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Horripilation and Thanks

Seasonal thoughts over here, at least maybe. I set myself to be Thankful on Thanksgiving. I managed about as well as a little human does. That is to say, I sort of missed the boat. I was so busy whining about the giant pork pie that I neglected to say that MIL sat down and talked husband through Laplace transformations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace_transform

She got them to make sense for him. She was his first teacher after all. He learned his words to the sound of her voice. She calmed him. She gave him comfort in a place I can't reach. I mean really can't reach-- just look at those great hairy math thingies!

I have been thinking again this year about how the best Christmas songs are not the ones that are bright and cheerful. The very best ones have a darkness to them. They make you aware that you are a tiny little bag of red, shivering under the stars with others like yourself-- and you are chipping a bright place out of the winter darkness. Yes, of course the light will come again. But it will be real dark first. Dashing Through the Snow is not a Christmas song.

That baby came, and his birth was his foot on the road to a horrific death. Poor little baby. Most of us would never mistreat a baby. We are gentle and good with babies. We recognize them as precious. But we don't act that way to the former babies, 30 years on. I have never crucified anyone, but I have often failed to be kind. Or I am so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I just don't see, or speak up when I should. I forget to remember. It is like meditating. You are supposed to think of nothing. So you make a blank place, and then you think "Hey I did it-- there is nothing there! Oh, wait, well. Damn..."  You just have to try again.

I think I got the Marlowe story unstuck, maybe. He is with me all the time, which is lovely. Really, you invite people into your thoughts, and then you wonder how you did all those years without them. I would miss him unbearably if he left.

I was looking at his picture the other day. You know the one-- there is only one. And he is wearing that ridiculous doublet with the slashed sleeves, (which he was so not supposed to wear at school! Bad Kit!) and it makes his arms and shoulders huge and his head tiny. But if you look carefully you can almost see how his body went underneath. He was skinny under there, and, God, so young. His face is still round with puppy fat. He looks a little haughty, but his eyes are measuring how well it is working. He is not really wrapped up in himself, he is watching to see if you fall for it. His whiskers are unconvincing. His crossed arms are weird in a portrait. You would expect him to be holding something, or have hands on hips. That would be more usual. Instead he is pulling his arms close. Is he closing us out? It looks insecure. And with that face above I am pretty sure of it. He is watching himself from the outside. He is playing a role. The poet-- the witty young man.

Poor Kit, with Debtford ahead. Poet, and former baby, like Jesus and the rest of us. I will try again to not forget to remember.                     

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
anteros_lmc
Dec. 5th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
I do love the idea of great hairy maths thingies. I bet they would give your spiders a run for their money!

They make you aware that you are a tiny little bag of red, shivering under the stars with others like yourself-- and you are chipping a bright place out of the winter darkness.
I have always liked the idea of our smallness and fragility in the vast space of the universe. I find our insignificance comforting.

I looked at the portrait of Marlowe again. I don't think I have ever really looked at it closely before. I think he is trying to look more adult than he really is.

Really, you invite people into your thoughts, and then you wonder how you did all those years without them. I would miss him unbearably if he left.
Oh yes, definitely! I miss the navyboys terribly when I am so overtaken by work.
eglantine_br
Dec. 6th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
I don't wind being small under the stars. It feels safe somehow.

BTW husband says that feeling is totally magnified at sea. He says it is just so serene, even compared to camping on the beach-- which I have done. He says that between watches sailors just sort of drift out onto the deck and sit, on ropes and big old cleats and things, and just look, and be silent. He misses it, I know that.

The Navyboys will be there, when you get a chance to breathe.
anteros_lmc
Dec. 8th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
He says that between watches sailors just sort of drift out onto the deck and sit, on ropes and big old cleats and things, and just look, and be silent.
What a wonderfully serene picture. No wonder he misses it...
charliecochrane
Dec. 6th, 2013 12:49 pm (UTC)
He's clearly thinking about something far off and unknowable. I love that portrait.

I did enjoy this post. So much food for thought.
bronze_ribbons
Dec. 7th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
But we don't act that way to the former babies, 30 years on.

So, so true. It breaks my heart over and over.

Thank you for writing and posting this.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )