Monday, March 25, 2013


Curiosity is a fine name for a cat.  A friend of mine has a wizard character with a familiar named Curiosity.  Curiosity is an elven cat and a tracker, and leads her to clues, riches, and trouble.  We all appreciate the art in her irony.

I'm sitting in the library of Wossamotta U, watching the snow fall like flakes of ash from an eruption, and I'm considering the matter carefully.  I remember the old saying they'd say every spring, "March: in like a lamb, out like a lion; in like a lion, out like a lamb."  I haven't heard that in years now, and no wonder.

March used to be the month of Spring.  April was known for its rain, May for its flowers, and March for its transitional period.  You could count on March to be cool like a couple of little Fonzies at night, bright and warm by day, and to have its dilemma sorted out by the time May rolled around.  Because lucky for us March didn't want to kill us, it wanted to help us.  Generally, anyway.  Surety is a myth, but every myth has some seed that gave it its power.  We've had a couple of springs this year, and now we're finally getting our winter's snow.  In March.

"Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken . . ."
Doomsayers are calling for a change in how everyone lives (I wouldn't mind), and Naysayers are insisting that it's all just nature's way and that we should do nothing.  As long as they can keep the argument going both sides will be set for life as lakes dry, and storms rage, and seaside cities drown. And in the meantime, keep a pocket full of posies so it doesn't happen to you.

I was born in March.  To say that having it snow on my birthday was unusual would be like saying that a poultry doesn't usually have a full set of teeth.  Could it happen?  Of course, this is Kansas.  But it was bloody rare.  By the time March ended, we were usually well into spring weather.  Now polar bears are facing extinction for the ice caps melting, shore lines are being redrawn for the rising water, ice cliffs that hasn't melted for aeons or more are suddenly vanishing.  According to samples taken from Antarctica, this type of change, to this degree and rapidity, is unprecedented.

And the bees are dying.

In this Feb. 12 file photo, honeybees cluster on top of the frames of an opened hive in an almond orchard near Turlock. Commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Thursday against federal regulators for failing to suspend use of two pesticides they say harms honeybees.

In addition, I remember how I was very unusual growing up, because I got sick as much as I did.  There were three mildly overweight kids in my grade (after 1st grade I was one of them), and arthritis was a thing for old people.  But lately I have met teenagers with arthritis, and it's not unusual any more.  Childhood obesity is considered practically an epidemic, right along with childhood diabetes.  When I was a kid, diabetes was a mystery to almost anyone who didn't have diabetic grandparents.  Now almost everyone, of all ages, knows about it - it's a grade school problem.  I run into twenty-five-year-olds who complain they're too old to do things that I do for fun.

Ashes, ashes.

The snow looks like an eruption, and the world is full of people who are dying or just not living.  The current generation of teens to twenty-somethings are the first known generation that are expected to live a dramatically shorter lifespan than their parents.  Some of it is the garbage they eat, some is the lack of movement in their lifestyle.  But why all the ADD and ADHD?  Why the spike in autism?  In autoimmune disorders?  In cancer?  Yes, in some cases it's just because medical technology is advanced enough to identify more illnesses, but that doesn't account for an upswing this dramatic.

So I watch, and I wonder, and I try not to feel too disaffected.  Humans are not separate from their planet, after all.  And it is ironic that so many struggle to be a social gestalt while insisting that they are biological islands.  It all feels to me like an overarching system breaking down somewhere.  Season balance, ecological balance, medical balance.  And if it needs be said, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance.

Something is breaking down, and I think it has been for a very long time.  On the one hand, I think it is far more important to focus on fixing things than argue how they got broken.  On the other hand, I really don't expect that to happen.  Instead, curiosity leads me to wonder how it all did get started, what the system might look like from the outside, and what will happen next as it all falls down.

And in the meantime, I help things grow.

Sometime again,


(Elven Cat illustration courtesy of; Jules pic with Fonzie courtesy of; bee pic courtsey of;  old/young pic courtesy of; David Bowie created himself, but the Goblin King was a changeling.  All rights reserved by rightful owners and all that.)

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