Sunday, August 30, 2009


Pallas is an asteroid in astrology named for the Greek Goddess Athene. She was a goddess of war and often shown with a lance and a helmut, but she was also the goddess of peace strangely enough. Goddess of wisdom too, she is often depicted with an owl. In astrology Pallas is how you solve problems and your ability to see patterns. I became interested in Pallas because I was doing the Arabic parts and so many of them gave me a result of 26 degrees Aquarius which is where Pallas is in my birthchart. The Arabic parts or lots are a point in your chart for different things, like Luck, Daughters, Father and the Lot of Fortune. The Lot of Fortune is considered the most important. My Arabic part of Art is Pallas, and Luck too. There is even a lot for your own death and I am not calculating that one thank you very much.
I read that Pallas shows where you solve problems, if she is in your fourth house then you solve problems best at home. In the 5th house of creativity and games she depicts your winning strategies and helps artistically. Einstein had Pallas in the 10th, this is where you solve problems best at your job.
The houses show where and the signs are your style of doing it. The houses are different areas of your life and the most important house is your first house. I would guess that just as planets in the first are influential over your whole life that someone with Pallas in the first would be a great problem solver, mathmetician or fashion designer.
I can tell you what I think Pallas does for me. I have Pallas in 3rd Aquarius. This is someone who thinks of solutions no one else thought of, Aquarius is where you are unusual. The 3rd house rules short journeys and the day to day things you do. This represents someone who solves problems by taking a walk and I actually do this. The third house is represented by Gemini and ruled by Mercury. I solve problems with words. I write things down and make lists and this is how I solve problems. Gemini rules writing. I do recognize the influence of Pallas in my own life.
When I blog about astrology I am taking information from many sources and seeing patterns.
Now these things are conscious, I think to myself that I'll take a walk or write it down. I mean that I know now what I was doing before instinctively.
It has been written that someone with Pallas in the 12th would suppress their talent. Any planet in the 12th is hidden away they say. The 12th is a mystical house as is the 4th and the 8th. Somehow I think that this is not always true at all, I have a planet in the 12th, Venus. The 12th house can be a terrible place it is true, but also a great place. It is said the 12th has no boundaries. What this means to me is that Venus is in every area of my life quite frankly.
Astrology does not predict the future in my opinion, neither does it mean that you can do nothing to change the future. I myself don't look at transits, and even for professionals they sort of see things in hindsight when they do see them. In my humble opinion of course.
I see it like this, every planet has 2 faces, good and bad. Good aspects can help bring out these talents you have but you have this potential. Every person is a treasure within, I am looking for mine.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Planets that Take Over the Chart

Astrologers sometimes find a planet with so much influence that it literally takes over the chart. This planet becomes the star of the show. There are 3 or 4 reasons for this.
A planet that has no aspect with any other is called wild and it expresses itself in a unique way.
If a planet is conjunct a star it can have great power, Regulus is the most powerful star in the sky. Some stars are so fortunate they are called protective stars 'cause they literally protect and help you. Spica at 22 degrees Libra is one. A planet all by itself on one side of the chart is greatly emphasized, just like Uranus in the chart of ballet dancer Isadora Duncan. (Isadora was always shocking people flying into the face of convention) Another way a planet takes over is when it is the only planet you have in one of the 4 elements, air, earth, water and fire. They call planets like this Singletons. Astrologers say these planets "suck up" all the energy in your chart. In my case it is a beautiful thing.
A planet at the exact middle between the Sun and the Moon will take over a chart. Eleanor Roosevelt has Venus here, and she was loved by everyone. Boxer Muhommed Ali has Pluto here. Mother Teresa has Neptune at Sun/Moon. This one planet characterized these people very well. For other people who we are is not so obvious, as in the case of Marilyn Monroe. She was all air, she was not a sex goddess at all. She was a Gemini. (A sex Goddess would have to be earth and water).
Yods are when 2 planets sextile one another and both are 150 degrees (give or take 5 degrees) from a 3rd planet. This 3rd planet, it is said sucks up the energy from the other 2. I heard of one person with a horrible childhood who used their 3rd planet to overcome it. This planet was Jupiter, the planet of abundance and all good things. This Yod saved his life you could say. Yods are not well understood, they are mysterious. I know that they can take over a chart.
I have Jupiter as a Singleton, it is my only planet in an air sign. Libra is an artistic sign. It is also the sign of partnerships, marriage as well as business, as well as friendships. All my energy goes into artistic pursuits, either enjoying it or doing creative projects. I always want someone to enjoy these things with me, Libra again!
Here I am reading and writing or talking all the time and living life on a mental plane. I live my life like an air sign. Jupiter in Libra is who I am, Jupiter has taken over my chart.
Every sign and every planet is in our charts, there is always a way to understand one another. If we want to. There is always an "out" from terrible experiences. There is always a door to open. You can fly above things that try to crash and burn you, like James Taylor sings in his song, "All My Golden Moments"
And all I really needed was the proper point of view.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How You Are Supposed to Make Money

Astrology tells us not what we are doing for a living, but what we are supposed to be doing. Your money houses are the second, eighth and eleventh and planets there are clues, also aspects to the midheaven. The fifth house rules creativity, so the sixth house represents money made from creative projects. I have no planets in the 6th, which I suppose means I will never make a living writing books. I don't stop writing or trying to publish because of it though. The fact is that a chart is never simple nor easy to understand and there are exceptions to every rule. That doesn't make astrology untrue, like heaven above us we don't understand it, that's all.
It is a fact that we enjoy doing what we are supposed to do, so Venus the planet of what pleases us is a clue to career. My Venus is in the 12th house, which means I enjoy solitude and working alone. (Sounds like a writer to me) Venus also quintiles the midheaven. Mercury, the planet of communications trines my midheaven. (120 degrees away) My midheaven is in Virgo, but as Virgo obsesses (usually about their health, this is the sign of the hypochondriac) astrologers say that a Virgo midheaven might only mean that you are obsessed by your career. The element of the sign at the midheaven is a very important clue to oneself, a earth sign wants to see real results for their efforts, an air sign might work just for the mental challenge, a fire sign might work just for spiritual rewards or to be a leader and in the spotlight, a water sign wants an emotional tie to their career as water signs are all about their emotions. Virgo is earth, and the biggest thrill of my life is seeing my name on something I've written or a check for something I wrote. To be paid money for what I write means that it has value, and the money I've made writing means more to me than any other money I've ever made.
For me the biggest clue was Neptune, the planet of dreams in the 11th house. The 10th represents career, so the next house is money made from your career.
A writer could be called someone who makes money from their dreams.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fixed Stars

Anne Wright's wonderful site about stars is called Constellation of Words. You go here with knowledge of what degree and what sign your natal planets have. What you are looking for is for a planet at the same degree and of the same nature as your natal planet. Ptolemy, some ancient writer who unfortunately forgot to write down how he came to his conclusions, has recorded what planets these stars are like. For instance Aldebaran is the Persian Royal star of the east, and is the nature of Venus. If your Venus is there then this star will ring clear and true in your life, it can express itself most purely and distinctively. This is the star said to figure prominently in Eisenhower's life, and like Venus, that power was likable and beneficial. The opposition is said to be very powerful also, the opposition being directly across the chart. Antares opposes Aldebaran so if you have one you have the other also. Antares was called the "Fire star" and is associated with military honors. Antares is red and emerald green near the center of the constellation Scorpio. This star has the influence of Mars modified by Jupiter. All can be found at this site, and it is very interesting.
I was amused and excited to see I have a star and it is a Martian star. I have Algenib at 6 degrees of Aries and it's influence is Mars modified by Mercury. Since my natal Mars is also at 6 degrees Aries that makes Algenib a powerful star in my chart.
Amusing note here: said to denote a poor professional beggar. I have been in desperate circumstances.
Then the site says this star is favorable for finances!
The stars are said to "raise you up high" and then drop you. Stars work in short, venhement bursts so the stars, after working their magic, stop working and then you have to struggle to keep what you've gained.
However the qualities and talents of these stars stay with you. Mars is associated with quickness of mind and body. Also with courage and accidents. Mars is our drive. I have a powerful drive and I never give up! Mars is in Aries in my chart and conjunct a Martian star. Mars also rules the head and I have had a lot of accidents involving the head. Also said to cause headaches. Mars transits actually indicate when accidents can happen.
Stars seem to be lucky and unlucky also, don't they? My star page says Algenib causes noteriety, dishoner, violence and misfortune, but Mars and Mercury together promise mental brilliance.
I find it romantic that I have a star that belongs to me and I am so happy that I have one, in spite of the bad luck it is said stars can bring.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Universe

I think the universe has boundaries that we cannot cross but we get a lot of what we wish for. I am a person who dislikes using her mind and I got a job that only uses my body and the boredom of this job is soothing to my rattled nerves. I also wished for a mate who would give me security, and I got that also. I remember when I made these wishes and that it was a full year later before these wishes came true. I am just amazed that these wishes came true at all. I was in bad shape at the time, my family had blown apart and didn't care at all for one another.
Families can be found in astrology and it amazes me how family charts are made so that the family can get along with one another. Just as my father was a Virgo and made to serve as Virgos are, my mother had Pluto in her first house and she needed a servant. Cancer is the sign of motherhood, and my father needed someone to mother him as he hadn't had a mother. Stranger still is the charts of their children.
Your Moon rules your emotional life, and when someone's Moon sign is the same as your Sun sign then you have an emotional understanding of this person. As my father is a Virgo, his son had his Moon in Virgo. As my mother is a Cancer, I have my Moon in Cancer.
So it is with my own children, my hubby is a Taurus and my youngest has her Moon in Taurus. Strangely enough, when our marriage was very much in doubt my first child of ours was born, and she has the Moon in Libra which you might say doesn't mean anything, but it does.
As I have been an introvert who does not know how to socialize, my eldest is a Leo with a Libra Moon, who is my opposite. What I lack, she has. In a way our children are gifts to us, really and truly a blessing.
People tell me the way to reality is visualization. You believe in this vision in your mind and then it comes true. I doubt the universe is as simple as that. If that were true then we would be getting what we wish for all the time.
Our wishes I think go with our life's purpose. A clue is the midheaven. My midheaven is in Virgo, and whatever I write and whenever I talk to others, my wish is to improve their life. I want to give good guidance and good advice to to others. I want to help people. The funny thing is that it is I who very much needs help but still this command goes on, even when I am hurting. The midheaven often represents the father and my father was a Virgo. Still, it seems that when I help others I seem to help myself, truly. I was an outcast in elementary school and ate lunch by myself, which was mortifying. When I see someone sitting alone I go and sit with them. It is an instant reflex on my part. I cannot stand to see someone sitting alone because of memories. This was because of my fourth grade teacher, who made fun of me. I was later to learn that she hated my brother who was her student three years before and hated my family and was punishing me for that reason. I was 9 years old and couldn't understand what in the world I had done to deserve her punishments. I spent a great deal of the 4th grade in the principal's office. I think that this experience may have been for the reason of teaching me to help other people who for whatever reason are not in the mainstream, people who are rejected by others. A side effect of this is a deep mistrust of authority and authority figures that I have, I have this deep need to not follow the rules or to fight authority any way I can. I thought it would be helpful to look up my 4th grade teacher and tell her how I felt, then I realized that if she was still alive she would be 90 yrs. old!
There is no fairness to life but we do receive gifts. As if the universe knew I would need some serious strength and the ability to stand alone, I have these aspects in my chart.
One gift is the gift of music from my Moon trine Neptune. Neptune represents dreams and illusions and when I hear music it is like a story unfolding in my mind and it can change my mood from bad to great in 5 minutes! How amazing is that!
One gift is my Grand Trine in fire of Saturn, Mars and Uranus. A trine between Saturn and Mars makes a person very strong, their drive and determination is flowing freely into their sense of rightness and of orderliness. Uranus is our talents, our genius. Mars is my will, welded together with the strength of my Saturn and the talent of my Uranus. What a great trine this is! What this means to me is that when I work on creative projects I do so in an orderly and organized fashion designed to get the most out of myself!
Pluto is a planet that causes a lot of problems in a person's life if badly aspected. I have no problems with Pluto because this planet trines my Sun and sextiles my Moon! This is extremely good for a chart.
Mars represents drive and determination and your ability to survive. There are 3 major ways a planet can be made stronger. If it is on an angle, if it is in the Sign that the planet rules, and if it is conjunct a star that has the same energy. My Mars is in Aries, the sign that Mars rules. My Mars is close to the angle of the nadir, the very bottom of the chart. My Mars is conjunct a star with mostly Martian qualities. This makes the star's energy able to work well because instead of muddying up this energy the energy is pure and sympathetically works together. I have a very powerful Mars. As I have had a terrible childhood so has my brother, and he has Mars on the Ascendant, a very powerful place for a planet to be. This planet was in the sky above him when he drew his first breath when he was born, that is what a planet on the Ascendant means. Mars is our strength and the universe knew that I and my brother would need lots of it! This makes me wonder, was my parents marriage destined to fail? It would seem so looking at their children's charts that they were going to fight a lot and indeed, they did. It would seem it was written in the stars.
But just as I can stand alone and have everything I need in my chart it is that I find myself isolated. My needs are satisfied by myself. I have all the elements of air, earth, fire and water. In a way I just don't need other people at all, and I have been able to survive the awful people I seem to attract. As I project kindness and sympathy people naturally come to me when they need something. I am always asked for money and to run errands for other people of all kinds, to loan people my stuff and to listen. My relationships with others are unsatisfying. Maybe there is a reason for this and the reason is that I was supposed to be alone. I enjoy being alone and solitary pursuits: to listen to music, to read and to write. The universe has given me what I need to survive and not only survive, but to enjoy the life I have. My children themselves are well able to take care of themselves too, they don't need me very much. The universe is kind to me you could say and you could say it has been cruel. I have been drawn by circumstances into this solitary path, maybe the path is my path. My planets are tightly woven together in my chart in mostly good aspects, myself is my strength. Just as a writer is telling a story to himself and entertains himself, later he will put it out there (if it gets published at all) and hopes that maybe other people will enjoy it also. A writer has all this in himself.
You could say your favorite color is a clue to oneself. Astrology books say that Mars is an assertive red and that Neptune is blue and that Moon in Aries is yellow or orange. A Sagittarius is represented by purple. My color is deep blue green, the color of Neptunian dreams and of a Martian Spring, the color of tranquility that I always reach for. Peace or something very much like it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Since most people will never work in a chicken plant, as I have, I thought it might amuse others if I told of the many rules enforced by the U.S.D.A. to protect our food supply. The ones I am familiar with concern contamination. The wall of the plant for instance, is contaminated. When you stack things like pallets or the huge cardboard boxes we use and they touch the wall then they are contaminated and cannot be used. If one cardboard box corner touches the wall then all the boxes in the stack are contaminated. Even though we use cardboard to put chicken in, cardboard itself is contaminated. Cardboard cannot touch chicken, and if the plastic liner has a hole in it and touches one chicken, then the entire box, which may contain 100 lbs. of chicken is also contaminated.

The bottom of a cardboard box is considered contaminated. We would use these for 40 lbs. of drumsticks. The plastic liners we use are a bit large for their containers, so we had to tie a knot in the side of the liner to make it fit snugly and in no danger of touching the dangerously toxic bottom of the box. If the knot was too large, you could not squeeze it onto the edges, if it was too small, then the liner would spill over too far over the sides. The proper knot, hand tied by hand, had to be made. It was useful to have boxes with liners already made for those periods when a lot of chicken was coming down the line. It was important that these be stacked with liner against liner, 2 boxes upside down against each other, so the bottom of the boxes were against each other because the bottom of a box is contaminated. If one liner was touching one bottom, you threw away the entire stack and received a reprimand. These reprimands were written down and had different names which I never learned, being but a lowly line worker.

Another rule is: Anything that touches something that is contaminated is also contaminated.

Also if you remove all the chicken from a box you cannot reuse it, even if you do so immediately, as it is now contaminated.

If a cat somehow gets into the plant and is higher up than the containers of chicken then the chicken is all contaminated, every one. Rhetorically speaking, that is.

If a chicken foot or a chicken back somehow gets into a box of chicken then the chicken is contaminated. I was amused to see the grocery store sold chicken backs. Someone should tell them.

If you are spraying the floor with the high-pressure hoses that we use and accidentally spray some of the water hits something and sprays up onto chicken, then that chicken is contaminated.

The roof is of great importance because if the roof leaks on chicken then that chicken is, you guessed it, contaminated.

Although I find some of these rules amusing they are of course for our protection and should be followed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Christine Freehan

This author has written a lot of novels in which the man is a vampire and who will die without his mate. I think these books have a lot in common with the Twilight books. There is a man telling you he will die without you. Hmmm, maybe that is just what women want to hear.
They care for their mates tenderly and go bonkers if they are threatened by someone else. Christine Freehan knows some secret and I'm not sure that is what it is. I also want to know how she writes so many books. How many ways are there to say I love you.
What she seems to imply is that love itself is dark, even if her stories did not contain vampires. I think that is true. We don't know why we are attracted to certain men, some of which are very bad for us. We don't care. It is the wonder of a women who was without weight and without a home and without a man, to realize that at last she has everything she has ever needed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tori Amos Scarlett's Walk

I think Scarlett's Walk is the best CD I own. Tori Amos is an artist I've grown to love, but I didn't take to her right away. These songs are very much like songs you've heard before, only done much better this time.
There is a song that is suitable as background music or for a meditation room, there is a dancing song that has you tapping your foot and a love song that isn't like any love song you've ever heard. She is what you've heard before with things you've never heard before. She is caught in her own passion when she sings and she doesn't sing for you, she sings for herself.
In one song she pauses and hits one note on the piano six times, nothing else, just this one note and it's perfect.
"Don't Make Me Come to Vegas"
don't make me kick him out of your bed
I am vigilant
'cause it could be done and it has been done and I think I am
up to it.
don't make me come to Vegas don't make me kick him out of
your head
but with the desert's kiss
she will slip into your net
Over my dead body
A couple of these songs are about rescueing some young lady from a rascal or cad who has taken her to Vegas, and it must be quite some story.
I saw her on Johnny Carson in what I swear looked like a prom dress that was huge, yellow on top and a white skirt. Her leg she swings over to the side like in the photo when she plays the piano, must be a habit of hers I guess.
The lyrics are so great and she sings with a crystal clarity I've never heard before in anyone's voice. I am stunned, happily stunned by her.
These songs are too deep to come from anywhere else but her own life. I think it is poignant when a singer sings her own songs from deep inside her own heart.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Midheaven and the Axis of Your Life

The top of your chart is about your career. This is a science in itself and it seems it's done different ways by different astrologers.
There are 4 dark lines called an axis. The line at the top is the midheaven point and mine is in Virgo. Now Virgo works behind the scenes as an assistant or a servant to another. Virgo is interested in health and diet and in details and are considered picky. It appears that for me this represents the spirit in which I do things, for Virgo serves others. I like to think I am helping people.
Some say the planet nearest to the midheaven represents what your career is. For me it is Pluto and Pluto likes anything to do with detective work and revealing secrets and anything to do with death. Well I do like to know secrets.
I've also read that the planet in good aspect to the midheaven, meaning a trine or a sextile or a quintile is the one to be considered as indicating the career. I have Mercury trine the midheaven, the planet about communication.
Capricorn is a sign concerned with career, in fact Capricorn corresponds to the 10th house of career. Capricorn is ruling my 2nd house of money, which coincindentally is also where Mercury resides.
Since Saturn sort of represents work it is thought that what element Saturn is in tells you something about yourself and the way you approach career.
An earth sign is concerned with building a career and doing something like earning a college degree or having a job in which you can work up the ladder and can be promoted. An earth sign has a common sense approach to career.
A water sign must have an emotional attachment to what they do in some way, for instance a Scorpio midheaven may be someone who works for the F.B.I. and maybe feels a sense of comraderie with the other agents and that he or she is doing something worthwhile. The job is something that can be all consuming like a water sign likes it to be.
A fire sign Saturn represents someone with personal goals that might have nothing to do with making a lot of money or status. They might have a goal for instance of becoming a better person, or being the perfect mom. It very well might be a goal just for themselves, very personal. I have a fire sign Saturn and I can see that this is correct for me.
Some astrologers have complicated ways to figure out what career you should be doing that I cannot put down here, because quite frankly I don't understand them.
I must say that Virgo is something of a perfectionist and I am constantly tearing up paper upon which I have written the beginnings of novels. I think that my Virgo midheaven is pushing me to be perfect and I am so unhappy with whatever I write that I may never become a writer.
The axis represents what sort of person you are according to what signs the 4 points of this axis is. If your axis is in fixed signs then you would resist change. A fixed sign follows through on any project until it is done so fixed signs are great.
If your axis is in mutable signs you have great flexibility. If one approach is not working then a mutable sign will try something else.
If your axis is in Cardinal signs, (Cancer, Libra, Aries and Capricorn) then you have great beginnings but don't get things done so well. You are a great leader and very inspiring however you seldom finish what you start.
Most people are a mix and to be balanced is a very good thing. Some of us don't have this balance and we suffer our shortcomings.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hillbilly Dictionary

plum like - To totally forget as in "I went to the store to buy bread and I plum like forgot it."
mess - enough of some food item to make approximately four servings as in "We don't have enough okra in the garden to make a mess."
tacky - Something that looks bad, usually used in regards to yucky fashion as in, "That broach on her blue jean pocket just looks tacky.
tacky - behavior that is bad, such as breaking up with someone by asking your mom to do it for you.
Bless her heart - this makes any negative comment okay, because you are saying the person tries but just can't do it right as in, "She can't cook at all, bless her heart."
fixing - you might think fixing means repairing an item that is broken but it really means you're about to do something as in, "I'm fixing to go to the store."
"Did you get enough to eat?" after eating dinner at someone's house is polite and signifys that the host will offer you more food if you are still hungry and does not mean to imply that you eat like a horse, or a pig.
"Did you get gone?" means "Have you left for your trip yet?"
"I didn't ask you to." is hillbilly speak for telling you that although you did something nice for them, they did not ask you to so they are in no way obligated to pay you back.
"He looks squirrelly." is used to describe a man who has a lot of hair that is wild and unkempt. This reminds hillbillies a lot of rodents who live in trees.
"She talks about everybody." is hillbilly speak for the gossip who does it for the sensationalism aspect of spreading rumours and is a negative statement.
"Whoa." You are driving too fast.
"She thinks her poop don't stink." is hillbilly slang for she thinks she is so high-class and is so snobby, that she would be so stupid as to believe her bowel movements do not, like other peoples, smell bad.
"Well why did he do that?" is hillbilly talk meaning that someone did something for no discernable reason at all.
"Mmmm..." I am listening, keep talking.
"Didn't no bird every fly so high that it didn't fall one day and hit the ground." is hillbillies remarking how even people who have a lot of money and think themselves better than everyone else can still suffer setbacks and bad things can still happen to them. It is a gentle reminder that we are all just people, just like birds are all birds.
"Whee." You are driving too fast and I like it.
"Getting your tank full." means getting drunk see "getting tanked"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

I read this book when I was very young and I got it because it was a very large book, I loved to read. I didn't know what I was getting into, this book has the texture of real life, all the misery of family life that I knew so well. All the same there is great genius in the eldest girl Louie and a great sort of happiness with imagination that I have myself.
The book has the same structure as Ms. Stead's childhood. Her mother died when she was 2 years old and her stepmother didn't like her, just like Louie in the book. Christina Stead had a love/hate relationship with her father just like Louie also from what I read about her. The war going on between the father and the stepmom I latched onto instantly, for that was what was going on in my own life. I got instant recognition, yes that is exactly how it is I thought but at the same time the book gives no solution and no judgments, it just is.
The stepmother Henny has many children, there wasn't a way to prevent pregnancy I suppose. Her husband had a job once and then lost it and Henny is forced to sell everything, her lace tablecloths, her dishes, anything to keep food on the table. He plays with the children and is pretentious pretending to be a great philosopher and scientist. He has a way with children for sure but he gives up even the pretense of looking for a job and the family sinks deeper and deeper into poverty. He does not think that he himself is at fault for anything, he is strangely disconnected from any worry at all. He leaves all the worry to his wife. Henny has tirades in this book, terrible screaming she does at him. She is bound to her husband and has a brief affair with a man she doesn't even like from whom she gets as much money as she can to feed her children. She plays the game of Solataire over and over again, until her mind grows blank and she no longer thinks of the sad situation she is in. Again, this is something my own mother did, ignoring the cries of her children and playing this endless game of cards. I wondered why she did it. I guess it was to numb her mind and think of nothing. The father and mother end up staying in separate parts of the house, using the children as messengers to one another.
In one of their fights Louie has a moment of clarity when she realizes that this war between her parents is ruining their moral natures. They call each other the vilest names they can think of, there is Henny sinking while her husband stands in the sunshine playing with the children without a care in the world.
When Henny dies it is a strange thing but a real thing the children's reaction. Being children they simply know that their mother is not there anymore and accept that she is in heaven easily. There is not much grief. The book says: When it stormed it was as if Henny too had stormed, but in another room in the universe, now under lock and key. Louie had gotten the idea to poison both her parents, but she got scared suddenly and put all the poison in one teacup. Henny somehow knows immediately when she sees Louie what she has done and what she says is remarkable. She says she doesn't blame her and goes into this long monolouge worthy of Hamlet. Then she picks up the cup with a jerky movement, as if she would stop herself but couldn't arrest the motion, she had already made a decision about life without even realizing that she was making it. Later Louie tells her father what she had done and he doesn't believe her, of course. She like her mom kept expecting something from this man and he couldn't do anything, not even grow up.
The man who loved children loved them because he was still a child himself.
Strangely enough their poverty improves after Henny's death and there is no one to worry about finances now that she is gone.
Louie runs away at the end of the book going for a walk around the world she says.
It is a remarkable book. Louie knows quite well when she crossed the line from the normal world, she had never been normal. There used to be this sort of yard between her world and the outside real world that she used to play in but it's gone now the author tells us.
In this secret world between us and the author, we recognize that Louie is a genius. She doesn't tell us that and no one tells Louie that, it is evident in the bedtime stories she tells the younger children and in the thoughts that she thinks. She worships one of her teachers, a Mrs. Alden, and she starts a great creative work called the Alden Cycle. She tell her parents she is doing homework when really she is working on this project of writing about the wonderfulness of Mrs. Alden. I did worship one of my teachers when I was young just like Louie. I think a child that is neglected tends to do that, to look elsewhere for a mentor. Louie throws herself into books of the great philosophers and poets the same way I fell into books, and she thinks thoughts so deep and yet still plays the role the family has for her. I think we do that. The parents are quite ignorant of Louie, and when she speaks her true thoughts they tell her she must not think these thoughts; they are crazy thoughts. I remember reading The Greening of America and telling my mom about it and her telling me I was being brainwashed by this book. I think she thought I was becoming a communist or a demon or something totally terrible and somehow criminial. This book was published in the sixties and was about the hippie movement making America more beautiful, more "green". The author later stated that the hippie movement died instead, what a relief for my mom!
The Man who Loved Children is beautifully written, but it's uncanny how much of this fictional book is so very real. I think it must be the real childhood of Christina Stead. Maybe because her childhood was so much like mine, I don't know, but this book, more than any other I have ever read, seems the most perfect reflection of real life.