Sunday, March 17, 2019

anthropoid weather vanes

Being home for the weekend for a baby shower was basically my mom's "gathering of the girls," like she basically birthed her own girl squad. So I thought, as I was contemplating flights home: well, we owe it to her. What's the point of making your own squad if they don't come when called?

So, in the car on Friday night coming home from the fish fry—you gotta be the one wearing red lipstick to the suburban parish Lenten fish fry u GOTTA—I was like: gosh I miss weather, we don't have natural weather in the City: weather in New York is marked only by the appropriate miseries of each season. How is that different from anywhere else? asks my dad. Double points to Greg for challenging the grating New Yorker mantra of: gosh it's so ~~different~~ here in either the positive or the negatives dimensions.

But, New York weather is actually strange, because it is weather experienced without any sort of natural milieu. Humans are the only element of nature in the city, and thus the only yardstick of the seasons. And seasons and weather are experienced through us: good weather, in New York, is less evident by leaves on trees and flowers in bloom and warm earth and more by our good humor. Sure, there is sun in the sky and blue carpet rolling out overhead dotted with clouds but we are the primary symbol of the new seasons the beautiful weather—our good mood with the sun, our misery in the wind or snow, our discomfort in the summer heat.

We are the chief tokens of nature. Perhaps, if you are able to visit Central or Prospect Park each day, you have a better grasp on being a person in a natural environment and trees and dirt can be your weathervanes. Otherwise, all trees are overrun by people, all sky glimpsed is overshadowed by skyscrapers.

Spring is evident in the joy of the humans on the subway, summer heat is miserable in terms of the sweat that drowns the backs of our shirts. Winter is the season in which the wind flays the skin off our faces. There are very literal natural signs that the seasons are moving, outside our own experience.

And this is an unnatural misery. The joy of the seasons is that the earth is moving and we move with it. The delight of autumn is that the leaves turn colors, and fall into the humus of our own hearts, cultivating it for a hibernation that churns up crocus bulbs of new life.

It is not good for man to be alone. And man is marooned on Manhattan in an island of concrete and scaffolding, left referent-less in an unnatural world of concrete and scaffolding. She is sundered from the natural world in which she can find herself again in snowfall and spring mud in the park.

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