Saturday, August 7, 2010
DOG DAYS--DIES CANICULARES
Photograph by Jordan Matter
The ancients blamed the constellation Canis Major and its most brilliant star, Sirius, also known as the dog star, for the hottest summer weather. Whether Sirius is the cause of global warming is something only that polymath Sarah can explain. All I know is that it is hot as blazes in the lusty little village. Corn wilts, perennials droop, shrubs give up the ghost. It rains, occasionally, in quantities just large enough to keep gardeners and farmers hoping for a miracle and hope, as the Bhutanese supposedly say, is painful. Much easier it is to face reality. Help is not on the way. Plan accordingly.
I have been thinking of the tyranny of hope. A friend whose business that has been dying for at least a year, gambled on an improving economy, rented more space and expanded stock, to no avail. It was a brave thing to do and I admire this friend's sang-froid. Nevertheless, in this case, misplaced hope put so much in jeopardy I wonder if it would not have been better to chuck the project a year ago. Naturally, the question of whether a failing project is worth further effort is something for which each individual has a different answer. For my friend, it must have been as essential to go on as it was for Icarus to fly towards the sun. Regardless of the result, the experience must have been valuable. In the end, perhaps this is all that counts.