Kage Baker borrowed, as part of her personal philosophy, a line from William Wordsworth: “The world is too much with us …”
She said it was a battle cry, an excuse, a complaint, an explanation and a prayer. Saying it, she would lock the door and declare she wasn’t setting foot outside in the chaos that day. Or she’d pack a small case (complete with travel stickers for London, Cairo and Shanghai hotels) and request a lift Northwards. Or she’d break out the Monkey Island discs and submerge herself in the intricacies of Plunder Island and the zombie charms of the Pirate LeChuck.
As a last resort, she’d write. It was a last resort because Kage’s usual state of existence was to be engrossed in writing; where she didn’t notice most worlds anyway. Unless it was encompassed by her own skull, it was not in her line of sight. When she was forced by exigencies or running out of Coke to interact with a more broadly consensus world, it evoked Wordsworth’s cry of dismay from her.
Small wonder she preferred to spend her time with the Company operatives, or Lord Ermenwyr, or even Mendoza’s dreadful love life.
Maybe it’s because it’s an election year – when all the rotten nuts fall from the trees – but I am sharing Kage’s viewpoint today. I think my mistake was reading the news … I should have stuck to the funnies and private correspondence; the informational agora and the social networks are full of angst, poison and bad news. My defenses and immune system have left for a vacation somewhere. A sandstorm of insanity is blowing over me, and I’ve left my skin in my other pants. Or some such tortured and eighth-grade metaphor.
I’m going to migrate for a while to some other world, Dear Readers. Maybe one of Kage’s, if I can screw my courage to the sticking point of actual work; maybe one of Terry Pratchett’s or some other comforting English peer. Definitely, though, it will be via the written word – I can cast it myself that way, and not have to worry about what some promiscuous and skanky medium like television will trot out before my eyes.
I don’t want to see any more news today unless Atlantis rises, or the UFOs land, or the air parts like a sequined curtain in the West to let the Wild Hunt come in over the waves at Malibu to cleanse the San Fernando Valley.
The world is waaay too much with me …
THE world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.