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Rumilluminations May 2013
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Thu, May 02 2013 - 7:00 am

May 31, 2013                                    Madison, IN

The air in Madison, IN is as thick as honey with the scent of honeysuckle and privet.

The other day I saw a mockingbird lift its wings as if it were practicing for flight.  Since it seemed mature in a young kind of way I wondered what it was doing.

Today my neighbor told me he saw a mockingbird spreading his wings wide, then folding them up again.  He wondered why the mockingbird did that, and as he was wondering, the mockingbird opened its wings wide again.  All of a sudden a big old beetle broke cover and ran.  The mockingbird ate him.

Yum, yum!

May 30, 2013                                    Madison, IN

Has anyone ever gotten any help from the Help features on computers?

I have never once gotten the help I needed.  Not once.

I'm not exaggerating and I am not kidding.

The help features always offer me help with stuff that is not my problem.  They very helpfully list the things that must, one of them, be my problem, because they offer no "other" category.  Except it is not my problem.

That is my problem.  There is no one in this little box listening.

Now, if you will tolerate my universalizing my virtual experience to the experience of people in the real world, maybe that is the problem of many.

There is no one listening.  If there is anyone trying to listen, they cannot hear.

What exactly is the problem?

The manual listing all possible mental illnesses and disorders is, evidently, not enough.  Nor are all the programs that are supposed to be available ("Help is available!") always really accessible.  Oftentimes the people who need the help most aren't going to get it  (e.g. those too poor for the sliding scale cost of counseling.)

Trust me (one who has been there) for every citizen who takes a gun and shoots up a business or a neighborhood, there are thousands who, feeling as if they are walking the edge of the volcano of insanity, manage to deal with their existence by putting their heads down and coping with it.

That's everybody's problem, because some of us can't do it.

They just can't.

May 29, 2013                                   Madison, IN

Why are the animals so skittish lately?  I keep imagining I feel the apartment building tilting ever so slightly to the east or south towards the river.  It's probably an illusion of my own inner ears!

The animals I'm talking about aren't pets.  In the last two weeks I've seen half a dozen deer crossing the highway, two foxes in the neighborhood out in the open at two different times.  (And close!)  A neighbor reports seeing one with something in its mouth.

My partner says its just leash laws allowing more wildlife greater freedom.

A neighbor says it's all the cleanup they are doing down by the river.

My sister suggested all the adolescents are out exploring the world.

Oh, probably so.  But even though I have lived here for thirteen months now I've never seen so much wild action before.

Maybe it is just all the storm and tornado activity, but I'm (literally!) inclined to think something is up - or happening underfoot!

May 28, 2013                                    Madison, IN

Living in the past?  Raking over the past?  I don't know how the novelists can do it!  I was planning to write about Saturday for only three or four days, and now almost every experience I was going to write about has an additional overlay that puts it into a different light.

So I will wind up Saturday.  In the afternoon I walked through a car show, which was quite a production, with cars lined up on both sides along several blocks of the river park area.

People galore, but really not a great variety of food stands considering the number of potential patrons.  There were new cars, old cars with wild new paint jobs.  There were classic sedans and racy aggressive sixties convertibles (also classic by now, ha, ha, sob sob.)

My favorite color was a beautiful blue turquoise that was restful to my eyes after all the reds, yellows, and purples - until I saw a late-thirties model with a gorgeous, possibly originally toned, paint job in two colors - subtle gray-green above and dark green below.  Classy.  If I were a rich woman I probably would have bought it on the spot - if it was for sale.  I don't know.  Some of them were, I think.

That is the extent of my knowledge of the car sale.  It is annual I think, so if you are interested you can search it.  I was really on the way to see the wonderful rose garden vision I had seen on the way to work that morning.

I got to the site.  Huh?  There was a statue, all right, of a woman with a scarf or something.  She wasn't life-sized, though.  The roses around her were still gorgeous, but they weren't four or five feet tall!  More like three.

My only explanation for my erroneous witness is that on that magical May morning I transposed myself into that statue, and the roses were indeed shoulder-high to me.

The discovery that I had mis-perceived didn't really bother me too much.  I thought it was funny, but I also thought that it was wonderful in itself.  The idea that real experience can become larger-than-life and transport you into magical realms more wonderful than any planned for you by a commercial entertainer (or even a close friend) is something to treasure.

As I found out Saturday, it can happen any time - even on the way to work.

May 27, 2013                                    Madison, IN

Driving up Main on my way to work, I was struck by all the local color of Madison.  It seemed especially festive, maybe because of the influx of visitors for the car show.

The yard sales were very colorful.  They looked as if they might have crafts for sale as well as some good-looking old furniture.  I wanted to get out of the car and be a tourist.

Instead I drove through woods to Hanover College to work.  I was so early I walked over to the site of the graduation, from which I got a beautiful look at the big curves in the Ohio River before going to work.

That is the only word I'm going to give work!  But coming back down the highway into Madison in a good mellow mood, I saw a deer in the left lane quite close to me.  I stopped so the poor confused dear (now that I think of it, it reminds me of me!) could make it across the road, then slowly continued on.  Luckily the car coming in the other direction so it in time, also.

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that the other driver was waiting for another deer.  I forgot.  Just as a kid careening across the road on a bicycle has a companion or two, so does a deer!

(Of course, I'm writing about seeing deer day before yesterday, when I got a real close-up of a young fox on my walk yesterday!  This is a pretty lively place to live!)

May 26, 2013                                     Madison, IN

I didn't write yesterday.  I could have, but being basically a small-town girl at heart I feel that you only have to do so much in a day to call it well done.

Or maybe it is being my mother's daughter.

At any rate, I had so many interesting snippets of experience yesterday that I'm not even going to try to TELL them in one day.

I don't write too much about this town we live in now.  After all, it is a small town and we live a pretty simple life.  Keep the carbon footprint small on a normal day.

Yesterday, however, I saw the kind of charms an out-of-towner would experience coming through Madison.  They were powerful!

I was forced to, because I was scheduled to work up at Hanover for a graduation-related event.  (Yeah, yeah, I know, nobody forces me to go to work.  On the other hand, I don't go for fun!  although I may as well but that is another story.)

Driving along Second Street I saw a statue of a young woman surrounded by a variety of roses in full first fresh bloom.  The scene felt magical, like those depicted in a painting by Botticelli.  A life-sized statue of a beautiful woman!  Majestic hybrid teas four or five feet tall!  This is how I reported my sighting to my partner later in the day.

I only got a glimpse of the idyllic scene and resolved to walk by this house the next day at my leisure.  Why had I not noticed this lady before?

And that was the first noteworthy experience on this wonderful day in May.

More tomorrow!

May 24, 2013                                      Madison, IN

A while back as I was walking towards the woods I heard some goose calls.  They sounded like a song we sang in Girl Scout Camp:

If I had the wings of a pioneer, pioneer
Straight to the woods I would fly
There to remain as a pioneer, pioneer
There to remain 'til I die, I die

Never mind that pioneers didn't have wings - allegorical maybe - they were able to pick up and move.

It was the intervals and sound in the goose honks that made me think of that song - that was the bell they rang.  Just for kicks I searched it, and found it in a website.  It was missing one of the verses we sang, though.  It is

If I had the brains of a pioneer, pioneer
Straight to the woods I would think
There to remain as a pioneer, pioneer,
There to remain til I sink
(or stink, depending on your mood, I guess!)

I think one of the reasons I like Jethro Tull is that other sounds evoke their music for me.  Working in the bakery, the sounds of the rotating oven recalled something of theirs.

Here, I heard a bird that sounded similar to one of their melodies.  Whenever I heard the bird, I thought Jethro Tull's piece.  That bird, I know now, is the Carolina Wren.

The recordings of the wren on the Internet, though, vary somewhat.  Some sound like the musical passage, some have the accent different or the slurs in the wrong place.

Mozart claimed that his pet starling picked up the melody of one of his compositions.  I'm tempted to think that Mozart picked it up from his starling!

May 23, 2013                                       Madison, IN

Are you easily fooled?

This morning I strolled out into the gray early morning, coffee mug in hand.  I spotted a rather erect bird on a telephone wire.  Flycatcher?  That would be a little unusual.

As I got closer, I still couldn't see any detail, but I heard a robin call.  I saw its throat convulse as it sang again.  Yes.  Definitely a robin.

I lingered along the river walk a few minutes, then turned back toward home.  Not far from the spot I had seen the robin, I saw a cardinal in the shrubs.  From above a bully mockingbird chased the cardinal off, and returned - to the spot on the wire I had seen the earlier bird.

So.  Had I been gone long enough for a changing of the guard?  I didn't think so.  Robins seem to be higher on the pecking and chasing order than mockingbirds (although now I will be checking the veracity of that impression!)

Or did that mockingbird fool me into thinking it was a robin?

I have been told I am very gullible.  People fool me, why not mockingbirds?

One advantage to being easily fooled, though.  It is also easy to fool yourself.

I don't join a gym because I am too busy and gym memberships cost too much money.

I don't learn a new language because I need classroom experience to learn optimally and that costs too much money.

I don't read as much as I used to because somehow sitting at a computer uses more energy (is better exercise!) than sitting in a recliner turning pages.

Yeah.  Sounds reasonable to me!

May 22, 2013                                        Madison, IN

Day before yesterday the electricity went out and the chlorine didn't get put into the water supply.  Or a water main broke.  Or both.

I didn't find out until the next morning.  Now I have been boiling water for drinking and just now for doing dishes.  (They said chlorine is okay for washing dishes, but I don't like that stuff!  Not even the recommended two drops per gallon.)

We're not supposed to wash clothes because of the sediment (or bacteria?)  Today I experimented with using Pur-filtered then boiled water by putting it through a coffee filter.  The filter captured more of something white.  The usual calcium sediment?  I don't think so.

My face, washed with the same water, feels like it has a very fine layer of clay on it.  Kinda weird.  An involuntary facial masque.

We are so used to good convenient water! This morning I was trying to decide how to bathe (shower taking chances with the water as is, or fill the tub with laboriously boiled water?  Then rinse with the same?  It is one thing to warm up some water on the stove when the hot water runs out.  It is entirely another thing to boil enough for a complete bath.)

I resolved the issue by not bathing at all.

I refuse to clean the bathroom with possibly contaminated water.  Is it possible I can rationalize doing absolutely no chores at all?

Alas, there is a pile of paper on my desk.  Maybe 100 years ago people had to boil all their water, but at least they didn't have so much paper to deal with.

I may count my blessings, and then again, I may not!

Let's face it, roses do have both flowers and thorns.

(That reminds me this morning I was walking towards a rose bush and smelled a wonderful overwhelming wallop of carnation.  Practically at my feet was a bed of pinks.  No thorns there.  A homily on the possible superiority of modest charms.)

The month of May may take away everything with a tornado, but it the storm begins with a fragrantly scented breeze. 

May 21, 2013                                        Madison, IN

Mother Nature showed her terrorist side yesterday.

Will the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma rebuild again?

If so, I hope they get a grant so they can big substantial money to build a few mongo-sized underground shelters.

If so, I hope they start letting schoolchildren out in May so the families can be elsewhere when the storms hit.  Why not start a month earlier in the fall?  May would be a gorgeous time to travel, also.  Are we really so standardized as a society that we can't have regional and local variations in the schedule?  (I know the answer to that is probably yes, but I don't think it is worth risking lives for.)

Even if people get better shelters and/or leave during the month of May, they still lose everything if they get squarely hit.

To tell the truth?  I wouldn't rebuild.  I'd get the hell out of there, never to return.  Tornado alley sounds more dangerous than a fifty-year floodplain.  Of course, floodplains probably have lower numbers than they used to!

Anybody have any more ideas for the folks who live and care for the residents of Moore, Oklahoma?  Let's put our brains to work on solutions for the future.

Oh, and don't forget to go to and donate.  That and a more personal appeal through Facebook are going to be my charities for the month.

May 20, 2013                                       Madison, IN

I just read The Wisdom of Psychopaths and I'll never angrily and carelessly call anyone a psychopath again, not because the word wouldn't apply (of course it almost never does) but because it isn't necessarily an insult.  Well, according to Kevin Dutton, that is.  (I'll write about the book in a new Book Butterflies article - later.)

No, my observations today are just about the nature of our insults.  Take "jerk" for instance.  I think of it as someone who is inconsiderate and careless.  On the screen, however, I have seen people called "jerks" because they were easily manipulated or fooled.

Ha, ha, in other words, whom I would have called a "jerk" I might also, in dire circumstances, call a psychopath.  Psychopaths, on the other hand, might call one of their victims a jerk.

I love it.  Jerkiness in the eye of the beholder.

Hmmm... I wonder what the definition of jerk is in the urban dictionary.

Well, I just saw it.  My, the urban dictionary is angry (and funny)!  That I hadn't noticed when I looked up "souge."

But ha, I won!  My definition mostly prevailed.  The closest the urban dictionary came to the other meaning was "stupid."  Which is not surprising, since psychopaths make up only a percentage or two of the total population.  Supposedly.  Jerks, unfortunately, are much more common.

But why am I trying to define slang words like jerk, anyway, when the whole point of using them is to insult without precision or the delivery of information which could leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit for slander or libel?

Ha, maybe only jerks use the word!

May 19, 2013                                       Madison, IN

Yesterday I began my viewing of the Preakness Stakes cold.  I came home from work, dawdled around a little changing clothes, wrote, and sat down to watch the race.

Of course my favorite was Orb!  He won by lengths at the Kentucky Derby!  And everyone wants to see a Triple Crown winner except some of those deeply involved (riding, owning, betting, training.)

Then, when I saw that he and one of the other contenders - Departing - had played together in fields when they were colts, I had that sinking internal feeling that I had about John Kerry long before the election.  "He's going to lose."

Of course I didn't want to believe it then or now.  That Orb is a great horse!

But if "brotherhood" can mess with grown men's minds, how much more can it affect horses?  Just because the sportswriters say "It's all business now" doesn't mean the horses feel the same way.  How can they?  They're horses.

The conditioning of early childhood has got to out-trump subsequent human attempts at conditioning.

I bet Orb and Departing were just very used to hanging out together, and this most likely would not mean that they were going to go head to head at the end.  After all, they aren't human!

Okay, okay, I know, the race is over.  It's easy to be wise in hindsight.  There will be no Triple Crown winner this year, and that is too bad.

Or is it?  Now that I think about it, maybe it is better if there is not.  My personal favorite for the Derby was Oxbow.  His winning the Preakness gives me a victory in a small profitless way.  Glory, fame and money are spread around more if there is no Triple Crown winner.  More people benefit in a smaller way.  That sits well with my egalitarian instincts.

What is this hero-worship tendency we have within us that always wants a superduperwhooper hero, anyway?

No.  I reject that infantile desire.

I no longer want a triple crown winner!

Except - maybe - secretly.

May 18, 2013                                       Madison, IN

Yippee!  I'm home from work in time to see the Preakness on TV.  So what if I almost had an accident honking for the fraternity boys on campus ("Honk for America")?  Almost is the operative word.  I got home safe and sound (although I did come a little too close to the walk and might have scraped the front of the car a teensy bit.)

It is not worth going to work for what I calculate as $4 something an hour (if you count even ordinary wear-and-tear on the car and the time it takes me to drive back and forth.)  Thursday night I would have made a little more because I actually clocked in for five hours.

It is good, however, to have a paid function in the world, if only for a short time.  I have never been one to sit around indoors interminably, so I might as well earn a little.  The only problem is - it is so very little.

Now when I sit in my recliner and put on my new wide-brimmed flowered Derby-style hat for the Preakness Stakes, I can enjoy the leisure of the righteous - even if today's job did not even come close to wearing me out.

Maybe if they put me to work for thirteen hours straight I would be tired.  Maybe next weekend.

Let's hope not!

May 17, 2013                                       Madison, IN

I had this grate idea for a creative peace, then it occurred too me that I had already scene won done.  Butt who caries?  Mine is sure to bee different, anyway.  This is inn celebration of computers!

Wee are so lucky to have them!  Those off us who used to halve too type carbon copies and correct with white-out no this.  Cut and past used to be done with Exacto knife and glue for newspapers (at least the alternative won I worked four).  The computer is a magical light-filled silent typster for us old-typing-timers.  To jest highlight and delight make hour work sew much easier!

And hoe about the wonders of spell-check!  Typos begone! I wood never ever in a gazillion years go back to having to lock up words in a dictionary.  Never!

Sea how easy it is?  Now awl I have to do is hit spell-check and I'm dun!


May 16, 2013                                        Madison, IN

Today Jos and I took a walk up Heritage Trail with a jog over to the old unused railroad tracks.

Between the ties of the tracks, we could see the prints of deer.  Sightings of wild animals are possible from the trail, but its paved surface does not permit of tracking.  Not that we tracked the deer anywhere today - where we saw the tracks the cliff rose up steeply on either side.  Maybe the deer were there for the muddy water.  (Safer than the stream edge?)

Going along the tracks makes for slower going, but is way better exercise for all those little muscles in the foot and ankle.  Having to keep your balance is good exercise, too.

We came back through town instead of along the river and were rewarded for that decision by bloom sightings (so much easier than mammalian ones!)

We saw a pink azalea more loaded down with blossoms than I have ever seen in my life - but the plant was up to the task.  No bending or sagging.  (While I am thinking about it, I don't want to forget to mention the spirea I saw cascading down from a high retaining wall all the way to the sidewalk on the east side of town.  Never saw anything like that before in my life, either.)

It is the height of iris season here, and the columbines, too, are in full bloom.  We saw one flowering columbine growing out of the yard's retaining wall.  They seem to reseed readily and can take advantage of a variety of microclimates.

Most of the flowering in the Lanier mansions town-side park seems to be done, but the spirea has not completely gone and there is a lovely dark pink weigela shrub protecting the vegetation from complete green.

We didn't go by the river side of the manse today, but from the river walk I think I have seen stuff blooming back there - good for another day.

Would you like to live in a mansion?  A large dwelling across from the Lanier Mansion I would almost call a mansion is for sale at a "reduced price" right now.  It has views of the river, too, from its front windows!

Maybe I should run out and buy a lottery ticket!

May 15, 2013                                         Madison, IN

Yesterday I hiked up the Heritage Trail.  Near the parking area there were two bicycles flat on the grass, as if the cyclists had just left them there for a few minutes while they took a short side trip.  It made me expect to see people on the trail, which is both a comfort, and not.

Ever since that walk in the nearby Clifty Falls State Park, when we heard that really intimidating roar, I have been very conscious that while the ground and rocks on one side of this path fall away, on the other side they rise rather steeply.  While the wild phlox on one side charms me, the wooded hills on the other side - well, actually they charm me too:  my appreciative gaze half search for deer and half for predator!

Beyond the meadow which provides a view of the river I saw something large on the path too dark for a deer.  I slowed down, trying to make it out.  It was big enough to make me pause.

The critter appeared to possess at least two definite shades of brown, and as I tried to resolve the image I was seeing, it rotated and crystallized into the form of - a turkey.  In full display.  He proceeded to present me with front, side and back view of his glory and this female was suitably impressed! 

The awesome male had another audience, though.  A relatively petite bird was the focus of his gaze, and she was looking back at him.

Suddenly he folded up his stuff and like a four-man tent that fits into a foot-long skinny case, turned into one of her kind and followed her out of sight.

As for me, turned from the fantasy of being a potential meal into a could-be predator, I was stunned at his transformation.  When I first saw him I he seemed canine or immature ursine, even.

Now, excited as I was by my first-ever sighting of a wild turkey in full display, I felt a little asinine!

There were a few people on the trail, but nobody who seemed to belong to the bikes.  When I reached the parking lot on my return walk, they were still flat on the ground.  What their riders were up to remains a mystery.

Gee, I hope they're okay!

May 14, 2013                                         Madison, IN

Mothers' Day mayhem!

What a sorry Mothers' Day.  Don't remember anything like it in the past.  Four people killed in southern Indiana on what for us mothers amounts to a day of sacred observance (!).

Shootings during a Mothers' Day parade in New Orleans, for goodness' sake.  (How come we don't have the expression, for badness' sake?  Because goodness is on the face of it an eminently acceptable quality.  Badness we keep having to seek an explanation for.)
Because of the presence of the word "may" in mayhem I looked it up.

In one on-line dictionary I saw the word in the only sense I understood it in the number three position - that is, riotous confusion.

Nothing so innocent!  Mayhem used to mean "maim," - as in render powerless limbs a person needs to defend himself - and "in law" still does.

So, if you see some devastatingly good-looking antihero say, while shuffling his feet, that he did "time" for "creating a little mayhem" you might want to inquire exactly what definition of mayhem he employs. (If we ever did ask people why they did time - which, if we are smart, we don't!  Except for the media, of course.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes, Mothers' Day.

Did the woman who invented Mother's Day pick the month of May because of the riotous mayhem (in every sense!) of bloom we enjoy, or because of the children's game "Mother may I?)

There's an irony for you.  Looks like some of those around us never played that game.

Or May Be they did!  If anything ever could illustrate the arbitrariness of a mother's admonitions, that game might.

I remember being so frustrated during that stupid game!  But I did keep on playing it.  Made my own mother's requirements seem reasonable by comparison!  Maybe that was the point.

Hmmm... now where and when did that game arise?  I'll have to look it up -

If I May!

May 12, 2013                                         Madison, IN

Yesterday we heard on the news about a stadium which was cleaned thoroughly enough that no residue of peanuts remained that could pose a threat to children with allergies to peanuts.

We couldn't believe our ears - I especially, because I just picked up the tidbit in passing.

Just now I looked it up on the Internet and saw that a stadium in D.C. has a luxury enclosed suite to protect peanut-allergic people from peanuts - even residue.

This is in response to requests!

Well, how about cat dander?  An awful lot of people are allergic to cats.  Cat dander has been found in places where no domestic cats have ever been known to be.

Who is more at risk in life?  People allergic to peanuts or people allergic to cat dander?  How about shellfish?

Are these special areas going to be created for those allergic to their fellow game-watchers pets?

We will have more than one kind of team at these games!  In addition to those on the fields, we'll have the ones in the suites.  "My allergy is more powerful/relevant than your allergy!"

Me, I'm allergic to crowds.

Stay home and watch the TV - you can see better there, anyway.

And if enough of you stay home, maybe I could afford to go monetarily and mob-phobia-wise!

Ha!  I'd like to see the stadiums cater to people with my sensitivities.

Oh, but May Be I'll confess the truth.  I'd probably only want to go to horse races, anyway.

Peanuts, anyone?

May 11, 2013                                         Madison, IN

Today, May said, "Yes!"

"Yes!  You may buy fresh organic lettuce and dark honey at Farmer's Market!"

"Yes! you may see a wonderful local event - the Molly Datillo Run children's races (K-3) a quarter mile down Vaughn and back.

"Yes! you may see the greatest variety of irises growing in neighborhood gardens than you have seen since you grew them in your own garden!

"Yes! - you may see a red fox (a red fox!) in the broad afternoon daylight on the lawn bordering a very woody wild spot from right across the street at the Lanthier Winery.

"Yes! you may see the fastest-running towboat with barges rolling down the river you have seen yet - thanks to Spring run-off."  (Fast enough that we worried about it safely navigating the bends downstream.  It was fine.)

Today May has really felt like itself.  Colorful and abundant and floral for all!

"Yes!  This is what I have to offer you in Madison, Indiana,

May 10, 2013                                         Madison, IN

We have been watching Judge Judy recently and more and more she is reminding me of Ann Landers in her later years.

Judge Judy should quit while she's ahead.  (Is she still ahead?)

She may be ahead of her TV competition, but she is not ahead of the times.

She talks as if marriage would protect the individual partners of splitting-up couples more than she cares to do in her small claims court, but I can't really see the difference in real life.

She refuses to consider small bills and monetary obligations of one partner to another.  So what?  I don't remember any of this kind of petty stuff coming up in my divorce (except for one not-so-petty instance resolved by the mother of my soon-to-be ex-husband.)

If he had not been willing to obey his mom, I still wouldn't have resorted to small claims court to resolve the issue.

What reality is Judge Judy trying to inculcate in us?  Half the litigants seem to be in it just for the money.  In many of the cases it seems that the two parties are not even in enmity; they just see the show as the way to afford to pay what they owe to one another.

Her discriminating between "roommates" (in the sense of sharing a bedroom and a bed) and "tenants" makes sense to me.  A love bond creates all kinds of financial sloppiness and mutual obligation that the landlord/tenant relationship does not.

Her insistence, though, on dismissing as "playing house" people who try to set up a common home without benefit of marriage is just out of date, and no protestation on her part is going to convince the parties involved that they would have been better off if they had married.

Marriage may prove greater seriousness, but it also provides a more thorough prison for those subjected to it.

The fact that Judge Judy's court would pretend to treat the duties between an emotionally bonded then divided couple differently than a married one does not change the fact that in the event of a divorce, most married couples feel just as screwed-over as the unmarried ones.

Me, I would rather abolish the institute of marriage altogether than see everyone once more forced into its rigid confines again - especially unto death.

Wake up, Judge Judy, and smell the freedom.

I hope we never go back.

May 9, 2013                                           Madison, IN

Maybe all Presidents (except maybe Washington, who refused to be paid and who refused to remain in power past his second term when invited) have been suspected of intending to take over the government to remain in power.

I never suspected that a President might do this until the second Bush was in office.  Even when I did believe he might, I knew it was probably paranoia.

When I confessed my paranoia to a conservative friend, he said he had thought the same about Clinton.

Relax, people!  Obama is not going to try to stay in power.  He does not want to stay in power!  Governing (or should I say attempting to govern) the United States has got to be a bigger pain in the ass than caring for nineteen recalcitrant children and the 42 pets they would bring into the house.

Obama is not going to come for your guns.  He doesn't want your guns.

Paranoia (as I know from experience) is not a helpful delusion, and group paranoia is even worse.

"It's not paranoia if it's true," you say.

True.  And having the good sense to know when your fears are unreasonable is what keeps you out of insane asylums or starting insane wars.

Let's stay free, folks.  And that includes staying free from our own delusions.

May 8, 2013                                           Madison, IN

In the days of the works hand-copied by scribes, people called book art "illuminations."  In former times illustrations were only called illuminations if gold and silver were used in pictures and ornamentation of the text.

The illuminations literally reflected light, seeming to glow.

Nowadays books are only illustrated.  The pictures shed light on the text, on the reader's mental understanding.

Thinking about these two words made me wonder about the name of my chief articles, "Rumilluminations."

Who am I to say that my thoughts are illuminating to anybody?

So I considered changing it to Ruminillustrations.

Nope.  Too "nill." It has no pizzazz - no verbal light.  Not enough emphasis on the word rumination.

Besides, if you read my website - you literally are illuminated - by your computer screen!

Ha!  The Illuminated texts of the twenty-first century - computers and ebooks.

I wonder how much gold or silver is involved in these.

May 7, 2013                                            Madison, IN

Now is the perfect time to go on the Heritage Trail in Madison (or, if you are being car-driven, along places like the woodsy road that is the Main Entrance to Hanover College.)

The striated cliffs that poke out along the paths are ornamented by wild columbine delicately hanging out over their edges.

Those whose eyes are attuned to the still smooth brown of the local deer can see them standing alert and watchful while the nature-lovers searching for the quick movement of birds could miss them completely.

What kind of watcher are you?  Do you fix your eyes on the ground, looking for tracks and tell-tale scat?  Does your love of the purely floral keep your color-sensors all-important?  Are your ears straining to hear bird calls, or are they listening for rustlings and roars?

Maybe you are the person who goes into the woods with none of these predilections, open to any and all potential wildlife experiences - or, if you don't know what to look for, none.

Try going to the closest wildlife reserve or park near you with someone who knows something you don't know and you will be amazed at how much meaning there is to green and brown, leaf and stone!

May 5, 2013                                            Madison, IN

Ooops!  I realized even before the race yesterday that I had neglected Great Finish from my entry yesterday.  Of course I meant to mention this horse towards the end of my piece, but I forgot!  (I, especially, am a May/May Not gamble, weighted heavily toward the latter.)

The race didn't forget a great finish, but it wasn't the horse, unfortunately for the owners, trainer, and rider.  But the big May Yes went to a Hall-of-Famer trainer who, with six entries in the past (or was it seven?) had never won before.

Now there was someone who deserved to be a winner!

So are the yeses and nos of May reasonable?

May Be Yes and May Be No.

Reasonable the nose of May is not!

May 4, 2013                                            Madison, IN

It May, or it May Not!

Denver had snow on May Not Day and some folks who are in Louisville now left for today's Kentucky Derby in snow.

And when it comes to the big race itself, there are potential Mays but more May Nots.  (I bet the Derby's May Nots are turning a lot of people at Churchill Downs into May Knots!)

Will our own orbs be turned towards another Orb for sight of the winner?  Will you be singing It'smyluckyday or will the gray clouds above become the Falling Sky?

Will you wager your fight with Lines of Battle, Revolutionary, Normandy Invasion, or Java's War?  Or will you try different tactics and employ Palace Malice or a Charming Kitten accompanied by Mylute Rosie??

Maybe Will Take Charge will rule your Golden Soul with Goldencents - or do horses whose names are shadowed by whiffs of corporate America smell more like success?  I myself will not root for Frac Daddy or Vyjack.  Their names have no real-fantasy-life association for me.

But then, I Overanalyze.  Whether you explore with Verrazano or stay home with Oxbow, you will be gambling with May's ability to Not.

Forget all of the above.  It May rain!

Which horse is the mudder?

May 2, 2013                                            Madison, IN

Yesterday, instead of being May Day, was May Not Day.

I couldn't get onto the Internet on my computer.

Instead of spending my day walking by colorful flowers, I spent it shopping for black and white work clothing.  Yuck!

Today is a day for celebration in one way, though.

We have been in Madison for a year!

One year exactly from our move here, I start a new job - the first "real job" I have had for almost a decade.

So what if I have resumed having the kind of dreams I had in my young adulthood about being kidnapped (or the subject of attempted kidnapping which ends because I wake up in the wee hours from the nightmare) by male strangers?

So what if I have had fantasies about dying quickly before I have to start work?

So what if my antipathy to subjecting myself at the age of 65 to the old contigencies of life is viewed as immature and/or silly (foolish) by some (all?) of those close to me?

April is past.

I must deal with May.  Or maybe May Not.

May Day!  May Day!

(Why is it that the English language always has to make something baaad out of something good?)

Well, we shall see if this little job is anything to get so worked up about.

After all, my unconscious has ways of dealing with my situation that has nothing to do with my so-far conscious intention.

And don't sit there looking so smug!  Yours, does, too.

You just don't know it!

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