Saturday, July 23, 2005


Been reading to review lately. I don't usually read this way, taking notes, actually following up on questions about material folk refer to. Honestly I probably haven't been this critical, aware, in my reading since college. That's a bit frightening considering that I sell and buy books for a living. However, certainly that has contributed, too.

Rainbow Bookstore (, my place of employ, is both not enough and too much, in terms of words spoken and written and read. I could both consume each of the books entirely or ditch it all. In fact I have started to suspect that my life of words outside work is being worm-drained by my life of words at work. I am reticent to let power be beholden by abstract forces as of late, and yet, it must be said, there is little room for space if one is moving all about in it constantly. I realized today that most keenly, forcing my self, eyes, body, mind, to squat for a second at the doorstoop of space and consider how eagerly and mindlessly I was filling my one true resource - my own space - with crap.

Storms have finally come here. We are obviously on opposite "seasons"! It wasn't supposed to be dry spring/first half of summer (March - July) - but this was the fourth driest summer ever in the history of Wisconsin (and that is just saying so far). My first tomatoes had blight, grass stopped growing entirely (in fact I hear no matter how much you water it to grow it won't be mowable past 90 degrees farenheit anyway, which is what it was doing), and being outside midday became such an absurdly horrific experience that most Madisonians appeared to embrace it full on. For two weekends in a row, I gasped my way through outdoor events, working all weekend at the service of the dehydrated of Wisconsin. It was, again, so over-the-top that I didn't even mind. But I did have a series of seriously sad and overwhelmed days last week - now I see just before the storms came, emblematic, of course - which culminated in forcing myself to take a couple of days off. And then, the storms began. Big thunderclaps jolting you awake at four am, heart beating faster than in any horror film with a real threat lurking. Beautiful lightning. For the most part, fresh cool air puffs and promise of a few days of cooling down. If not, the storm the next night will just be bigger and cuddlier and freakier all at once.

I have to say that I love it. That in fact, each year I review Wisconsin and it's fucked up weather and each year I realize more and more that I love all of it. In fact, that Wisconsin has such diverse weather as to keep me perenially amused. I say this even though I froze at work all afternoon, a nice but awkward juxtaposition to the last two weekends, broiling outside. I was soaked on the way in, on my bike, and air conditioning was forced as humidity was far too high to have the doors open, lest the covers of our books visibly curl!

I have settled down a bit from the last weeks' high. Sure enough such electricity caused some downed trees on the mental plain. Attachment. Strong and urgent. Even as it passes now I can feel myself cling to a life without such suffering. But everything gets blown around soon enough, and whether or not I can let go is as dependable as...for now...the weather.

Lessons of Wisconsin life, not just weather: cycles, velocity, space and water.


  1. Weather seems to be the big thing this year - we had floods in dry Gujarat and now record-breaking rainfall in moderate and balanced Mumbai. This year started with the Tsunamis.

    This year started also with the bookshop I used to manage, planning to close for three days because the book covers WERE curling. The shop was a bare-brick structure and was made in a hurry, wasn't allowed to dry enough. The walls were "expressing" humidity in the night...

  2. tell me more about the bookshop!