Monday, April 28, 2008

Subprime Explanations.

The ANYLF rain gauge is reporting 2.6" for the last 48ish hours. Yesterday and today. We've had the interns all over the interwebs all evening trying to figure out if our rain gauge is magic or broken. But it rained and rained, a steady long overnight rain and then downpours off and on today. Got so dark with that last line of storms out in 27244 that the lights came on all over campus. I was explaining the subprime mortgage crisis (!) to my upper-level interdisciplinarians, and then I was explaining supply and demand in general, using a pig and my love of barbecue as an example (If you have a pig, but barbecue is readily available, I will only pay you $15 for your pig. But if there is suddenly a shortage of barbecue, I will pay you much, much more for your pig...) — I went an hour and ten minutes mainly without pause telling them about how if your house is supposed to be worth x but then suddenly it's worth x-6 and also your ARM has A'd such that your M is unaffordable, often enough you just let the bank foreclose. And then you have nothing, I said. You have zero dollars. And then it got dark and everyone wanted to look out the windows because they too had not in recent memory seen a 48-hour-period where we saw anything like this amount of rain.

Plus they want 38 degrees to go with all this on Wednesday night.

So all, all, all I can think about is the azalea robins, and how with all the rain the azalea is leaning over such that the nest is no longer pointing straight up, and they're exposed, exposed, and she had to sit the nest all night and day in 2.6" of rain, and I just want it to dry back out so that the azalea might lean back up and offer her some kind of cover from if not the elements then at least whatever predators like to snack on exposed goddamn baby robins.

Life — like the kind that animates the planet — has seemed nothing if not so very difficult to me today. Not my life, like the papers I have to grade, or even the larger decisions I have to make about, oh, The Future. I mean Life, as in A Planet That Can Support Life. Life seems exceedingly difficult to sustain, exceedingly bizarre, exceedingly improbable. These birds — these babies — it is difficult enough to believe that they are alive in the first place, much less that they might have weathered all of this these last two days. But they have. The nest is leaning way the hell out and down into the yard, but everyone's hanging on.

My supply-and-demand example involved me personally slaughtering a pig for barbecue. I'm eating chicken for dinner. I can think of nothing, though, but these infant robins, these two or perhaps — we still cannot tell — three new lives outside our bedroom window.

Record rainfall, for ANYLF, anyway. We've gone into surplus for the year. AMR reports visual confirmation of babies in the downspout nest, too.

1 comment:

Kathryn Frances Walker said...

if i could favorite entries i'd favorite this one. subprime explanations as the storm's a-coming. batten down the hatches and all. little robin redbreasts. i'm close to tears.