collapse imminently, according to my husband and the many nail-biters watching the stand-off between Pres. Obama and John Boehner on the debt-ceiling vs. spending cuts. The stalemate in world views (raise the limit but with new taxes vs. spending cuts) could bring down the US credit rating, which in turn means we pay more interest immediately on what the US has already borrowed, never mind what extra credit we have to take. There goes the stock market. There goes stability, which brings more job cuts, lower housing prices, and Americans' nest eggs cracked and oozing.The financial world may
Meanwhile, horrific events in Norway have blasted the tranquility of that happy, quiet country, killing at least 92 in an Oslo blast and a heinous shooting of youngsters on the isle of Utoya. At first blamed on Muslim jihadists, (because they eagerly jumped in to grab the credit), the jaw-dropping display of human monstrosity by Anders Behring Breivik is too surreal to contemplate. Identified as an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant extremist, the perpetrator--who cannot get the death penalty since Norway has none--curiously chose to deliver his message by decimating privileged Norsk teen summer campers rather than a Muslim target.
And then there's the weather. Weather, weather, more weather. Hot enough for you?
I live where the weather's also on the newspaper's front page--because it's so unseasonably chilly. Summer gave Seattle a snarky tease on July 4th, then decided to ship out to the Midwest and east, leaving us under a gray, shivering blanket. Drizzles, jackets. I wrote to a friend in New York the other night wearing three layers of sweaters and my down coat--inside at my desk--with the space heater going full-blast.
You can't focus on the shocking realities of the political sphere, or the spectacularly awful events in Norway when physical needs intrude uncomfortably. If your air conditioner died and you're adding ice cubes to your bath, or even if you're like me, tired of wearing thermal underwear, the situation now reveals the nature of our attentions, to our own needs first, often to the exclusion of anything else. With the heat dome sealing our priorities, even a renewed deep recession, and reminders that bizarrely unpredictable events can snatch away life, crouch in the background.
Today, we experienced some warmth and a breath-taking view of Mt. Rainier, and our Sabbath guests cautiously lauded the day's beauty, unwilling to assume summer has actually arrived (the prediction is for a second nice day before more rain). But we're blessedly free of humidity, and keenly appreciative not to live in Atlantic City or Washington, DC . As one friend said, "I can always put on another sweater."