putting up, and taking down

 

Holy Week images were made by Maine artist Nancy Jacob while in Guatemala, and used here with permission. This scene is of readying the crucifixion. Beside it lovers of Christ remove him from the cross. The celebration of holy week is a consuming enterprise throughout the country. Everyone takes part and processions are filled with folks, real and constructed. 

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carrying His cross through the streets

Christ carries His cross through the streets

 

Holy Week images were made by Maine artist Nancy Jacob while in Guatemala, and used here with permission. The celebration of Semana Santa in Guatemala  is a consuming enterprise throughout the country. Everyone takes part, and processions are filled with folks, real and constructed. Here you see the latter.

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last supper in Guatemala

Holy Week images were made by Maine artist Nancy Jacob while in Guatemala, and used here with permission. This scene depicts the last supper in progress of assemblage. The celebration of holy week is a consuming enterprise throughout the country. Everyone takes part and processions are filled with folks real and constructed. Here you see the latter.

Last supper in Guatemala

 

I have asked Nancy for permission to use these holy week images as a metaphor for her sufferings in Guatemala following the week of preparations.

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my very own black hole

seeking escape from the black hole

The recent death of Stephen Hawking has me thinking about the history of the famous construct, black holes. According to Wikipedia these were proposed more as black voids by astronomer and English clergyman John Michell in 1784. One aspect smote the imagination: that of sun-in-reverse, a star’s diameter would exceed the sun’s “by a factor of 500, and the surface escape velocity” (minimal speed needed to escape the influence of gravity) would prevail. This, it was thought, would exceed light speed. The imagination back then was seeing invisible stars “hiding in plain view.” Later, the posited wavelike nature of light superseded the theory.  Still, black holes had passed the event horizon of the academic imagination (as it were) in 1784.

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investigative 4

recommending…

Our investigation begins with the town’s point of view and a town character whose presence afterward will be sparingly used (that’s my plan). She’s a crank, pretty much there to start the “show,” giving a book talk in the library. Ruth Moore deployed a crank in the first chapter of her Walk down Main Street. Just to get things started.

Peter Hitchens’ blog at the Daily Mail provided a nudge to pick up Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair again. He quoted Holmes in defense of how amazingly wrong the easy explanation can be: “It is a capital error to theorize without data.” I only remembered this mystery book after grabbing it from the top shelf and starting on it again. Hitchens calls Tey’s mystery “severely brilliant.” Here a “dogged, skeptical inquiry reveals that something apparently impossible is true.” The “unpopular” suspects are innocent of the charge, though judged guilty by almost all in the rural town.

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investigative 3

Good News on the Investigation of Life in The God’s Cycle. The latest: there’s loads of tension in Maine’s 1998 ice storm — enough almost to float a novel without a murder mystery. As anticipation concerning the ice storm builds, I may be able to give the murder a low-profile.

Here’s a list of factors contributing to ice storm suspense:

1. Threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. (12 such deaths reported in Maine’s storm.)

2. Trees breaking by the thousands, blocking highways and lanes, crashing on houses, and downing live power lines.

3. Absolute darkness. Slowly mitigated by primitive means. (In complete darkness, one man in Maine woke thinking he’d gone blind. R and I have experienced this darkness.)

4. Extreme difficulty walking on solid ice as thick as your forefinger is long — accompanying injuries. I had one of these and it turned out chronic to this day. (ouch)

5. Mysteriously, one store open in an isolation of light provided by the power company. My reading so far has not discovered the cause of this. The state’s central office of the power company itself lost power.

There’s much more. But all the above will suffice for minimum and slow advance on the murder, for both officials, reader, and writer.

click text to enlarge

I’ve been rereading Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers and finding it, this time around, a regular mishmash (if the paradoxical coupling with the adjective can be accepted, or even excepted). I recall being less than thrilled with my initial reading, without recalling why. Now I see. Sayers could have used an ice storm and cut the puzzle. Though some may enjoy the dance, for me it’s not engagingly presented. (I feel my eighth-grade teacher saying, pay attention!) With an ice storm her corpse could have gone under the sea, stayed out of sight awhile, bobbed to the surface, gone under, come up again, each time in a different part of the sea and (of course) the narrative. Oh yes! both reader and writer recall. –That murder again! (Or was a suicide?) But there it is again!!

 

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