August 31st, 2005

abstract butterfly

afterward

"I should doubt conversions that can only be accomplished by silence on great practical immoralities."--from a Harriet Beecher Stowe novel

The images from the disaster area continue to illumine our media resources, causing me dismay and muted hope that things prove less bleak than they seem to me now. A friend reports missing relatives, although such a report is less urgent than it might be, because "missing" equates more at present to "incommunicado". We all keep our chins up that "missing" will not mean "missing". We relearn how to pray in supplication, after so many prayers of self-indulgent requests for forgiveness. These sights and thoughts alternate with the sounds of hip hop artists being interviewed on the radio program "Fresh Air", and I find myself feeling a nostalgia for certain aspects of early rap and hip-hop, though the interviews have not even gotten to Digable Planets or Arrested Development.

I've been enjoying Jessica Greenbaum's slender volume of verse, although, as with many such slim volumes, one drinks in the juices, rather like a tangerine, and then one feels that one has had the joys the nectar offers, and begins to think of other flowers to which to flit. I think it's good,though, that in general poetry is presented in nectarine portions rather than breadfruit portions. I think that people, like the muppet Grover, think in chapbook-sized snippets. I play my chess these days in three minute a side snippets, 180 seconds of
grim reaping of what is sown quickly, without thought other than the fleeting thought of adventure. I play a lot of stonewall formations because I am comfortable in them and others are not (but sometimes imagine they are, an huge advantage). My rating crossed 1500 again on the free internet chess server, as I find 180 seconds of chess madness congenial. It is but three commercials, a good bit of taffy, chewed slowly, or the time it takes for me to realize that the news coverage is a train wreck, and the channel must be changed.

When one is in Hawaii, the sun sets on the day abruptly--so that one can stand on the big island on a particular beach, and see the orb descend, resulting in darkness. We see events occur this way sometimes, so that the reality of the situation appears in a blazing fury, in an indisputable uproar. But in Scandinavian climes, endless day subsides into endless night slowly, cyclically, as if the initial sense of relief at the slow fading of the sun gives way to quiet desperation as the darkness loots security, and night descends. In these times, people generate the light and heat to keep going.