Yesterday was just one long gallop. Two days in a row I have not found time to work out, nor to knit.
However, I have been involved in some interesting conversations.
Ozarque has been talking about her perception that the current generation gap is bigger than ever before.
So much of this depends on what generations you’re talking about, and of course on how much experience you have to draw on. There’s the whole World Is Flat thing, of course. In Book Club, we were talking about history on a grand scale, and the possibility that Friedman was right and the current flattening of the world is a historical event on a par with the Great Age of Exploration.
I have of course been working on a project to cover the sweep of 10,000 years of state history in 15 pages, but I was not the one who brought it up. One of the others remarked that geography had an enormous influence on history. Look, she said, at how some areas of the world had high culture and others did not, or didn’t get there until later.
I weighed in with the news that art appears everywhere all at once in conjunction with religion. Archaeologically speaking. But it seems to me that you need a stable food supply before you can have specialization. And before specialization, no one has time to write The Iliad.
One can see in that remark some influence from my current project, I think. The tendency to sum up enormous swaths of history in a single conversation-stopping sentence.
But it’s true, isn’t it? If you need to spend eight hours a day gathering dung for fuel, you just don’t have the leisure to create high culture.
Or even to get to the gym.
Not that I spent the day gathering dung. I just had the dentist for me and #2 son, and had to stop by and visit with a couple of my hostesses, and take the kid for his written driver’s test, and take him to school, and make phone calls, and do book club, and copy music for the fledgling choir (we’ve ordered it, so we can make rehearsal copies and destroy them when the sheet music arrives) and then do study group and bells and choir. And — here’s the tough part — fit eight hours of actual paid work in there amongst all that.
So I was quite busy. And when I got home, a little past 8:00 p.m., all three of the menfolks were hanging around waiting for me to cook dinner.
Can you believe that?
#2 son had done his first actual shift at work, slinging ice cream and singing. He likes it. He was okay with my not making dinner, since he had eaten several burgers and some ice cream. He had also hooked his brother up with some ice cream in gratitude for the ride to and from work. I’m not sure what my husband’s excuse was. I made omelettes and they had to be satisfied with that.
Oh, the generation gap.
Well, as we were discussing history, we were saying that there were big enormous changes going on. Not only the flat world and big technological change, but global warming and a level of distrust of the government that the older ladies felt was unprecedented, though I think it’s been that way all my life.
But the dental technician told me that her 92 year old grandmother scoffed at young people who thought they were more hooked up than previous generations. All this IM and texting, she thought, was just the modern version of the party line. This was a type of telephone line, I believe, where all the people could talk at once. Like they would pick up the phone to see who was on the line, just as you or I might turn on the computer to see who is online.
And Miss B was one of the many people who was stranded (for 7 hours, in her case) on the road Monday night when there was a bit of an ice storm. The place where she was stranded used to be the worst stretch of the Butterfield stagecoach route. The 11 miles between our town and the flat part leading to Hell on the Border. It was documented as the worst 11 miles of the entire route, a fact of which we are perversely proud. Now we have a fancy new freeway there, but it got icy and a bunch of trucks jackknifed and no one could get to them to clean it up. Nor could anyone who had already left Hell on the Border get off the freeway to turn around and get to a motel for the night. Everyone just sat there in their cars for the equivalent of a full workday. They had to run their engines at least some to keep from freezing, and many ran out of gas and abandoned their cars, adding to the mess.
The fact that the 21st century was taking place all around them didn’t help much.
Today should be a normal day. Gym, work. My show for tonight has been canceled, but I had already sent regrets for the thing I was invited to before it was canceled, so I think I can stay home this evening and knit, even.