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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sprites in the mist

I swipe the windshield wipers to no effect and squinch my eyes like I'm some sort of superhero sending laser beams out from them. I keep my speed low, especially on the side streets where I know from a history of mornings (though cannot see today) the sulky teenagers in their predominantly dark clothes and tune-the-world-out ear buds are starting to queue for a bus they don't want to take. I turn up the defrost setting in the car, as if the obscuring mist outside is really on the inside of my front window.

Nothing I do makes any difference against this Thursday morning fog. This is the type of fog that presses against the eyes and creates a slight claustrophobia out of physical space. It reduces cars to fuzzy headlamps, trees into strangely dancing sprites that refuse to resolve except back into trees and shrubs when you arrive up close to them, and people into the slightest of ghosts.
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!"
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”
- A Man Said To The Universe, By Stephen Crane
So the fog slows the pace of life down a bit, forcing us to grudgingly acknowledge our limitations against elements we cannot see through, but it doesn't bring things to a full stop.
Draw the lines! Assume the crow’s nest, Pip. This ship
sails on music and wind, and away with birds.
- from Soundings by Robert Wrigley
This morning's sailing music, though, was all talk.

Today's full playlist:
- Morning Edition, NPR

- Posted via Hermes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An impatient season

Thursday morning, early, dark, but clear skied. A beautiful day is forecast, though that is hard to evidence at this hour. Traffic is moderate, but pushy, impatient. Feels like people are running late, rushing to get somewhere other than where they are now.

This morning's first song up is also about impatience. Bruce Cockburn's Pacing The Cage:
Sometimes you feel like you live too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage
If we're honest, most of us have felt that way from time to time. The past few weeks of political brinksmanship back in that other Washington are certainly enough to do that. Same song:
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage
Yes, that about sums it up.

I said, in a post back in November of 2011:
Let us also recognize that this hatred-driven politics is like unleashed fiendfyre, from the last of the Harry Potter stories (don't pull that face, you know you read it, too!). Terrifying, all-consuming, indiscriminate, and uncontrollable, it destroys everything it can reach. From the Potter story, "...the flames chased them as though they were alive, sentient, intent upon killing them. Now the fire was mutating, forming a gigantic pack of fiery beasts: Flaming serpents, chimaeras, and dragons rose and fell and rose again, and the detritus of centuries on which they were feeding was thrown up in the air into their fanged mouths, tossed high on clawed feet, before being consumed by the inferno." Ask them in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Ireland, Palestine, Israel, and much of Africa what the politics of hatred begets, and you may hear a response that sounds a lot like the above quote.
The seasons also feel, to me, impatient to change.

Fall burst quickly into fiery trees of yellows, oranges, and reds. Now, only a few weeks later, the leaves are rapidly browning and falling, sweaters are back in vogue, and stores are starting to sell Christmas and holiday decorations.

And Thursday, the great pretender of the week, is an impatient day in and of itself. Being not quite Friday, with its cusp of the weekend promise, it cannot pass quickly enough.

On the other hand, I have very much needed this full week to start catching up after a summer of too much time away from the campus. As I back into a leaf-littered parking stall outside my office, the impatience to get in and get going is all mine.

- Bruce Cockburn, Pacing The Cage
- Richard Thompson, Take Care the Road
- Lucinda Williams, Right In Time
- Van Morrison, Real Real Gone

- Posted via Hermes.