An uneasy grey day like a hangover from yesterday’s sunshine. I went for an ugly run, stopping every few miles to ring the sweat from my shirt. Running is one of the few concrete things I can do to prepare for apocalyptic times. Lately I’ve been running to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Maybe it’s the retro-tragic drumbeat. I thought about my writing and the courses I’m teaching this summer while I ground out my clumsy miles. I puzzled out the best way to approach an upcoming project that needs to offer hope while acknowledging grief.

When I flipped on the news around midnight, my concerns about running, writing, teaching, and everything else felt stupidly indulgent. The police murdered a man in Minneapolis the other day. They knelt on his neck while he cried that he could not breathe. One cop knelt while three officers watched, ignoring the bystanders pleading to let the man breathe. The cop knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds, all of it captured on shaky cellphone video.

Uprisings are spreading across the country tonight. Louisville. Phoenix. Memphis. Protestors seized a police station in Minneapolis and launched fireworks. Reporters stood in front of burning buildings, a gleam in their eyes. Meanwhile, our president dashed off messages quoting racists from yesteryear: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This will be an ugly summer.

Simon & Garfunkel – A Hazy Shade of Winter

Bookends | Columbia, 1966 | More