Summer is in the air, or is it the light pattern, the longer hours of daylight that suspends so much water vapor and particulates in the air giving for long and lasting sunsets of rich pinks and that golden hour where all of reality seems to be now in “HD”? The summer sales are here, the films are being released, the “anthem” to all our road trips is being now identified by various factions, our trips are all planned out and vacation days lined up and approved by the boss/es. Already the better office jobs have switched to summer hours, the design firms and creative shops are closed on Fridays, and the teachers are out of the classroom and spending their time away in bars and taverns or traveling to foreign location, in order to spend time in bars and cabanas.
The summer campaign is here too. Now that the planting season is over, the fighting season is upon us in far of lands as it has for centuries. Rather than summer vacations and Fridays, there are jihad and Friday call to prayer and raids are conducted not on horses but using all the modern firepower that can be mustered. Thankfully, this epic plunge into violence is not visited our shores… save for the routine school shootings… Occasional mall shooting. Rare pizza place shooting – yet… The smoke we can all see from space now remains over in the Middle Eastern Lands, the old Abbasid Caliphate and the vibrant now-gone civilization founded in Madīnat al-Salām where intertwined the river gods Euphrates and Tigris ligged and small boats of woven grass brought dates and palms and the House of Wisdom set upon a hill as a center of learning to rival the legend of Alexandera and the extant collection of the Imperial Library of Constantinople, yet to split into schism and burned in Crusade.
As those seeds we pushed in to the ground this spring mature, we also seem to mete our past actions we sowed so many years ago on the international stage. First two little banner leafs, then up a vine and unfolding a fruit according to each disposition. Our collective errors and misadventures have matured, not in ways we should want, not as those hopped for fruits, yet in a manner all but those in the punditocracy seemed able to predict. The fires of summer perhaps have only started to burn and we should all light a candle that we can maintain our schedule of barbecue and beach fun and spend our summer perfecting recipes we find online of clever ways to turn those organic vegetables we are laboring to grow into something that tastes like we bought it in a store – albeit high-end store. We in our pressed whites we can again wear freely without any Labour Day worries for a spell, sip at cocktails filled with sliced cucumber, we sup on clever offerings garnished with something we picked moments before from some garden or from those few proud pots we keep on the fire escape. We must all give a moment of reflection – call it prayer or meditation or whatever – that the ugly world, that world of medieval cruelty and modern bloodletting remains but far off. Perhaps like these regular superstorms this too shall blow over, shall pass like to many other horrors that fade on into the history books and we can return to our worlds and our small petty cultural fights internally and continue to float along financially.
Perhaps this is a crucial point in our lives. At least events have risen up the chattering classes and twenty-four hour news cycles.
To which some of us, this blogger included, must turn to the ripening vines and mind the schedule of the pick-your-own plantations and away from all manner of media. The Twitter beheadings, the YouTube massacres, the Snapchat drive by shootings. I follow the up-to-the-date reports on The Guardian or Dispatches from Vice or the comedy of the ColDailbery ReShoportw as they analyse world events with far more insight and access that I would ever muster… To wait for the events to unfold, but cannot make more of this in my mind least I succumb to the “terror” or at least a bad case of neurasthenia solved only by various drugs and elixirs both legal and extralegal. We cannot undo this decade past, but can continue to plant, to harvest, to connect as the times may yet become difficult.
I choose not to be afraid.
I choose to welcome in the summer and I have before, live it as if it will again, be the last one enjoyed in comfort, and to take every moment knowing we are yet privileged to do so in relative peace and economic stability.