Kage Baker had a rather arbitrary view of seasonality. She had no argument with the actual, demonstrable seasons of the earth – she moved more easily to their rhythms than to any man-made system, and she paid more attention to the flow of solstices and equinoxes than she ever did to the calendar.
But she felt that the general emotional field of the planet had its meteorology, too; and that it could be sensed if one just paid attention. Kage maintained that this field interacted with things like the weather and the magnetic field and the long-distance movements of other things in the solar system. She felt that one of the drawbacks of the modern urban lifestyle was that metal and concrete interfere with sensing these things, and people attune their lives with artificial systems.
Was she serious? I am still not sure. Kage could spin sudden worlds off her fingertips like the cards in a gambler’s rose. She always smiled when she talked about things like a season of skepticism or delight; but it may have been pleasure in her own movement through the emotional fields. Energy fields tickle, she commented opaquely from time to time.
God knows, Kage was peculiarly susceptible to static electricity. She was always shocking herself on faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, despite usually wearing tennis shoes with rubber soles. Any wind at all, and her hair would shed white sparks when she shoved it off her forehead. She was infamous for giving shocks to other people, at concerts and movies and grocery stores. It’s not me, it’s the emotional field, she’d protest, grinning and as unashamed as a cat that has just delivered a static shock with a wet nose.
The world’s feeling didn’t always align with the world’s weather. And Kage predicated her activities on the feeling as often as not – she could decide that a battle scene could not be written yet because it was a laughing day. She’d gauge the light and the wind and declare it was a Northern Day, time for Vaughn Williams on the CD player, and maybe a story about Mars: though summer was gleaming on the sea, and all the windows stood open to the scent of roses.
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring – species type days could occur at any point in the calendar, by Kage’s analysis. Mind you, they did happen in synch most of the time; but not always. And in case of a conflict, Kage always went with her internal tally.
This week has been one for oddities. Kind persons have sent me articles on all manner of weird things, like the Lord Howes Island stick insects; fantasy is nibbling at all the edges of the world, like a high wind full of glitter. Mars makes a close approach to Earth tonight. Saturn is in retrograde until late June, and I have the clearest image in my mind: the whole vast ring shuddering to a halt, shedding coloured sparks like confetti all over, and then ponderously beginning to turn in the other direction … the focus on the world has softened, and when it get clear again: who knows what we will see?
In the meantime, phantoms and dreams walk round the walls at night, performing entertaining shadow plays. The world is singing in a minor key, with strange accompaniment from glockenspiels, binious, saz and other exotic instruments. Flutes made from the tibias of men, harps with keys carved from princess’s finger bones. Despite the spears of daffodils and iris in my inchoate garden, the ground is breathing out frost into the warm mouth of the seducing wind.
In my mind, in a pergola of transparent panels, a woman walks down neat furrows of red dust. She scatters a glittering green crystal as she goes: manganese catalase and aerobic microbes and barley. And behind her rises a mist of newly freed oxygen and water …
I think a new scene in Marswife has been born. That’s how the world feels today.