June 17th, 2004

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Doldrums

A thin haze characteristic of summer now blurs distance by day, and by night diminishes the stars. The visible world thus reflects the torpor of thought induced by heat, and I drift again into that state of languor which, though unwilled, is nevertheless alluring -- despite my knowledge that the promised pleasure of its indulgence will inevitably bring regret, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Look! Already it induces this flurry of abstraction, as vague as the blurred horizon, as pointless as the hazed stars! I am unfocused, and even the colors in my imagination run together so that no distinct thing can be discerned. Flowers turn to steam, paths to dark water, fields to writhing wind, and all the insubstantial, fluid world whirls away with a ghostly shimmer, as though a mirage had been dispersed to reveal featureless sand. Another day of heat looms.
bazille_summer scene

Bushed

The bushes in the front yard have been trimmed. Three are once again round and one is again boxy. Birds screeched at the trimming, but to no avail. The process continued, and great piles of dismembered shrub parts covered the ground. There was something quite satisfying about it all. For the most part, I prefer to see plants left to grow in whatever direction their nature and opportunity dictate, but I have always enjoyed seeing bushes trimmed. This is not symbolic, I'm sure.

I think that the cat prefers plants which have been left to their own devices, too. She certainly prefers plants of any sort to most people, whom she avoids. While the bushes were undergoing radical surgery, she decamped to the yard of the vacant house next door and frolicked in the weedy lawn, which has now been left untrimmed for months. In fact, her affection for spots filled with wild plants has been manifested for the first time this year in its most characteristic form -- she came home with nettles in her fur. These I must comb out, lest I be scratched by their venomous little points while petting her. Nettle scratches are no fun. Also, if they are not combed out, the cat will ingest them while grooming herself, which leads to fur balls forming around them and ultimately being vomited onto the carpet. Not a pleasant sight.

The heat having been slightly less severe today, I was not averse to spending a bit more time outdoors in daylight, though I avoided the direct rays of the fierce near-summer sun as much as possible. While examining the rapidly browning lawn, we discovered a nest of yellow jackets in an abandoned rodent hole. It is an unusual location for them to colonize, as they generally prefer the protected ground around the roots of large trees, and this particular spot is distant from any such roots. The bugs are in for a surprise when next the lawn gets watered. I have little sympathy for them in their impending doom, having once been stung by one of their kind. All must now pay!

Milder the day may have been, but I have still had to turn on the air conditioner and, even with its assistance, the house remains warmer than is Sluggo's wont. I must be quick, so he can soon return to sleep by my will, rather than his own.