Showing posts from July, 2021


More than 300 years ago, Spinoza was excommunicated by the Amsterdam Jewish community.  I wonder if Spinoza (being on the whole a logical clear thinker) was amused by the phrasing: "Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he goes out and cursed be he when he comes in." I'm a programmer so this has always struck me as odd. Once he is cursed by day and cursed by night you have covered all the possibilities. Any one of the three curses above covers all of Spinoza's life. I suppose religion is theater (and not logic or sense) and so needs theatrical curses (not logical ones).

The first day of Summer is, happily, the start of the descent into darkness.

 June the 20th (or 21st depending on the year) is the first day of Summer. But is also the Summer solstice, or longest day of the year. Here in Northern Italy the maximum daily temperature will continue to rise till the middle of August. I prefer the cold, and dislike muchly the hot and humid Milan Summers. The Summer solstice gives me a little boost. I take comfort from knowing that from the 20th onwards the Sun will be shining less and less each day. And you notice this descent into darkness by the strangeness of the early morning light, which arrives later every morning. The light feels gentler and the air feels cooler, at least in the mornings.   And so we trick ourselves into thinking everything is going to be alright.