Friday, February 4, 2011

February 2011

I came to the laptop this afternoon with no idea of what to write for tomorrow's blog post. Perhaps, I thought, it would be good to become centered in the moment and talk about the beauty of the now. It's the end of a sunny day. The sun is setting, casting a pale orange glow on the white house across the way behind the dark green hemlocks. Harold is on his computer messing with his music files. He has called up a lovely violin concerto.

The rummaging sound on our porch is not Eric, the UPS guy, delivering yet another expensive, ill-fitting garment that I ordered in a moment of weakness, nor yet the home invader with the tattoo on his neck who attacked a woman on Ferry Street last week, but rather our next-door neighbor cleaning the snow off his boots. The cat has come downstairs. She butts her head against my legs companionably. I'll go and feed her. Presently I'll start our dinner, a quick-cooking meal tonight of tuna steaks and rice.

What could be nicer? A life of peace and quiet. I open the laptop and boot the browser, displaying a picture on the New York Times website. Egyptians are beating on each other.

February is always a strange month. It arrives, and we say, what happened to January? I haven't taken the Christmas decorations down yet. This year, February seems to have a particularly crispy, fragile quality, from the snow piled five feet high on the corners of the intersections, to the desperate unemployed guy who stopped Harold on the street with a plan to do unauthorized masonry work on the historically preserved library, to the strange news from Egypt. People are unhappy in Egypt! Who knew?

Something bad is bound to come of all of this. The snow will melt upriver all at once. We will have the Delaware in our cellars again, some of us in our living rooms as well. The unemployed will--what? Starve? Riot? Knock on our doors, beat us unconscious, and take our jewelry and cell phones? The Egyptians will create a giant cosmic hole and the rest of the Middle East will be sucked into it. More war will come. Congress will bring back the draft.

But that will happen later. Right now it's a crispy February day and things are still good here. Live in the moment. You can never go back, and you probably don't want to go forward.

--Kate Gallison

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