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Rumilluminations Now
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Sun, January 01 2017 - 9:54 pm

January 15, 2017
Madison IN

In the past I have written about how household moves might affect children - or at least, me as a child.

Now, however, I am beginning to wonder if these moves affect most people more than they realize.

My family moved across town before I can even remember. When I was three or four we moved across the country from northern Indiana to California, then back again three years later.

Maybe that's why I start getting restless after a few years in one place!

Last year we started thinking about a move to New Mexico this year which will probably not happen at least for a couple years, and I'm getting restive.

I'm hopping back and forth on the branch: upriver, downriver; upriver, downriver.

Flap, flap.


Flap flap flap flap flap!

January 13, 2017
Madison IN

I don't know what kind of resolutions you all have made for this year. I haven't made any, except I think it is probably a good year to stand firm in the belief that I have the ability to stand up for the civil rights of myself and others should push come to shove in our newly "great" America.

There is no reason to think I will have to in this small red and white town, and there is even less reason to think I can if put to the test.

My resolution for this year, I guess, is to try to behave with more balance and dignity than I usually have, and to recognize that maybe this year is going to be a year in which I can resist shaking people up.

Maybe this year is a year to help things stay calm.

*Fathers and Daughters  Intense, absorbing, passionate and finally - well, I don't want to give away anything at all. Definitely worth seeing.

Recently seen

*The Usual Suspects Saw this a long time ago, but even that was enough to tip off my memory and kind of ruin for me, even though I didn't follow it all that well. In sad fact, I fell asleep. But maybe you won't.

*Hell and High Water  An understated contemporary Western - action-packed and laid-back, fraught and serene.

January 12, 2017
Madison IN

Right now I'm suffering from performance anxiety. Well mine, sure. I just had the idea (realization?) that maybe my word program won't offer up IN as a possibility after a comma is because the City, State conventions no longer apply when using the official post office abbreviation for a state. Is the proper form now City State?

If so, how long has that new rule been in effect? How out of it am I?

I'm also suffering performance anxiety about my pen/typewriter/device's battery status. In the immediate sense, my battery is low. In the long term sense, will my battery last as long as I need it to?

Have you ever felt performance anxiety for your kid?

The worst! Well, I am not suffering from that!

January 9, 2017 
Madison IN

Of my symptoms of mental aging, I think I like aphasia least. Sure, it is embarrassing not to be able to remember people's names, but lots of the people I speak to claim to have the same problem and I can pretend to believe that they are not just being polite.

When I say Vietnamese when I mean veteran, however, it is obvious that the arrow hasn't reached the target though the association is clear.

I'm quite capable of saying a completely unrelated wrong word after getting the initial letter out.

It is true that I did this when I was younger but then I called it a Freudian slip because it involved an embarrassing, possibly revealing double-entendre. That still happens now, but with a new variation: it has no meaning whatsoever.

That's embarrassing - and depressing. At least it does not happen too often.

Physical symptoms of aging might be worse. In one week I have broken a glass and a cup. Breaking crockery is something I used to do less often than once a year.

Maybe we had better not be too anxious to get rid of breakable even if we seem oversimplified.

Hmmm... that can be my excuse! I'm not getting clumsier, I'm just getting more impatient and careless with our overstuffed cupboards.

Sigh. Another symptom of grouchy old age.

January 7, 2017
Madison IN

My second day of Epiphany gift to you is to hope for you not gold and frankincense and myrrh but a good solid warm home and tasty healthy food and enough weather-appropriate clothing and health to take you outside.

All the way outside, that is: Outside the house, outside the town, outside the city, to where the magic of the world is working through something other than people.

It's hard to believe, isn't it, that we could exist without mirrors? That we humans did live without mirrors?

Why, without mirrors and photographs, how do we know we are real?

How do we know how we look?

Well, my hope for you is that YOU do the looking.

My gift to you is yourself.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

I have a lot of nerve, don't I?

... but think about it.

January 6, 2017
Madison IN

Today is Epiphany, the day for celebrating gift-giving on a human (albeit kingly) level as opposed to the gift of the Divine, so I thought I might give you three.

One is the observation that the "spiritual" attracts material awards. I'm inclined to suspect that personal charisma arouses people to a desire for they don't know what. After all, why did the wise men stop following the famous star when they did?

Since when did a heavenly body park itself somewhere in particular? Finding the Savior under that star would be like finding that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Somebody's charm and charisma caught those wise men, perhaps in conjunction with a particularly long and trying day. Maybe Mary's. Oh, and of course, babies always have charisma!

Some gift, you might say. How cynical!

Well, okay then. I'll stop at one gift for today. I myself, though, almost always see a different way of looking at something as a gift. The new perception creates so many options!

January 5, 2017
Madison, IN

We saw an Anthony Jeselnik special this evening as part of our Daily Laugh for Abs campaign. He is darkly funny. Humorously dark.

Anyway, he told a story about trading his dad's Micky Mantle baseball card worth thousands of dollars for a candy bar.

Wouldn't it be ironic if his dad was the boy to whom I gave a Mickey Mantle baseball card right out of the bubblegum pack when I was maybe five or six years old? (That would have been around 1952, I guess.)

That would be poetic justice, maybe, but his dad would have to have been living in the area of Stanford Village, California at the time and then subsequently moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

But then why not? It was graduate student housing and my family ended up in Valparaiso, IN.

If that was Anthony's dad, Anthony should have by all rights given me half of that candy bar.

But, oh, no. Not Anthony! He's living his dream!

*The Recruit  I always have loved movies that jerk you around. This one does. So satisfying for us vicariously masochistic types!

January 4, 2017
Madison, IN

I read lately that jobs translating are going to be some of the up-and-coming occupations in the next few years. 

Ya think? The translations on Facebook are so terrible that I usually ignore invitations to rate them.

They are so bad that the old admonition kicks into overdrive in my mind and "since I can't say anything nice" I just "don't say anything at all."

Now there have to be plenty of competent linguists out there who should be able to do this job - aren't there?

Then again, in all fairness, how would I know?

I can't even understand a half of what the young are saying even when they are writing in English! Even American English!

Other people are laughing at jokes.

I am moaning, "The horror! The horror!"

January 2, 2017
Madison IN

The second day of the year has been quite gray and misty here in Madison, Indiana. Foggy, even. It makes the new year seem quite mysterious.

Well, it is! Who knows what the year will bring?

Owls, or howls?

Secrets or solutions?

Rapprochement, or revolutions?

Judging from the recent puns I have seen on Facebook, I think the new year will bring us corn.

Lots of corn.

Probably GMO corn.

January 1, 2017
Madison IN

Took my New Year's Day constitutional on the Heritage Trail. On my return trip I paused on the descent approaching the creek because the woods were alive with birds. Downy woodpeckers, I think, and flickers for sure, with taps indicating a larger species nearby. Nuthatches and cardinals and juncos maybe a brown creeper  and probably a tufted titmouse interspersed with teeny birds that were too quick to see well on a cloudy day.

I was out later than usual, so maybe they were seizing the warm part of the day to forage. Sure, it's been relatively warm, but honestly? From all the bird life, one would have thought it was Spring.

*In The Land of Women  Kind of a quiet movie, a gentle movie, mostly. Good wholesome fare after all the bloody Homicide: Life on the Streets we have been viewing these last few weeks.

Especially the Vincent d'Onofrio episode we saw this morning.
What a thing to watch on New Year's Day! Hope I don't see something like that every day of the year. That good, yes. But not like that.

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