(Finding Form Amidst) Stygian Amorphousness

A dismal little ride, for the sake of it, on sodden roads past saturated fields, on a route partly determined by which roads aren’t impassable.

Doing it means I’ve done 4,400 miles this year – the same as last year. That means I’ve met what’s been a moving target. I started out aiming for 4,500 but cut it to 4,250 in the light of the miserable start to the year and subsequent soggy summer.

I upped it to 4,400 towards the end of November when I was thinking I should easily meet it. Then December’s rain happened – and continues to happen. Add to that a couple of bouts – one still continuing – of feeling quite lousy with throat/sinus problems, and hey presto! All bets are off and plans are awry. As it is, I have now just scraped in.

There are lessons to be learned. There’s the obvious one: human plans are feeble. That’s not a revelation. A more interesting one is what we should learn about living with climate change.

As local climates get ever more unpredictable, given how much of what we want to do is governed by the weather to some extent, we probably ought to be adopting a much more proactive ‘make the most of it’ culture, in all spheres. If March turns out to be hot and sunny again, then we should all be geared to grabbing that opportunity and making up for it later. If August is wet then let’s not bother with taking the main school holidays then. And so on.

It would need a vastly more flexible and cooperative attitude across the board – the public sector, the workplace and so on – and, of course, it won’t happen. It’s very easy to imagine to cries of “It’s too difficult”; “it would be impossible to organize”; “it would harm profitability” … etc.

And yes, I’m not a fool and I know it wouldn’t be a simple thing to adopt a different approach to how we’re organized. But, if the will was there, ways to make it work could be found. A lot would come down to the question of whether we live to work or work to live. We are by-and-large organized around the former principle when, arguably, we should be guided by the latter.

As for meeting the 4,400 mile target – I’m all too aware that means precisely nothing in any significant scheme of things. But if you’re going to set a target, to then not take it seriously would be akin to cheating whilst playing a game of patience.

As for the act of setting targets / the need to set targets – ‘fumbling for form amidst Stygian amorphousness’ perhaps sums it up. Something like that.