Jeremy Felt

Thoughts for the week's end

Once a week, on no particular day, I’ll manually navigate to the latest Books that made me piece at The Guardian. I’m a sucker for others’ perspectives on books.

Sometimes this happens in a browser. Other times through the app. I have no bookmark or reminder. I tap, click, and scroll through the various screens that get me there.

I can’t think of another habit like this that I consistently remember to do weekly without any kind of prompt or set schedule.

The late-in-the-year view of Orion from our front yard in Pullman can be pretty astounding. It is definitely the clearest of constellations in a sky that suffers from only a small amount of light pollution—nowhere near as much as a large city.

It’s been fun seeing what appears to be an almost annual round of articles covering Betelgeuse, one of the stars of Orion and one of the sky’s brightest, and its eventual transition to supernova.

How cool would it be if that were to actually happen in our lifetime? I know I would quickly become a telescope owner.

Sometimes there are a couple pages in a book that are so good you just want to hang out there for a while.

It’s fun to save some habits in taste for later in life. Only in the last year have I really started to seek out espresso drinks with milk in them and just this month started making them at home. Now, especially when traveling, I’ll look for places with an excellent machiatto or flat white rather than a standard doppio.

Straight espresso still provides the best flavor IMO, but there’s a fun complexity—and a few extra calories to maybe avoid the jitters?—with milk.

One memorable part of Moby-Dick is when Ishmael takes a turn at a masthead and talks about dozing on watch. Emphasis mine:

But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever.

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

A vortex, though not really Descartian, is also covered in Natalia Ginzburg’s Lessico famigliare, when she discusses the suicide of her friend, Italian author Cesare Pavese:

As soon as the war was over, we were immediately afraid that another war would start and we thought about it obsessively. He was more afraid than any of the rest of us, however, of another war. For him, fear was the vortex of the unknown and the unexpected, and horrendous to his clear thinking: dark poisoned waters swirling against the barren shores of his life.

Natalia Ginzburg, Lessico famigliare

Happy week’s end! 🐳

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