent today. I know it comes from my medication problems, but the knowing does not make it less debilitating.
I heard from my grand uncle John. He turns 90 this year, I think. I'll have to check that. You'd think I'd know. He sent me a check and told me to buy something I really wanted. He's been very partial to me since I was a baby. It's nice to feel loved. Real love even among family is a rare quality.
There's a street in the Queen Ann district that's fallen into genteel but shabby decay. I'm thinkin' a wicked fairy lives there, hiding among humans. He'll probably die in a few days. Probably he'll die of a well aimed arrow strike.
Dau 4: Mom? Do you wash between your toes?
Me: Yes, dear. Do you?
Dau 4: Yah, but I don’t think Annie does …
Me: Why? Do her toes smell funny?
Dau 4: Sometimes. … But she said she didn’t.
Me: You asked her? Why?
Dau 4: I just wanted to know.
Me: And she said she didn’t? … I think she just reverse-teased you. Score 1 for Annie.
Dau 4: Huh?
My uncle and aunt will be here this afternoon. He's coming down to our large regional hospital for more tests. I simply refuse to be the subject of any more tests, probes, prods or any such thing. But his health issues are more complex than mine. I hope they spend the night. It's not an awful drive, but it is tedious; besides we'd love to have them for a few days.
Shirley and I will go junk shopping while he's hooked up to wires and such. It will be good for both of us to get out. We both love Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody stories. I have some she can borrow. I introduced her to them. If you haven't read one you should.
Amelia Peabody and her husband Radcliffe Emerson are archeologists. The first story takes place in the late 19th Century and each successive book takes one forward in time. These are well-told stories. Their son, nicknamed Ramses, was a precocious child. He grows up through the series and has his own rather unusual children too. It may seem strange for me to say so, but I identify with Ramses-the-child. There is much of me as a child that is in Ramses. I was a self-taught reader at three and drove my parents and teachers to the verge of … umm something awful, I'm sure, ... with questions and comments.
I'm writing this post as an excuse for a break. I've been up since four-thirty. Some people have no conception of international time differences. …No names shall be named, but since she reads my blog (Hi, cousin!) she will know who she is. I ran down to the store and bought Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches. My uncle's diet will let him eat just one, and they are one of his weaknesses. I normally teach my classes today, but it's an in-service training day. As a .5 employee I am exempt from this. So that's nice.
I need a secretary. My files are more complex than you probably imagine.The chapter, that's right - one chapter, that I'm working on now has generated six four-inch, three-ring binders full of photocopy, printout and email printouts. I will need some of this for other chapters, so eventually they will be folded into other binders. This is getting to be a full time job.
My uncle and I have been discussing the disposition of our research collection. He wants it to go to a repository in Brooklyn. This is insanity. Donating it to that archive would be like flushing it down a toilet. No one would see it again. There is no public access. I favor Atlanta Bible College Library. They're exceptionally helpful and there is public access. Neither of us is immortal, and I won't ignore his wishes if I outlive him. But I would like some sort of agreement. As I see it, we have four items that should go to the Brooklyn People. They would look at the rest and shrug their shoulders. Their understanding of this material is minimal.
While we have invested carefully and frugally, it is now a very valuable collection with original volumes dating back to 1664. Some of this is autograph material. Much of it simply isn't for sale anywhere or is unique. An exampleof the unique is a single volume of Joseph Priestly's Notes on all the Books of the Scriptures. This is volume one of the American edition of 1803. It was nicely rebound in three quarter leather in the 1850's for Horace Lorenzo Hastings and has his name imprinted on the spine. Hastings is important in his own right.
Now if I still had my bookstore, I'd price this at six hundred US dollars. I'd be prepared to sell it for maybe four hundred dollars, but that's not likely. Try to find an original major work by Joseph Priestly and you'll see why. Only two original editions of minor works by him are for sale world wide. (I just checked.) And the least expensive is three hundred dollars. This is not a minor work. The association with Hastings makes it monetarily more valuable. The people off in Brooklyn know who Priestly is and something about his place in the history we re-tell, but they seem to have no clue at all who Hastings was or his place in it or in American and British religious history.
We have four volumes (all printed within Priestly's lifetime) and two pamphlets by him. They date from the late 1700's to the early 1800's. A safe estimate of monetary worth would be thirty-two hundred U.S. dollars. Having access to this material, if you're a serious researcher, is beyond calculable worth. Why would we send this or anything else to a dark hole into which no outsider is allowed to peer?
Let me give you another example. I found a volume entitled An Help For the More Easy and Clear Understanding of the Holy Scriptures: Being the Book of Daniel Explained after the following method ….. This is a first edition of a work by Edward Wells, printed in 1716. Now this book appeals to me on several levels, not the least of which is that I'm descended from the Welles/Wells family. But from our perspective, this book is important resource material. There are currently no copies of this available anywhere. A conservative estimate of retail worth is seven hundred and fifty dollars.
Not one person who sits in an office in that Brooklyn-based institution would know how this is relevant to their past. Access to this book is difficult at best, even if you seek it in a library. I cannot see giving this to the Black Hole of Brooklyn. I could extend this rehearsal of examples, but it would be to no good point.
Now, my uncle's interest is in helping scholars connected with his religion. (I use the term "scholar" loosely in this context.) That would be fine by me (or is it 'with me'?) … ahem … That would be acceptable to me if their archives were open. They're not. I should also clarify that I know and respect many of the "Brooklyn People." I met one of them named John Barr, who has sadly I might add, passed away. My uncle introduced me to the Barrs. He was gentle, fun, well-spoken, smart and as true a Christian as I've ever met. That I like, love in some cases, these people does not change my rejection of the very idea of a closed archive.
Enough of this … Back to work!
I was far less concerned that her toes hung over the cliff than I was with her wing color. Her wings were a smoky, dark purple that betrayed the anger and deep sadness that boiled with in her.
This was an ill chosen place, but she came to it often. Da'ana's leap was named for a half-fairy who had thrown herself off and simply refused to fly. I could do nothing about an event that happened when few men walked the earth and I was as yet unthought and unborn, but I could do something about this.
She did not hear me. I stepped forward, and our wings touched. She turned her head and smiled faintly.
"Granddaughter …" she said. It was not a query, only an acknowledgment.
I took her hand and turned it palm up. I raised my right hand over it and let the pendant and its silver chain slink into her hand.
She grasped it tightly. Closing her eyes, she turned her head skyward.
"He's dead," I said.
She nodded. Her eyes remained closed. A tear formed at the corner of each eye but they stubbornly refused to fall.
She sighed. "Tell me …"
I told her briefly and bluntly what I had done and how I had done it.
"His blood is still on Tali's pendant," I said.
I could have washed it off and presented it clean and fresh.
"I smell it," she said.
"We should clean it off."
"… I'll wear it this way until it's done."
She turned inward and the passion that had briefly filled her eyes was gone. I left her to herself and her thoughts.
I sat neck deep in the hot spring. Few people of your sort go there. It's a hidden place though not pixie hidden - and certainly not fairy hidden. It's a watery hole not far from the banks of the Yakima, hidden among wild grasses and Russian Olive trees gone wild. There are many places like that. They're the haunts of adventuresome human children, reclusive and wandering men and an occasional pixie.
That my hands and feet would be wrinkly as prunes crossed my mind. But the thought didn't get me out of the heat and wet.
The place was rank and smelled of river swamp. But the warmth was soothing. Besides, some humans pay out their wealth to luxuriate in hot water and mud. Who knows why when it is freely found.
One of the small ones landed on my shoulder. I have many sisters, and she was the newest. She was two weeks old, exceptionally bossy and demanding, a good flyer, and my mother's chosen messenger.
"You'll be late," she said.
"I'm not going."
"Mom said that you should come."
The words "mom said" were her seal on every opinion or order. She believed that once mother said something it was law. I, however, had been considered adult and free for 1472 years, two months and ten days, but I chose not to argue.
"I have time." I smiled at her serious face. "Want to join me?"
"Not in that mud hole. … Besides I had a proper bath today. … This place smells bad."
I nodded. Most of this world smells bad these days. "Tell mother I'll be there. I won't be too late."
"Promise!" she said.
This was another of her verities. If one promised they would most certainly perform. Katra'sayin had much to learn, but then she was only two weeks old. The world is not what we think. At two weeks none of our kind sees it as it is.
"Promise" I said.
One of the best ever American Marches