Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday commute xxxviii: Waiting for the hurricane

A darkness and quiet, with winds that heave without flickering, speak disarmingly of a coming of the sea, and but for their advice of pending inconvenience are more enthralling than disturbing. Everyone thinks to prepare his reflexes, but cannot. An authentic tropical storm is a seduction.

It's wonderful to take the storm without the hysteria of broadcasters, flogging us with hyperbole they wasted long ago. Nothing is more movingly a deliverance from the inane than a visitation of nature. Despite the widespread chorus, keening, why us - we'll never get away from these embarrassing teleologies - the earth is plainly in this with us, and nothing could be more conducive to calm. The storm's impartiality is so perfect, it's false to see it as its own; it articulates what it is without intention or volition. It has not been sent, it cannot be sent away; it will come and it will go, and it may not be easy. But it will be fair.


  1. I wish we could get Pat Robertson to read your post--he says the storm is god's warning, blah blah blah. Wonder what he would make of our models today. Any day.

  2. Kind of makes you wonder how he got through Yale, doesn't it. But there you are: 4 years of showering in New Haven, and still suspicious of god.

    Thanks for dropping in, JtB - have a great weekend.

  3. What happened before TV and warnings? Was it a case of expecting the unexpected?

  4. TV and warnings being severable subjects, yes? I mean, even the insouciant Hermès barometer, with its three gradations of warning - pluie, variable, beau - is a warning implement that's been around, without fanfare, for some time. The senses also warn, dare I say, even in an anti-intellectual era; although, what little guidance they can give to action in such conditions, I'd rather not pit against my dog's recourse to his bed. This leaves the invention of Mr Sarnoff. David, you and I are young enough to remember when broadcasters could be consulted for their disciplined journalistic breeding. Why would we think of growing up?

    So, "expecting the unexpected." With a tropical storm, "expecting the irregular" will have to do; they're not so rare on the Atlantic coast of lower North America, as to be unexpected.

  5. Very embarrassing, indeed...close to shameful.

  6. Tom, let me make clear how welcome you are and how happy you are entitled to feel with your impression.

    The only one who could possibly be embarrassed in the posting, or by it, has approved it, and this cannot embarrass you or anyone else. This leaves proximity, a relative state in which we all linger, to countless attributes; and last, one of the innumerable conditions worthy of shame. If I did miss any of those, I shouldn't be extremely disappointed. I certainly wasn't aiming there.

    Please come again, and comment freely. I welcome a good critic, and I'm sorry I missed your complete satisfaction.

  7. In the end, if I may ask, did you get the wind ?

  8. Oh, Ivan, I was aware of allowing this narrative to dissipate off-topic, going so far as to frame a welcome without pursuing a description of the Guest. But one hadn't wanted to pin hopes too high, where one can see they were held, for a dévoté of tidal delectation.

    We had precipitation and winds, and opulence ("humidity") of air which were unquestionably tropical, through something like 24 hours. We did not have the propulsions of the storm, although, on the water, you'd have sensed an elevated challenge.

    I was opposed to allowing you to be told anything of this, knowing how it might affect your plans, unnecessarily; but as I see, I was overruled again!