Saturday, July 9, 2022

July Joy

 Long light nights, warm life-giving sun, a reason to swim and wear as little clothing as possible.

This is the case if you are among the lucky souls, which is a relative term. To be lucky is to know how to enjoy whatever is positive in your life and that, of course, is relative to the place and time in which you live.

My digressions on being a part-time rural person (that is, living in a city or town of 100,00 or so people surrounded by landscape no sculptor could design) as well as a citified urban patriot putting up with all the detriments of place that 700,000 people call home. But a patriot to the self-serving cause of knowing how to take advantage of what a Big City offers. My Big City is a Federal District squeezed between two constitutionally registered states. My vote is practically nil because I live here; my opinion barely counts. Whereas in the rural hinterland , I can easily believe my actions can make a difference.

On a day to day level, the contrast is clear. I can live in a district and not own a car without undue hardship. This is impossible in the rest of the country unless you cling to a really big City existence like New York. The multitude of choices I have in my district are beyond compare, I believe; it takes only assiduous attention to the offerings. Today, for instance, through the mercies of a friend who alerted and then accompanied me, I attended a free lecture at the Library of Congress, open to the public though barely publicized. The talk by scholars doing research under a beneficent  grant of a donor named Kluge is a monthly occurrence and this time also included all you can drink and eat reception - standup basically. 

This takes place monthly within a half mile of my house, a freestanding mid-19th century wood structure that is almost a common sight in my environs.

What would be comparable in outlying areas, I can barely guess although I'm ignorant of possibilities in many respects. Could I compare an evening in a modern utilitarian public library with a structure established in part by one of the country's founding presidents?  How much do the surroundings in such a place influence our sense of gratitude?