File rollover report

You’re probably wondering how things are going with the file rollover.  Well, pretty good, I’d say.  The file box is stashed back in the storage closet.  Fresh new hanging folders are ready for this year’s files. And my writing table is clear again. There is still a small basket of hard-to-classify papers awaiting future action.  But, all in all, I’d say the paper file rollover is a success.

As expected, going through the files brought back memories.  Some made me smile, and some made me melancholy.

I haven’t started yet on the digital file rollover.  You wouldn’t think so, but for some reason, that’s always harder.  I’ll let you know.

Intelligence man

What was Andrew McCabe thinking?  He went on CBS “60 Minutes” and said that when he was acting FBI director he discussed with the deputy attorney general the option of removing Trump from office.  Did he think there wouldn’t be consequences?

He did know it’s not a felony to say ‘no comment’ to a newscaster, didn’t he?  Does he think just because he’s been fired nothing matters any more?  He says he wanted to protect the Mueller investigation.  I have a really hard time understanding how his interview did that.

I understand why he wondered if Trump should be removed from office.  Many people do.  But when you’re a high government official, that’s something you reveal when the danger is over, not when the suspect is still holding the detonator.

Spring comes early. Be afraid.

What a beautiful day!  It’s a day when everything seems possible.  We are now about one month before the spring equinox, but spring came early.  And that’s frightening.

I woke up at 5, dropped the top on the red roadster, and zipped down to the 24 Diner.  It’s a favorite breakfast spot.  I unfolded the Timesand read while I ate. When I was walking the Town Lake Trail every Sunday, I ate breakfast at the Diner every Sunday.  That was when I was writing Benchmarks (Year of Sundays).  I finished my coffee and left the Diner.

I reached the trail in the predawn light.  I started walking west, and made it to Lou Neff Point just at the critical moment. There were already a couple of sunrise lovers there before me.  I watched as the golden torch rose, sent bright rays careening through downtown towers, smeared syrupy light down the lake, and spread color across the sky. Inspiring.

I kept walking west.  On the Crenshaw Bridge I did a little more sungazing, then crossed to the north side and headed east.  There was a marathon going on.  Good for them.  I saw an old friend.  (Why didn’t I take a picture?)  The air warmed up, and I took off my jacket.  At the Pfluger Bridge I walked up to the street and the red roadster.

At home, I opened the blinds and opened the windows.  Let the spring day in!  Then, I clicked up Dvorák’s New World Symphonyand pushed the slider to loud.  I have a lot to do today, and Dvorák always cranks up my energy.

I looked at the Timesfor another minute.  The lead story in Sunday Review is “Time to Panic.”  Subhead is “The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways.  And fear may be the only thing that saves us.” Well, finally, someone said it.

Time to panic!  That deserves an exclamation point.  We’re barreling downhill toward a cliff, picking up speed every minute. Hit the damn brakes!

Most of us know the threat.  The planet is heating up at an alarming rate.  Extremes of weather are rampaging around the world, leaving paths of death and destruction.  The polar ice caps are melting.  Sea level is rising.

Most of us know the cause.  Our production of greenhouse gases is trapping heat that should be escaping into space.

But most of us can’t focus on the enormity of it. The threat has now become immediate. We’re already past the point of no return, if you were thinking of that world that the boomers were born into. We’re past the point of no return if you were thinking of that world that the gen exers were born into.  We’re about to lose forever the world we’re in now.

“The collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon,” David Attenborough said.  Think about that.  What world are we heading for?  Maybe the one of the Permian, about 250 million years ago.  And do you think 7.7 billion people can survive in that world?  No.

Is this the time for everyone to become a survivalist?  Hardly. Is it the time for everyone to become a conservationist?  Well, sure. But personal conservation is not going to turn this around.

We must hammer our governments into tools to fight climate change.  This is the time for governments around the world to take dramatic action.  This is the time for individuals and societies to be afraid of the real disaster looming, to panic, to demand action.

Well, the symphony has finished, and this early spring day is balmy.  I have other things to do.  Enjoy the day, but don’t forget to be afraid.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Metamemories rollover

This is the time of year for rolling over the files.  It’s a little late in the season, but I’m working on it.  I’m doing it at the office, and I’m doing it at home.

Paper files stack up in piles waiting to fit into boxes, and electronic files sit on internal hard drives  waiting to be transferred to external hard drives.  And then there are the websites.

My writing table at home is cluttered with file folders, file baskets, and file boxes.  All that has to be cleared away, so that I can work at the table again.

Once I lived in a house with an attic, which seemed like a cavern into which unlimited fileboxes could be loaded.  Now I live in an apartment with a storage closet.  For every new box that goes in, an old box has to come out.

It took a couple of years just to whittle the files down from a huge mass filling the living room to a medium-sized mass filling the storage closet.  Now the whittling is getting harder.  I have a sheet with guidelines on how long to keep files—tax files, bank files and so on.  But at my law office, I have seen cases turn on whether a client could find a document from 20 years ago.

My most important files are not even on the sheet of guidelines.  These are my pictures, letters, manuscripts, and ephemera from the many organizations that I have been a part of, many events I have attended, and many causes I have supported.  I can’t get rid of those.

I’ve been rolling over my websites, too.  This is involuntary, due to yet another break in the line of software I use to create the websites.  The craveylaw.com website is fairly far along in the process.  The robincravey.com website is currently reduced to a single page.  I noticed that taking down that site knocked the supports out from under a lot of the information that formerly came up in an online search of my name.  The tiltedplanetpress.com site is still static, without an update in over a year, just waiting.  I’m getting there.

Creation of this blog site has been something of an admission of defeat, but also a break for daylight.  I had to get something going while all the main sites were rebuilt.  (Why?  Do you have to ask?)  But it is also very liberating to just write something, select a picture, and post it.  Well, there’s  the editing and rewriting.  (Oh, you rewrite?  Yes.)

Once I delighted in page layout.  I stood for hours at slanted layout tables and glowing light tables.  Moving layout to the computer turned it into a sitdown activity.  Assembling carefully cut pieces of paper was reduced to pushing images around a screen.  It’s more powerful, sure.  More efficient, probably.  Electrons don’t grow on trees.

Going through old files, real or virtual, brings back memories of course.  Evaluate the memories.  Which ones are worth saving?

Mammoth Symmetry

Mammoth Symmetry

Mammoth dome began
in deep earth convection
heaving, surging, not emerging
swollen, hardened, buried forever—
not forever.  Patient ancient elements
wore away the over burden, revealed
stone dome in convex symmetry.  Up top I stand
surveying loved landscapes, hearing urgent wind.
Now— Let me shed my overburden.
Let me emerge in symmetry.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mindfulness

Some time before dawn this morning, I lay in bed thinking about the meaning of mindfulness.  When I say I was thinking about it, I mean that the word came to mind, and with it came a variety of meanings, each one with a trail of thoughts behind it.

The word mindfulness came to mind, because it is the term I sometimes use for what I was doing at that time.  I was observing the flow of thoughts, feelings, and impressions through my mind.

I do this fairly often, usually in the early morning, and generally, I enjoy it.

At root, mindful is a simple word that means aware.  However, as befits a word about the mind, it has been invested with many subtle meanings.  It has been argued about.  No, really.

The mind is an intimate and subjective experience.  When we talk about it, we’re going to have differences, even misunderstandings.

For me, the mind is an everflowing fountain of wonders, ideas, impressions, memories.  For much of my waking life, I discipline the mind to serve a purpose.  I organize it to solve problems, direct actions, receive information, or communicate.  During those times, I ignore, more or less, the everflowing fountain.

But in those night hours between the time I wake up and the time I rise to begin the day, I let the fountain flow, and I observe.  I enjoy it.  Sometimes the fountain gushes with such force that I’m driven to pen and paper.  That’s good, too.

Is that mindfulness?  That’s what I call it.

Reading ahead

I’ve been looking for a good novel to read.  So, each week I go through the New York Times Book Review, looking at each review.  It’s hard to find something I want to read.

Oh, sure, I find things I want to read, but they’re not novels.  They’re histories, biographies, books like that.  This week, the Times reviewed Aristotle’s Way by Edith Hall.  It’s a reconsideration of Aristle’s works as self-help works.  Of course.  So, I pulled my copy of Aristotle out of the bookshelf and thumbed through it.  Should I?

I don’t know why, but I really am determined to read some fiction.  I have a collection of fiction that I have collected over the years, and I reread various books from it from time to time.  You’re curious, aren’t you?  I’ll give you my all-time list some other time.

And maybe that’s what I’m looking for, a novel, or preferably, a series of novels, that I can add to my all-time list.

So, what fiction is the Times reviewing this week?

There’s Hark, which is called a skewering of contemporary culture.  That sounds promising.  But, then we learn that the main character is a schmuck.  Sorry, not interested.

Next we come to An Orchestra of Minorities, which is the story of a man’s epic quest to prove he is worthy of the woman he loves.  Well, yes.  Inspiring.  But, it turns out that despite his efforts, he just isn’t worthy.  Hmmm.

Paging forward, we find Adele, a novel about a classy French woman who becomes addicted to sex.  I’m wary but curious.  Several warning flags go up, but then comes the dealbreaker.  The writing is not so good.  Spare me.

There’s You Know You Want This, which is a collection of dark stories.  I’m not attracted to “dark”, but at least the investment is small.  I might read a story.

At last, there’s The Falconer, which is a story about basketball and love at an elite school.  Run away.

Wait, here’s a list of historical fiction.  Does that count?