Both the glorious city of Prague and its majestic, serene river, the Vltava or Moldau (take your pick), have returned to some semblance of normal. The flood waters are receding - slowly - having caused far less damage than the 2002 floods. The beautiful, wide embankments which are such a pleasure to walk upon, are still under water, about four feet. But the subways are open, the cafes are bustling, the days are glorious and sunny, and the swans have returned to their peaceful meanderings along he river shore.
And I have finally adjusted to living with one eye, for the time being, and have already returned to work and back on the computer. Lots of work ahead of me, with summer camp coming up and work on my novel. Everything feels fine and peaceful and I'm looking forward to lots of good reading, including a list of great spy novels, with Red Sparrow at the top of the list.
I just finished Barara Kingsolver's harrowing, deeply moving novel, Flight Behavior, which explores the horrors of climate change as seen through the eyes of an ordinary, struggling Tennesee housewife. One of the most frightening literary novels I've read in some time, for the very effective way it drives home the impending disaster coming down upon all of us. To borrow an image used by one of the scientists in the book, think 'Niagra Falls,' you are in a canoe, the roar is deafening, the abyss is in view and there is no turning back for a slow paddle back to shore. The story revolves around the stunning discovery of a colony of thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies, who have bypassed their usual yearly migrating site in Mexico and landed insread in a forest in rural, Bible Belt Tennessee. The locals see it as an act of Divine Grace; the scientists, however, are grief stricken as they witness the extinction process of a beautiful species. Yet the book actually succeedes in ending on a note of some hope for the human community, as the crisis itself brings people together into new forms of cooperation. Deeply spiritual message, which reminds me of mystical activist, Andrew Harvey's latest book, The Hope.