Philosophers in the rain

Well I was really geeking out with all the pre-launch coverage on NASA’s livestream when they scrubbed the launch due to weather at about T-minus 18 minutes.

I’d been texting E & K, each independently assuring me they’d see to it I get to check attending a launch off my bucket list someday. That’s generous of them. I prefer to go while I’m still alive, and hope to live long enough to actually go for the ride. Joining Scotty (James Doohan) and Timothy Leary in orbit would be a nice fallback (though no cheaper any time soon, probably).

Can I get to Cape Kennedy before Saturday’s re-launch? Better not, that’s our anniversary.

So that was disappointing, but also an opportunity to practice my stoic chops and transition from disappointment to expectation. What can you do about the weather but accept it?


Guess there’s more to the philosophy of weather — and more to climate than weather — than stoic acceptance (which need not collapse wistfully in resignation). I’m kind of a skeptic and cynic, but not this kind. Sometimes I’m an epicurean. I’m almost always a peripatetic. I have a stick to notch. So the eclectic philosophy makes sense. Taking the long view takes us well beyond the morning forecast.

“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.” Walden

We ambulatory peripatetics, unlike astronauts, tend to be pretty defiant of inclement weather. We can “toe that line” because crossing it is rarely catastrophic, our source of locomotion is not explosively combustible. Our defiance (of weather) is rarely life-endangering.

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” I always credit Mr. Twain with that witticism but apparently it was Mr. Warner who said it. Whatever. The implied advice, as William James Buffet said, is to take the weather with you and “sing like a bird released.” Sing in the rain. Or think. Or just be.

Point is, we can’t control externals but we can surely push ourselves to get up and out and do what needs to be done. We need to explore our world, close in and as far out as we can push. We’re wonderers and wanderers who’ve already walked far, undeterred by a few droplets.

via Blogger

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