This morning Tiger was entranced with the door to the downstairs. Now, that it is cold, we are trying to keep it closed, and Tiger and Bella are supposed to use the cat door, but the big door is intriguing to Tiger and Bella, especially Tiger. While Bella sat on the top step and watched, Tiger batted the door back and forth. He tapped it and hammered it, watching with great care to see each time where it stopped. It was quite a study of momentum, weight and timing through a door. How far does it go before the floor grabs it? Why does it stop?
I sit with the experimentation of Tiger and Bella today, as I think in some way I am batting a door between who I was, and who I might be, and I am not batting very hard, and curiosity is not enough to kill a cat, and yet, it is there, like a little ping-pong ball flung softly in the air, some new way to explore and see where I go, and where and when I stop, and then, go again.
I feel like a mouse, scampering and avoiding the gaze of the cat. I think I want to stay under the radar for awhile of the medical gaze, and, perhaps, my medical visit yesterday was a trigger for that. I don't understand why doctors seem so flabbergasted that their office is not my favorite place. I don't understand anymore than they, it seems. I find it a scary place. I wish I could somehow convey that without them taking it personally.
My personal doctor has a dog, Scrappy. Scrappy was very interested in licking my feet. It reminded me that my feet still aren't right as to nerve endings, and they are better, and I feel today like Scrappy was trying to help me heal. I think I do well with dog therapy. It is certainly comforting to be licked, though I don't want my doctor to lick me. I don't think she has a long enough tongue anyway.
She also informed me that I still have "edema" in my last breast, and that could last for at least five years. I look up edema. It is a "swelling of any organ or tissue due to accumulation of excess lymph fluid, without an increase of the number of cells in the affected tissue."
Sometimes I wonder why I waited to get my breast checked, and when I go, I know why. I do not find it a comforting place, even with the help of Scrappy. I think both Scrappy and I would have preferred to be outside.
There is an article in this week's New Yorker on the Bratz doll. I had not heard of this doll, but it seems it is quite the money-maker and in the strangest way. The article says, "They look like pole dancers on their way to work at a gentleman's club." They are about fashion and shopping, and are marketed to young girls. They are "sassy."
"The Great Tween Buying Machine" advises companies not to feel guilty about "going around moms." When I was in college studying child psychology, the big concern was the threat of the "Russians" brainwashing our children. It seems our corporations are doing a great job of that. The article goes into a great deal of detail and it is nauseating. How can we sell the childhoods of our children down the drain? I find it very sad.
Hendrick Hertzberg in Talk of the Town tells all the ways Bush is up to his old tricks. He does amaze. He is still pushing John Bolton who has managed to anger everyone at the U.N. including our allies. Maybe he and Bush should sit home and play with Bratz dolls, and leave the rest of us alone.
It has been calculated that each copy of the
Gutenberg Bible ... required the skins of 300 sheep.
- from an article on printing
I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed,
all of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike
it would be nearly impossible
to count them,
and there is no telling
which one will carry the news
that the Lord is a shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.
- Billy Collins
From an article in National Wildlife by Janet Marinelli -
"With its pungent odor and heated blooms, skunk cabbage lures many insect pollinators during the wintertime. Its flowers can maintain temperatures as much as 86 degrees F higher than the surrounding air."
I was unaware that plants could generate heat. It seems it is a primitive plant form, and now plants have evolved to more efficiency.
Biologist Roger Seymour says heat generating flowers "are like nightclubs for beetles." They were around in the Mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs. Now, a more efficient pollinator-attraction system is predominant. "Instead of offering a warm refuge, newfangled plants lure butterflies, bees and other potential flower fertilizers with a quick sip of nectar. Because they no longer have to trap pollinators for an entire night or longer, these plants are able to spread their pollen via many more insect partners. In Seymour's words, "nightclubs were replaced by fast food.""
Now, there's a thought on which to warm.
John McWhorter in The Power of Babel is concerned that we are losing diversity in language as quickly as we are losing it in flora and fauna. Though there are 6000 languages, ninety-six percent of the world's population speak one or more of the top twenty languages. They may also speak an indigenous one, but the dominant language, the one used for education and wider commerce throughout the world is the one most likely to survive.
I find it odd to consider that we came from one language and may now return to it. The concern, of course, is lack of diversity and imagination and that is scary stuff, and yet, I realize he doesn't speak of computer languages and that is another way to speak. Perhaps we are doing better than it seems. Language is simplifying like plants, and we want variety. We need all sorts of flowers to stalk, tickle, and entice our noses to sit up and wiggle.
Here is to an array of scent, and a multitude of ways to describe what enters our brains.