Saturday, November 7, 2009

Perfect Day


A short time I have to be with you my love
But a short time is better than no time you see
So I bring to you all my posessions and would that you share them with me
I bring one springtime of robins one springtime of robins to sing
I bring you one summer of roses one summer of roses I bring
I bring you the dry leaves of autumn dry leaves will be helpful you know
To soften the fall of your snowflakes when I bring you your winter of snow
------Willie Nelson "Summer of Roses"

  One season is always something that another is not.  With yearning, regardless of the essence of the season, for something essential to another, but gone until it returns.  A Christmas thunderstorm might occur once in a great while but, in general, it should be a real option should one wish to exercise it, to miss thunderstorms at Christmas.  Thunderstorms don't know Winter so well, and go South with the birds that time of year.

The Spring is not the fall, and suffers for that.  Just as the Winter is not the Summer and suffers for that.  Just as the Summer will lack what the Spring had to offer, and one might yearn for a gift of another season.

 As Autumn comes into the fullness of its ripeness, we are  much with the peculiar dying of what we watched develop so recently with such joy.  We cannot guess, because we are human, that we will shortly be celebrating the holiday season.  When we are with the death of the green goddess of Spring, Christmas seems a bent and drunken plastic fakery.  But when Christmas comes, Autumn is not on our mind.  The swirling mythos of  human mastery over darkness and discomfort make the blazing song of Autumns display, seem merely the base traces left by something displaying the color of life, without it's crucial open smile.

When the Winter gives us it's seven hours of light and seventeen of darkness, we walk past buildings that in seemingly another life would give a constant radiant warmth from their sun scalded masonry surface, night and day.  But in January, the life that that warm, invisible glow seems to infuse in the topography of your stroll through town is gone entirely, and what looks identical feels as if it's receding right before your eyes.  The feeling is eery and you look to the sky for comfort.  Oddly, the Winter sky is more beautiful and saturated all day and night long than during the warm season, but it cannot reach you with it's cirrus so high and made of ice.  In January, only water can provide the appropriate respite from the steadfast refusal of the world to respond with feeling. Water frozen, or water expanding and heaving the soil.  Water frosting the windows into unstained, but beautiful art glass.  Water providing a dimension to the flat fact of cold that otherwise would seem a vacuum.  And when it snows, everyone knows the world is reborn, except that it categorically has not been.  We are repositioned to accept it.  It seems to have responded to our needs.  And we, therefore, refuse to believe this place so appropriate to the curious human wonder, could even be related to the dark, grey, place of feeble daylight that it shares a season with.  The power of our pleasure at a Winter wonderland is a testament to our yearning and twisting denial of the cold, dark, world.

And yet with all that, and in much the same vein, what should one make of "the perfect day."  The step out your door and the sun is shining and it's sixty five, "we have all day," all thirteen hours left of it, that is.  The perfect day.  Who doesn't see the bounce in the step of people as they walk with the astonishment that this is the same life as the one where they lay prey to a dentist.  A world informed by fantasy, again.  The same world, subject to the same vagaries of sunlight and water.  A butterfly beat its wings in a Saharan drought, and now the whole Goddamn town is smiling due to the Chaos of the thing.  "No, Andy, " they will say, "it's only that it's so nice."  And I suppose I should salute them.  When it comes to perfect days, there is the fact that they are beyond compare.


Should you be, however, a persistent fool (a cruel thing to call myself, yet in a democracy one risks a vote at every eventuality) you can't help but notice on the perfect day, there seems to be as much interest in the perfectness of the weather, and it's sheer compliance to the dictates and whims of bliss as a winter blizzard attracts an opposite sort of attention.  There is an undeniable persistence in the jocularity of the citizen as they spin their cane, or rock their hips with a new summer dress waving like the flag of the State of Grace.  Perhaps these revelers are merely appreciating things: students of the rare pleasures of life, and even rarer individual given the freedom to actually enjoy it.  I can't deny that a lot of people seem to fit that bill.


But, as you may have already guessed from my lighthearted mocking, the purpose I am attempting to embody with this Blog entry is one of asking:  does it ultimately serve a person to place a significance, great, or small on the "cool" of their day.  Is this season the one to be jolly.  And that, the one to regret?  Are you served by cursing the drought; the one that comes when it is normally very hot, and the rainfall not so much.  Are you hoping instead for the snowfall that you cursed at the other side of this ellipse of the sun?

Ultimately we look for any excuse to prescribe to nature the yoke of our feeling.  This is probably healthy, all things considered.  But antithetical to the wisdoms of the world I have noticed over the years.  The Winter day is not given its miseries by its action upon your body, so much as your total surrender to it's hand on your rudder.  The Meteorologists even developed the Wind Chill Factor  for the ostensible purpose of convincing people who are inclined not to take seriously the cold weather, and perhaps might die as a result, that it is colder than it really is.  More often than not the Wind Chill Factor is bandied about by the general public to make an mildly apocryphal case about how it really was.... "fifteen below....windchill."  The real temperature was twenty degrees outside, but which would you employ in a screenplay?

Sometimes, yes, the weather gets rough and the tiny ship gets tossed.  And sometimes, yes, some damned fool thinks the weather knows better than to mess with him, and finds themselves educated in a hurry on the finer aspects of a casket's interior (an undeniably innocuous environment.)  But, by in large as Randy Travis was surely suggesting in one of his songs twenty years ago,("as long as old men sit and talk about the weather,") people are going to find a way to speak to their preferences in life through their favorite subject.  And will their preferences be for what they are experiencing right now?

Only if it's a "perfect day."

2 comments:

Harlequin said...

I enjoyed how you used two fine lyricists, Willie and Randy...
and I grew up in Newfoundland where if anyone waited for a perfect day to do anything, she would never do anything. I dwell deeply in my days, cool, perfect, calm and tossed...
thanks for this one. :)

Andy Coffey said...

Ah Harlequin,

I am so proud to write back and forth with you. My sister does not yet know I am writing you and looking at your blog, occasionally. It's wonderful to imagine learning something from you about autism, which contrary to what I might have implied, I more or less know nothing about. Also, I feel somewhat guilty due to the fact that I frequently admire some of the forces that drive some parents fighting autism crazy. I know in the end my love will be recognized for what it is, but still, many of these passionate disputes have nothing to do with what the conversation seems to be about, and a great deal to due with the sheer, ugly treatment of autistics by the scared person on the street. I guess this causes people to see a cure as the ONLY alternative... our hearts will never accept these people. Our world never acommodate them.
Perhaps the world and our hearts will fail these children and adults. But I at least am glad I have a fighter like you, Harlequin, to ask what might I do to understand your experience. For I really want to know.

Outlaw country, and somewhat hilariously, Kris Kristofferson were obsessions of mine until I was twenty five or twenty six. I still mostly listen to that and Merle, ect. Country. But I have long ago come to realize Rock and Roll's essential place in the appreciative souls raised fist. As a teenager I was a total blank on all that goddamn noise.

God I love to imagine visiting such a dramatic place as Newfoundland. In Bloomington, I'm afraid we wait for perfect days, and discuss endlessly the probable likelihood or unlikelihood of the the remainder: half the time a bit worried that the weather might be too GOOD.

Luckily winter seems to quiet most of this commotion, and simply deliver a steady stream of the misery that people year after year have come to depend on as their only regular thing.

Then we go to Arizona.

Correct me if I'm wrong about those boots you have in your avatar square. I first noticed women wearing them no more than five years ago. The moment I saw them I remember thinking, "What a clever take on the ugly green variety." Do you suppose they really have only been popular for that long, Harlequin? Or have you some insight, some pop cultural event that gave them their opportunity to stand in for.... you?
Thanks.