Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Let The Sun Kill You

It's hot. Not just hot, but humid. Yuck.

Yesterday, the swamp cooler that keeps our home comfortable broke down for a few hours. Our landlord was out there on a hot night struggling with belts and gears getting it up and running again for us. He was out there until 10:00 PM.

Intense heat is a mind-altering drug, among other things. It changes personalities. My wife has been having a very hard time with it. I have been uncomfortable, too, drinking lots of water and soaking my head as needed. Sometimes just sitting is good.

These are far from life-threatening conditions, and in a funny way a life-threatening condition is easier to focus on. Being uncomfortable, on the other hand -- that lures us straight towards hell, doesn't it?

The Buddha made a list of kinds of suffering and one of the pernicious ones is "not getting what I want." When it's hot, I want to be cool, so being hot is miserable. When I'm cold, I can't remember ever despising the heat. And so the condition yanks us around, making our sense of happiness dependent on things we can't control.

A joy that is forced to chase our desires is a rigid and unstable thing, a fleeting dream. If the sun would only burn hot enough to burn up liking and disliking, would that be happiness?

What do you do when the sun is so hot your mind evaporates?

Turn on the swamp cooler. Have a glass of water.


Kelly said...

Ah, and I thought yours was DRY heat! That humidity is a killer, isn't it?

I've always said, it's the little things that build up and drive you over the edge. Not the major events.

Ji Hyang said...

if we could only send you the true swamp cooler, the low pressure system over New England--
this is the coolest June since 1916, the second most wet in sheer number of days of precipitation
--what is the opposite of a rain dance?

Pam said...

I've been heat intolerant as long as I can remember. Not good for one who has lived most of her life in the South and Southwest.

This time of year I live in my bubble of AC. When I have to do chores outside, I try to do them very early or just before sundown.

I would give up my food and my grandsons before I would give up my AC! :)