That Inscrutable Wail

dia(Why am I naming days?)

8/25/14, Day, 13,992 (Mercena Day 11): That Inscrutable Wail

I love the word inscrutable.

It is a central word to two plays of mine, Other Bodies and Encryption.  

It may be this love of the word inscrutable is a manifestation of the pretension I am sometimes teased about by certain friends. However, if pretension is the price for loving this word inscrutable, I’m happy to ante up.

The Internet tells me it comes from Middle English, from the Late Latin inscrutabilis, from Latin in- +scrutari, “to search,” and was first used in the 15th century.

(As you might guess from the title, this is all going somewhere Mercena-related, and you can probably guess where.)

I love that its root is in the word for “to search.” Unlike its synonym unknowable, it offers the promise that it could be known, like a magician who might reveal her trick if caught off guard with drinks at the bar.

It is the word mysterious given consciousness, the word enigmatic given legs, the word inexplicable given hunger. It might be ineffable but you can’t F-ing help yourself, you have to say it, you have to search, to chase the glowing wisp of a word through whatever dark forest it takes you. Inscrutable.

Now, Mercena’s wailing last night from 1 to 2am without much of a break is probably not truly inscrutable. Even when we tried everything multiple times in multiple places in multiple ways to soothe her and failed; still, after a tighter swaddle and rocking her next to the white noise of the AC, we did manage to help her fall asleep. Whether or not she had a reason, whether or not that last trick had anything to do with her stopping, we don’t know, but that’s not quite inscrutable, is it?

Maybe not. But when you’re as tired as we are today, things take on a certain ragged grandeur…

It was otherwise a good day. We had a lovely visit from our doula, Dia (pictured above), and we continue to recommend her (learn more here).

We had another walk, this time with Mercena in the Ergo with me, and other than checking her once per minute (maybe more) to make sure her sweet little airways were unblocked, it was a fun excursion.

And we had a warm visit from Stephanie Willing and Matthew Trumbull, with dinner by Stephanie and drinks out on the terrace, with a blissfully sleeping Mercena lap-hopping between our guests.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 127 out of 161 days (Untitled Space Play)
Spanish: 118 out of 161 days
Music: 30 out of 66 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Asked Tanzania’s president to vote in favor of whale protections at the upcoming International Whaling Commission meeting;
  • In support of Women’s Equality Day, I signed a petition to raise the minimum wage and ensure paid medical and family leave;
  • Asked the judicial mediators working on Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement to move forward the Water Affordability Plan;
  • Signed my support for carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.



Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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