Saturday, March 31, 2012

It Rains Downright

My little one wanted to watch "My Little Pony" this morning, so I had to pass on Chelsea-Aston Villa and instead sat down at the computer.

Our front room workstation looks out the bay window at the street, so I was facing the drizzling rain that started Thursday morning and has not ceased since then. And I stared at the phosphors on the screen and, honestly, could not think of what to say.

The seemingly endless winter rains have gone past depressing into hopeless. And all around me the news from the wider world seems equally oppressive. All the worst aspects of humanity; hate and greed, foolishness and violence, and good old-fashioned brutal ignorance seem to be all the rage.

From pointless fulmination about private murders to thoughtless prosecution of pointless foreign wars, to the apparent inability of certain members of the federal judiciary to distinguish insurance from broccoli and insist instead on the "freedom" to get sick and sleep under bridges...I just felt like Sisyphus at the bottom of the hill. In the cold rain. Staring at that fucking rock and wondering despairingly why the hell I would even want to do this again.

There just seem so many things "wrong"...sometimes its hard to keep my perspective on the reality that we are not threatened by a global pandemic, or a barbarian invasion, or massive famine, or civil war. I am safe and comfortable in my home with my family about me. But, for the life of me, I cannot look about me without a little growl deep in my throat - partly anger, partly despair - at the bigger world around me. It just seems like we're fated to be pelted with a persistent rain of ignorance and stupidity and there's nothing that most of us can do about it. Grrr...

And enough with the fucking rain, already!

Storm Warnings

The glass has been falling all the afternoon,
And knowing better than the instrument
What winds are walking overhead, what zone
Of grey unrest is moving across the land,
I leave the book upon a pillowed chair
And walk from window to closed window, watching
Boughs strain against the sky

And think again, as often when the air
Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting,
How with a single purpose time has traveled
By secret currents of the undiscerned
Into this polar realm. Weather abroad
And weather in the heart alike come on
Regardless of prediction.

Between foreseeing and averting change
Lies all the mastery of elements
Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter.
Time in the hand is not control of time,
Nor shattered fragments of an instrument
A proof against the wind; the wind will rise,
We can only close the shutters.

I draw the curtains as the sky goes black
And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
This is our sole defense against the season;
These are the things we have learned to do
Who live in troubled regions.

~ Adrienne Rich

(h/t to the Rude One for the poem)


Leon said...

Cheer up chief! You've a lovely family and at least you're not in risk of a drought.

That and listen to some Ludovico Einaudi:

FDChief said...

The strange thing, Leon, is that I'm not all that chuffed; the irritation and dissatisfaction is more a sort of side issue. In my own personal life I am fairly content (other than my beloved Timbers gave up two goals in four minutes of added time last night to lose at home). But it's when I look around at the larger world that I get a sort of irked grimace at the appalling sort of idiocy we as a nation seem to be enthusiastic about...

Lisa said...

I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.

I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.

I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

[fr. "An Atlas of the Difficult World", A. Rich]

FDChief said...

Lisa: Sometimes its hard to tell the ridiculous from the flat-out, smack-down nuts.

Crony capitalism? To big to fail? Lobbyist power? Fear of "government bureaucrats" but loving us some insurance company/Big Oil/Big Pharma/Big Insurance bureaucrats? Fussing about women and what they do with their intimate regions? Carelessly butchering real babies (and women, and kids, and old grandpas...)in SW Asia but frantic concern about "unborn babies" in the U.S....

I know that the public is an ass. But the degree of ass-ish-ness just seems so amped up lately...

Gah. Just really frustrating.

Lisa said...

Lots o' stupidity about us, eh?

Compounded as it is by people's unwillingness to be forthright or reflective, it is not a winning hand for success in most endeavors. ISTM the majority of people do not care that they complicate their lives, and by extension, that of everyone else in their zone.

It seems many people embrace an entitlement to be stupid. Perhaps this is an American (human) right -- the right to be stupid.

But I often do hear Kim Jong Il's plaintive words in "Team America": "Why are people so F8^cking stupid"!