Monday, February 18, 2008

american teleocracy

tel·e·oc·ra·cy (tยตl-¼k"r…-s, t¶"l-) n., pl. tel·e·oc·ra·cies. 1. Philosophy, Political Science. Design or purpose in government or society; goal directed rule. 2. The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining government or social dynamics. 3. Purposeful development, as in the trajectory of a state or civilization, toward a final end; a government of objectives. [Greek teleios, teleos, perfect, complete (from telos, end, result) + -cracy.] --tel"e·o·crat"ic (-¹k) adj. --tel"e·o·crat"i·cal·ly adv.

but, other than just ever greater consumption, is there really any american purpose?

pavor nocturnus + thundersnow

Some of the worst dreams of my life have occurred during thunderstorms. Often this has happened in unfamiliar places or when the storms happen unexpectedly in cold seasons. There was an opportunity for one of these the other night, a rare winter snow-and-lightning combination, but I woke up when I heard my 3-year old daughter's voice from downstairs, not from dreams of my own.

I didn't even know there was thunder when I went down to calm her. She was having night terrors, which means she wasn't actually awake, but was moaning and yelling from a submerged state of deep slow-wave-sleep. When I sat on her bed I saw the lighting and heard the thunder for the first time. It sounded so close. I pushed the shades aside and peered out into the street. Heavy snow was falling. Two or three inches was on the ground and no plow had been by yet. There was another flash and for its terrifying duration I saw a woman standing on the sidewalk across the street, looking up at our house. Her clothing seemed soaking wet. Without the flash she was invisible. I quickly closed the shade.

I lay down with my daughter for a few minutes until she settled back to quiet sleep. There were some fading thunderclaps, but no more lightning after that. When I left her room and looked out to the street there was only untracked snow in the dim streetlights. I went from window to window to look for footprints, for any sign of that woman, half expecting a face to pop into view from the darkness as I leaned toward the glass. Nothing though. No footprints. Just the snow.