February 1, 2017 (Wednesday)

by Yule Heibel on January 31, 2018

And now it’s February, and now there’s snow on the ground. The sky overhangs it all dome-shaped – so I intuit. It’s not a “dome” you can see, as everywhere it’s an even mantled gray, apparently thick with the potential of more snow. Or rain? But there are subtle and low frequency gradations in its hue, in the saturation of the gray as well, slight changes which add up to a suggestion of curvature. A calculus of comfort (“I am here”), a calculus of change (“I don’t stay [the same]”). I come and go.

Headed over to [neighbor’s] to figure out the snow thrower yesterday. We managed it, but it’s not my favorite thing: terribly useful if there’s a foot of snow on the ground, but this morning there appears to be just one inch. Big deal.

I was thinking of Matt Stoller’s pinned tweet, a history of how the Democrats lost their way (“How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul“). It occurs to me that people like me, even though we might fall into that boomer age group Stoller identifies as having fucked things up, don’t fit into the narrative because we’re European immigrants who brought other baggage with us than the children of the relatively secure middle class in the US. I had an inkling, briefly, the other day what a secure middle class would have felt like in the early 60s when I remembered-imagined being in the homes, the aspirational environments, of my married sisters and their in-laws (who were much more normal than my gypsy nomadic parents). And it felt stifling, somehow. My uncle R., too: that sort of “tracked” life, predictable (except, not, as his son J. was murdered by one of his patients), boring. All my growing up life, I had to deal with the “Hippie Hitler Youth” of parenting, where campaigns never ended, always on the move, building the next campsite, the next fort, the next outpost. It’s no wonder that, at 17, I broke down in tears in Klagenfurt, overwhelmed by all that bourgeois Austrian stability, so foreign to the craziness of my young life. Like a rolling stone, with no direction home… How can a nice bourgeois boy write songs about rolling stones?

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