After the flood

What a week.  First the extreme temperatures.  Friday at 5 p.m., when I was on my way to my third class of the day, the temperature was still 94 degrees.  Then it stormed. My students wanted to know how to pronounce “lightning”. More loud storms throughout the night, then around 5 a.m. my fan slowed down so much it nearly stopped, and I knew the Chicago electrical grid was not holding its own.  Fortunately I am not one of those without power today, although the streetlight on my block was a casualty. This morning, traffic was at a standstill, as the cars from the Dan Ryan (once voted one of the ten worst highways in the nation) were routed off the expressway and onto side streets–going the opposite direction!–to avoid flooded areas. Only one of my students made it into class this morning–but not until after the break.

After all of that, I need a nice cold margarita.

And a poem:

FRAGMENT OF BAROQUE by Leonard Cohen from Let Us Compare Mythologies

Schloss-Monbijou before the war…

in a Baroque castle

among genii, angels, stucco and tin,

she sat before a harpsichord,

beside a candelabra

in a dim room

playing the Couperin

of heavy carpets and roses

carved in wooden tables,

while the men and women

clinging sadly to a myth

sipped brandy

listened to the mass

of needlework tone

and thought

of white lace and silk fans

soaking in river foam.

Quiet days for some,

measured by the subtle ring of crystal

and nods of ivory heads;

days of listening

of women’s tongues tasting,

of harpsichords treasured

by Prussian queens.

[image: Vermeer’s Lacemaker]

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