Friday, March 21, 2008

Vernal Equinox.

So it seems altogether possible that the vernal equinox occurred yesterday. Which would be a fairly significant error on the part of ANYLF, except that around these parts we're treating it like Lincoln's Birthday or Easter, which is to say, we're moving the feast, so the big Welcome Spring! office party with sheet cake and hats and streamers and even a raffle will be this afternoon in the conference room at the end of the hall. Sherbet punch. Cookies. Bring your kids and spouses. I've got beer in my office for those of you who can't take the prospect of sherbet punch.

And, for those of you once again (remember the eclipse? the solstice?) holding up oranges and grapefruits and basketballs at home, and you know who you are, here's an equinoctorial (!) diagram, but without the accompanying text. This is all having something to do with the sun being halfway between X and Y, with today (yesterday?) marking the interstitial space between June and December. I'm pretty fond of the scale of the yellow man in each part of this little visual aid.

Equal day and night. A novel idea. Half and half. A negotiation. I feel strange this week, like everyone knows all the words to the play but me, but the weather's so good that I almost have to like it this way. Maybe this muddling between seasons is what there is to like. Maybe there are only three or four days each year where we can be mathematically sure about our spot in the sky. Maybe the rest of the time it's just left to us to guess.

We're mathematically sure the rest of the year, too, is the thing. We have been for hundreds of years. We just don't tend to make any big deal out of it. It's the pretty numbers that get our attention, the ones marking start and stop and midway between. Regardless: It's bright and warm out there today, friends and fans of weather. It is the day after the day of. If you have not been outside today, then you need to go outside.

Lastly, from Campbell McGrath, whose poems I was privileged to teach to a terrifically intelligent if semi-apocalyptic student underneath the Chinese fir in 27244 today, one last wee attempt at responsibility before Spring Break:

This is for all those trapped within the body of desire. This is for all those fleshed with the alien muscle of need.

This is for those who would walk the avenue and say

I am sufficient in the sunlight and mercy of this day, I will have none of what you offer, no longer does my marrow ache with wanting, I crave for nothing, though I am hungry I shall hunger no more.

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