I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Out of hibernation

Or at least that is a nice way of noting that I haven't been blogging in a while...And well winter does involve a different mode really. Perhaps I am just thinking about hibernation because I am reading Verlyn Klinkenborg's book Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile. The book is written from the perspective of the tortoise who lived in Gilbert White's garden in Selbourne, England in the 18th century. One of the many things White himself was fascinated by was the clockwork disappearance and reappearance of Timothy in fall and spring. I am a little biased, having had the opportunity to take a class from Klinkenborg when I was an undergraduate, but I would highly recommend anything he has written to anyone who loves reading excellent writing.

While we as humans don't hibernate (though sometimes I wish I could), I am not sure how well suited we are for colder climates where we do need to hide from the elements. Now that the weather is warmer, the only place my son (19 months old today!) wants to be is outside, and he objects when it is time to come in. We did evolve in Africa after all, and one only need to visit warmer climates to see how much of traditional life is lived outside--I write this of course at a cubicle removed from windows or doors...

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