I recently discovered how easy it is to decide to do a post every few days instead of one or two each day. Now I understand why some authors sit at their computers at the same time every day and dedicate a certain number of hours to writing. Otherwise it all unravels so quickly.
Thanks to the folks who noticed I haven't been posting. I'll blame some of it on my work schedule, and some on an ennui that has descended on me. Hoping for changes soon.
Today, I'd like to share with you a trilogy I just finished. Thanks, Bro for the birthday present. I'd never heard of Kim Stanley Robinson, who is apparently quite prolific. The "Science in the Capitol" trilogy consists of Forty Days of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting.
The books feature an intelligent take on science and spitirualism, with Tibetan Buddhists figuring side by side with National Science Foundation eggheads. The character dynamics are charming and intelligent, the political commentary (though it's a novel, many real people are cited, and some of the characters pretty transparently represent real people.)
The background is the global warming crisis, and weather catastrophes figure prominently. These books, however, propose to actually DO something about the weather. It goes through national and global political hoops to suggest some scientific suggestions (Would they work? Who knows? It's a novel.) to try to combat and reverse rising carbon dioxide levels.
I marked many passages, here's one, near the end of the final novel. The Panchen Lama (the one chosen by the Chinese, who is in exile) is speaking with Frank and Charlie, two of the books' main characters about reincarnation. Frank has just said that the Dalai Lama claims to be just an ordinary man.
"I am even more ordinary, as you know."
"So why should you continue to believe you are the reincarnation of some previous person?"
"We are all such. You know---one's parents."
"Yes, but you're talking about something else. Some wandering spirit, moving from body to body."
"We all have those too."
"But identifiable, from life to life?"
Drepung (Panchen Lama) paused, then said, "I myself think that this is a heuristic device only."
Charlie laughed. "A teaching device? A metaphor?"
"That's what I think."...
"And what does that teach us?" Frank asked.
"Well, that you really do go through different incarnations, in effect. That in any life, your body changes, and where you live changes--the people in your life, your work, your habits. All that changes, so much that in effect you pass through several incarnations in any one biological span. And what I think is, if you consider it that way, it helps you not to have too much attachment. You go from life to life. Each day is a new thing."
All this spiritualism and a good recipe for a marinade too, from President Phil Chase's blog:
"What I do is mix soy sauce and a dry white wine about half and half, and then add a big dash or tarragon vinegar, and some heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar, and a tablespoon of olive oil, about a teaspoon each of ginger and mustard powder, and a dash of garlic powder. Mix that up and the longer you marinate things in it the better but just dipping in it will do too. Best on veggies, chicken and flank steak. Sear the meat and then cook at a lower heat."
I loved these books. Hope you will too.