Global Warming and the Poetics of Experience; or WHINGE is my Factory Setting.

robert-smith

First, a personal whinge: In the months leading to my move to Sweden, I followed the local weather pretty closely in order to get a baseline. It seems that they had a late start on winter, but when the snow did arrive, it kept coming. All the way to April. As the months before my departure became weeks and days, I became far more concerned with what still needed be done in Toledo. And by the time I got on the plane, I had no specific idea about what kind of ground conditions to expect when I landed. But I had heard that things stayed pretty wet and cool until July, so I happily packed my rain jacket into my backpack with a near certainty that I’d have to pull it out as soon as I stepped out of baggage claim.

When I say “I happily packed my rain jacket,” I mean just that. I was happy. Not just that I’d be prepared, but because I like cool, dreary days. I always have. Mind you, I don’t walk around with black eyeliner and I’m not at all displeased that Friday I’m in Love is only Cure song most people know. And yes, there is a point of diminishing returns if it stays dreary for too long. But I generally like my days in grey tone.

For one, the heat is not a good look for me. I sweat a lot. And excessive sweat does ugly things to curly hair and a ruddy complexion. Ugly things. Imagine Dylan Thomas in a sauna. Or don’t.

For another, the sun has always seemed to me a sort of luciferian figure. Yes it illuminates the world for us; but when you actually walk around in the sunshine, your head is forever bowed. When it’s too bright, the ground in front of you is all there really is to look at. But on a grey day, light is less homogeneous. It breaks for the turn of a single leaf and the whole cityscape alike. The world is less illuminated, but the things in it are more vibrant.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The castle down the street (personal update)

se

It’s been about five months since the last entry. There are a few reasons for this, first and foremost being that we have recently relocated to Örebro, Sweden, where I’ve taken up a post as Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric (Örebro Universitet). That meant working through a heavy spring semester at Lourdes, making all of the arrangements for an overseas move, and learning Swedish as quickly as I possibly could (still a work in progress). The wheels left the ground three days after final grades were due.

I’m super stoked about being here; however, I started work pretty much as soon as we arrived a few weeks ago, so I am looking forward to being able to catch my breath. Despite the intensity of the past couple of months, the move does mean (fingers crossed) that I’ll get a bit more time and resources for research in the coming months and years. Also, Sweden.

Continue reading