Thursday, April 12, 2018
Evanston: toasted cheese; gannet's bath; weakening Stream
Today is a glorious National Toasted Cheese Sandwich Day in Evanston. Yes, as I learned from the morning news, there is such a day. I did not learn why.
The air temperature is 72ºF/22ºC. I walked down to the lake which is doing its Caribbean Sea imitation. At least in color. A beautiful turquoise. Not water temperature. Currently 42ºF/5.5ºF.
I miss the epic.
My life is enviably pleasant. I live in comfort. I don’t have to do much, if anything, I don’t want to. But pleasant is not enough. So I have been listening to Bach and just completed reading Seamus Heaney’s excellent translation of BEOWULF.
Beowulf is certainly epic, sailing from what is now southern Sweden across what is now the Kattegat to what is now Denmark to kill the monster Grendel by ripping off its arm in hand to hand combat, then Grendel’s mother in a battle underwater, and finally fifty years later, more or less at my age, losing his life while slaying a dragon.
Seamus is a fine poet. I enjoy his language and particularly his calling the broad sea “the gannet’s bath.”
An article in today’s GUARDIAN cites recent studies that indicate the Gulf Stream is at its weakest in 1,600 years. That’s roughly the time of the fall of Rome.
A weakening Gulf Stream will make some places such as Iceland and northern Europe colder.
Warmer water temperatures along the eastern coast of the United States will make hurricanes stronger and perhaps more frequent.
I have claimed never to have taken an uncalculated risk, but this one may be incalculable.