Mixed storm metaphors

June 23rd, 2016, 11pm

I’m walking east, back to my AirBnB in Nashville, and the night sky ahead of me is filled with lightning. I can’t hear any thunder, though, and it’s certainly not raining - Nashville has been consistently, stickily hot for the 30-odd hours I’ve been here. I keep hoping for the heavens to open and the rain to pour as I walk - some much needed relief - but the storm might be too far away, and may not even be heading towards me.

I’m in town because one of my favourite musicians, Kishi Bashi, had a concert - and given I’m in the US, and it fits with my schedule of jumping from the east coast to the west before I fly home, I’ve swung by here. The music was glorious - he is an amazingly talented musician, weaving magic with his voice and violin - and I’m so happy I could catch him on my journey.

The news elsewhere, though, is not so happy. The UK will apparently be exiting the European Union - a campaign of fear, misinformation and xenophobia seems to have won. As an Australian, it perhaps has no clear impact on me - but it feels like it’s just another step backwards for progressive politics, compassion, and a shared sense of humanity. Another wall between nations. These challenges are cropping up everywhere: certainly they’ve been present in Australia for some time as shown by our treatment of people seeking asylum, and the USA has yet to have its (hopefully) final showdown with Donald Trump. Generally, it feels like there’s a lot of shouting, but precious little listening. I only hope that the world can learn from this pain.

I’m back at my apartment now, and it only has west-facing windows… if that storm’s coming, it’ll be a surprise.

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Pat Allan

Pancakes and code and bringing people together.

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