Possibilities Still Within Reach

The sooner we let go of our overinflated sense of importance and grasp that we’re just one civilization out of many, going through the familiar arc of rise and fall, the sooner we can get to work on the possibilities that are still within reach.

John Michael Greer, The Future is a Landscape

I went to a neighborhood street fair this weekend, sat with friends near the food trucks and watched the people wander by. The din of the generators, combined with the jazz stylings of the musician on the corner made for an appealing sort of dissonance, part urban concert, part carnival midway. This is how we re-enter the world, the air fragrant with the scent of fried waffle batter, everyone’s summer shorts a little too tight at the waist, but we’re crop-topping anyway because the fashion gods have decreed it to be so.

Note: I am not crop-topping. The gods may have decreed it, but the goddesses say wear what pleases you. I am pleased by a cotton t-shirt dress.

The neighborhood where the gathering took place has been the recent recipient of some much-needed traffic-calming street design: a new landscaped median and angled street parking. Three- and four-way stop signs replaced two traffic lights, allowing the crowds of pedestrians to move with greater ease and safety, and there were, indeed, crowds. Or a crowd, singular, dense with milling humans dressed for each other at long last.

The local schools are back in session this week, which seems unjustly early, summer barely ripe on its vine. Districts dithered for weeks over masks and vaccination requirements, but most have capitulated to common sense and are requiring the former, if not the latter. Kids will get sick in those classrooms, though, that’s a given, and some may die, and some may become COVID long-haulers, but the prospect is not sufficiently dreadful, apparently, to change the minds of those who might actually be in a position to do something about it ahead of time.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”

Today I cleared away the tree limbs and grapevine that Jubilee and I cut down last week, which will please my neighbor, at least, the one with the big dog and the gentle requests that I please trim back this tree or that. Watching Jubilee wield that chainsaw was an inspiration, in her hard hat and face shield and chaps and gloves and boots. I aspire to be such a badass.

What possibilities are you considering these days?

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