Arrogance by Stealth

While on vacation, I reread The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I read it for the first time two years ago, but for some reason I didn’t love it all that much; after revisiting the novel, I can’t think why that was… The tale is full of elements that excite my mind: Pratchett’s delicious satire, an intelligent mixture of socio-political fantasy and every issue one can imagine affecting our reality.

And there are some phrases (like the title) and quotes that made me nod and grin for a while—I can’t believe I didn’t share them the first time around. This one must be my favorite of the lot:

“Oh, for a body to dissect! Well, lacking that, I will do the best I can, which will be the best that there is.”

Henry laughed. “You don’t believe in modesty, do you, Mr. Lobsang?”

“Absolutely not, Henry. Modesty is only arrogance by stealth.”

Other titles I read or reread during vacation (since a wee bird wanted to know):

The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells
How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell
Inkworld, by Cornelia Funke
Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler
Miss Zukas and the Library Murders, by Jo Dereske
Inkspell, by Cornelia Funke
Inkdeath, by Cornelia Funke
Fearless, by Cornelia Funke

What have you read lately, my Wicked Luvs? Care to share something that stayed with you? By the way, I have several yummy bits to share about our trip to Friday Harbor. I’ll post them soon…

New York Sunset
I just finished reading The Long War, the 2nd book in The Long Earth Series. This picture, taken during our trip home, made me think of the sky on the book cover.

Pain, Gut, Symbols… and What I Mean When I Say “Balance”

After seeing how behind I was (on pretty much everything), I decided to give myself a little boost, by creating a mixt post that would at least bring my blogging up to date; one full wee step at a time, right?

Let’s start with my chronic pain: it’s still here; it’s not going anywhere; it’s chronic… So if anything, it has been getting worse. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t get better at dealing with the symptoms. I’m always working on ways to help my sexy body hurt less—through the use of herbs and oils, doing stretches and exercises, relying on my Piano Man’s before-bed-rubs, believing with flesh and soul that I can make it better (the brain is a magical thing). On a less abstract note, I haven’t taken a synthetic pain killer since June 29, 2014. That makes me (and my holey gut) feel really good…

Speaking of my holey gut… Yesterday, my GI doctor stopped one of the two stomach medications I had been on for quite some time. I wanted to be taken off of both, but after a long conversation (about recent lab work and holes in my gut) we decided that it might be best to continue taking the second medication, until after my upcoming tummy tests. In truth, my doctor wasn’t all that excited about stopping any of the meds, but she agrees that our bodies are intelligent things; and my body has been hissing, We’ll be all right without those damn pills… as long as we keep things balanced, witchy woman dear.

A bit on balance: a few days ago an herbalist told me, “For someone who knows as much about herbs, you do yourself a disservice when you mix pharmaceuticals and natural medicines.” First, my Wicked Luvs, I don’t know as much about herbs as this lady has presumed that I do. When a friend, a professional, or a person living with my same maladies suggests a remedy (natural or synthetic), I research it like a mad woman and then make a decision. I believe that Nature offers most of what we need to prevent disease and to heal that which is already diseased. I also believe that Nature is not a surgeon, so thank goodness for man-made and man-learned things, such as quick acting synthetic medications and laser surgery. I believe in balance: dancing with Nature and Science gives my witchy body the best chance.

On symbols… I was just reading the comments some of you left on “My Weird Sisters” (the poem I published before this post) and my heart filled with grins. Before I detail the reasons behind the mirth, let me share a larger quote from the Terry Pratchett novel that inspired the poem: “Your average witch is not, by nature, a social animal as far as other witches are concerned. There’s a conflict of dominant personalities. There’s a group of ringleaders without a ring. There’s the basic unwritten rule of witchcraft, which is ‘Don’t do what you will, do what I say.’ The natural size of a coven is one. Witches only get together when they can’t avoid it.”

I was grinning like a word-loving-Pratchett-obsessed-lunatic because your combined responses reiterated a belief I hold so close to my soul that you could say that it feeds me: Words mean everything.

According to your responses, “My Weird Sisters” is about community, about solitary practice, about different parts of one self… When a couple of my friends argued, over what the poem really meant, they decided to email me and ask. My response to their inquiry: “Poetry is poetry. It can mean a million things. And it does.”

And that, my Wicked Luvs, is what keeps me rereading the works of Terry Pratchett year after year. His writing never tries to tell people what to do… His tales show how different people do all sorts of different things… His crafted worlds nudge all kinds of minds to think critically… and grin.

So… my pain remains, but I’m smiling at it while showing a considerable amount of teeth; my holey gut is somewhat under control; balance means more than just standing in the middle; Pratchett’s words rocketh my world very mucho; I posted a pic of a flower sucking up the evening sun; my health needs are draping uncertainty over my October publication prospects… but I’m alive and grinning…. and this, my Wicked Luvs, can mean all sorts of glorious, promising, chaos.

Yellow Flowers in the Sun