'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

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Lake Lisa and the Water in the Basement; Weather & Conversation; Nature; Cicadas; Same Old Story

Well, it could be worse. Not much went wrong outside at the house in these storms, at least that I've found so far, though there's a shallow pond taking up most of the front yard. (The birdies are lovin' it.) I do wish I'd thought to look in the basement last night, but at least I looked this morning, before squirrelykat and I were scheduled to go for breakfast---bless her heart, she came over and helped me deal with the water damage, digging out quite a few boxes and other items still in the puddles. And then we headed out for omelettes and a lazy, drive-around, yard-sale-shoppin', dog-visitin' afternoon.

The worst of it was a coupla boxes of books, some clothes, a coupla board games, one edge of the futon (crossing my fingers I'll be able to salvage it; it's the guest bed), some pictures and a mirror, plus a few not-in-use appliance-y things.

I spent some time chatting with a neighbor about other storms and the damage done therein. Talked about some gardening stuff, too. The current multi-day forecast has thunderstorms every day into the prognosticated future. Any eventual dry spell will be much welcome in these parts.

Years ago my old mentor said something to me about the weather being the quintessentially dullest topic (words to that effect); I thought about it, and did notice, as time went on there for a while, that it's often the subject for the shallowest chat, the most superficial small talk---the safe or surely-we-have-this-in-common topic for peoples not really connecting on any interesting level. But when the weather is big, or fierce, or unusual, it is a topic that interests me. It's part of our essential human collective unconscious relationship to our surroundings as animals to keep an eye on the weather---and not so many generations back at all that we were much less arrogant about our mastery of our environment. And it's certainly in my memory as the most important topic of the day, or at least the moment, when tornadoes are around, or possibly coming.

The cicadas, whose appearance hereabouts is expected any day now (when the ground hits something like 62 degrees for a coupla days running), are a great story along the same lines---humanity and our experience of the rest of nature. Like locust plagues, or floods, or like numerology or astrology---it's easy enough to imagine the heightened significance and superstition (or religion) many of those who went before us had about these things. (I still get a skin-crawly feeling at the sight of a grasshopper, having seen films from the dustbowl days when they swarmed around prairie houses, impossible to keep out, devouring all foliage, and other stuff too.)

These 17-year things---they don't exist in Kansas. The only time I've been around them (or any of their cyclical lot) was in 1987 in Baltimore. And it seems good now, or instructive, in this time of personal turmoil---er, uh, transition, to think back on those days, which were a long while ago, yes, but which are still in my adult memory.

I was living in Baltimore. I can't remember if my gf and I had moved apart the winter before, or if it would be the winter after. I'd been working 2 or 3 part-time jobs, getting by just fine, but by then I might have gone from tutoring at the community college to being on salary in the computer lab and teaching a class or two adjunct. After several years of that set-up, I quit & took off driving around the country, and went back to the part-time squeak-by life, and then went driving around again, and then did the Gertrude Stein House thing, and then met H. and went around the country with her.

Here's the thing: that time with H. was less than half the time since the cicadas were here last. I mean, we felt like a pretty well-established family unit (at least to me). And my mother died shortly after we got together, so that probably cranked it up a notch or two right there. And maybe, since H. was barely out of college when we got together, it seems like a bigger chunk of my life, since it's been such a big chunk of hers. But it hasn't been a lifetime. Oh, no; indeed. It can't have been a lifetime, cuz it hasn't even been half a cicada cycle. So, and therefore, and to conclude: this loss---it should be a lot easier than it's been, shouldn't it? q.e.d., three dots in a triangle, voila.

Too bad the noggin doesn't work on the heart.
Tags: weather

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