Have you ever read The Pillow Book? If not, I highly recommend it. It’s a collection of musings, lists, and anecdotes by Sei Shonagon, who was a noblewoman and lady-in-waiting to the Empress in 10th-century Japan. Yeah, it’s over a thousand years old.*
Like all ancient literature, some parts feel very remote, like they were written by an alien (there’s a part where she laments how unfair it is that some poor women have very nice hair – because they don’t deserve it), and some parts feel if not current, like something someone might say today (“Things that give a hot feeling: A fat person with a lot of hair”).
Quite a lot of the book consists of lists – the opening is probably the most famous:
In the spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful…In summer the nights…In autumn the evenings…In winter the early mornings.
So in the spirit of odd and somewhat pointless lists that give you a feeling of what our world is like, my list:
Things that give a hopeful feeling: July 23, 2010 Edition
1. Yes, due to a wet and hot spring the ragweed has started early. However, Aerius (which seems to work best for my allergies) has just lost patent protection in Canada – so generic Aerius is now available, and instead of paying $2/pill to not want to claw my sinuses out it’s down to about $0.60/pill. Yay!
2. Apparently the Ontario Independent Police Review Director (who knew we had one???) is going to investigate the massive fustercluck that was the police response to G20 protests. I don’t know if it’ll help or anything, but at least the semblance of democracy is being maintained.
3. I can’t find the link anymore, but I read a few weeks ago about an Ipad clone (running Android) that was, like, $200. I can’t afford it now, of course, but maybe I’ll buy it for myself for Christmas. Or maybe by then the faux Ipad market will have brought the price down to $20.
*And it reads very much like a blog. There is no overarching narrative or structure; but from a series of unconnected writings you get a picture of a person and the world she lives in.