Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Armageddon Begins at Home

Yesterday: charming couple from New Brunswick (Canada), their first trip to New York, "but we can't wait to come again. We've never done so much walking. And the people are so friendly!" We do tricks for spare change too.

I recommended, as I usually do, walking the Brooklyn Bridge and visiting the Cloisters.

They'd read some commentator or other who said Britain's future, thanks to global warming, would have to include, within the next fifty years, defensive measures against - what two nations? (I was asked to guess, and couldn't.) Spain and Italy - because both are semi-arid and will soon lose what ability to feed their populations they possess. Their people will go abroad in droves, heading for the greener pastures of dank Albion.

No time to refute them there (the Cup Room), so I'll do it here. First, Spain and Italy have the lowest birth rates on earth; their rural regions are depopulating even faster than they are dehydrating; Spain is importing scads of Romanian and Bulgarian peasantry to fill up their emptying landscape (where resident males cannot find females willing to marry them and live in the countryside anyway, per Int'l Herald-Trib). Romanians, it was thought, whose language is not all that different from Spanish would be a better bet than Egyptians or Moroccans as capable of being absorbed into the Spanish fabric. But Romanians are, after all, Romanian - a lady from Barcelona was telling me the other day that crime in that city has reached epidemic proportions since the policy went into effect. (Egyptians would be far more law-abiding, I think. Moroccans ... perhaps not.)

Italy, which I visited in April 2006, is now primarily inhabited by Chinese, Indians, sub-Saharan Africans, North African Arabs, Poles and Croats anyway. Those Italians who have not taken jobs in Germany are living at home with Mom and not getting married or reproducing.

As for Britain - its subContinental influx is only daunted by the enormous breakin of Poles who make up most of the crowds in rush hour London these days (November 2006 visit). (A Pole has regretted this to me: he says the young and liberal are leaving for the West and the old and conservative keep right-wing parties in power back home.)

So who's left to keep a finger in the dyke?

Today I had a tooth filled, and my dentist assured me that the world will have ceased to depend on oil before we run out of it, that only big moneyed interests is preventing the technology of post-petroleum from sweeping the world even as we speak. (And he was doing the talking; my mouth was otherwise engaged.) "They won't get away with it this time," he assured me - we were both expecting oil to fade away thirty years ago. His conspiracy theories are more optimistic than mine.

Slogan for a T-shirt: What would Jeeves do?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Samhain Full Moon

Feeling good. Makes me suspicious. Too used to depression. It could be all the vitamins Mark has been recommending to me. Much better than anti-depressants. My body dislikes anti-depressants. (I never could handle drugs.) But vitamins - or just that I tell myself they're vitamins not drugs - those I handle well.
I'm back from Istanbul. I'm writing up the trip, preparing the photos, concocting the narrative, wondering which blog to put it on, where else to send all this material. I had a wonderful time. I didn't do all the things I wish I'd done. 17 day trips wear me out. I got a bad cold in Edirne and it lasted through the flight home and well into another week. But it's over. I feel healthy. I could almost lift weights if I still belonged to a gym. (And I should, since I lost 15 pounds walking around Istanbul and eating only fresh Black Sea fish.)
Feeling good. Waltzed into town and everyone called me up and began offering me free-lance jobs. I even had to turn one down. They're all getting themselves done on time, and none of them are even distasteful. DVDs reviewed. Manuscripts copy edited. Magazines proofread on line. Checks arriving. (Or they will arrive.) Tickets to everything except "Rock and Roll," for which I may have to pay full price just because I have a crush on Rufus Sewell. This is not a catastrophe.
All my jobs will be done (it seems to me) by Friday sennight - so I can in good conscience fly to Chicago the following Monday. Ideally, someone or three will offer me other jobs before I go, and I shall be able to work on them while away.
I did magic with the Full Moon just before Samhain. I did magic for health and prosperity and inspiration and peace of mind, and Ronald's health, and my mother's health. The Samhain full moon is the mightiest of all full moons; if you do moon esbats and magic, that is the time to send your wish to the Lady of the Lune. She is in the giving vein, more now than elsewhen. Remember that. Then I look Her in the Eye and say, "Lady of Silver Magic, come into my life." (As Leon taught me.)
It's my theory that Witches gathered at the Full Moon because, not wanting to attract attention, they wandered about at such times and could see their way. When the moon was dark, they couldn't see a hand in front of them in the woods or on rural roads, so (my inference is) they did their private magic then, with the home coven crowd. This is all my practical interpretation - I didn't get it from books or Books or traditional lineage or secrets passed in Circle - I thought it all out, and up, for my own self. You don't have to take it seriously if you don't wanna.
I'm reading books about Istanbul: Orhan Pamuk, Graham Greene, Barbara Nadel, Lord Kinross, Stephen Runciman, Freya Stark. There's no point in doing this after coming home, no prospect of a repeat any time in the foreseeable. But because it fascinates me. And I didn't do so much reading before I went (except in guidebooks to places I never did visit) because I was having so many anxiety fits about the trip. None of the horrors came true of course.
(Or very few: the Hotel Tria DID forget to send a car for me to the airport at midnight, when it was far too late to catch a cheap bus to Sultanahmet. My ancient hiking boots did fall to pieces at last, in the mud of Edirne, like some soggy veteran of the Balkan Wars in which that weary city last changed hands, twice.)
But somehow it seemed necessary (necessary? to whom? or what?) that I have the anticipatory ghastlies before I went. Then everything seemed so much easier, pleasanter, better once I was there. And now it all seems so long ago - certainly more than a couple of weeks.
And life is good. Sort of good. Time to anticipate the next disaster.