21 June 2011

Twisted Thoughts on the Longest Day

I suppose it has been long enough now that you deserve a new post of the adventures of me. So be it!

Well, gracious gentlefolk, I have been traveling.  That is my excuse.  The effort has brought memories good and not so good, and a decided lack of nostalgia for the places I used to inhabit (see previous remarks here).  Enough has been said on that topic to content any neighborhood existentialist for a while, so I shall move on.  Next, I must report (as required by state and federal agencies) that I have returned to whence I came.  My first clue was hearing the tornado warnings on the radio as I crossed the border into Oklahoma.  As they say (or should say), it ain't Oklahoma unless there's a tornado warning sounding.  Enough said on that topic, the better.

There's always some place to spend your summer on the beach yet avoid the heat.
And I survived the annual Father's Day rituals.  In my particular case, it was the day following a late-night arrival back at my humble abode--still intact and undamaged from the near-daily storms hitting while I've been away.  That's good news.  Anyway, I tried to stay off the usual social networking sites, which I presumed to be cluttered with paternal laments and paternal praises.  (Checking later, I found that to be true.)  Yes, I did call my father, but in these ancient days his hearing isn't so good.  Fortunately, he has learned how to respond to whatever I happen to say, and does so automatically when he thinks I have said what he thinks I would say to him.  ("Did you have a good Father's Day?" --> "Yep, it's hotter than usual here.")  Half the time it is almost appropriate to the context of the conversation.  But that is also enough said.  I shall revisit the topic next year.

Today I am bombarded by the "happy summer solstice" crowd's textual chanting of "Happy Summer Solstice!" As everyone knows, from ancient times to the present day, people have celebrated the arrival of the full flowering of the sun and, more importantly, what it portends for the growing season.  A lot of people starved in ancient time, apparently.  In modern times, of course, it has become a time to celebrate freedom from school, or the annual summer vacation trip for working adults, or just a excuse to have a party.  And for a small niche group, it is a time to get funky and pretend the world does not have demands of them.

An even smaller niche group (I represent nearly half of them) is simply content to sleep late and count the hours 'til the next day. Longest day? What's the point? It is longer than the previous day by maybe a minute. What you failed to do yesterday can be safely done today.  You'll have more time to do it.  And yet, it is somehow different.  As per humanity's obsession with greatness, it is the focus on things that are longest, fastest, strongest, most famous, and so on that occupies our attention. In my circle of authors, for example, the longest day represents an opportunity to count sales--though I begrudge them not a longer day of writing and editing.  In general, a longer day means more people out shopping, buying, consuming.

If you have read this far, you may be thinking this is the longest (i.e., most boring) blog post anyone has ever written. You'd probably be correct. (Please take the survey at the end of this blog post.)

Let's call this the "catch up" post, whereby I throw everything I've got into one big soup pot. It will keep you alive, even though it may lack any particular flavor or nutritional value, and might possibly make you sick later on, in the middle of the shortest night.  Thank goodness for short nights, eh?  Come to think of it, a night is less important in the greater scheme of things than one's sleep schedule: twelve hours is still twelve hours, no matter if the light of day intrudes or not.

[There! Now you have your profound thought for this post.  Go forth finally fulfilled and judiciously joyous, for the day hath a few seconds less than yesterday, and with each passing day we opportunistically mirror the dying of the season and the dying of the year, the dying of humanity and of an individual's strict allotment of time, measured by party and paycheck, until the bitter end when sweets are verboten and diapers again become de rigueur, until the eyes fall silent and the mouth closes to perpetual darkness, and the last morsel of breath coldly expires.]

Let the rest of the summer begin!


  1. As usual, you make me laugh. My own interactions with my children seem to go along the same lines as those of you and your father, and I am only 3 days away from the the big 58... this does not bode well...

  2. The longest day... I didn't even realize it. I guess I didn't do anything special to celebrate it. :)