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2.21.2008

Sonnet

I was going to give you a small simple poem about a coward and a king's son, but then I looked at it and said to myself 'whatever for? just because I feel like typing?'

Here's one with merit:

a Sonnet, by William Wordsworth

The World is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. - Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses of Proteus rising from the sea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

2.18.2008

Ahem...

In case no one noticed, I changed the title of this blog yesterday. Was that yesterday? I think so... Anyway, that sort of thing happens now and then. It's nothing to worry about; I just have a gypsy for a heart, Romany bones. Cannot settle in a single self. Mebbe that just means I'm from California. or America. or Earth.

The desert sky is bright with clouds. The fish wish for more water, and my hair needs some managing. I think it's time to get going. Day.

2.17.2008

Book Alert:


Peter and the Starcatchers
by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

Absolutely worth your while. While it's hardly a work of transcendently mystical childhood magic, it's a remarkably original - but consistent - take on Barrie's curious classic. I have heard from a book-shopping child-reader that the third in the series, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, isn't nearly as good as the first two. But the first was pretty darn good, so that leaves 'not as good' to be rather not that bad. Pearson and Barry depict the old familiars (Smee, Hook, the Lost Boys) with creative flair. It does not feel like they are rewriting them as much as shedding new light on their origins. Which was, incidentally, the point.

Though I will admit that the ending felt a bit too tidily wrapped up. Knowing that there are sequels, I couldn't help but feel that some things could have been saved for later - the bit about Peter flying and his youth and the chomping of Mr Grin. None of this will make sense unless you read it, of course. So read it. Better yet, read it aloud. To a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a pet.


If anyone cares to read along with me, I am going slowly through Neuhaus's Death on a Friday Afternoon for Lent. More accessibly, I am also planning to read through Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane sometime this week. Perhaps I will read it aloud as well. If you would like to hear a chapter, come on over. I'll be at my couch, surrounded by Mike and sugar-free snacks. You for whom this invitation applies, you know who you are. And if you'd like to read The Little Prince first, I will gladly postpone the rabbit for the celestial royalty. Better yet, let's meet at the park. Tomorrow afternoon? Bring me a latte; I'll bring you a fabulous passage from Henri Nouwen to chew on. Meanwhile, it seems an appropriate time to break out my adult-interpretation of the Peter-Molly dynamic. (This is not a mere personalization; the sidekick in Pearson and Barry's novel is named Molly.) Here's a poem I wrote in Edinburgh about a year ago:

Little Peter, when your wondrous tree
was taken over by the wicked Smee
and his taller front, captain of such ferocity,
captain of the saber and the hook,
I waited on the branches above
amidst the debris from the catastrophe
for your flighty form.
It came; you flew to me though it was dark
(your powers of scent were ever acute)
and we plotted both revenge and liberty.
Our tasks complex but your acts so skillful,
I hesitated not to offer up either cheeks or lips
to your sneaky service.
But our adventures were too quick and plenty
to record the kisses of knight and lady
(though unbeknownst to you, I keep
your cap's lost feather
where your hands alone will find).

2.16.2008

the date festival 2008

Girls' Day Out at the county fair today. My mum bought be a magical magnetic anklet that will hopefully help with my mysterious circulation dysfunctions. I ate gyros and baklava, the latter originally in utter forgetfulness of my sugar 'vows' - and after originally, in disappointed resignation. There will hopefully be some interesting photos in the future portraying a unique response to my first ever consumption of an entire date. Minus the seed, of course. Duh. And then there were the sheep and the goats, presently side by side, but soon to be sifted and divided in the auction on the 23rd. I said 'hello Banjo!' to most of them, so Banjo the goat was greeted whichever one he was.

2.12.2008

lent 02

let me not be dissolved into a world without particularity becoming god who is all and nothing and moderately neither presumption


Let me be the daughter of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Rightly honouring the distinction of distinctiveness.

and the distinctiveness of Him who has named you particularly among all the stars.

2.08.2008

Week One

B: What, no ruminations on Ash Wednesday?

M: Apparently not.

B: Did you learn nothing? Experience nothing? Feel nothing?

M: No. I mean, yes. I mean... whatever. How is it your business?

B: So, you don't want to talk about it?

M: I don't mind talking about it, but what's there to say? There are the ashes, penitence, prayers...

B: What are you giving up for Lent?

M: None of your business.

B: Geez. Touchy. Sorry I asked.

M: I mean, it's not like it's a secret... except, since it's supposed to be a kind of fast, I suppose it is. Isn't it?

B: Sure, whatever.

M: No, really? Is it secret or not secret?

B: You're not supposed to announce it to the world like it's a big sacrifice, and you're certainly not supposed to complain about it. But if you gave up meat or something and someone offered you a pork chop, it would be better to say 'I'm not eating meat during Lent' than 'Oh, no thank you, I've eaten.' Because the last could be both a lie and an insult to the giver.

M: Right. I knew that.

B: So, what are you giving up for Lent?

M: Umm... nothing.

2.02.2008

Observances


I know the reason that we celebrate Groundhog's Day is that they faithfully predict the persistence of winter or the coming-on of spring. What I don't understand is why this sort of thing is a celebration. Or, rather, why it gets a spot on our calendars, a fixture in our stores, and lovely plush toys like the one featured here (left).

But then, I suppose I don't understand most holidays that aren't actually Holy Days. Mother's and Father's days I get, but it hardly bears mentioning that those should be far more frequent than once a year. I have a soft spot for Thanksgiving, but it is all too easy for that day to mean little more than socially-approved gluttony. So, while I do love it, I am hesitant to give it whole-hearted approval. Presidents Day, Memorial Day, etc.: these are good reasons to get out of school or work, but I don't think I have ever actually observed them according to their original purposes. Though, when I think about it, the only holiday I really love with abandon is Christmas. I can move past all the commercialism during that holy season (I am more and more learning to consider Advent, rather than the solitary 25th) and get right down to the awe and honour of the Incarnation.

Here comes my confession: I am not a fan of Easter. I appreciate its significance, of course. What can be more glorious than the resurrection of God in flesh? But here the commercialism utterly distracts. I don't mind decorating eggs, but the tradition completely diverts my attention. Eggs and bunnies, pink and lavender, the whole scene is so unrelated to the celebration at hand that I just can't process it.

The only way I can properly understand Easter is as the culmination of Lent. In which case, I would see the colours of Easter as being any colour at all - light, in fact, breaking into the darker internal tones of the month or so prior. If I were to assign a colour to Easter, it would be emerald green. Royal life. Verdancy. None of these baby pastels - nothing so tame and confined.

It is good to think of these things now, particularly as Ash Wednesday is soon upon us. What observances will I make this Lenten season? One of the least, perhaps, will be a closer attention to colour... and to the honour I give each day. But most, I think, will go unspoken. Only a few more days to figure it out. A few more days of meditation on this season of meditation.
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