Cycles turn while bicycle wheels revolve in Mumbai that was once Bombay and before that Mumbai’s. One wonders if they still make Kashmir sweaters in Kashmir, you know, when the bombs and bullets aren’t in season. Is there a rainy season due soon?
September 21, 2017, Summer and Winter are officially over. Everywhere, at least for now.
In the Northern hemisphere it’s Autumn and in the Southern it’s Spring, both transitional. At least one might hope so.
Perhaps transition is what we need right now after a summer of orchestrated polarization: In the United States, the reignition of the Civil War as well as World War II for fun and profit, “deplorable”, just “deplorable”, yes, “deplorable”, that’s the word, its echoes just won’t stop, its shadows just won’t fade, tear those tombstones down, they once offended someone and might do so again someday. Russians, Russians everywhere, our eyes shut tight and ears covered while fanciful mouths declaim politically inspired fantasies; formal investigation of the irrelevant and unreal but obfuscation of real threats to democracy and new threats planted by Facebook and Google the style. Trumpcare battles Obamacare while Care for All languishes unloved; illegal or undocumented immigrants are expelled now as they were then, but crocodiles cry for their pain, it’s election time again, but then again, it always is. Oh clever, clever witticisms and not so subtle insults! Ain’t free speech grand, as long as it’s politically correct of course, the arbiters told us so.
Hurricanes and earthquakes at the end, nature’s commentary. Hurricanes and earthquakes at the beginning as well. Hurricanes and earthquakes again.
Winter was more subtle in the Southern Hemisphere but perhaps no less oxymoronic: Michel Temer and his coterie of corrupt Brazilians launch a soft coup against, of all things, corruption; Mauricio Macri sells Argentina back to “investors”, no returns required; penguins look on perplexed, at least one apparently dancing. Hobbits hide in their holes in New Zealand wondering what Australia’s up to.
What might Spring and Fall bring?
The auguries don’t seem great, … anywhere, … North or South; … except of course, as always, among real people living real lives, heroic sagas in the humblest of settings as most mothers and fathers strive to do everything they can to feed and clothe and house their children, educating them where they can; and children, at least some of them, unaware of what the future harbors, play and laugh, although others, too many others, already live futures that will never change; hungry blank stares, not even wondering why. All too many die too young, unnoticed and unmourned, unremembered too.
Somewhere mournful echo-taps play. And play. And play and play and play. Another Vietnam saga on PBS while an Iraqi saga, a Libyan saga, a Syrian saga, an Afghani saga, and a Palestinian saga wait their turns, the censors you know, they have a right to be heard too (the censors I mean, damned dangling modifiers). Korea, well, that saga’s been safely hidden for three score and a handful of years, it needed a rewrite but one is coming soon. Kaboooooom!!
From deep in the hills one hears echoes of the prophetic utterings of Buck Owens and Roy Clark: “Gloom, despair, and agony on me, deep, dark depression, excessive misery; if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me”. But of course, there are hills in places other than the Smokies, …
Take the Hollywood hills. A healthy contrast.
The happy idle rich, the very wealthiest among us, perhaps the harbingers of horror for the rest but they’re just fine.
“Thank you for asking.”
Tea time and cocktails and fad diets too. Gossip and personal appearances. Political activism when there’s time, perhaps a protest or two. Hollywood and Wall Street, K Street and Madison Avenue, Park Avenue and the zoo. What’s it to you anyway, you weren’t invited. Guards! Another party crasher; get him out of here. For heaven’s sakes!
“Hillary, oh Hillary, Nancy wants to say hello to you, she’s over there with Chuck”. From the shadows Donnie and Willy watch bemused while Chelsey and Ivanka hug: “How’re the kids” one asks the other, “and the futures’ market and hedge funds too”. “Wonderful” the other replies. “And how’s your family dear? Kiss kiss.”
“Ta ta!” “See you soon”. “Not if I see you first!” “Oh, you’re so silly!
Hell looks on amused and patiently waiting.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.