Nobody Does Anything About the Weather

This was a stunning September morning. The Beast led the way.

Another conference call. This one was led off by somebody providing a weather report from the midwest. Turns out it was nice weather out there, and somehow this was weird but–not to worry strangers on the call–the weather will be bad. The report was apropos of nothing. An odd non sequitur. And not very interesting, bless her heart. I hate conference calls.

But before I get all superior, I have to ask, how many times have I written about the weather this year. Six times? Maybe ten? How many ways can I describe the change in weather? The heat? The cool? The sun filtering through the trees, making shadows on the sidewalk, sending up an artist’s palette of colors, warming the world?

How many times have I posted about my morning stroll? It’s always about the air–crisp, heavy, frigid, humid. It’s about the light, too–dark, bright, layered, orange or purple. There’s also storms–rain, snow or just wind–providing fodder for my daily struggle.

Is it enough that I tap into weather as a vehicle to practice descriptive writing? Is it better that I sometimes use the weather as a metaphor? Is it of value that I use the weather to transmit a small tale?

Have I committed the worst sin of writing? Am I boring you, my Loyal Reader?

I took on the challenge to write every day. I know that the quality is uneven. I recognize there’s more than a score, perhaps even four score, of less than stellar results. But dull?

Maybe I’ll just tune my point of view. Yes. I’m not delivering a weather report. I am describing the environment–how it looks and how it smells and how it feels and how it sounds. I am practicing using words to share details so you can imagine what I am thinking, so you have some context, and to bring us closer together.

This morning the shadows were longer and the air was cooler. I stepped onto the porch but kept my hand on the door handle to push it back open. I needed a little something.

I went to the hall closet and found my black hope and change hoodie. It’s eight years old now. It’s stretched out at the cuffs. The zipper catches on loose threads at the bottom and there are little holes in the left pocket, the one that holds the treats. I blame the Beast.

I pulled on the worn fleece, but didn’t zip it.

The leaves on the trees were still mostly green, but some had given up. The sidewalk was spotted with dry leaves. They skittered along the concrete until they crunched under paw or sneaker. Definitely a sign.

We’re on the cusp of the next season. But we’re not there, yet. Summer still has some breath left. She’s elbowing back and forth with Fall. Until Fall wins the match. I never did pack my sweaters away. Now it’s definitely too late.

Wake up, Loyal Reader, and thank you for your time. I do appreciate you.

Without Character

A nondescript elevator with two white guys from the 60s madmen era with fedoras with the doors closing.

There isn’t anything authentic about a convention center. It is the Muzak® of buildings. Taking strains of something that had a soul and stripping it of anything that makes it itself.

After lobotomizing originality, next to be removed is anything human. Voice, words, breath, a pause? All excised. Any instrument that conjures an image of fingers racing along keys, pressing a valve, strumming strings, holding a bow or grasping sticks? Also eliminated.

All you have left is a lowest common denominator tempo barely holding up the weakest strains of a strained melody. And when you hear it, the bleached skeleton picked clean of flesh and blood, you get mad. Because it used to be something.

The worst, most generic chain motel gains charm in comparison to the empty cavern of a convention center with its too high ceilings–in case someone booked a boat show and need to showcase a hundred foot yacht, or maybe a grouping of humvees, a tank and a Blackhawk on blocks for a military show of might. People love getting their pics standing near the turret of the tank. But that doesn’t make the convention center any less bland.

The colors in the convention center do not stimulate the rods and cones at the back of your eyes. Even the use of orange, when contrasted with the old wool blue gray in the carpet, doesn’t jiggle your brain. At best, you mark it as something that evokes the color orange and dully move along.

The chairs in the rooms are not camouflaged. Not really, but they could be. They almost always have a gold or silver frame. This is so you can differentiate among the individual units. I was going to say differentiate among them in the dark, but they would all fade together under light, too. The metal does not shine, though. It does not catch your eye. It is matte. Almost a silent signal.

Even the food in the convention center is without taste. Whether it’s a box lunch, purportedly with an Italian sub or a roast beef and horseradish on pretend ciabatta (it’s just the shape of ciabatta), or a sit down meal at an awards dinner, the food tastes like the food in a dream.

You know that dream. The one where you have an ice cream cone in your hand and it’s dripping a bit on the side. It’s piled with two big scoops. And your dream self puts it in your dream mouth and your real brain registers no flavor. I usually wake up then. It’s the equivalent of a nightmare, I guess. Well the food at the convention center is like that. Even the potato chips.

There are windows around the sides of the building. They are huge plates of glass, and yet there are no streams or streaks of light. It just surrounds the building and substitutes glass for walls with no real contrast. Maybe those aren’t windows. Maybe those spans are just a slightly different shade of wall.

Leaving the convention center, there is an exit with a set of stairs. These stairs are dangerous because you can’t tell the steps apart. It’s just that same Muzak® carpeting that leads you out of the Muzak®-filled elevator and out into the noise and the dark or the light of a real street. Look, there’s a pigeon strutting along the sidewalk! Something is alive.

 

Falling Behind

This was a stunning September morning. The Beast led the way.

At the beginning of a conference call, one of the participants gave us the MidWest weather report. According to her, the weather was nice, and that was weird, but that will soon change. That is that both the nice and the weird will change, and the weather will be back to the regularly scheduled bad. It was apropos of nothing. An odd non sequitur. And not very interesting, bless her heart.

How many times have I written about the weather this year. Six times? Maybe ten? How many ways can I describe the change in weather? The heat? The cool? The sun filtering through the trees, making shadows on the sidewalk, sending up an artist’s palette of colors?

How many times have I posted my morning stroll? It is always about the air–crisp, heavy, frigid, humid. It’s about the light–dark, bright, layered, orange or purple. Storms–rain, snow or just wind–have provided fodder for my daily writing struggle.

Is it enough that I’m using the weather as a tool to write descriptively? Is it better that I sometimes use the weather as a metaphor? Is it of value that I use the weather to transmit a small tale?

Have I committed the worst sin of writing, by boring you, My Loyal Reader?

I took on the challenge to write every day. I know that the quality is uneven. I know that there has been more than a score, maybe even four score, of less than stellar results. But dull?

Maybe I’ll reconsider my framing. I’m not delivering a weather report. I am describing the environment–how it looks and how it smells and how it feels and how it sounds. I am practicing using words to share details so you can imagine what I am thinking, so you have some context, and to bring us closer together.

This morning the shadows were longer and the air was cooler. I stepped onto the porch but kept my hand on the door handle to push it back open. I needed a little something.

I went to the hall closet and found my black Hope and Change hoodie. It’s eight years old now. It’s stretched out at the cuffs, the zipper catches on loose threads at the bottom and there are little holes in the left pocket, the one that holds the treats. I blame the Beast.

I pulled on the worn fleece, but didn’t zip it.

The leaves on the trees were still green, but some had given up. The sidewalk was spotted with dry leaves. They skittered along the concrete until they crunched under paw or sneaker. Definitely a sign.

We’re on the cusp of the next season. But we’re not there, yet. Summer still has some breath left. She will be elbowing back and forth with Fall for the next few weeks. Until Fall wins the match. I never did pack my sweaters away. Now it’s definitely too late.

As always, Loyal Reader, thank you for your time and for imbibing with me and my thinkings through another season. Almost time to pack away the summer.