…and here’s Edith!
Things have been changing round here so fast it’s hard to keep up with.
Suddenly, Pluto is no longer a planet in our solar system! All those cardboard and old spalding ball mobiles we made in elementary school are ready for the trash.
(What, you don’t save old school projects?)
I grieved for old Pluto. I even wrote the Wenches about it, trying to make light of the shock until Mary Jo urged me to put some of my plaints here. I was supposing what might happen if the constellations got renamed because a star was found missing from Leo – making him Leonora. Or Virgo found to be fooling around with Orion, and having to be renamed too.
Or discovering a new star in Gemini and having to rename it Trilogy. Etcetera, as the King of Siam said, etcetera.
And then came the stunning realization: what difference did it make to me?
Great world view changing theories are always being changed again, from generation to generation. We are supposed to be galvanized. We are not.
When the theory of gravity was proved, did the people of the time all sigh with relief and then dare to jump into the air, finally knowing that if they did, they’d certainly come down again?
No. We’ve learned to disregard scientists, because they change like weathervanes.
I grew up thinking of dinosaurs being green and brown and cold blooded. Now, they say they were all colors, sometimes feathered, and maybe warm blooded. Next week, they’ll say they were plaid and polka dotted.
Medicine changes by the day, not the decade: Cold water for burns, warm water for burns, cold water again. Bleed a sick patient; give him blood instead. Lot of low fat is good for you, makes you skinny. Too much low fat is bad for you, makes you fat. Be thinner, be fatter – ah, be done with it.
And Historians! I’ve had to do research, and the “facts” make me dizzy. Historians can’t agree on what happened yesterday, much less three hundred years ago. They are constantly coming up with new “facts” to disprove each other.
Fact isn’t a fact. At least, not for long. Nonfiction isn’t fact; it ought to shelved with the Fiction, where we know the truth.
Pluto’s gone? Yawn. Pluto may be back.
That’s why I love Fiction, the reading and the writing of it.
At least, when we make up a story, it stays the same forever.