Betsy’s due date is September 30, so things could start moving any day now, any hour. We’ve got our hospital bags packed and ready, house clean, fingers twitching nervously. Our friends have taken to calling our Buckley-to-be “Roberto,” for no particular reason, while my mom calls him BSN, “Baby with the Secret Name.”
Work on Crane Girl is continuing apace, which is like regular continuing, but pacier. Author Friend Ben Trube has been offering much-needed encouragement on this front. I had been doing lots of research and note-taking and plotting (which I still am), but he’s pushed me to get back into, you know, actually writing. The new draft is now over 9,000 words.
On the Bible-reading front, Betsy and I are into the Gospel of Matthew, which feels far more profound and compassionate and elegant than either John or Mark. I had somehow gotten it into my head that Matthew was one of the less compelling gospels, which is clearly not true. I also discovered something about the Psalms that I really couldn’t believe I had never learned before – that probably deserves its own blog post.
Lewis Carroll is mostly known as the author of the two Alice books. He is less known as the author of “The Hunting of the Snark,” which is also excellent. He is almost never known as the author of the two Sylvie and Bruno books, which is for the best. I’m about a dozen chapters into the first one, and it’s about 10% cool, 60% mediocre, and 30% awful. Have you ever said, “I’d like a version of Alice in Wonderland where Alice is replaced by an annoying pointless little boy who never does anything; and I’d like it to be a lot longer”? Me neither. But I’m reading the books because (1) Carroll fascinates me, and I’d like to know all about his work, even the less interesting parts, and (2) believe it or not, it’s research for Crane Girl.
Other things I’ve been reading about lately include alchemy, mysticism, St. John of the Cross, Sylvia Plath, Robin Hood, etymology, and Russian fairy tales. Oh, and I read Edward Fitzgerald’s flawed but amazing translation of Farid ud-Din Attar’s twelfth-century Persian poem Bird Parliament (or “Conference of the Birds”). It’s an allegory for mysticism in the Islamic tradition (i.e., Sufism), and it’s amazingly open-minded for the time, going so far as to say that an idol-worshipper could have a truer faith in Allah than a Muslim, if that was the only way he knew.
Trump is currently leading in Ohio, which is the kind of exciting news that makes me want to celebrate by shattering my sternum with a paperweight. I did finally receive the anti-Trump yard signs that I custom-designed and ordered, and currently there’s one in my front yard and (as of yesterday) one in my neighbor’s yard. This is in a neighborhood that’s otherwise exclusively Trump signs (not exaggerating). Betsy and I are considering a large donation somewhere to make a bigger impact, but we haven’t yet decided who it would go to, since we’re not extremely excited about donating to Hillary at the moment.
Still editing. I also had a job recently summarizing – writing a summary of a nearly 200-page document. First time I’ve done anything like that, at least professionally. Pretty interesting and a nice change of pace.
I just learned today – today – what “op-ed” means. I always thought it meant “opinion editorial,” that is, pretty much any editorial. But it actually means “opposite editorial,” that is, an editorial on the page opposite the paper’s staff editorial page, representing the opinion of an individual author, not necessarily aligned with the paper’s own editorial positions. Gaps in knowledge are a weird thing – it’s odd to think that I’m 31, and here’s a term I’ve heard most of my life, and I never actually knew what it meant. Makes you wonder what other gaps you still have.