Thursday, 19 May 2011

Flying Ant Day

In the light of various things that have been discussed on this blog in recent times, I refer you to this piece, The Importance of Unwritten Postcards, published two days ago by Steve Himmer, and which I read this morning via wood s lot. Not to mention the piece by Jennifer Egan he refers to, published in the Guardian on May 7th. It is sometimes amusing, sometimes scary, to see how the same issues occur to different people at much the same time.

I have stopped asking myself questions like, "What are the chances of my post connecting teenage backpacking with panic attacks being followed, the next day, by a piece in a national newspaper doing precisely the same thing?" This is not about chance, or coincidence. It's like that day in the summer, when all the flying ants emerge all over town, responding to some instinctive timetable or arcane combination of signals. I always note it down in my notebook as "Flying Ant Day", and always forget to check when it happened in previous years.

Despite appearances, despite the way it feels, we are not outside looking in (or inside looking out): we are all deeply and inextricably a part of the same processes. I'm put in mind of one of my favourite quotations from philosopher-photographer Frederick Sommer:

Some speak of a return to nature. One wonders where they could have been.


Tony_C said...

"I always note it down in my notebook as "Flying Ant Day", and always forget to check when it happened in previous years"

Is there a phenologist in the house?

[Checkword: commerse - I think that probably IS a word already, isn't it?]

Mike C. said...

In the few notebooks I have to hand it seems like it can be anywhere from June to August, generally a hot, muggy day with little wind. I'm surprised to see "Flying Ant Day" is an established term -- I thought I'd made it up.

Sounds like a word, but I don't think it is, unless there's a similar verb/noun pair like "practise/practice"... Time you started a checkword checking blog, Tony -- I don't think anyone has thought of doing that (though, like Flying Ant Day, I'm probably wrong).


Tony_C said...

Ok. What's the salary?

[Checkword: mingons]

Mike C. said...

Salary?? You mean, as in "only a fool writes for anything other than money"? I take your point (your profession being "writer", and all).


Tony_C said...

Perhaps more, "Only a fool writes what someone else wants him to, except for money." Or summink.

Checkword: aftonar - pirate jargon for "at the back of the boat".