Gimme more daylight

winter_solstice

Got a text from Zebu this morning (my time). It was already long-dark where he is in Sweden. He wrote: “Happy Solstice, Mom. This year I definitely understand your appreciation for today. We’ve bottomed out!”

Zebu has finally seen the light (sorrynotsorry!). He now fully accepts what I’ve been yammering about forever: the Winter Solstice is the best thing happening this time of year!

 

 

.

Freewheelin’ Bob nabs the Nobel

As has been documented here over the years, I’m a long-time Dylan fan, so wasn’t completely surprised when it was announced today that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Although, as I said in an email to a friend, I do wonder whether Bob should’ve been disqualified from consideration due to his Victoria’s Secret commercial years ago.)

Bob Dylan in November 1963 (Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Bob Dylan in November 1963 (Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Nonetheless, this year the committee chose to honor Bob Dylan’s work which, on a personal note, feels very fitting because Zebu is studying in Sweden right now. The award also feels fitting because of one Dylan song in particular that tragically never, ever goes out of style. For “Masters of War” alone, I’m good with Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Masters of War
Written by Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead

Copyright
© 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Fold here

Zebu is studying in Sweden for two semesters and has been there just over a month. Phone calls are expensive so we rely on texting and Skype chats to stay connected. He’s eight hours ahead of us so our Skype sessions are usually at the end of his day. Today we talked as he folded the laundry he’d just washed and dried at the student housing laundromat.

He told me about the pick-up basketball game he played last night, in which he was (at 6′ 3″) one of the smaller guys on his team. All communication by his teammates was in Swedish, but because Zebu is taking Swedish classes he now knows how to count which meant he knew the score at all times last night.

He also shared an anecdote about his German friend who speaks nearly flawless English with a penchant for old timey expressions. Apparently this guy recently described something as “a hoot and a half,” which made Zebu and a Canadian friend bust out laughing, and then a bit later the German described something not-so-good as “no hoot, no half.”

Skype allows you mobility and we often move out of camera range as we continue talking. I started the session sitting at the kitchen bar counter but as I watched Zebu hang shirts on hangers and match socks, I felt unproductive. So I carried the laptop/Zebu downstairs to the laundry room to retrieve a load of my clothes from the dryer where they’d sat for over a week (I know, I know). Then I came back upstairs and folded in unison with my son who is nearly 5000 miles away.

Disclosure: The product placement was inadvertent and I received zero compensation from HP.

Disclosure: The product placement was inadvertent and I received zero compensation from HP.

The family that folds together, stays together. Or something like that.

 

 

.

Mail drama

Too tired to go into all the details, but will say that I truly do appreciate the employees at my local post office. It’s a whole new experience trying to mail something to another country. Throughout the lengthy transaction (itemized Customs Form, I’m looking at you!), the postal employee was patient. I messed up a number of things and she set everything right.

I’ve long been a fan of the people doing that vital work and today want to publicly salute everyone at the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your service.

United State Postal Serevice logo

There are major efforts being made to dismantle Social Security, the public schools, the post office – anything that benefits the population has to be dismantled. Efforts against the U.S. Postal Service are particularly surreal.
~  Noam Chomsky

I’m with you, Noam.

.

All our exploring

Just finished a Skype session with Zebu who is in Sweden. He’s been there about ten days now and feeling more settled, especially after getting this issue resolved. I carried the laptop around the house so he could see the dogs and cats in their various poses of slumber and he told us of his many adventures.

The son who demanded I hold him for the first year of his life now eats breakfast paste from a tube and purposely gets lost in an unfamiliar city.

Who knew?

Marcel curled up next to my weight bench that's covered with the T-shirt Zebu designed for his 6th birthday.

Marcel curled up next to my weight bench that’s covered with the T-shirt Zebu designed for his 6th birthday.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
~  T. S. Eliot

.