By Trumbull Stickney
It's autumn in the country I remember
How warm a wind blew here about the ways!
And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber
During the long sun-sweetened summer-days.
It's cold abroad the country I remember.
The swallows veering skimmed the golden grain
At midday with a wing aslant and limber;
And yellow cattle browsed upon the plain
It's empty down the country I remember.
I had a sister lovely in my sight:
Her hair was dark, her eyes were very sombre;
We sang together in the woods at night.
It's lonely in the country I remember.
The babble of our children fills my ears,
And on our hearth I stare the perished ember
To flames that show all starry thro' my tears.
It's dark about the country I remember.
There are the mountains where I lived. The path
Is slushed with cattle-tracks and fallen timber,
The stumps are twisted by the tempests' wrath.
But that I knew these places are my own,
I'd ask how came such wretchedness to cumber
The earth, and I to people it alone.
It rains across the country I remember.
It's freakin' October already. I was going to catch up on my life yesterday, but my older son's bus from school was a full hour late to the bus stop, meaning that I sat in my car with my younger son wondering what in hell was going on until another child in the carpool borrowed the cell phone of someone else on the bus to call his mother, who then called me to tell me that a bus had broken down and their bus was taking all those kids to their stops before delivering ours. By the time the bus got there, it was five minutes from the start of Hebrew school. Without dropping off the carpool, I went tearing home so my son could get his Hebrew books, then went tearing to the Hebrew school...only to get there, find the parking lot locked and remember belatedly that it was Sukkot. I feel badly that I am so much more in touch with the pagan seasonal festivals than the Jewish ones. I burned my incense on Mabon. My husband does not believe that our son needs his own cell phone but he's not the one who has to wait at the bus stop every day, is he?
With this sort of afternoon interruption I ran very late getting any work done, especially since I had taken a long lunch for Popeye's and Mesmer with perkypaduan. I knew nothing about Franz Anton Mesmer before this film and am now curious to read a little to see how the movie dovetails with reality. I tend to be sympathetic to mystics fighting either the tyranny of the church or what can become the tyranny of science, the insistence that the incomplete research of any era represents an absolute rational approach to any given problem (been having this argument with my mother for years -- she reads every health letter published and every time the AMA changes its recommendations, so does she). But as the film portrayed him, Mesmer was all too happy to bilk rich women of their money even if he genuinely believed in his principles. Rickman was superb -- born to play this character as written, smart and bitter and incredibly sexy and sinister and terribly passionate.
Watched the debate with my kids, who had plenty of comments of their own, particularly about how nervous Bush looked when Kerry was speaking and how he kept saying the same things over and over as if he couldn't come up with a single original thing to say. Of course I agree with everyone who found his tired repetition of Kerry's statement about the wrong war at the wrong time etc. ineffectual -- Kerry scored some major points about why he had said that, and who in their right mind is going to vote for a president who swears to keep troops fighting indefinitely based on some nonsensical notion that that creates confidence in the war effort, rather than promising to do everything he can to stop the fighting and restore order? Bush did at least as much wavering as Kerry and didn't sound nearly as confident, and to my shock even Fox News seemed to agree with this when we put it on afterward. This was the debate I expected Kerry to have the hardest time with as Bush always sounds like a naive and dangerous aristocrat when he talks about domestic issues, so hopefully the momentum will start to shift in a big way. The main reason I supported Kerry over various other candidates was the hope that he could do just that in a big debate.
This morning folding laundry I realized that after all my lamenting that Dawson's Creek had dared to change the theme music on the complete third season DVD set from Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait," I have actually grown quite attached to the song Jann Arden wrote for the series which apparently was used for the studio pilot and on the European broadcasts of the show. Does anyone know if "Run Like Mad" is available anywhere other than as a WAV from The Dawson's Creek Music Guide?
thefridayfive: You wake up one morning, all groggy and tired. As you stumble your way into the bathroom, you look in the mirror and find out that...
1. You're the opposite sex. Besides the obvious playing with the new parts, what would you do?
I can't think of anything I'd desperately want to do as a man that I can't do as a woman, except the aforementioned playing with the new parts, alone and in company. If I turned into a man and remained the height I am now, I'd probably come in for more ridicule than propositions, anyway.
2. You're someone famous. Who and why?
Current day? Oh, I suppose Jennifer Connelly. She's got kids, she has an Oscar, she seems very smart, she lives in New York, she gets to sleep with Paul Bettany, she can call up Russell Crowe just to chat and it would be interesting to be naturally beautiful for a day.
3. You're the King (Queen) of the World (no, you're not James Cameron). What edict would you pass?
Complete disarmament and destruction of all weapons from handguns to thermonuclear bombs (did anyone else notice that Bush said "weapons of mass destruction" over and over last night to avoid saying "nucular weapons" by the way)? I don't expect that I could make everyone get along in a day, but I could get rid of everyone's ability to make war for many years, and then certain people would have the opportunity to sit down and talk.
4. You're no longer in Kansas (or this world) anymore. Where are you?
Hopefully on an M-class planet, since I imagine I'd be dead if I were on Jupiter. Seriously, I have never had any desire to live on a spaceship no matter how spacious, nor have I wanted to leave this planet for any length of time.
5. You have a clone standing next to you and it's going to work/school for you while you get to play hooky. What are you going to do today?
Drive to the beach with my four remaining Aubrey-Maturin books and read them when I'm not wading or watching the ships sail by.
Aragorn and Boromir sleeping practically head to head, in separate cages.