Deep Thought: Joy Generator
It's been a typical Tuesday here at the Post Office. Meaning: all manner of unpredictable things have happened.
Bluebottle and I had a chat about weather reporting in different countries. This started because he was editing my guide entry about a man who was electrocuted (by accident) during the Current Wars. I had written, 'Special editions of newspapers could be just as frenetic as the Weather Channel's description of hurricanes.' He remarked, 'In my experience weather presenters say, 'Earlier on today apparently a lady rang the BBC and said she heard that there was a hurricane on the way. Well, don't worry if you're watching, there isn't' - only for Shanklin Pier to disappear overnight.'
I replied with links to The Weather Channel, which overhypes every weather event on the North American continent and sends its longsuffering reporters out into snowstorms and pounding surf in an effort to make things more exciting. Many seniors are addicted to The Weather Channel. I, although a senior, have not yet succumbed. I agreed that British and European weather reports generally compare favourably to the exuberance of even local weathermen like Philadelphia's Glen 'Hurricane' Schwartz. (Giving themselves weather-related nicknames is a plague.) We had fun comparing the different approaches.
While we were doing that, SashaQ and I got into a discussion about Christmas songs and which ones cause what kind of furor in different countries. Then FWR came back from Tenerife (Hurrah! He has pictures!) and had a crisis with his login, which we had to finagle. Meanwhile, the November novelists were contemplating the notion of fuse boxes in spaceships…
All the while, I kept trying to put this issue together. Sometimes, honestly, it's like rubbing your tummy and patting your head.
I also got to look at all the photos. Galaxy Babe sent in those gorgeous butterflies – we'd been talking about another guide entry. This one was about Maxo Vanka, a great Croatian painter who decorated a church near where I grew up. In addition to being a painter and a mystic, Vanka was what Galaxy Babe calls 'a butterfly whisperer.' He even repaired a broken butterfly wing once. There was a witness.
'I'm a butterfly whisperer, too,' said GB. And sent me all those photos. Which you get to enjoy, too.
FWR sent the curlew. I didn't know what kind of bird it was, so we figured it out.
Caiman taught me a piece of Dutch history I didn't know and sent a couple of photos that took my breath away.
h5ringer found a box tree moth.
Woolly Mammoth photographed the aurora borealis. I am in awe.
I hunted around in the archives for some pictures by Louis Wain. We saw that movie the other night and couldn't stop laughing. I knew h2g2 needed to see some cat pictures.
After lunch, the church secretary called me. She wanted me to postpone organ practice because tomorrow's supposed to be a beautiful day, just like today, and we don't get many more of these in western Pennsylvania before the snow comes. She planned to take the afternoon off and enjoy nature. I said, be my guest.
I shared with her some of the things I'd seen today from around the world. She was impressed with how much we could learn from each other.
Without funding a Think Tank.
Without spending a fortune on online courses.
Without a brief from a government or NGO.
Without anybody telling us what to do, when to do it, or how to do it.
Just by talking to each other over a medium we're using, anyway.
We're that much better informed about each other. We're that much comforted by one another's presence. We're that much inspired, amused, and cheered.
Thank you, folks. You make this a joy to be part of.