The weather forecast

In Ireland we love talking about the weather, especially over a Bank Holiday weekend, as if Nature should have known to provided sunshine for our few days. Sometimes it can be a way of avoiding conversations with a real connection, but it can be a way of working with something which is always changing, in a country that has four seasons in an hour.

I never read weather forecasts. As soon as I read one, tomorrow is clouded for me, even if it is sunshine that’s predicted. A part of me is making plans, or second-guessing the heavens; a part of me is saying, “I should be able to get in a second walk tomorrow, though by Sunday night it’s going to be cold again.” When it turns out different, as it often will, all my thinking is in vain. 

It isn’t that weather forecasts mess with my mind. It’s that the mind is so ready to mess with everything it touches — to make theories around it, to draw fanciful conclusions from it, to play distorting games of projection and miscalculation — that even the elements are not safe from it. It has a supreme gift, I’ve found, for complicating the simple and muddying what could and should be transparent. It can take the tiniest detail and turn it into a drama or a universe of needless speculation. Most times I dread a coming moment, the moment never comes. It’s not the world that I need to change, I see, but the mayhem that my overactive mind makes of the world.

Pico Iyer, The Folly of the Weather Forecast

 

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