Kage Baker lived in the sure certainty of miracles.
That was not a posture of religion. I don’t think Kage actually attributed miracles to God; I think she expected them as a natural aspect of the workings of the Universe. She expected God to be rather more workmanlike than to indulge in petty static like miracles. Maybe she expected memos or some form of advance warnings. And for all I know, she got them.
Me, I’m bouncing from miracle to miracle tonight. The first miracle is that my computer is working. Mirabile dictu! Thank you, Thoth and Athena! Papa Legba, too, as he is usually regarded as having power over the Internet.
Also, I’m getting packed for my first road trip in over a year. It takes a miracle to get me packed even in ordinary circumstances. Kage used to make lists, and check them off prim and proper; I, alas, didn’t remember I needed a list until half of what I wanted was packed already. And then, I didn’t dare make one, because I just know I would have included things I’d already packed, and then run around like a madwoman trying to find things that were already in a zip pocket in my wheelie bag …
I have had to resort to counting on my fingers and visualizing the various scenariae I will encounter over the weekend. Do I have everything I need for the bathroom? Do I have all my meds? (I now need a pill box with 28 compartments, for all my life-maintaining drugs: pills 4 times a day, for up to a week at a time.) I recall wistfully the dear old Who, stuttering out: Hope I die before I get old!
Man, I sure missed that one by a country mile.
Do I have enough shirts, pants, underwear? Do I have enough beyond that to survive pouring gravy over myself, or falling into a fountain? (I’ve done both, on trips … ended up on the local photo page of the Hawaii Star Advertiser, I think it was, after one such fountain incident many years ago. I was covered in bubbles.) Do I have enough thumb drives? Did I copy the work I want to do on to the right ones? Do I have charger cords for my phone, my Kindle, my computer? How about a nightgown? Whoops, excuse me a moment –
Okay, now I have a nightgown.
Do I have some jewelry? I don’t need much; I accidentally let my ears heal closed … Do I have some knitting? Not just yarn; did I pack sewing notions, and actual knitting needles? If not, I do have two matching fountain pens … Did I remember to pack a brush and a comb? Did I find the shoes I want to wear? Did I pack a second pair in case I lose the first ones? I did that in Boston, once, at another WorldCon. Lost them, I mean. Made getting on the plane home easier, but I was a trace en deshabille at the awards ceremony. Luckily, eccentricity is hardly noticeable at a science fiction convention.
But now, I do think everything is just about set. Despite all my carrying on all afternoon and evening, I have only 3 bags – a big wheelie, a computer case and a tote. My clothes for the morning are all laid out, and I have all pertinent reservations. And that is a miracle, too.
Just to spread the general miraculousness around, I include here a picture of one of the most amazing things I have ever seen: a hummingbird nest built on a ripe peach.
Dispatches from the road begin tomorrow!
- From The Flower Drum Song