Monthly Archives: May 2012

a fairy tale of a poem.

where is lily?

We were very tired, we were very merry–
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable–
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry–
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawlcovered head,
And bought a moming paper, which neither…

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do


with your one wild and precious life

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission.

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saying grace

I just realized that saying grace is the same thing as saying thanks. How did our word grace come to signify a kind of beauty and a (lovely) way of being? When it should mean full of thanks – grateful. Why grateful instead of graceful? And why is the other way of expressing thanks in French a cognate with our “mercy.” The words all have a kind of gentility to them — grace, thanks, mercy– but they’re not at all interchangeable.

Gentility if it were a French word would be something like humanness. Which is an idealized way of summing up mankind.

jump for joy

why would joy trigger the instinct to jump? i can’t answer that. i’m not sure i’ve ever jumped in response to joy. i believe i’d be inclined to do something like: smile, say ‘yay,’ call someone to spread glad tidings. not better responses, just different.

i know that people do jump for joy, at least very-soon-to-be college grads do, at least girls, anyway, if you want to get all picky about it. Shown here…

girls take flight

… Miss Lily and friends on the eve of their commencement, along the shores of a lake in northern Vermont, jumping for joy.

And Lily, she jumped the highest. Not that it’s competition or anything.



and then we’ll have some more fried ham

The lyrics of this song got stuck in my head when Steve let a sentence trail without finishing it.

“And then we’ll have…” he said. To which I said “some more fried ham.” And he said “what.” And I said “never mind and hurry up we’re going to be late.”

Happened last week with another childhood classic called “the song that never ends.”

Now both of them are stuck in my head and I can assure you that they do indeed “go on and on my friend.”

THIS is what I wanted to say before I got locked out of my own blog.

I had something else entirely to say

until i got locked out of my own blog, akin to being barred from your house (freezing, hungry, key in hand but it doesn’t work, contemplating breaking a window) or your own needs and wants (what do I want? why don’t I know what I want?). The sensation is called tech rage but in a person like me (an elocution that could be shortened to “but for me”) I don’t feel rage as much as … forlornness. I’ve changed my apple id 3 times in recent weeks, my sign-on at the office every few months, and I sometimes can’t recall the answers to my own questions: what was my first car? My first dog? It’s a kind of identity theft but of our own doing — we try to gain entry, identifying ourselves to the best of our abilities, only to be blocked by an error message, increasingly dire as we try and try again. The screen shakes. Either the user name or password is incorrect, but “they” won’t tell you which one. And if you try too many times, you’re disallowed, sent into to some email process that takes 10 minutes to emerge from. Let me in.

Horse in this race

At zinc kitchen in new haven, a pizza town that serves an excellent broccoli rabe pizza. I like a horse called went the day well. Sounds prophetic. 15 minutes until post time.



I’m in tech

I’m so over it. Raved about the Smash pilot. Was in raptures over the first episode.

And now: a Bollywood-style dance/dream sequence; Grease-inspired breakout dance number in a bowling alley; and … “I’m in tech,” offered as the reason Karen can’t accept Dev’s proposal. And why does costume/makeup insist on making Anjelica Huston look like a man and Debra Messing look like a, well, mess?

The only reason to watch is so I can sort of understand the recaps on

Uma as Marilyn

the middle distance

why is it when marketers want to express refinement, the models gaze into the middle distance, as if siting some distant object or goal that only they, refined beings, can see?

The Chase Private Client campaign has taken over the Metro North/Madison Avenue tunnels and I find it cloying and false.

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getting and spending

On my mind, of late, as I declutter my house and life. A sordid boon indeed, that which we acquire. Who is it that said that our possessions possess us? Next question: if we manage to give them away our we ourselves again?

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. –Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

– Wordsworth, 1908

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