How to spend such a delicious day? Certainly not working out on some elliptical machine. Instead we cleaned out the tree line, clearing it of brush, sticks, bushes… It now looks downright park-like. We burnt most of the branches, starting yesterday and continuing into today (surprisingly the fire was still going despite the long overnight).
Very refreshing to see the sudden expanse of a pine-needle carpet under our tall firs in back. It's a much cleaner, uncluttered look which I appreciate more and more as our house becomes more cluttered. I appreciate the serenity of simplicity though (of course) not enough to keep the house uncluttered. I like to read too much for that. But it is surprising how nice a relatively subtle change, that of removing dead branches and wayward bushes, makes. I used to like the baroque look: that to tangly, jungly, impenetrable green on the edge of our property but now I rather like it open to the field beyond. I even dared say aloud that I wondered how it would be without the trees such that our back yard felt as though it were magnified in size by three.
No day like this would be complete without a bike ride, so I listened to George Jones/Tammy Wynette hits while doing an hour on the bike trail. It was nice to see the long vistas of farm fields, the furrows still unplanted and thus reminded me how the premiere season of summer hasn't even begun yet. It's pure gift now, the meter isn't running yet. And so I went ridin', stealing time, thieving from some poor Argentinian whose summers are the opposite of ours.
But now the summerish sun is mooning over to the west. The end of an era, where era is the length of a single day. I drink to it and drink to this beach-like day in landlocked Oh of io. Read the beginning of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. His prose is workmanlike but effective as storytelling. He reminds me uncannily of Dean Koontz so far. Read a bit more of NW by Zadie Smith which continues to “meh” me.
So this golden day which felt reminiscent of Hollywood, or Florida, seems especially perishable given that tomorrow we're supposed to be mired in the 50s with rain. (Another check of the weather reveals a high of 64 and rain; almost same diff.)
Jonah Goldberg makes an interesting point with supporting quote:
Emerson once said, “There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.” Whenever I talk to liberal college kids, I think of this line, because when I disagree with them it hurts their feelings.Indeed, “disagreement” is getting to be the new hate speech in this country.
I worship far too much at the modern altar of Efficiency. I seem to take it farther than most. For example, who else gets their lunch and saves ten seconds by cutting back through the cafe, against the traffic? Who else absolutely, positively has to have their keys in hand while walking to the car lest the ultimate nightmare happen, that of having to pause at the car while I fish the keys out of my pocket?
Jason Merkoski in his book Burning the Page talks about how reading is more efficient than talking which I think is also behind this (pernicious?) switch from phone calls to texting: “Reading is still the preeminent mode of consuming information in our culture. It's time-efficient and much faster than conversation.”
Commented on a Dispatch story today about how some are saying that doctors should be put under pressure not to prescribe strong pain-killers because of the potential of abuse. Is it the business of the government to conquer our addictions for us? I don't like that just because we can measure addiction rates and can't really measure the pain relief offered by these drugs means that we should error on the side of not giving people those drugs. In other words I don't think we should be throwing out prescription drugs because some get addicted to them. There seems a hypocrisy: we turn a blind eye to automobiles though they kill as many as drugs do.