Overlords

Friday the 13th and a full moon, what I understand is called a “strawberry moon”, because of its occurrence at a time in North America when strawberries are normally harvested. I stayed awake last night and sat outdoors in my sweatshirt and long pants beside my small propane-powered fireplace to watch the silver orb lift out of the forest across the road from me. By the time it reaches high enough to be visible from where I sit, it has lost some of its low-horizon bloat. Fog had also begun to creep into the forest and further helped make a blurry version of the spectacle.

The fog this week on the central coast must be good for June-bearing strawberries, which grow abundantly in the south county. At a time when they are ripe and juicy they can be so easily blistered by a hot sun, but the fog gently blankets them as the laborers stoop and crawl along extensive rows to bring them to harvest. Two days ago the fog did not lift anywhere over the Monterey Bay, and on another couple of days did not make much of a strong appearance either.

This morning I see sun overhead, although thin patches of a retreating marine layer are etched into the redwood forest. I would not be surprised if the blue holes overhead become quickly sealed up. I would enjoy a day of full bright sun to make up for what has been noticeably missing these past few days.

I finished reading Arthur C. Clarke’s famous novel “Childhood’s End” just yesterday. I read it once during my college years and had not thought to read it again until I had read in someone else’s journal that it was their favorite novel. That comment piqued my interest enough to see how much differently the story might effect me all these years later. It is still an engaging read to me, and I suppose if I could recall my first impressions I would find new ways in which it may have struck me this time around.

I looked within the story line for modern application. The visitors to Earth from outer space, the Overlords, to look for an analog in our current culture, remind me of the band of multi-national corporations that seek to rule the world. The Overlords at least purported to have an altruistic mission in mind during their long presence, whereas the modern corporate mission seems to be nothing much more than simple power and greed.

The end of all childhood that occurs in Clarke’s novel resembled, to my way of thinking, a modern, corporatized version of the slaughter of the innocents. I understand that it is not uncommon for the young today to grow up with very little interaction with nature and the great outdoors, but rather to spend their years of maturing while plugged into the electronic universe. To do otherwise is considered rather Neanderthalish.

The novel was a fairly quick read. I had bought a used paperback edition from the big online bookstore, and the previous reader had marked up much of it with a bright pink marker. There were many comments like, “Wow, this is creepy”, and “I wonder what will happen next?” So I had to spend some of my reading time seeing the story through the eyes of another reader. I would like to have penned in my own comments in an overlay and sent it back to the original reader to tell him or her to read with a more critical eye, but the way the used book system works, comments can only move forward, all dialog suspended.

Now I have to sort through my Kindle archives and disorganized book shelves to see what else I should read. Perhaps something epic might bring out the sun, but if not then a volume of poetry might complement the alternating mix of gray and light.

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