It’s February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but somehow it seems cheesy to say “Happy Lincoln’s Birthday” so I’ll begin by saying I hope this is a fine day for you. Here in Chicago, which is a cold white world, the days have been blending together, especially since I have spent so many days inside, doing a lot of nothing.
I get lost on the Internet, which is where I read Dana Garling’s post “How to Survive Mercury in Retrograde.” I am not a big believer in astrology but I have several friends who are. And all of them talk about Mercury in Retrograde ominously. This time around Mercury seems to be making everything run backward from February 6 to the last day of the month. According to Gala Darling, Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel so you see a lot can be affected when it goes retrograde. She says electronic equipment and computers are more likely to go on the fritz and recommends backing up your data. This struck me because it had been a while since I backed up my files—how about you? Whether or not you believe in astrology it is good practice. So I thought I’d give you this reminder.
Thomas J. Fiffer’s guest blog connects to this same idea. One of the things it is about is data storage and it serves to remind us to empty the caches. Of course Tom also means we should empty those figurative caches where we keep our hurt feelings.
Like 14 million other people, I was caught up last Sunday in “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles.” You too? I guess the Beatles lyric that would most fit this post is: Let It Be. Oh, if we could only . . . .
A couple days ago we heard of the death of Shirley Temple Black. I probably saw almost all of her movies on Family Classics with Frazier Thomas. Being somewhat mischievous, I was not a Shirley Temple type of girl. In some roles she was so sugary my young self bristled and I wanted not to like her, to dismiss her as too old-fashioned or goody-good, but I couldn’t help myself, she charmed me. One movie of hers I could hardly sit through was Heidi because the story so affected me. In it, the taciturn grandfather turns out to be nice and loving but he loses Heidi when she is stolen away to be the companion of a rich girl who is an invalid. There is one scene where the grandfather calls and calls for Heidi and the despair in his voice so resonated with me that I started crying.
Which brings me to the last connected piece of this post. As I recalled Heidi, and her grandfather in particular, it occurred to me that I had a character much like him in my poem “Transported” (which was originally published in the Winter 2002 issue of After Hours). So I thought I’d share it.
Lastly, a new contributor (Flo W. Rider) submitted to Glimpse of Solace just last week and I think the photo fits the theme in that it also seems to be about re-wiring our thinking.
Peace, love, and solace (and Happy Valentine’s Day too)
Riding home from
on the crowded
Lawrence Avenue bus,
my body swaying to its stops
and lurches, holding
the sweaty metal pole,
I stood before
an old man,
his gray cement eyes
set on me so
was brightening his day,
until he looked at me square
© Ellen Wade Beals, 2002