Home > G. Thoughts > A Blizzard of Bugs, The Great Transformation & Various Works in Progress: RT’s Latest Update

A Blizzard of Bugs, The Great Transformation & Various Works in Progress: RT’s Latest Update


File:Nube de langostas en el Sáhara Occidental (1944).jpg

Of late, and perhaps out of sheer frustration, RT has been speculating that Martinsburg, WV, might be a world navel. How this might be true has offered our mind-boggled writer a means of escaping certain unenviable realities of the moment.

To wit: RT and his mom are facing an infestation of insects–not the biblical locust, but the altogether more quotidian and infuriating bed-bug. M’burg has apparently already endured one wave of these creepy crawlies, and now they are paying RT’s life a visit.

Give credit where credit is due: bed-bugs are tough, and the duplex is now undergoing the first of several treatments to get rid of the pest. Everything is a mess in the apartment, and the BBs have given both RT and his mom a case of the screaming meemees. But this too shall pass…

In the meantime, and by way of further escape, RT has been assiduously reading Karen Armstrong’s The Great Transformation. TGT follows the spiritual development of four major cultures–Greece, Israel, India, and China from early times through the development of an Axial Age culture, Axial here meaning societies that encourage moral behavior in their members. RT singles out the book’s clear language and logical organization as it reports and reflects on the historical and moral development of the greater part of the ancient world. He also notes the sidelining of Assyria and Mesopotamia as, he assumes, a dead culture that serves to establish the baseline for Axial development. Bye bye, Gilgamesh!

Which is not to say that KA has a tin ear for mythological development–her reporting of certain Ancient Greek festivals has RT convinced that some parts of the Exodus story have links to Greek myth. Which brings to mind the ever elusive Elohist, one of the several projects awaiting further development in RT’s distracted mind. On the other hand, mom’s memoir continues apace.

In the meanwhile, there’s always the Martinsburg library to escape to when the bugs get too biblical. Which returns us to RT’s initial speculation about world navels… (happy spring equinox!)   RT

PhotoA locust cloud over Juncus maritimus at Imililik, Western Sahara (April, 1944). Author: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Source: Eugenio Morales Agacino’s Photographic Archive. Via Eugenio Morales Agacino’s Virtual Exhibition. WikiCmns; CC 3.0 Attribution/Share Alike Spain.




  1. March 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Ick. Not even an exclamation point, just ick. Any speculation as to how they started? Did you have to burn the bedsheets and clothing? BBs are the reason I am loathe to stay at motels anymore, not that I have a choice when traveling! Ick. I hope you and your mother return to being an outpost [?], rather than a navel, soon.


    • March 31, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      margo: it’s great to hear from you. life is indeed complicated at the moment, with mom having vacated the premises until the bugs are dead. burning is fortunately not part of the eradication process, but in fact heating the entire apartment to 130 degrees is supposed to the be the most effective treatment (tho outrageously expensive). we’re merely getting a series of sprayings, clothes all go into the dryer for 20 minutes on hot setting. the place looks like the departure lounge of a bus terminal on a bad night, but i am managing to forge ahead on the memoirs. hope that life is bug-free and otherwise felicitous down in atlanta. eric

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