Returning from a trip to the grocery, I saw sign for a new preschool. The name of the school itself is beside the point, since they all have names like Bright Beginnings or Smart Start or whatever bit of alliteration struck the founder’s fancy. Or they settled on something that sounds erudite, you know English, like Essington or Leicester or Swadlincote, followed by the word Preschool, offering a vague promise of delivering a learning environment the Bronte sisters would die for.
What delivered the LOL moment for me was the descriptive line under the school’s name: Organic Preschool. I imagine we may soon see Gluten Free Kindergarten, Low Sodium SAT Preparation, Non-GMO Hot Yoga, or whatever bit of foolishness invades our linguistic deep structures.
Why a preschool would even need a descriptor seems a bit baffling to me, but then I might actually want to know what the feck organic schooling might be. I can infer I suppose. I’m sure there’s a soporific rationale behind all of it, leading to the yawning that comes right before the fee structure that wakes you the hell up.
I recall a book cover I saw at an off-beat store some years back. It had a big stylized burst: 100% Cholesterol FREE Guaranteed! This bit of irony made me smile. Clearly, the author knew that not everything merits ballyhoo.
©2017 John Hofmeister
An eclipse is coming. We've been warned about how to look at it, get special viewing apparati, etc. Some poor soul without reliable access to social media will not hear the warnings and burn his retina. Most likely even that won't happen. Yet, the eclipse may manage to eclipse Trump tweets. For a day anyway, seeing as how he might want to rain fire and fury on North Korea or CNN or the failing New York Times.
Still, the coming eclipse made me think about our connection to the universe. There was a time when a solar eclipse would strike fear and terror into ignorant hearts and minds, those who didn't know what caused it — that it was a natural phenomena, however irregular it might be, like the sunrise but on a different schedule.
Personally, I think the event merits a nod, but I have no particular interest in being in the best place to see it. Hell, it might be cloudy. And wouldn't that be a drag? I'm not rushing off and booking a plane ticket or driving to the best viewing spot. But were it to happen where I live as I made my way back from the grocery store or as I walked my dog around the block and found myself bathed in unsettling darkness at midday, it would certainly catch my breath, make me wonder, and connect to those unknowing souls who had wondered what it might mean or portend. Give me a bit of a shiver.
If nothing else, an eclipse reminds us of how small we are, how ridiculously tiny our plot of the universe is. But our little planet is the only observatory available to us. So we may as well enjoy the show and sit back. And wonder.
©2017 John Hofmeister
When I'm not writing for clients, I write about things that interest me.