I had the classic school dream
last night—I was enrolled in two college classes but didn’t really want to take
them. Finally I realized that I had already completed the degree requirements,
and I dropped the classes. Such a relief! Occasionally I dream I am enrolled in
a class and it’s time for the final, but I’ve never attended—or I couldn’t find
the classroom. I think the class is often paleontology, something way out of my
field of interest.
School dreams like that are
not unusual and often mean that you are dealing with unpleasant memories or are
anxious about something. I really don’t feel that there’s much in my life to be
anxious about. But in the wider world, there is so much to be anxious about. I
find that since the horrific Hamas attack on Israeli settlements, I am less
optimistic. These days I am truly worried about an international war, with our
troops suffering air raid strikes and half the Middle East ready to join the
fight—though who on which side remains sort of unclear, except I don’t think
Israel would have many allies. And at home, antisemitism is on the rise at an
alarming rate. It’s like that night over three weeks ago Hamas let loose all
the evil and hate in the world. It scares me that people are so fierce, and the
individual stories break my heart.
Where is Solomon with his wisdom?
Not only did he use his sword to settle a matter of motherhood, he successfully
ruled over two tribes and is recognized today, in different ways, by both Jews
and Muslims. I see no path forward to peace, and I grieve at the bitter fate of
civilians on either side of the conflict. I read somewhere that over half the
Palestinians killed in the conflict were children. Both sides are fixed on
vengeance, but as Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
I am afraid that is what is happening to us.
It's hard these days to go
back to the ordinary, to root yourself in such things as Halloween and getting plants
in before tonight’s frost and what to fix for supper tomorrow night. But it is
those ordinary things I think that often hold us together. And today I read an
article about that most ordinary of things: the common southern phrase, “Bless
your heart.” We all know it can be a biting insult, but an article in Southern
Living suggests it is much more nuanced. The meaning depends heavily on the
speaker’s tone of voice.
Whispered in a conspiratorial
voice, usually about someone not present, it casts doubt on the subject’s abilities,
mostly mental or social. Stated in a clear, caring tone of voice, it conveys
real concern or sympathy. Said with sass, it implies judgement and an
incredulous, “What were you thinking?” If the speaker’s voice holds pity, and
you’re the recipient, accept that it is not a compliment and move on. If it’s
said matter-of-factly, it may mean that the speaker doesn’t want to reveal
their real feelings and wants to end the conversation.
Feeling much better today—thanks
for asking. Cold symptoms cough and stuffy nose persist, but I have more energy
and more interest in what I’m working on. Wrote a thousand words today, most of
them good words.
Bless your heart, one and all.