Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
I grew up with parents who had been through the Second World War. My father was in the Army and my mother was a nurse in a hospital at home. I became aware of the American Standards, or the American Songbook, very young. The Dorseys were familiar names in my house, and I am pretty sure my mother saw them. She sang as she worked around the house, and those songs are always in my head.
A few years after she died I found myself wanting records of the old music. I went to my local book and record store. The owner said the music just wasn't available anymore. This was ages before the internet, and there were things that were impossible to find.
And then, in 1978, when I was 30, Willie Nelson came out with his Stardust album.
I was in musical heaven. Here they were - the old songs that I so wanted to hear.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
I have said that Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility - William Wordsworth, preface to Lyrical Ballads
I am definitely not these fellows, but I do understand each of them with relation to blogging and me. I need to write down things that are swirling around in my head. Writing is very different from talking. Talking involves other people's thoughts and opinions, and mine can be lost or changed in conversation. This introvert needs the quiet of writing to sort out exactly what I think or feel about something. Even if I write only a few lines, or quote someone, or share a poem, it does me good.
I haven't written nearly as much in later years. Well, duh! Three grandchildren came along in quick succession. And my emotions have been coming fast and furious without much time to "recollect" them in any sort of peaceful moments. But now the children are older, and though we still see Hazel many days, we don't see the boys as often because of distance, the busyness of the family, the virus.
So I would like my compensation for their getting older and starting school to be writing my "letters from a hill farm". A part of this is also spending more of my time at your blogs. I have visited as often as I could but not nearly as often as I wanted to. Reading another person's words and taking the time to respond is another kind of recollecting. I can take my time thinking over what they have said and then write back if I feel I have anything to contribute.
I am quite happy about my resolve to do this. I have really missed the connections, and have missed taking the time to write about even the small things. It is good for me. It clears my head and helps me to notice things I might not have in the bustle of the day.
Autumn began in my part of the world at 9:30 this morning when the sun went into Libra. I went back to my beloved
for a poem to share. This is from Masters' Spoon River Anthology which is a collection of poems that are epitaphs of people who lived in Spoon River. You may read more about it here. It has been a very long time since I've read it or thought about it. Tom remembers he didn't like it, and I wonder if we were both too young to understand. I feel encouraged to pick it up again since I really loved this poem. I'm much closer to the age for an epitaph now! 😲
Do the boys and girls still go to Siever's
For cider, after school, in late September?
Or gather hazel nuts among the thickets
On Aaron Hatfield's farm when the frosts begin?
For many times with the laughing girls and boys
Played I along the road and over the hills
When the sun was low and the air was cool,
Stopping to club the walnut tree
Standing leafless against a flaming west.
Now, the smell of autumn smoke,
And the dropping acorns,
And the echoes about the vales
Bring dreams of life. They hover over me.
They question me:
Where are those laughing comrades?
How many are with me, how many
In the old orchards along the way to Siever's,
And in the woods that overlook
The quiet water?
Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)
Monday, September 21, 2020
I am tempted to say "the new normal". Though we are probably all sick of hearing it these days, it really is quite a good phrase. And I would say especially for children. They go with the flow in a way that is hard for most adults. What is, is, and that's it.
So here is our granddaughter Hazel today on her first day of school since March.
Monday, September 7, 2020
If we can't actually be there, let us have such a place in our hearts and imaginations when we are "on the roadway, or the pavements grey".
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.