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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Subnivean Sermon

It is a brassy, woody sound between  ringing and rattling that rarely occurs, but when it does, it means the oldest telephone in the back porch has been called.
"Hello?"

"Hello, have I reached the future?"

"Speaking.  How are you, Poppy?"

"Aging, but still in the game."

"And Santa?"

"Jolly, he's jolly. I need your help with something else."

"At your service, ma'am."

"All right. According to future history --where I was born but only visit on holidays now-- your new administration succeeded in confusing Sweden, of all places, this weekend. It won't stop there because 'alternative truth' has become part of the vulgate."

"Yes, Poppy, that was this weekend. How can I help?"

"You can help by resurrecting a counter-phrase from your youth in North America. Something "Job" and "Snow"? Am I making sense?"

"Snowjob? Sure, like when I used to make up phony quotes in high school essays and attribute them to non-existent authors. But I haven't heard the term in ages."

"Do your best then, Geo., even if you have to doodle and, if you can, suggest a solution to its threat of temporal enigma.  The confusion won't stop at Sweden. Bye!"

Hence my doodle:
Observe its four layers: the sky does a snowjob; tree metabolism and residual ground temperature create a relatively comfortable hollow under the packed snow.  Under the snowpack is better protected from predators than above it --and warmer. The hollow is called the subnivean zone. It contains the little creatures who seek shelter from the cold upper air when there are no attics available --or when attics are claimed by larger creatures like bison or low-flying aircraft.  In the doodle, you may notice the weathermouse reporting down a snow-tunnel to the twig-ladder-holding mouse --who relays meteorological information to squirrels, bugs, reptiles and other refugees in the subnivean zone.

Lesson is, we must learn from our little forest friends how to survive in subnivean security when inundated with incessant snowjobs. Your regular pastor will return next Sunday, or whenever weathermouse says it's safe to dig out.

Go in peace.
 
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Addendum: To readers who wish a background to our time-traveling friend, Poppy, please click here.

32 comments:

  1. Interesting. Lo, those years, decades ago when I was in the military, we'd get 'briefed' on upcoming missions, i. e. what were we supposed to do, and what opposed us doing just that.
    When we thought someone was doing the adverb/metaphor you say, someone, then others, would make a 'coughing' noise, that sounded like 'blowjob'....
    I guess it's rather the same, eh?
    Cheers, Geo. Tonight is the third night on CPAP, second was much better than the first. Tonight, the third, we'll see.
    Mike

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    1. I remember them as 2 separate activities, Mike, but many things have changed since the '60s. Hope CPAP solves apnea problem. Wore one in hospital, November, and it dug into my nose-bridge --do they have comfortable ones?

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  2. Are those of us deemed "enemies of the people" safe and/or welcome in the subnivean zone? BTW the weather mouse seems to be providing a service aligned with those of on the enemies list. Brave little creature up there!

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    1. NYT was first target on that faux-royal proclamation but I only do the crossword, Tom. Think I'm safe? Weathermouse demonstrates courage comes in all sizes.

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  3. Some headlines over here said something like, "Trump tries to clarify Sweden remarks." If that man tried real communication instead of living in the fantasy-twitter world, he might occasionally experience some truth [Shudder the thought; it might actually help!!]

    Now I must seek out my own subnivean zone, for the next four years. I always associated nivea with soothing, healing cream. I'm not sure that can be applied to Trump. I think I need a pill and a lie down.

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    1. It is our sincere hope that our new chief executive's communication skills improve. We must consider pharmacist Beiersdorf's company began in the 1880's and has some seniority. Still, I believe I'll go lie down too.

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  4. The Sweden story must be one of those 'alternate facts' Trump mentioned once before....sort of like the attendance at his inaugeration fact. If the media publishes 'fake news' as he says they do, headlines will read, Trump Doesn't Mention Sweden Terror Act In Latest Speech...Swedes Wonder Why. I worry that snowload may collapse and bury all those sheltering under it.

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    1. We can associate that unfortunate turn of phrase with media Counselor Conway. I think the president gets nervous and accuracy sometimes suffers. It'll hopefully improve with practice.

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  5. This weekend he really, really, went off kilter. I'd laugh, but it is too frightening. I expect the time will come when his head spins so fast that it will be dislocated from his neck and fly off into space. Until then, it is hard to live above ground.

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    1. Arleen, indeed the drama is faster paced than it needs to be lately, but the snow will recede this spring and at least the light will be better.

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  6. Wow! This is great! Trump supporters got their ears tickled on Saturday, didn't they? And Trump got his "fix." We're going to see so much more of this and worse.

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    1. Like all new administrations, I have no doubt this one will soon pass its stage of cultic enthusiasm and settle into the real business of government. Things will be just fine.

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  7. When the snow is not very deep, you can see the little tunnels the mice make from trekking across our back lawn. And in the spring when the snow has melted, the trails in the grass below become evident. As long as they stay "out there" it's all okay! As you say, the bison in the attic is a great help in this respect, but the clattering around is a bit hard on the nerves.

    Speaking of hard on the nerves ... yes, you mentioned that, too, didn't you ...

    Love the drawing. Especially the mice and their ladder.

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    1. O Jenny, thank you for both your generous comment and for not going political. I don't mind politics so very much but constant exposure makes me jumpy. People know my sympathies and I suppose I must confess to exploiting an especially bloopy weekend for the new chief exec. and staff. As I gain the snowpack surface, you are a breath of fresh air.

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    2. Ah, but you "exploit" it in such a unique and gentle way, Geo.! I appreciate that, and your kind words.

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  8. The main problem with living in the subnivean zone is that eventually the snow from the snow job will melt. Water runs down and those who have been hiding out thinking they are in a safe zone with at the very least will be wet. At worst they will drown. It is good to find a safe place for short term while planning for a safer place long term. I am watching for the snow to melt. It sometimes seems like spring is around the corner.

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    1. Indeed, Emma. A season of renewal, repair: spring does announce its approach between storms even before winter is spent.

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    1. Succinct, cogent and always good advice. Thanks, Suze.

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  10. And I would add to Countess above: batten down the hatches. Brave little Poppy!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Temporal enigma to which Poppy alludes is this: Speech at Fla. rally --Saturday the 18th--refers to riot in Sweden "last night" (Fri. 17th, which had not happened); riot happens 2 days later (Monday night, 2/20/17)conducted by 30-50 males who torched cars luring emergency agencies; time stamp on my post is 2/19/17. If that doesn't constitute an unfolding temporal enigma, I give up. However, my hatches are battened.

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  11. Wonderful... for some reason I was also thinking of Plato's cave, but the analogy is different. Sadly, orange shows up well on snow.

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    1. Dear Sage, the analogy works. What we see are shadows and echoes, but we have reason and imagination too. The shadow-world cast upon the cave-wall is only a starting point. Keep transmitting. Keep thinking. We'll be ok.

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  12. Sometimes I'm not sure when you are playing, Geo, so I had to look up subnivean and I was glad to see it just as you described because I've been worried about our squirrels. Regarding the Sweden Incident, you know I'm no fan, but I almost (not quite) felt sorry for him because I can see how it happened. That could easily happen to me because I sometimes talk in half thoughts and jump to different subjects. Of course, I'm not the president so my confusion is spread in very small circles. Sweden is unlikely to hear about it. Maybe he needs elocution lessons or something. It's Sad. Kellyanne, on the other hand...I don't think Bowling Green was a mistake. I'm suspicious of Spicer's Atlanta mention, as well.

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    1. You're quite right about Mr. Trump needing a more coherent style of public speaking --errors of reference don't bolster public confidence. Perhaps he can shed the adversarial campaign posture and concentrate on unity and workable compromise. It's early days yet.

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    2. That would be nice. They say he's an empty vessel-that he really doesn't have strong feelings about issues. If that's the case, he could really feed his need for public approval my moving to the left on some of these issues and using his power for good.

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  13. I think it's fabulous that you can allude oh-so-cleverly to the current political climate in such a kind and gentle manner. Too bad everyone doesn't behave in the same manner.

    I LOVE that phone, dude!

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  14. Thanks, Susan. Phone got pressed into service as an intercom between porch and workshop many years ago. We're quite fond of it.

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  15. Twig ladder holding mouse is my favorite.

    Subnivean - I always feel so much smarter after reading one of your posts, I know a new word! Nice frame of reference, too!

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    1. Thank You Michelle! I have always liked the word, subnivean, and wanted to use it. This sermon provided my 1st opportunity.

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  16. Brilliant and encouraging. You're my blog hero, in snow or under it.
    x

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    1. Kind Laura. Your compliment made my day --you're my hero too.

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