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Saturday essay: Days of indolence

| Friday, July 15, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

The dog days of summer are upon us — the days of lethargy, inactivity or indolence, as one lexicographer once put it. And who among us does not want to resemble that remark this time of year?

Who among us does not want to turn on some sweet jazz, low and slow, on a dog day morning and greet the new day? It's a day that begins so full of promise but, once the heat sets in, becomes a day in which promises can be deferred without penalty.

Who among us would relenquish the sheer joy of conscripting the chaise lounge on a dog day afternoon with the refrains of a Pirates' game on the radio? Only the crack of the bat and the rising Greg Brown call might stir us, “might” being the operative word.

And who among us would retreat from a dog day night, still stifling as the sun sets in a furnace blaze of orange and red, soothed by the salve of rich blues playing at just the right volume on a cheap CD player on the front porch as the ceiling fan, on high and its blades out of balance, airs its grievances in syncopation with the squeaky glider?

The dog days will wane soon enough; around Aug. 11, by one loose standard. The pace of life will quicken again; the horns and drums of practicing high school bands will compete with a few noisy cicadas. And our indolences then will be less and less tolerated; our deferences of promises no longer abided.

But, oh, how sweet that the dog days last as long as they do.

— Colin McNickle

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