Thursday, July 28, 2016

Five Tricks to Survive the Inferno

by Meg Sonata

While the heat wave of 2016 is setting records, consider these five ways to outwit Nature's fury. Consider also that Nature is a Mother of one sort or another. She comes with lakes and blue skies as well as deserts and tornadoes. So, while you are reading Dante's Inferno, on this perfect occasion, keep in mind that Dante could see the universe as a whole, and it is dimes to donuts that Mother Nature functions that way, too. Dante did not stop with the Inferno. He wrote the Purgatorio and Paradiso to complete his vision of the Divine Comedy, so those are next after we climb out of this swamp of sweat and fire.

First, if you experience dizziness, this symptom may result from excessive exposure to political party conventions. Don't worry. It's dimes to donuts, too, that their participants have never heard of Dante's Inferno, or Virgil, who would have reminded those inebriated in sweat not to dive to conclusions. Keep in mind that Christian thinkers have promised for centuries that "this too shall pass." History texts verify that this promise is valid. If there is the slightest chance, however, that your dizziness results from heat exhaustion, then remember to EAT. Your body may lie to you, and claim it just can't swallow a single bite during this heat wave. Offer your body donuts for breakfast or cherry pie. Swallow those down with your favorite beverage, and stay hydrated. Then, see if dizziness retreats. If it hangs around, check with your doctor to see if s/he is reading Dante's Inferno, too.

Second, get the jump on the fire swamp by rising early. Walk your family pet as far as both of you can stagger. Take photos if you need to, in order to record this landscape as still green and breathing. Later, your eyes may trick you into believing that humidity has conquered all. Allergies may also produce tears which convince you that you are crying, but that's just your body lying to you again. If you are going to reach TOMORROW, you can't believe liars, no matter how cute or familiar they are. Remember where Dante puts liars: in the Inferno. Instead, it is your task to get to Dante's Purgatorio, where suffering at least accomplishes something, and at last to reach the Paradiso, where suffering disappears.

Third, jump into that car, and take it for a spin as early as possible. Schedule all your errands as early as possible. Open those car windows, and let that cool breeze whip away those tears and sweat. Make your purchases at stores where the exhausted proprietors are open and ready for business before the day's Inferno begins. Share your misery with them, too. You may be surprised to discover that, as ever, we are in this weather debacle together. That's not just a political slogan, to meke rioters 
jump and cheer. It's actually a truth of human experience. If you can comfort a single soul in misery, you may forget that your dog had to wake you from a wicked torpor which seemed endless. Mother Nature's call means more than finding a convenient tree or fire hydrant--and that creature hears it.

Fourth and fifth, turn off that TV, and recall a time when people walked everywhere they went--or chose an animal for their means of transportation. Dante fears the great beasts which live in the forest because he was a city man. So, he never knew the pleasure of your favorite hound or beast of burden accompanying you on life's journey. So, even for Dante, there was always more to learn. His Divine Comedy
challenges us to see more than tragedy everywhere we look.That dog by your side will keep you exercising, come hell, high water, and warnings from physicians to slow down during the heat wave, but keep exercising on your schedule, in order to complete your trek to the Paradiso  Only in the Paradiso do heat waves of every kind surrender 
to the inspiring light of truth everlasting.

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