Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Egyptian Queen

By Fred Owens

I wrote this in 1996 when I lived in Boston. This is the last paragraph of a thirty-page chapter in a memoir. I called it the Egyptian Queen, simply because the journal had a drawing of Queen Nefertiti on the cover.

I was lonely last night. I’ll go to the shul, and then to the Boston Computer Society again. Visual Basic. Boards. Bread. Beards. Burrs. Bring me the proclamation. Hear ye, Hear ye. Come one, come all. Never mind. It was a joke. Keep your socks on. Wash everything thoroughly. Dilute the vinegar with water and gargle three times daily. To hell with your hegemony. Beware the wrath of Zeus. He awakes. Lichen on the rocks. Rocks tumbling down Mount Washington. The Muse has gone next door. I was in love once. THE INVISIBLE UNION OF ALL SOULS. The silken threads tying me to you and you to me.
Heavy rain -- wind from Africa.

So there I am, at the end of a long cold winter in Boston, writing in this journal titled the Egyptian Queen. This was in March of 1996, in a year that set a record for cumulative snowfall. The snow was three feet high out the front door.
What helped in the long cold winter were two galvanized tubs of papyrus plants blooming in brilliant green in the living room. The papyrus sat in these tubs right by the bay window and got the sunshine they needed to flourish -- saved my life, they did, that winter.
And somehow the journal planted a seed. It was the Egyptian Queen on the cover. It was Queen Nefertiti in a classic profile. She greeted me every morning as I sat down to write.
Her image inspired me in a mysterious way because not one year later I found myself in Africa -- in Zimbabwe, in Mozambique and Malawi.  I was looking for Queen Nefertiti. I even found her. I think it was her. It's hard to tell what is and what isn't when you're in Africa -- all kinds of wild tales and strange scenery in Africa. I should tell you that story some time.
Well, we can't spend the whole day dreaming about Egyptian queens and things I probably only imagined in Africa. Twenty years later, I can scarcely believe that I was even there.
I'm only trying to make a less than abrupt transition to the very local news about Dave Morrison and his new source of video stimulation. Dave lives near Pasadena.
Dave calls it Blue Collar Logic, because he wields a paint brush by day and dreams of a better world by night. Blue Collar Logic is a series of two-minute videos with political comments. Two minutes is long enough, I admire his effort. His presentation is clear. One can be brief and intelligent at the same time. In fact, brevity is a sure sign of intelligence.
But don't get too excited, good old Dave has swung over to the conservative side of things. You might not want to follow his train of thought.  Oh,  he's not such a bad fellow. And you know, if Dave Morrison was President, instead of the truly dangerous man we have now -- if it was Dave Morrison, or fellows like  him, calling the shots, I wouldn't mind too much.
There's one video Dave called Islam and Alabama which is kind of fun. Dave claims that a woman has more freedom living in Alabama than she would have living in Saudi Arabia.
I couldn't say. I was never in Alabama. I did spend a few months living in Mississippi right next store. I had a job working construction labor. That was in 1977. I did not like living in Mississippi, but I did mind my own business and I was not molested.

The Egyptian Queen
This all started 5,000 years ago in Egypt -- what we used to call civilization -- reading, writing and agriculture. Well, most folks used to agree that those three things defined civilization -- reading, writing and farming. But that leaves out all the wandering tribes and the oral traditions of long ago. So we have no definition of civilization. Having no definition, we cannot define courtesy and good manners. Not being able to define courtesy and good manners, we cannot effectively oppose Donald Trump, a man with no sense of courtesy or decency. I hope that makes sense.

Spring Subscription Drive. A $25 or $50 subscription to Frog Hospital comes with the promise that I will try my best. I have been writing this journal since 1998  -- curiously I began writing Frog Hospital shortly after I returned from Africa.
And I have written some hundreds of issues of this journal, and some of it has been very good indeed and I would like to continue writing this, and I would like you to send me a check for $25 or $50 or punch the PayPal button.
You can find the PayPal button on the blog. Go to Frog Hospital.
Or make out a check to Fred Owens and mail it to:
Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

thank you very much,
Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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