Hot summer streets
And the pavements are burning, I sit around
Trying to smile
But the air is so heavy and dry
Strange voices are saying
What did they say
Things I can’t understand
It’s too close for comfort
This heat has got right out of hand
— “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama
So far, summer’s actually been cooler than usual here in eastern Kansas. I’ve been busy with work and family, and there’s not been much time or energy left for contemplation or writing. My literary muse seems to be on an extended walkabout in the Australian Outback—no clue when she’ll return, but I expect she’ll arrive on my doorstep coated in aboriginal greasepaint and toting a didgeridoo.
That should make for an interesting reunion.
Conversation in the media, social and otherwise, continues hot and humid, with no cooling trend in sight. A pleasant shower of reasonable dialogue might be nice, but that’s as unlikely as a green front lawn in the San Joaquin Valley. Someone observed this morning that Twitter hashtags may have become our modern stoning grounds. True, that, and nobody seems the least shy about throwing the first rock.
I’m starting to think there’s nothing to be said about religion, politics, or literature that won’t place the speaker squarely in the center of an L-shaped ambush right now, and that makes sharing one’s opinions in public…challenging.
Perhaps I should take refuge in metaphor:
Ahem. Maybe I’ll steer clear of social commentary altogether and talk about what I’m reading right now:
Justice Calling, by Annie Bellet – Magic and mayhem in Idaho.
Master of the House of Darts, by Aliette de Bodard – Magic and mayhem in an ancient Aztec empire.
Confessions, by St. Augustine – Youthful mayhem, and redemption, in ancient Alexandria.
The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff – Philosophical mayhem in the Hundred Acre Wood.
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger, by Stephen King – Mayhem in an epic quest through a parallel world…or something.
So, it’s pretty much mayhem all around. Cruel summer, indeed.