There has been much stewing of late. Necessary thinking, or at least thinking that feels necessary. Years ago, when I worked as a parts guy at a Jaguar dealer in Chicago, my friend Frank MacNaught had a phrase for moments like this. Frank was the dealership’s parts chief, a man who could list, from memory and in chronological order, the 12 superceded part numbers for the driveshafts of the American-market Jaguar X-Type. He tended to verbally summarize complex situations as he met them, a sort of knee-jerk sitrep. Common behavior in parts guys. Whenever world news grew particularly high-volume or concerning, Frank would put his hands in his pockets, lean back against the counter, and eye a shelf of oil filters as if it had insulted his mother.
“Stuff,” he would say, with no small amount of gravity, “is happening on the rock.”
I was young and perhaps more than occasionally a doofus, so I once asked if those words had some deeper meaning or symbolism. He shook his head, chuckling.
“Aw, no. Just a good distraction, helps me think.”