Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dickens on Childhood and Memory and Happiness

"This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater proprietybe said not to have lost the faculty, than to have  acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood.

"I might have a misgiving that I am 'meandering' in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from
anything I may set down in this narrative that I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics."

--Charles Dickens
-----very early in David Copperfield--

Friday, June 9, 2017

Wish Upon a Wing

Today, while out buying fish in Berkeley, I was limping back to my truck (back & leg issues) when in front of me appeared a crow or raven also limping.

Was he making fun of me?  Showing sympathy?  Just a fellow creature with a hurt of his/her own?

Before I could ask, the black bird flew away.

I wish I had wings like that.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Clay Waits

The clay waits
The sculptor can't decide
Drawing ragged breaths
This broken morning
Fixing memory in pieces
Mixing mortality with eternity
The clay waits.

There was a crooked man
Who climbed a crooked hill
There was a broken child
Bound to a broken will . . . .
Pottery unfired
Bowls unthrown . . .
The clay waits.

There is a frayed man
On a frayed course
Threadbare nerves
Vertical curves
Slanted force
Fevered fear
Nightmare horse . . .
The frayed man wakes
The clay waits.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Kelp and Wire: Old Art

Literary Default: Heroic Fantasy

Sword & sorcery, heroic fantasy, classical epic -- my favorite genre (yes, singular) no matter the space-time continuum.  Last spring I was teaching Homer's Iliad, now I am reading Erikson's Reaper's Gale.  Leiber's Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser series fits somewhere in between, as does Byron's Don Juan.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Scottish Folk Music!

My commuting music:
highly recommended.

Warning: You gotta love the fiddle.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking"

What a book!
What a writer!

An excellent book on loss and grief.
Dangerous to read . . . for all the right reasons.