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Enjoying the gift of nothing, for a few moments in July: Neil Macdonald

2 20 139

July is the best month. I spent some of it in Italy this year, with nothing to do but sit with my e-reader under a tree, shaded from the Mediterranean heat. (I hate paper books, I've decided in retrospect. They're awkward, and hard to read when you're lying on your side in bed, and they sit around like lumps for years after you've finished them, taking up space and disintegrating and making dust. I finally stopped pretending I'll ever read mine again, and threw most of them away).

In July, you can enjoy nothing. By which I mean nothing is a thing to enjoy. I can't help wondering whether retirement is going to be a bore, or seem like one long July.

In July, you have time to realize how it feels even more quiet when cicadas are filling the background with their uproar. If that sounds precious, maybe it is, but it seemed remarkable when I noticed it.

You don't need a sweater on a July night. Or even shoes. Food tastes better. You understand human beings were meant to live in warm climates.

You also realize in July how much of the conventional news stream is irrelevant nonsense, or trash for voyeurs: pornographie de sentiments, to quote an Italian friend with whom I can only communicate in French.

She was talking about Facebook (which, like Twitter, I've decided is a time suck and have abandoned), but her point does apply more broadly, given the........