"Knight of Pancakes"
art by ArtSparker Susan Sanford [her Instagram]
It's my 7-Up year, and I like to imagine what I'd do and say if a camera crew showed up to film my life.
I just googled the 7-Up series [New Yorker review] to see where they are, and I'm sad to see the first one of them has died.
Lynn Johnson, the working-class girl who said at seven, "I’m going to work in Woolworth’s" and grew up to be a children's librarian, died at 57 years old in 2013, one year after 56 Up.
Her death seems to have gone largely unreported, except a piece when the library was named in her honor---the 7-Up film crew was there.
I love the series, though--or even partly because?--it's problematic. Lynn was interesting because she seemed slightly hostile toward director Michael Apted, whom the New Yorker review noted "can be unbearably patronizing toward his subjects, particularly the working-class women."
I'd once thought maybe Lynn was just a sour person, but when you see her with her family, she's relaxed, open, and loving--and her body language is altogether different--leaning in, instead of holding herself at a distance.
Coming Up For Air & Pancakes
Um, so... what I was going to say for my life is that, heh, if a film crew showed up, once again they'd show me looking at open water, not sure which way to row or where the currents will take me next.
This seems to be my return-to position. :)
I mean that mostly in relation to [paid] work, not self. I feel centered in who I am, like a person sitting in a boat is stable, and that's nice. I mean, I never worry about being unmoored from my self, just sometimes a bit lost in space. :)
Also, it's a nice place to be, in a boat. Still, I can feel soggy with seriousness sometimes. "Especially now," as I keep hearing people say since January 20.
This year on my birthday, I was talking to bink & Marz about astrology (Marz's thing), and I said I sometimes feel awfully saturated, like the water sign I am--like a wet sponge--and would like to remember to come up for air, like a dolphin surfacing, or like bubbles rising in champagne...
(Of course, all the elements are somewhere in my chart--I've got Libra (air) moon and Mercury (air) in Aquarius, for instance, which Marz says are good balancers for Pisces.)
So my phrase for this year is: Come up for air.
ArtSparker's "Knight of Pancakes" (up top) is a picture of what I mean. Air adds levity and space, it's not tied-down (not literal). This knight is something of a clown, but is still a knight: a heroic seeker and a servant of Ideals who is wise enough to wear armor.
My favorite Knight of Pancakes is Molly Ivins (1944–2007) [wikipedia], who did heroic battle in political reporting with humor for a lance and armor.
Here she is in 2004 talking about "How We Hurt Ourselves When Scared".
Molly Ivins: "We make the same mistake over and over again. We think we can make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free. I'll tell you something: when you make yourself less free, all that happens afterward is that you are less free. You are not safer."
This is an excerpt from an hour-long speech on youtube, "The State of The Union". In it she says that liberals and leftists have a real problem in this country:
we're not having fun.
Some people, she said, tell her they'll have fun "when we win."
She pauses before she replies that this is not a good strategy.
You gotta come up for air.
I am hereby enrolling in the Order of the Pancake.