I don’t know where my Monday went . . . anyway, it was definitely not as interesting as this woman’s:
Friday afternoon. Sunny and cool, 73 degrees.
Woke up in so much pain today, but not my head—my back. I’ve been pretty fortunate as far as my back is concerned, at least in the last few months. The pain has been manageable, that is until today. It’s probably the weather as I haven’t done anything strenuous, mostly because . . . well . . . I can’t.
Corey just covered my back in patches, and I plan to spend most of the day on the heating pad while immersed in another book. I mean, what choice do I have? Hope you enjoy this week’s collection. I had so much to choose from, which is always nice.
More later. Peace.
This week’s headline:
If Disney princes were real . . .
And my first thought was to wonder if they were still edible . . .
Bob’s Burgers literary burgers:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Sound and the Fury
Life hacks for your computer:
Had to post this one because it reminds me of something new that Bailey is doing: She sits her butt on the couch and plants her front paws on the back of the seat and looks out the window. I mean, she sits, like a person, not a dog. Weird . . .
Derpy, derp, derp . . .
Is it weird that I can’t wait to try this? Probably . . .
Tell us how you really feel, former bike owner:
In a picture, there is truth:
Here’s a link for you:
Free books: 100 legal sites to download literature
Here’s another link for you:
Music by Rocca DeLuca, “Everything Hurts”
Wednesday evening. Rainy with falling temperatures, 74 degrees.
We have Olivia today, and I had a hair appointment this afternoon, so not a lot of time for a long post. I did come across the passage below by Gaston Bachelard, which prompted me to do some searching on the interwebs, where I found a PDF of the entire document, which I gave a quick perusal. Heady stuff. The kind of stuff I used to read all of the time, once upon a time. If you’re interested, you can find it here.
Anyway, here’s a sample:
And all the spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed, desired, and compromised solitude, remain indelible within us and precisely because the human being wants them to remain so. He knows instinctively that this space identified with his solitude is creative; that even when it is forever expunged from the present, when, henceforth, it is alien to all the promises of the future, even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic. We return to them in our night dreams. These retreats have the value of a shell. And when we reach the very end of the labyrinths of sleep, when we attain to the regions of deep slumber, we may perhaps experience a type of repose that is pre-human; pre-human, in this case, approaching the immemorial. But in the daydream itself, the recollection of moments of confined, simple, shut-in space are experiences of heartwarming space, of a space that does not seek to become extended, but would like above all still to be possessed. In the past, the attic may have seemed too small, it may have seemed cold in winter and hot in summer. Now, however, in memory recaptured through daydreams, it is hard to say through what syncretism the attic is at once small and large, warm and cool, always comforting.
~ Gaston Bachelard, from The Poetics of Space (p10)
Music by Enya, “Boadicea”
For today, I will memorize
the two trees now in end-of-summer light
and the drifts of wood asters as the yard slopes away toward
the black pond, blue
in the clouds that shine and float there, as if risen
from the bottom, unbidden. Now, just over the fern—
quick—a glimpse of it,
the plume, a fox-tail’s copper, as the dog runs in ovals and eights,
The yard is a waiting room. I have my chair. You, yours.
The hawk has its branch in the pine.
White petals ripple in the quiet light.
In the quiet, a necklace of gourds on the fence.
A mourning cloak on a seeded spray of crabgrass.
An undulant whine of cicadas.
~ Margaret Gibson
This right here makes me so very, very happy:
From BBC News:
Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.
The teenager was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.
Malala said she was “honoured” to receive the award, saying it made her feel “more powerful and courageous”.
She revealed she found out the news after being called out of her chemistry class at her school in Birmingham.
“I’m really happy to be sharing this award with a person from India,” she said at a news conference, before joking that she couldn’t pronounce Mr Satyarthi’s surname.
The Nobel committee praised the pair’s “struggle against the suppression of children and young people”.
Mr Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the committee said at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.
The 60-year-old founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save the Childhood Movement, which campaigns for child rights and an end to human trafficking.
Reacting to the news, Mr Satyarthi told the BBC: “It’s a great honour for all the Indians, it’s an honour for all those children who have been still living in slavery despite of all the advancement in technology, market and economy.
“And I dedicate this award to all those children in the world.”
“My brother once showed me a piece of quartz that contained, he said, some trapped water older than all the seas in our world. He held it up to my ear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘life and no escape.’” ~ Anne Carson, from Plainwater: Essays and Poetry
Sunday afternoon. Drizzly and cool, 64 degrees.
Corey is outside with the chipper shredder processing all of the trees and shrubs that he and Mike cut down yesterday. It was a massive undertaking, but one that had to be done.
The pain from my trigger point injections on Friday is finally receding, which is a good thing because I have so many things that I need to do. We’ll see how much I’m able to accomplish. I have to say, though, that I’ll be really glad when that noise is over. Two days of really loud equipment going all out right outside my bedroom window is really hard on the head.
But then again, what isn’t?
Here. Have something pretty . . .
More later. Peace.
Fort Bragg residents used to throw their garbage (including glass bottles) over a cliff onto the beach before it was outlawed in 1967. Over the decades the waves and sand have broken down the glass into smooth, rounded pieces.
The glacial lake is located in the Vatnajokull National Park, and the shore is filled with huge pieces of ice resting on black volcanic sand. But what really makes this beach unique is that during the winter, it is the perfect place to see the breathtaking northern lights.
(Photo: Ingo Meironke/Flickr)
The rocks at the Schooner Gulch State Beach are almost perfectly round due to a natural process called concretion.
(Photo: John K/Flickr)
This beach is home to billions of coquina bivalve shells instead of fine grains of sand. The water has a high salt concentration that attracts the shelled creatures.
(Photo: Stefan L/Flickr)
This beach in the Maldives lights up at night, thanks to microscopic organisms called bioluminescent phytoplankton. The organisms respond to changes in the water. Any movement will leave an impressive trail of bluish lights.
Music by Sleeping at Last, “Ruby Blue”
“It was autumn, and I was in my father’s
woods building a house out of branches
and the leaves that were falling like
thousands of letters from the sky.” ~ Joyce Sutphen, from “The Book of Hours”
Saturday evening. Cool, 60’s.
Did you know that the ceiling of New York’s Grand Central Terminal is painted with 2,500 stars: “an autumn-night constellation that was originally painted backward and never corrected”? I didn’t.
When I pulled into the driveway this evening after doing some errands with Brett and Em, Brett opened his car door and immediately said, “It smells like autumn,” and indeed, it did. Brett and I share a deep love of the season, and we both await eagerly that first true scent on the air of damp leaves, woodsmoke, and loam—the unmistakable smell of autumn.
I could have sat outside for hours just to inhale, but alas, I was still hurting far too much as a result of massive trigger point injections on Friday. I suppose they’ve affected me so adversely because it has been too long since my last ones.
Oh well . . .
I’ll just imagine myself in the woods in front of a campfire.
Music by Woodkid, “I Love You” (quintet version)
We Shall Be Released
Every afternoon that autumn
walking across campus
past the conservatory
I heard the soprano
her voice rising
making its way up the scale
straining to claim each note
weeks of work
storms slamming the campus
the semester staggering
to an end
heading out and going home
the campus nearly deserted
but the soprano
still working the scales
when I passed under the trees
the liquidambars on fire
the clouds like great cities
sailing out to sea
and didn’t I ascend
my own weariness
didn’t we rise together
her voice straining
at the top of its range
~ Joseph Stroud
“we all stare out the window into the dark where the stars continue
to survive like syllables of an extinct but beautiful language.” ~ Philip Schultz, from “Personal History”
Late Thursday afternoon. Sunny and a bit too warm, 75 degrees.
Last night on my way back from Lex’s house I saw the moon as it was just on the horizon, and it was huge and orange, and if I had the right kind of camera, I probably would have stopped right there in the middle of the road for a picture . . . Of course, I missed the eclipse . . .
My dream: Corey and I are in London, and I’m showing him where I used to live. He is unimpressed. Someone has told him that buying property in the UK is different from buying property in the US, so he’s uninterested in any of the places that I am showing him. We are standing on the edge of a rocky precipice, and another couple is next to us. I say that I can climb down and over to get to the other side. The woman next to us scoffs audibly, so I climb over the side, only to realize that it is slippery shale rock. The man with the woman climbs over after I do. Corey is just standing there. As we are climbing we find out that the man is a millionaire. The four of us are making are way crablike along the rim of this mountainside, and with each step, rocks slide loose, but none of us seem afraid. Suddenly, a man in a uniform comes at us from the opposite side to tell us that we cannot climb there because it is dangerous. We all look at each other and begin to laugh. The tension is cut by the absurdity of what the man is telling us as we are clearly almost to the other side.
We stand on this narrow shelf and discuss what we should do. Having decided that we’ve made our point, we turn to go back to where we began. The millionaire man goes first. His girlfriend is still snide with me as she believes I am trying to steal her boyfriend. Once we get back and climb over the wall to land on the sidewalk I ask her if she has any children. She begins to show me pictures. This is all that it takes to reassure her. Corey and I leave them, but while I am a few steps ahead of Corey I run into my ex and ask him what he is doing in London. He says he is there for work. Corey and I keep walking as the day turns into night. We go into a park and find people sleeping on benches and hilltops. We keep walking and find an open arena where U2 are performing. I tell Corey that real estate outside of the city is not nearly as expensive. I mention Scotland, Wales. He proposes Australia. I tell him I had wanted Australia years ago but no longer. Oh, and there was cake, really delicious cake that I was eating with my fingers . . .
I wake up to the phone ringing . . .
And autumn grows, autumn in everything” ~ Robert Browning, from “XXV. Andrea del Sarto”
Perhaps if I post things related to Autumn, the air will shift, and the scent of loam will begin to dominate the evenings, and the sky will begin to seem crystalline without the haze of heat. Perhaps.
Here. Have some Longfellow from his work The Blank Book of a Country Schoolmaster (1834-35):
Magnificent is the Autumn of our fatherland ! By what a subtle alchemy the green leaves are transmuted into gold, as if molten by the fiery blaze of the hot sun ! A magic covering spreads over the whole forest, and brightens into more gorgeous hues. The tree-tops seem bathed with the gold and crimson of an Italian sunset. Here and there a shade of green, here and there a tinge of purple, and a stain of scarlet so deep and rich, that the most cunning artifice of man is pale beside it. A thousand delicate shades melt into each other. They blend fantastically into one deep mass. They spread over the forest like a tapestry woven with a
Magnificent Autumn ! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent. His scarlet banner drips with gore. His step is like a flail upon the threshing floor.
The scene changes.
It is the Indian Summer. The rising sun blazes through the misty air like a conflagration. A yellowish, smoky haze fills the atmosphere ; and
—a filmy mist,
Lies like a silver lining on the sky.
The wind is soft and low. It wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue. The birds, too, have taken wing, and have left their roofless dwellings. Not the whistle of a robin, not the twitter of an eavesdropping swallow, not the carol of one sweet, familiar voice ! All gone. Only the dismal cawing of a crow, as he sits and curses, that the harvest is over, or the chit-chat of an idle squirrel, the noisy denizen of a hollow tree, the mendicant friar of a large parish, the absolute monarch of a dozen acorns !
The wind sweeps through the forest with a sound like the blast of a trumpet. The dry leaves whirl in eddies through the air. A fret-work of hoar-frost covers the plain. The stagnant water in the pools and ditches is frozen into fantastic figures. Nature ceases from her labors, and prepares for the great change. In the low-hanging clouds, the sharp air, like a busy shuttle, weaves her shroud of snow. There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines, like the roar of a cataract It is the funeral anthem of the dying year.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Music by J. R. Richards, “Precious Stone”
Too many elegies elevating sadness
to a kind of sad religion:
one wants in the end just once to befriend
one’s own loneliness,
to make of the ache of inwardness—
or even just believing in it,
and the long room alone
where the child
chances on a bee
banging against the glass
like an attack of happiness.
~ Christian Wiman