Jan. 7th, 2016

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Currently at Havelock: -6.1. High today: 4. (Havelock's the closest Weather Underground station that looks like it probably has good records right now. This is going to change from time to time ... sometimes that one's down and the closest one is near Campbellford. One of these years I might just have to spring for a WU-certified station of my own.)

At 10 p.m. tonight it was 20.9 degrees warmer in Bancroft than at the same time on the same date last year. The night of January 7 was the first time last winter it broke -30 at the cottage. The EC records indicate it broke -30 sometime between 9 and 10 p.m.; I remember updating the Weather Network readings for Coe Hill with increasing alarm as the temperature kept falling and falling and falling way past the forecast low (as would happen again and again for the next couple of months) to -30 sometime around 10 or 11. I went outside--maybe to look at the comet, maybe just to be in the cold and feel it and listen to it--and the screen door slammed on my fingers because the cold had shortened something somewhere so that the door didn't close in its usual two-pulse way but just slammed straight shut. (It has already broken -30 at Bancroft this year, on the morning of January 5, when it was colder at Bancroft than at Alert, Nunavut, and Algonquin was probably the coldest weather station in Canada.)

A couple of days ago I cut another big bowl of chard from the former dock garden, the cold-tolerant and regenerating parts of which--well, that just amounts to chard and kale, actually, although there are also carrots and beets still sitting in their pots, waiting for me to do something with them--now constitute the basement garden. (Whenever anyone asks whether this house has a basement, you have to ask what they mean by "basement". If you mean a part of a house the floor of which is a concrete slab below which there is the ground, then yes. If you mean a part of a house largely below the top of the ground, then no.)

There's this circle I go around in again and again where I want to say something concerning the question whether or not I should say anything. I keep wanting to utter some propositions concerning the undesirability of uttering propositions. I keep thinking of half-joking that I'm thinking of giving up propositions for Lent. Two things that have independently bothered me for a long time are conversations which consist of disagreeing and conversations which consist of agreeing. The other day I was conversing with myself and finally thought that these two things are consequences of conversing in propositions: you can either agree with a proposition or disagree with it. Or you can suspend judgment as to whether you agree or disagree, but suspension of judgment is still an attitude toward the binary of agreement and disagreement. (Or you can agree weakly or disagree weakly, but still.... It might seem you can agree in one way but not in another (or agree partly and disagree partly), but then you are not addressing a proposition but addressing the fact that different propositions are or may be contained in or implied by an utterance (because a proposition is by definition something that is either true or false, because what it proposes is that something is just thus and so).) And then I keep feeling like it's all pretty much beside the point, of it all, of it, which is not expressible by propositions, because it is the thinging of things and not a thing. Well. I dunno. I've been taken for a long time with Sam's, Mallin-Ponty's, idea that the cognitive, the propositional, is one way for it to come through, just an overbearing and self-obscuring way. I don't know. It can definitely be a help. Look at that. What? Look at that bird! That's a bird. That's a heron. That's a great blue heron. That great blue heron will go when the ice comes, but maybe not until the last of the ice comes. That. Now look. (And now say ... it!) Well. Zarathustra says--and maybe it's not quite the same, maybe Nietzsche hasn't got it, I don't know, you can't ever really know--that life and wisdom have the same little golden fishing rod. Fishing for each other. One casts things, the other casts thoughts and words.)

I have also been thinking of saying that it has struck me that people who love each other should never be mad at each other. It has also struck me that this could be the beginning of a Platonic dialogue ... in which Socrates would inevitably persuade everyone that no one should ever be mad at anyone, because to be mad is to wish to do harm, and doing harm is always bad. (I have also been thinking of saying, imagine if we all really believed, like Socrates convinces everyone--but who can really believe it?--that it's better to be the one who is wronged than the one who does wrong, because wrong-doing damages the soul of the wrong-doer. (Although this will quickly eat its own tail: to be wronged is to be harmed and there is no real harm except harm to the soul. Maybe you can sort out the slippery equivocations and maybe you can't, which is probably the overarching point.) How bloody conveniently comforting for the wrong-doer, eh? Except that the wrong-doer is only in need of comfort if it's true. Or ... something like that.) I dunno, I been pretty mad a lot of the time for a while, which makes me sad. Being mad is really, really stupid. (Mostly? Entirely? I dunno. I have a hard time believing in righteous indignation.) I have also been thinking of saying that it has struck me that being mad is always really being mad at yourself, which may or may not really be true, but it sure seems true of me an awful lot.
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