O, how paltry are human creations against the Titans of the Skies!

The sky blackened in the south and west; the roll of thunder grew ever more cacophonous  from both directions…the very air palpated with shock waves made all but visible, making the hairs on this woman’s arms and head tingle in anticipatory portent.  Or was it rather a shiver of the promise of thrilling delight of the immense power and glory that would surely come soon? The two jousted for primacy in me…until…

Aye, aye, aye…it was the latter!  The power failed, and even the batteries in the electric clocks frazzled and time stood still.  The stillness was soon shattered by great crashes of thunder almost simultaneous with bolts of bright lightning, alternating from the southwest…to the northwest! 

O, batten down the hatches, olde woman, lest the rain and hail soak the floors and do irreversible damage, then hie, hie, hie…yourself out of doors to witness, nay, be part of, in tune with, what the Gods are wreaking today.

O, yes, clearly it was Zeus at play in the Northwest, hurling great forks of lightning to the ground, but which of his children, perhaps coming of age, was challenging him from the Southwest?  Was it a son or daughter whom he’d never acknowledged, perhaps?  Or just a familiar one who’d scaled the heavens to challenge him?

But O, the battle unfolded fiercely as I stood out on the bottom step of the porch, not quite daring enough to cross the great puddle before me…silly old crone, I, fearing to ruin my last pair of shoes.  But O, as the torrents came down, they were salted with little stones of ice, and crashed through the green leaves of the maple tree, soaking me to my skin, the lash of it stinging in an almost pleasant way.

‘Take me!  Take me, if you require a sacrifice!  Hoka hey, it’s a good day to die!’ I chanted loudly and in earnest, my arms outstretched in welcome.  Zeus and his challenger answered boldly, by throwing more bolts, and hurling more wetness from the skies, until every ditch was running a veritable torrent of water.  Ah, and the lightning hummed through every cell of my body, as it seemed to magnetize the very iron in my blood.  Oh, sweet and fearsome delight; how cleansing was the ozone-soaked air to suck into my lungs, so fresh that it seemed to purify and beatify me for that brief time, and to show me just how small a speck I am in the scheme of the multiverse.  Mentally I knelt in appreciation of their combined powers, as the booms seemed to crack the very fabric of the sky, much as bolts might find faults in granite mountains, and splinter off whole precipices that would tumble to the earth’s floor below, creating a soundtrack that only a Beethoven could score.

But alas, soon the great puddle before me began to lap at my leather clogs, leaking in to my toes, and returning me to some measure of wit and sensibility.  Soaked to the skin, my tresses dripping with the evidence of their Great Contest, I realized that today was not the day, so shivering with wet, I toweled off what I could, and crawled under the bed covers to listen and watch from there.

No, no, no…no blowdryer, no refrigerator, no phone, no internet, none of the amenities of comfort and communication that cause humans to feel so proud and mighty.  Briefly I was grateful that I’d be able to fashion dinner on the gas range, and silently counted the various kerosene lamps and candles available for Lighting the Darkness should the restoration of power come after sunset.

Each lull in the magnificent dueling storms soon erupted with new bolts and house-jarring thunder, but they began to edge their way farther north, allowing me to hear the music of the ephemeral brooks outside the bedroom door, and the patter of gentler rain on the skylights.

Eventually I nodded off, perhaps with a small smile on my face that seemed to say, ‘Hoka hey; perhaps it’s a good day to live’, and I sent blessings and prayers to those who hadn’t even a warm bed to crawl into, or food from which to craft their next meal, then wondered what the two sets of twin fawns would have made of it all…surely their mamas would have found them shelter, and provided what comfort she could.

14 responses to “O, how paltry are human creations against the Titans of the Skies!

  1. How paltry, indeed. Lovely writing Mz.

    The storm just passed by over our place, big hail and wind, torrents of rain, lightning and thunder. Now of course all is calm, the sun shines cheerily, and the plants and animals are drying out. Hoka hey, no doubt.

    This is the man the Titans have been dealing with in “negotiations” today — and since April. Oh. It wasn’t Yanis? Why no, no it wasn’t. Euclid was the on the scene “negotiator” all along.

    Listen to him: [introduction of Euclid at 4:39]

    The Titans may have met their match… This man is ready to light a match under the Europe Project at the very least…

    Italy’s Renzi is also speaking openly and loudly about the need to “reform Europe,” because the Project isn’t working as a Berlin/Paris/Brussels Axis.

    Meanwhile all the advisors continue to claim that SYRIZA is doing it wrong…

    Right…

    • i’m pleased you liked it, amigo. i jotted it down when i woke before i forgot, and er…had to correct a few errors this morning. wore myself plum out, i did. but whooosh, the rainbows toward sunset were small miracles, a whole series of them, shifting with what…the various rain cells? i dunno, but the last one was a double that stretched from the la platas halfway down the canyon. i may have burned one retina staring too long. ;-)

      did your storm seem to come from two directions? oof, i hope the big hail didn’t do any damage, or at least much. in the end, we got an inch of wet, about a 12th of our annual average. and where mr. wd was working a few miles north…hardly any, but he said he could see the show going on here.

      thanks for the video; miz boylan rawks, too. ha, the guardian asshats were having a great time making fun of euclid, especially of the fact that he’d made ‘a rookie mistake’ coming through the conference door…with his notes clipped to his notebook…facing the cameras. so…they photographed it, magnified and published it…’a mistake’. i’ll echo your ‘right’.

      but yes, wasn’t he negotiating with the Euro Looters when varoufakis had either been benched or benched himself when some of them refused to be in the same room with him? no, he won’t be a shrinking violet pleading for mercy, will he? and he and tsipras seem to know only too well that what they do, they do for all the Looted Rabble in europe, and maybe beyond.

  2. Lovely writing, wendye, now that will clear the air, shake out the cobwebs, bring those pure gobs of ozone into parched lungs, won’t it?

    This is the third evening that I look southward and see the dark mass lying along the distant horizon, a dot of a hawk above, floating. It’s huge, that snow mountain. And it likes to come at night as the rumbles and flashes develop intensity and the warm damp mounts – yes, different directions it goes and returns, I am sure of it.

    Anyone with a flat roof – beware! Mine is flat and old, and after these many years up and patching I have a solution that works – those coils of narrow tubing for drip irrigation – where puddles form up there I anchor one end with a plastic tub of gravel, stretch it down by my front door and hey presto – the rain starts, a gentle sip and it siphons. The pleasure seeing that dribble down my driveway – it’s ecstasy!

    The garden is leaping like a giant frog.

  3. Well done. Made me nostalgic for the magnificent thunderstorms of Chicago that I used to see from an 8th story apartment. Sweeping in from the west and on to the Lake.

    We’ve had quite a few “pop-up” strorms here of late, sometimes rumbles and nothing else, other times torrents and tree-shaking winds. Watching the trees bend and comparing to my memories of the 75 mph winds of Hurricane Fran in 1996 when I saw what snapped and what didn’t of the pines. The oaks were uprooted from the moisture. There are now only a few of the hollows where the rootballs were left.

    Marvelous news today about our tax money at work. The NASA New Horizon spacecraft is beginning its flyby of Pluto and sending back full disk photos like those we’ve seen first from every other planet–a little grainy for the early ones. Image processing to higher resolution takes time.

    And in Pakistan, the first meetings of the Afghanistan government and the Taliban have concluded with the US and China as observers (interesting that). And some of the Taliban generals in the field are upset that the war might be coming to an end; they are threatening to join the Islamic State.

    Meanwhile in Syria, the Kurdish YPG are struggling to hold their positions that closed the Turkish border area to shipments to Raqqah. US air support is holding Islamic State forces from reinforcing troops in the area. The strategic move is for Kurds to close the border from Iraqi Kurdistan to western Syrian Kurdistan. And the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq is collaborating with the anarchist YPG in this battle.

    In South Carolina, the SC Senate passed the bill to remove the Confederate flag 36-3, but even those three participated in a standing ovation for Clementa Pinckney’s widow who had watched the entire proceedings. Today the House began debate with a couple of legislators (so far 40-some haven’t absolutely committed to voting Yes) trying to introduce amendments to substitute other Confederate flags at the monument. Governor Haley made a statement today to try to move the legislation along without amendments. It takes 83 votes to pass. Google “post and courier whip count” to see the latest whip count. The Charleston newspaper is updating it in real time. And has the name and districts of all the Yes, No, Not Answering, and Undecided votes. For a little simple symbolic gesture (that happens to be an anchor of the institutions that support white supremacy). Some of my SC friends are helping others deal with the grief of change; one laments the loss of the flag from NASCAR, pointing out that NASCAR’s original signature race was the Rebel 500 with Confederate flag on the flyers promoting it in 1960; another friend points out to him that a lot of life changes in 55 years. Quite an interesting human drama going on.

    Monday is the Moral Monday march in Winston-Salem to let the judge considering the Voter ID bill understand the depth of feeling in the state. Lots of folks are sending people, and the NC Daily Kos members are going to have a meetup there. Buses are being organized from all parts of the state to move people to Winston-Salem for a 5 pm rally.

    Memphis is moving Nathan Bedford Forrest out their city park.

    Charlotte NC is evaluating removing the Confederate memorial that put up at a United Confederate Veterans meeting in 1929 that has inscribed on it and appreciation for the valor of Confederate soldiers who helped preserve the Anglo-Saxon race. Most people have probably seen this cube of limestone in downtown Charlotte, but most have never read it. I disappears into the background of the city or county building on whose grounds it sits.

    And the pressure is building in South Carolina to do something about the memorials to “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, the 1890s governor who rode a wave of prohibition and anxiety about blacks into office and passed the Jim Crow laws and the South Carolina Dispensary system for regulating sales of alcohol. His memorial are at Clemson University, the land grant university that he created on John C. Calhoun’s old plantation with the help of Calhoun’s son-in-law (wife was Floride Calhoun) Thomas Green Clemson.

    Some ice floes seem to be creaking in this neck of the woods. Even as the North Carolina General Assembly looks to do as much damage as it can before it gets voted out. It’s now going after reducing home rule in the mostly Democratic larger cities. And still trying to get offshore drilling in spite of some coastal Republicans beginning to have second thoughts.

    • oooh, those storms would have come with crashing waves, too. but my goodness, i had to look for hurricane fran; my stars, a powerful one if only a #3. ten inches of rain in one location? http://www4.ncsu.edu/~nwsfo/storage/cases/19960906/

      aren’t you full of bits and bobs of news. i’m quite behind, so thank you for all of it. tragic that it took the mass murder terrorism at the AME church to galvanize efforts to remove these symbols. i do hope that in aggregate, it all helps, but all too often symbolic gestures as the focus, don’t translate into changing the greater culture. so…it’s good to hear about the voter ID rally in winston-salem.

      your paragraph on pitchfork ben gave me the shivers, as did the origins of clemson university. whooosh.

      wonder what it might take to get rid of ‘redskins’, chief wahoo, the chop, and the like?

      here’s the NASA new horizons page. kewl. ;-)

  4. We are 200 miles inland. Hurricane Fran hit Frying Pan shoals off of Wilmington with 130 mph winds. I saw the National Weather Service bouy reading right before the edge of the storm 200 miles away snapped a power line here. We had no waves, thank goodness, but the tops of the pine trees looked like they touching the ground (and most of them still did not snap). 75 mph here. Biggest worry for this area is tornadoes at the edge of the hurricane.

    Well, on South Carolina, last night the SC House voted to pass the bill without amendment. The highlight (you must watch the video) was Rep. Jenny Horne (R-Dorchester County SC) arguing to reject amendments and delays and trotting out her bona fides as a lifelong South Carolinian and descendant of Jefferson Davis to make her case for an immediate Yes vote. She went all weepy before she was done.

    The online privacy movement lost Casper Bowden to cancer. Quite a loss. Folks like Jacob Applebaum, Trevor Timm, Quinn Norton, and others have had Twitter eulogies. There have been a couple of longform eulogies as well. He apparently was a Microsoft muckty-muck in security who did not like the direction they were going and bailed to work on internet privacy issues.

    Syria Human Rights Observatory reports that since the first of the year the Islamic State has executed 143 new recruits who changed their mind and wanted to go back to their own countries.

    • those are awesomely high winds, it’s incredible the pines didn’t snap with that much bending. we saw some of the residual iffects of hurricane camille (1969) when we were in louisiana, and whooosh.

      i saw a headline of jenny horne’s speech and historical ties on either the twit machine or a news site, but didn’t stop to watch; i’ll try to watch. ;-)

      RIP casper bowden, although i didn’t even know his name. i also thought i should have edited in my last comment that i know less than nothing about either syria, is, isil, or the kurdish groups; way too complicated, and i guess i’ve chosen not to even try to learn. when i think that the kurds allowed the US to kick the football *twice* in the past, and pulled it away the second time as well, my heart aches for them. “revolt! we’ll help you!” only…not.so.much.

  5. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/american-muslims-raise-30000-to-help-repair-black-churches-destroyed-by-fire-10375704.html
    “When Faatimah Knight reached out to her Muslim friends and acquaintances to try and help black churches that had been destroyed by fire, she had no idea how much they could collect.
    Today, they have managed to raise just under $30,000 – money that will be used to help up to seven churches that were destroyed in the American south in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting and the campaign against the Confederate flag.”

    • thank you, marym; that generosity is wonderful solidarity. i’m so sorry that i’d blown by this entry, but i did finally recall seeing it via email last night as i was lying down for a rest a bit ago.

      how many churches have been torched since the mass murderer terrorist killed so many good souls at the AME church? nine? well, any are too many.

  6. The flag is down. The construction crews are taking down the flagpole and the fence.

    It’s a little thing, almost insignificant.

    Sort of like this:
    How Jackie Robinson ignited Greenville’s civil rights movement

    The year was 1959 — four years after the Montgomery bus boycott, in the year before the Greensboro sit-ins, two years before the Freedom Riders. It was in the Anderson Independent and Daily Mail (then morning and evening papers) for a day and of course the Greenville News and Piedmont (also then two papers). It was the talk for days, especially because Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, then in its classic rivalry with the New York Yankees. My friends almost uniformly were for the Dodgers (no doubt in part because they could beat Yankees). Talk about major cognitive dissonance among 10-14 year-olds. Say it ain’t so, Jackie.

    Or as insignificant as the day (I think in 1962) the Greenville SC Public Library started allowing “colored patrons” into its Main Library building to browse the books.

    Insignificant.

    • i do hope you’re correct that it will be a sincere blow to white supremacy in the long run.

      the pope just offered an apology to first americans for the damage done to them by the catholic church while he was in bolivia. that is a good thing. ;-)

  7. Here’s another long-form worth folks’ reading.

    Post-Politics and the Future of the Left

    It’s concern is the collapse of the left in the UK and what is a bit of fragmentation.

    Cliff Notes:
    1. IDEOLOGY IS NOT DEAD, BUT WE NEED A NEW POLITICAL VOCABULARY

    2. DEMOCRACY IS NOT DEAD, IT’S JUST CAPTURED

    3. AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP ARE BOTH UNAVOIDABLE AND ESSENTIAL

    4. BE WARY OF EMBRACING POPULISM

    5. WHAT SHOULD THE STATE DO?

    6. DIGITAL CULTURE IS NEITHER PRODUCING EQUALITY NOR UNITING THE LEFT

    To even start to find answers to the many questions I have raised here, we need to develop less atomised ways of having conversations, connecting up social democrats and those on the radical/soft left. And we need to collect, collate and preserve resources and results, combining face-to-face discussions with the creation of toolkits and a repository of ideas in print and online. For understandable historical reasons, the left is wary of debate. But intolerance of disagreement only pushes it underground, where it becomes passive aggression. The right is comfortable with competing views and pragmatic alliances, because the right recognises their practical inevitability, and the need for leaders to set out a way forward. The left should not assume that there is one morally correct position. These debates are necessary. The left is at a crossroads, and we need to get our bearings before we can choose a path.

    Provoking, not magisterial.

  8. White supremacy is not seriously undercut until the shock jocks and preachers who are currently propping it up institutionally become irrelevant and the learned academics like Charles Murray get institutionally discredited as outright liars. That sort of thing happened briefly in the 1960s, but it was of political advantage for the Party of Lincoln to bring it out of mothballs as the Southern Strategy. (Actually according to Kevin Phillips, who was there, the strategy was an urban Catholic ethnic racist strategy (think Louise Day Hicks) that had the advantage of expanding the electoral map in the South. The Democrats tried to rapidly transform the South through the Carter presidency, but that ran afoul of the Southern Baptist coup and the Iranian revolution–both essentially religious reactionary movement (reacting to different things, for example. pro-US imperialism on the part of Baptists and anti-US imperialism on the part of Iranians, but still reactions). And then there was the former CIA agent counter-revolution to the Church Committee accountability.

    Instead of having to deal with their grief over the fact that the Civil War was in fact really over, the white supremacists began seeking media influence and power. Thus The Donald. And 35 years of anti-minority propaganda and the elite finding it a useful wedge issue, here we are.

    One of Deray McKesson’s lines is that white supremacy is not afraid of black rage; it is afraid of black unity.

    And for 350 years, the PTB have been afraid of black-white-indigenous unity. Their strategies always are aimed at keeping that three-way division.

    It’s far from over. But one state has delegitimized its cult in one place. And the argument for complete delegitimization of white supremacy is being aired. Baby steps.

  9. well, i’m glad you see it as a baby step; that tallies with my impression. what i saw was that for weeks at a time, ‘the flag’ was the issue, including which outlets stopped selling it, and even ‘epcot center took down their confederate flag’, wth?

    then once scotus legalized gay and lesbian marriage across the nation, the movement spent waaaay too much time spitting crap about gays not being nearly as oppressed as blacks. what a waste of unity. black lives matter folks ask #nativeLivesMatter folks to not steal their brand. i suppose it’s one of the main reasons that even a younger, likely more idealistic, jesse jackson never found any power in, or adherents for, a Rainbow Coalition. even though i watched it unfold, it baffled me as much then as it does now. shoot, even margaret kimberly at BAR authors did the same thing.

    but thank you for the link, and for your explanation/analysis, thd.

    by the by, there is always an Open Menu here for thoughts, links, music, whatever, really. if one isn’t apparent on the main page, there’s a thingie in the categories list on the right sidebar, top of the list. give my best to miz thd.

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s