It’s poetry week here at con carne! To balance out the seriousness of Henley’s Invictus last time, here’s something a bit more whimsical. And much older; Andrew Marvell ‘s To His Coy Mistress pre-dates Henley by a good 200 years. Yet, both poems are about overcoming obstacles.
It must be said that the obstacles in question here are a bit different from the “bludgeonings of chance” that concern Henley. Marvell has something else entirely on his mind! And while Henley speaks of staying the course against all odds, Marvell’s advice is more carpe diem.
So for a little fun on Friday, I give you…
I was involved in a discussion not long ago that reminded me of the Henley poem, Invictus. Not that I needed a lot of reminding; the poem has been near and dear to my heart since high school.
I’m not very conversant with poetry, but I’ve run into a few “pomes” over the years that have really grabbed me. (In other words, this is one place where I don’t know art, but I know what I like.)
In the past I’ve published copies of favorite poems on my personal website, and I’ve always intended to write about them in a blog article. For this poem especially, no time like the present.
I find myself feeling “at loose ends.” If you search on that phrase, you find a big part of the definition involves the idea of “not knowing what to do,” although sources differ a bit on whether that’s due to having nothing to do or due to not being able to decide what to do. More to the point, most identify the main feeling: being restless and unsettled.
A key reason my ends are loose is obvious given my last post, but this river has other tributaries (I never met a metaphor I couldn’t mix). Certainly in my case, the problem isn’t having nothing to do; I have plenty of projects. The problem is the utter lack of fulfillment in doing most of them.
And, sadly, this blog is turning out to be high on that list.
The strange attractor that centers my universe for now is the growing certainty my parents won’t see another winter. Even the fullness of summer may outdistance them. The spectre came as slowly as time and a well life permits, but a thousand similes paint its implacable gait. Ages turn into years become months, then weeks, days, finally hours and minutes. All clocks stop eventually.
That they shall likely walk off into the Great Unknown almost simultaneously describes in the final act the entire arc of their life. In a word: together. Happily — no, joyfully — married for nearly seven decades. Never cursed with wealth, but ever blessed with love, they were rich beyond measure. They are why, even still, I believe in love.
To the extent I am a good person, look no further than my mother and my father.
One of the cool things that happened in 2013 is that Voyager 1 has left our solar system. This time it was really, for sure, no kidding! There have been some previous occasions where it left, but this time we really mean it. (Truth is, it’s still way inside the Oort cloud, so in some sense it’s merely left the city for the ‘burbs.)
Say rather that Voyager 1 no longer flies in skies affected by the sun. The heliosphere, the giant fart bubble around our solar system, is filled with our sun’s gassy emissions. Outside that bubble is the galactic ass gas of a billion other suns. Voyager 1, for the first time in human history, samples farts not our own.
It got me thinking about our interstellar golden record: Earth’s Greatest Hits!
I thought Zack Snyder blew the doors off Watchmen. The movie does total justice to a classic graphic novel that I would have thought impossible to put on film. It turned out to be a work that doesn’t just honor the source material, it elevates it. I liked his version of 300 okay, and I thought Sucker Punch interesting (although it’s a rather strange movie).
Plus, I have a high regard for Christopher Nolan. I very much enjoyed Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, Inception and the first two Batman movies (as I’ve written before, I thought much less of the third one).
Snyder at the helm, Nolan as a producer and writer,… I was really looking forward to Man of Steel.
Best start of a football game ever!
Those who know me know I became a hard-core baseball fan four years ago this June. Those who’ve known me a long time found that mildly surprising; for most of my life I had little or no interest in sports of any kind. But as I’ve explained before, baseball got under my skin at a time when I deeply needed something totally new in my life. And in getting to know it, I came to really love it.
The year or so prior, I’d gotten a bit into football. To some extent that was echos from the marriage; both my ex- and step-son were into football. Of course, like any kid who grew up here, I played sandlot football and baseball. Both sports were familiar, but I was never really a fan until my “baseball awakening” in 2010.
But while football didn’t “take” with me, I often do watch the Super Bowl.
It’s important to begin this with due proper credit. This is not my idea; I’m doing a bit of a riff on an idea that belongs to someone else. But it’s such a great idea that I think not only should it be shared but embraced. At the end, I will encourage you to do your own riff, your own version of the 960.
Science fans who spend a lot of time on the interweb (I’m sure there must be some who don’t) are familiar with Randall Monroe‘s outstanding über-geek web comic, xkcd. There is a lesser-known one, Abstruse Goose, that I think is in the same class and which has connected with me even more than xkcd has (which is to say: oodles). So far, for me no other web comics come anywhere close to these two.
This post is about 900+ little blobs, and it is an idea from Abstruse Goose.
Whoops! I was delighted yesterday when I saw the sun was once again shining into my living room. During the depth of winter it’s too low in the sky for the rays to get past the (rather deep) skylight well in the ceiling.
Seeing it yesterday required three things I’ve been waiting for: The sun to get high enough in the sky (obviously); for it to be not cloudy, which has been a problem recently; and for the snow and (weirdly) the grime to melt off the skylight itself. The snow cover isn’t unusual, but I’ve never seen grime before!
Anyway, hooray, yesterday it happened. And then I woke this morning to winter again!