Holiday Monday

Today is a day of double distinction.  For one, it is April 1st. So there’s all the hype surrounding April Fool’s Day and the time after which you can no longer pull a prank. And today is also Monday. More specifically it is a holiday Monday or what in this instance is popularly celebrated as Easter Monday.

It always unfolds on a holiday Monday that I end making an inquiry into traffic. How many? How hurried? How early? Today was a good day for motoring, clear blue sky, dry pavement, passably warm (I had the windows and landau roof open). And curiously the pleasantness was somewhat unexpected. Having driven yesterday on Easter Sunday, I remarked to myself today that the traffic then seemed busier than today at the same period. This intelligence amounts to nothing except that it stimulates me to wonder why Easter Sunday was busier than Easter Monday? Was it because on Easter Sunday there were more visits from relatives and friends? Was it church attendance? Were people hungover from the Sunday festive board on Easter Monday? Does it require a minimum of two days (Sunday and Monday) to quell life’s normal angst? What is the level of participation by young people in religious organization?

Any one of these strands quite justifiably might have had an affect upon my vehicular inquiry. The greater amusement naturally is why any of this matters in the least? And of course it doesn’t matter in the least. It may merely signal the immediacy of thinking among the elderly that I rambled tiresomely about what makes the world turn. And dwelling at length upon traffic is perhaps less than complimentary. Though frankly I know of no other indicia of comparable universality. Not to mention that automotive knowledge and experience are at the heart of the modern world. I am fully aware of the depth of influence of modern vehicles, from Ford F150 to the Cadillac Lyriq (and whatever their historic counterparts may have been), a channel that goes back demonstrably to my father and his father. The vehicle – whether a sports car, sedan or truck – becomes an appendage affording the privilege of mobility and novelty. For some adventurers whom I know, the automobile is a mobile hotel room, permitting what I believe is generously called “travel camping” or some such equally innocuous phrase for what I would find to be an Olympic enterprise. There isn’t however a lot of separation between the image of a man and his horse on the one hand and the image of a man and his car on the other. Both descend rapidly to the level of inexplicable connection (psychologically close to visceral). And of course the entire evolution of the automotive industry is reflected in the more grand metaphor of the iron horse. And the poetry extends readily to locomotion across the seas. Those giant trans-Atlantic steam ships were no small record of accomplishment in the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution, also known as the First Industrial Revolution, was a period of global transition of the human economy towards more widespread, efficient and stable manufacturing processes that succeeded the Agricultural Revolution, starting from Great Britain and spreading to continental Europe and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines; new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes; the increasing use of water power and steam power; the development of machine tools; and the rise of the mechanized factory system. Output greatly increased, and the result was an unprecedented rise in population and the rate of population growth. The textile industry was the first to use modern production methods, and textiles became the dominant industry in terms of employment, value of output, and capital invested.

Aside from the two related events this morning (April 1st and Easter Monday) there were two unrelated events this afternoon. One affected a mechanical discord discovered unwittingly; the other was the remedy of what had the appearance of an erstwhile neglected obstruction. So, in summary, the day’s closing events – like the day’s opening events – both involved a mechanical component; and, both involved gimmickry or stratagem. I am uncertain whether that abstract view of the matter offers any clarification. It is however an oddly medieval bent of mine to imagine boundless connection between what would normally be considered at first blush incongruous features. I am still reeling from the afternoon episode of having corrected the two terrestrial issues on balance with the emanation of the morning’s more atmospheric encounters. And then there’s the duality and balance of the family photo.