Let’s Look at Pictures! Inaugural Edition

What a crappy, crappy week. Screwed up meds. New diagnoses to deal with. Scrambled brains that leave me with the concentration of a 3-year-old. Not to mention the fact that our universities are turning out liars at the graduate level, Wisconsin is trying to kill the tenure system, and the Duggar child abuse scandal keeps getting worse and worse. (If you’re interested in commentary about the situation without all the salacious details, try this article from boston.com.) Sometimes the world just seems like a shit platter, and when that happens day in and day out for months and months, it takes its toll. So instead of stoking the flames of my Inner Outrage by ranting until I’m ready to start gnawing throats out with my teeth like some Internet-addicted cyberzombie, I decided to post some pictures.

Ah, that’s much better, isn’t it? I developed a vast appreciation for snails after reading Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s fabulous memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Not only does it delve into details about a snail’s existence that I never would have thought to wonder about, it’s also a profound and accurate account of the way catastrophic illness sweeps into your life and upends everything.

So now I’ve just sent my brain on a mini-expedition to consider the simplicity of a snail’s world and to remember a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I feel more emotionally stable already!

Let’s try something else. Ever google your own name?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. I google both my real name and my fickle name constantly. A couple of days ago, because I was feeling adventurous, I decided to google-search for images and not just web pages. And what a treasure trove of amazing mish-mashery I found! Most of the hits had absolutely (and refreshingly) nothing to do with me, but sometimes–like a Tarot reading–they seemed to be speaking to issues burbling around under the surface of my awareness.

Take this post on Pandora’s box by blogger Tabatha Yeatts. We  all know the story of Pandora: first woman in the world opens a box and releases all the world’s evils. Usually, the story is interpreted as yet another in the long line of myths trying to justify why women are treated as inferiors. Yeatts, however, doesn’t focus on the story as much as she gives us a collection of Pandoras–women of many times, traditions, and attitudes. (All very European, however, and all with the usual Caucasian belief that the universe was forged around their concerns.)

What I love about looking at Yeatts’s visual list is that the women remind me of me: pale, pathetic, bedraggled me. Me in my blue nightgown sitting at my laptop, thinking I can just check my four email accounts and maybe my Twitter feed, and then off to bed I’ll go!

when really I know I’m going to stay up all night and imbibe from the stream of electric horrors rushing by, even as I keep telling myself I need to stop,

until eventually I’m hunched over my box of infinite outrage and won’t let anyone else keep me from it.

Yup, this is me, all right. Quite apropos, Google. I should have realized you’d know me so well, since we’ve spent so many hours of my life together.

Also apropos that you (and Yeatts) would know the perfect way to soothe the indignation-weary soul in the digital age.

Thanks, universe. I absolutely needed that.


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