Since we last met at this electronic outpost, New England’s temperatures fluctuated up and down and two things happened. First, we had a killing frost that turned the morning glories into mourning glories and I’ve begun the sad job of unwinding the once happy vines from the fence they climbed.
Second, I broke down and turned on the furnace. Although it’s a new model, it’s still a forced hot air furnace; it bangs and clangs more than the average modern convenience as it blows heat through the old ductwork. It’s dry and a bit dusty, too, in spite of the warmth. It’s an acknowledgement of winter’s approach.
I make slow progress through Kenneth Roberts’ Arundel. I noted his references to winter in chapter 10, where he writes “winters in Arundel and all our Eastern country lie hard and burdensome on idle folk,” and “I have long held that if a person plans chores to keep him busy, he will find our Eastern winters a time of relief from the blinding sweat and countless small tasks of summer, instead of a stagnant period during which each man comes to hate his neighbors, his family, and at last himself.”
A stagnant period; or maybe it’s idleness upon the land. I’m no economist, but I do sometimes read the dark economic blog Zerohedge and I found an economic chart about unemployment numbers that made me shiver. Is this lack of meaningful work part of the current pox upon our civic house, causing us to “hate our neighbors?”
Very early Saturday morning, while composing my “to do” list, a song came over the terrestrial radio waves and distracted me, however briefly, from such dark thoughts.
Wikipedia says it’s a “novelty song” originally written in 1949 for the Disney movie, Cinderella. It’s a cute little ditty and as I listened to the silly lyrics and the made up words, I thought “this is what I hear on the news every day.” Our national dialogue is full of words like “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.” The song’s subtitle? “The magic song.”
I don’t think our national malaise, meaningful work, and unemployment numbers will be brought up in the final Presidential debate this week. I’ve made no plans to watch or listen to it because I already heard it on the radio this weekend.
Sigh…I’ve far surpassed my word count for a Monday “minimalist” post.