May 27, 2020

Seven Takes

Talked to my boss in one-on-one and quizzed him on his take on the virus and how big his circle is. His parents are very que sera, sera, while his wife’s parents very strict. He had planned to go to Hilton Head in late July with her family and relatives but now not only are her parents begging off but asking the other family members not to go. He said he will go if no one else does.

The virus is understandably polarizing given the uncertainty. (That mask-wearing is polarizing just seems weird to me.)   I’m more relaxed now about the idea of our circle being widened: When the virus isn’t exponential in terms of growth - when it takes “breaks” (like infecting only a hundred a day in Franklin County) - then we have to take advantage. We might have a decent window, maybe till November, before the second wave and there’ll be time enough for quarantine then.

At the risk of jinx, it’s the best of all possible virus worlds right now: Summer (which is better for keeping the virus down), no big super-spreading events, and a merely linear viral increase. From what I’ve read, it’s possible 80% of the virus cases were caused by 20% events, big things like Mardi Gras and such. So by America simply limiting gatherings to under 50 we might get away with just the drumbeat of a slow viral increase. 


Read the latest issue of Gilbert, the Chesterton magazine. Interesting despite the lack of quotes from GK on the plague of his time (1918 flu). He was discouraged from publishing anything on it since they didn’t want the Germans to know how they were suffering given it could give them an advantage in WWI. In characteristically saintly fashion he looked upon his catching that flu as saying it allowed him solidarity with all those others suffering a similar fate.
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The biggest non-story in the constant drumbeat of political non-stories is Trump’s feud-tweets concerning Joe Scarborough.  How anyone could take Trump seriously when he does that stuff is beyond me. It’s as newsworthy as a child having a tantrum.

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Spectacularly beautiful summer day in May. Late linger-evenings that contain not a whiff of chill -- and not a mosquito to be found. The royal blanket of grass and trees and farm field (ok, newly planted garden). The dogs hungover from the walk in the heat, tongues askew like Otis Taylor’s cap.

Is it merely an “age thing” that my sense of the seasons has moved stage left on the calendar? When I was a kid summer was June 5, and June 5 was summer (where June 5th represents the quintessential last day of grammar school then). It was as black and white as it gets. Fall was Sept 1, or whenever we started back to school. Winter began on Thanksgiving weekend and ended in April. Summer lasted 3 months, Winter 4.5 months, Spring 2 months, and Fall 2.5 months.

Now I’m more sensitive to the weather aspects, the quality of light, the heat or cool, the length of days and interplay of all. (And I don’t go to school. And I live more closely to the baseball season -- I would prefer living the liturgical one).

Spring can feel as early as late February now when the first light from the east graces the sunroom. It can linger till June; it has “graduated” to a lengthier season.

Summer abates at a later felt-date, maybe the end of September even though there’s the deep bone-sense of the writing being on the wall. Winter has shrunk its talons to a mere December to February fling, maybe 2.5 months, or whenever spring training starts and I can watch meaningless games from sunny locales. And that leaves Fall with a brief Oct-Nov timeline.

Perhaps part of this could be climate change which seems to lengthen Ohio’s summer at the expense of fall.

So High June here in May, like a high mass. Peak beauty.

I took the dogs on a little mini-travel trip: downtown Dublin, the historic district. It might've been exotic Dublin, Ireland, so starved for travel I’ve been. I pushed them to their Max, which included a many flights of stairs in order to get down to and then back up from river level.

We saw old homes with rock fences, as in Ireland. We saw lovely grassy knolls and historic buildings. We saw kayakers on the river off Bridge Street. We saw attractive (empty) restaurants with outdoor patios, a modernistic public library...

We saw, we came, we panted. They panted.
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Poet Jane Kenyon on the Civil War:

With psalters
in their breast pockets, and gloves
knitted by their sisters and sweethearts,
the men in gray hurled themselves
out of the trenches, and rushed against
blue.

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