The present, if the most important tense, is often also the least interesting

I wish it were still January,  © 2014 Celia Her City
The present is the most important tense: a proposition that fills me with a sort of dread.

Yes, the look of the river and the feel of the cold is important as I advance mechanically through my commute each day.  The present is where we feel pleasure and pain, where we endure monotony, where we encounter ugliness so overwhelming that our minds fly off as soon as they can. More

An anchor in time, an anchor in weather

An anchor in time, an anchor in weather

All humans need an anchor.  Even the most footloose world travelers have some invisible ties that enable them to be free.  In the face of tumult and change, each of us learns to find reassurance and create order, whether by praying, playing the piano, or rearranging a room.  My manicurist tells me that she gets rid of stress by going shopping.

One of my anchors lies in my husband, who (unlike myself) is very habitual and has a keen sense of time.  The latter is a trait common to people who trade commodities as he does.

Perhaps his occupation also explains his keen interest in the weather, which for many of us supplies the day’s best occasion for contemplating the metaphysics of the universe in which we live.  Will it snow tomorrow?  Will the cold snap hold?  Will there be enough water to keep the Mississippi navigable next spring?  And if not, why?  The connections we make between weather and the human and cosmic order are almost as myriad as the times humans have used talking about the weather as a means of connecting with one another.

Nonetheless, I find it a little funny that we monitor the weather and find it reassuring.  We have thermometers in many of the rooms of our house, as well as a barometer (for measuring changes in atmospheric pressure) and a hygrometer (for measuring humidity) outside.  These instruments put numbers on what we are feeling, and somehow that is comforting because it suggests mastery and understanding of something that is actually uncontrollable, chaotic, and unknown.  If we feel low on a particular day, we can blame the barometer, and gird ourselves for the unexpected when it registers “Change.”

Our Uncle Died

Our Uncle Died

Our uncle died, and we are deciding whether to go to Seattle to be with the family.

Suddenly, the death of our elders is implicating, in a way it wasn’t when I was younger.  As my mother said recently, when one of her last more senior relatives died, “Now we’re the old people.”  With every passing, the generations shift, and our place in the constellation of relationships loses something and takes on something new. More