There is what is probably a mosquito in our bathroom. She is pressed up against the wall, perhaps drinking the water that has gathered from the steam of our shower. I cannot kill her. I should, she may be a vector; may be carrying West Nile, but I cannot kill her.
For various reasons (including The Heretic’s Daughter) I am thinking about the progression of the trials in Salem Village in 1692 (I know they may be cliche but that doesn’t mean there is no there there). There is a there to the visceral sense of the madness that spread from that nucleus of small girls, in the center of a place of struggle, frustration and fear, out into a wider region and swallowed everything up for a period of months. Did those that were accused feel that sense of strangeness, that dislocation that shifting of the earth?
I am not, presently, at bodily risk, but hearing the crowds chant drill, baby, drill and watching people fall mesmerized to Gov. Sarah Palin’s charisma, I keep feeling unable to sense the ground. For 8 years I have increasingly sensed and experienced the idea that reality was a shifting thing, subject to the whim of those with power. (This is not the same as understanding that postmodern concept that reality is constructed out of perception. That is an intellectual thing. This is a physical thing. Like horror.) And that those with power are often the strangest of folks (like Mercy Lewis, orphaned, taken hostage, indentured all those centuries ago, with a power of the tongue to bring about death by hanging–I would not writ if he had throwed me down on one hundred pitchforks.).
What is this undermining of my earth my gravity? Where may I scrabble a hold and grasp tightly, drawing my children, husband and critters to me so that I may keep them safe?