Blinded

Lughnasa and the Michaelmas Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Chicken Soup. From it, chicken pot pies. Ready. Cooking. Remodeling the kitchen. Jon, Ruth, Gabe. Another memorial moment for Kate. The Yahrzeit wall. My spot on it. Kep and Rigel, folks to whom I can say I love you on a daily, hourly basis. And, who say it back.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Chicken Soup

Tarot: Eight of Wands

 

Arnold Bocklin, Odysseus and Polyphemus

20th anniversary. September 11, 2001. The falling man. The crumbling buildings. Passenger jets as weapons of terror. A transformative moment for our world. From the attackers point of view a monumental success.

We did exactly what al Qaeda expected. Hit back with all the power and force of Polyphemus. Polyphemus blinded by Odysseus. We threw rocks at the disappearing ships of Osama Bin Laden. We wandered that Sicilian island, Cyclopes, still blind, still throwing rocks at whatever seemed threatening to us. So much wasted blood and treasure.

Now 20 years later Joe Biden has pulled us back from Afghanistan. Not sure whether our eye has healed or not, but the days of bodies in flag draped coffins debarking at Dover, Delaware ought to recede. At least, I hope so.

Joe would not be in the military right now. As a college freshman, he took the attack personally. This is his country, his adopted country, yes, but precisely because of that, he wanted, no, needed, to protect it. He was pre-med at the time, following Kate. Might have beens.

We should have punished those who flew planes into those symbols of capitalist America, those who planned it, those harbored them. Of course. A tragic and senseless moment, made even more tragic and senseless by its quasi-religious justification. Since then, we’ve too often seen Islam as the enemy and Muslims, even American citizens, as suspected terrorists. Compounding our blinded rampage. Hunting with big rocks the enemy who needed more nuanced tracking.

If this is the fall of the American empire, or at least our willingness to act like an imperial power, I’m fine with that. We have been a misguided colossus far too often for far too long. With far too much power at the hands of dark actors like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearlman, Trump. Even Obama with his drone campaigns. Yes, and McNamara, Kennedy, Rusk, LBJ.

Hubris, again the ancient Greeks, puts the fire sharpened stake of Odysseus into our own hands. Yes, we blinded ourselves with hate, simplistic reasoning, anger, a presumption that might would make us right, did make us right. We have terrorized the Middle East, as the terrorists hoped we would.

Let this be the time we admit we need an eye transplant, a new organ that allows us to see well and clearly in this climate-doom, racist, poxxed time. To see our path off the island of our prejudice and rage. Back to the mainland of justice, equity, health.

Of course there’s time. There always is. Until there isn’t.

 

Tarot: The Eight of Wands

An encouraging card. Things will speed up. A project has come to completion and given momentum to life. There may be exciting news, a journey to take.

I hope so. Drew the four of vessels last night in the Wildwood tarot. Boredom. And, the Owl, from the Wildwood Animal Oracle deck. Can’t recall what the owl represented right now, but it was positive.

The boredom card shocked me at first. Boredom does not come to visit me too often. Yet, as I thought about my life over the last three plus years, I had whittled my activity down to caregiving, dealing with my own medical issues. I neglected writing, painting. Creative life. You could call that structural boredom. The life I lived had very narrow limits.

The world after has been clouded with grief. With learning the ropes of single living. With managing this and that. Filling out forms. Talking on the phone. Still pretty narrow boundaries.

It does feel like that time has begun to wind down. Surprisingly, at least to me, tarot and kabbalah may have much to do with at least the near term future.

Addenda, 9/12. Didn’t notice the obvious connection here until I pulled this up this morning. He could also be throwing that wand straight into the eye of the cyclops.

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