Thursday, January 19, 2006

You say "Quintessence," I say "Nirvana"...

Last night, as I was midway into a bite of broiled salmon, Nick said, “I’ve been thinking about the connections between the Greek zodiac and the Chinese zodiac because the Greeks talk about reaching ‘quintessence’ and the Chinese talk about the yin and yang. So I really think there are a lot of similarities there. What they’re both talking about is reaching some kind of balance, don’t you think?”

Hmmm. Complete insertion of fork in mouth, chew and swallow.

“I’m really interested in astrology—Daddy is a mutable sign and I was wrong about Daisy, she is a water sign. So we have three water signs in the house! Ian is a fire sign, a lion, and I am an air sign, twins, which means I have two sides to my personality. I told everyone in my class what their signs are and what they mean.”

The other day we were in the car and Nick was talking about “crepuscular rays” and if I had been driving, I would have driven off the road BECAUSE I had just put "crepuscular rays" in a short story that I am working on. I said, “Nick, what are crepuscular rays?” And he said, “The light at sunset.” OK then. This is how I put them in my story:

Teddy looks at the sky, with the Tien Shan mountains in the distance and says, “Those are crepuscular rays, see? It happens when objects like mountains or clouds partially shadow the sun's rays. The light rays are actually parallel, but it looks like they’re merging, see? Because of the dust and haze, the light rays seem to converge toward the ‘antisolar’ point. That’s the location on the horizon opposite the point where the sun is setting.
Nick also likes to listen to my iTunes on the computer downstairs and he said, “Mommy, you like Eyeless in Gaza, right?”

I said, “Yeah, why?”

“He said, “Eyeless in Gaza, they must mean Samson, right? Because he was eyeless in Gaza.”

Ever since Nick was little, I have been afraid someone was going to knock on my door and say, “I’m sorry, but your son is the Dalai Lama and he’s going to have to come with us.”

Last night Larry Hagman, as Major Tony Nelson,
came to me, clear as day, except in black and white. It was so weird that even in my dream I was like, “Hmm, what is the symbolism of seeing Larry Hagman in my dream?”

Then Jeannie appeared, also in black and white, and they kissed and Larry gave her a little tongue. Honestly, it was joyous to have Major Nelson and Jeannie, from the early episodes (hence the black and white), just kind of appear, unbidden, in my dream.

Because you see I had a wee crying jag last night, due to Overwhelming Responsibilities and Deeply Rooted Internal Fears about mortality and the epic loving lasting impact my mother has had on me: you know, that sort of thing.

And so I had the Mondo Cry, fueled by full moon lunacy and a little red wine to soothe the rough spots.

This morning I looked all gallant and ravaged, rising from the ashes like Mrs. Miniver—stalwart! What ho!


I think I dreamt about Jeannie because my mind was softening the blow. Dreams, like endorphins, have a calming effect, apparently for me, watching an old TV show is what soothes my troubled soul.

Quintessence is the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies. Um, I got that out of the dictionary, if you call Nick, he can probably explain it in more depth.

So we have a mother’s love for her son, a daughter’s love for her mother, intensified by abstract worries, and a mother’s enduring, reassuring love for her daughter—all these cyclical forces of the patterns in life guiding us today, along with the waxing moon, heavenly rays of sun, and the never-ending quest for balance between the opposing sides of our nature.

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