Up before dawn because the summer (spring already fugitive) is hotting up and soon it will be too hot to work outdoors by 8am. We’ll close shutters, draw curtains and stay in the hot still darkness all day until it cools down at twilight and we can emerge like stifled moths into the looping lanes and shadowy vineyards. It gets dark early out here but the nights are balmy and starlit, lovely long evenings outdoors listening to cicadas and birds. Beloved dogs prowling, sleeping on the grass, chasing frogs under bushes or hunting bravely for things that go bump in the night.
Conversational misunderstanding while half-asleep.
Housemate: … and then we could have roast chicken with crunchy roast potatoes. Something like a nice brown Jew.
Mary: What? What are you talking about? Are you saying something about Jewish people and if so what? What? When? How? Explain yourself!
Housemate: J-U-S. A nice brown jus to go with the roast chicken. Gravy stuff, sauce, reduced chicken juices done in a cheffy way. That dark brown viscous glop you pour over the roast chicken and potatoes when you’re not in a lentil phase? Are you awake yet? Jus.
Mary: Oh, jus, of course.
The always provocative philosopher Slavoj Žižek writing about America in freefall:
One often hears that the shutdown is the result of narrow partisan bickering, that politicians should learn to rise above it and find broad bi-partrisan solutions for the good of the nation. Not only the Tea Party people, but also President Obama is accused of dividing the American people instead of bringing them all together—but what if this, precisely, is what is good about him? In situations of deep crisis, an authentic division is urgently needed—a division between those who want to drag on within the old parameters and those who are aware that change is necessary. Such a division, not opportunistic compromises, is the only path to eventual true unity.
If I could give a copy of poet Mary Oliver’s new anthology Dog Songs (Amazon)to everyone I know, I’d do it in a flash.
If You Are Holding This Book
You may not agree, you may not care, but
if you are holding this book you should know
that of all the sights I love in this world—
and there are plenty—very near the top of
the list is this one: dogs without leashes.