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
Life-mask
Death-mask
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.

--MD

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.