Taking Leave of a Friend
By Li Po
Translated by Ezra Pound
Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.
Mind like a floating wide cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
Our horses neigh to each other
as we are departing.
From Edward Hirsch's last Poet's Choice column for The Washington Post Book World, on goodbyes, which "belong to the part of life that's hard to write about," he claims. He explains that his grandfather taught him that when a friend or relative left on a train, he should stand on the platform and continue waving until the train had disappeared, and discusses Chinese and Japanese poetry with that theme. Then, as a more personal goodbye, Hirsch quotes Walt Whitman from the 24th section of the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass:
Lift me close to your face till I whisper,
What you are holding is in reality no book, nor part of a book,
It is a man, flushed and full-bodied -- it is I -- So long!
We must separate -- Here! take from my lips this kiss,
Whoever you are, I give it especially to you;
So long -- and I hope we shall meet again.
Star Trek: Voyager premiered ten years ago tonight. Within a couple of days of that event, I was posting Voyager fic on alt.sex.fetish.startrek (later alt.startrek.creative.erotica), where I met some of my longest-lasting and best friends in fandom. I feel like I am celebrating a tenth anniversary with beckyo, with whom I started corresponding very shortly after January 16th, 1995 and forged an unholy alliance which continues to this day...but I also think of jenwrites, windsweptaway, mamadracula, ariestess, telesilla, cara_chapel, xochiquetzl, totallykate, sistermarysith and many other people reading this journal now whom I have known since long before LiveJournal existed. In fact, I met divineway, who gave me my LiveJournal code, through maquismom, whom we both knew from Voyager fandom. (ETA: And rocky_t and shayenne and...oh crap I am certain to leave someone out. My point being that there are lots of people I adore whom I could name but the Golden Globes orchestra would play me offstage.)
Given the recent outage, I need to take a moment to be thankful that this site is here, because I'm sure my contact with these people and many others would be much more sporadic if it wasn't, and I am very grateful. I have updated my User Info here to include my other journal accounts so that people can find me in case of another catastrophic LiveJournal outage. It seems like most people gravitated to GreatestJournal today; is that because JournalFen was not permitting new accounts and Blurty was slow, or is there something specific about GreatestJournal that people like, besides lots of userpics which is why I signed up for one all those years ago? I've created a backup for theloveboat there as well, but have not updated it at all. Anyway, I hope that hp_roundrobin continues, violet_quill!
In the morning before I was really awake, my mother called to tell me that my father was in the hospital -- he had been in pain when we were at their house for dinner and it turned out he had a kidney stone that had become excruciating overnight. Since he has heart and blood pressure issues, they kept him there from midnight last night until after noon today for tests, so we stayed in the house and fretted and waited to hear from them since we couldn't call them on the cell phone.
Meanwhile, remember I said that my new camera had arrived with a cracked battery charger, that I had to send back (at my own expense) to get a replacement? Well, the new one is completely missing the plastic flip cover for the battery compartment -- ANOTHER one I have to send back. I am asking them not to bother replacing it as I want to buy one locally where I can see it, and I refuse to pay for shipping -- they can send me a preprinted UPS label, or I am telling my credit card company that I refuse the charges for repeated shipment of rejected merchandise and they can fight it out with Abe's of Maine! Grr!
Am very excited by the Titan pics; somewhat excited by the forecast of snow overnight though they say accumulation will be negligible; and absurdly excited to have just watched Die Hard with my kids, who absolutely loved it, and it really seems not to have dated despite being almost 20 years old. Who but Alan Rickman could pull off the line, "I am not a common thief, I am an exceptional thief, and since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite!"? I even really liked Bruce Willis, which has never happened to me before.
Oh, and speaking of movies, I have to quote this portion of The Washington Post review of In Good Company by Ann Hornaday: "The relationship between Dan and Carter, played by Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace respectively, is the real romance at the center of "In Good Company"...sure, Carter meets and falls in love with Dan's college-aged daughter Alex and complications ensue, but it's Dan and Carter's relationship around which the real action of this dramatic comedy revolves." WHOO! perkypaduan, we are going to see this one!
1. Have you ever considered running away?
When I was seven and my sister was four, we were going to run away to Rhode Island where our friend's grandmother lived. We packed nothing but food and stuffed animals. But seriously? No. I've considered disappearing for a couple of days, but that's it.
2. If you ran away, where would you go?
If I felt like exploring, Scotland; if I was feeling spiritually bereft, Mt. Kailas.
3. Who would miss you?
I would like to believe that my husband, children and parents would. Plus my cats, who would miss their three o'clock feeding.
4. Do you speak a foreign language?
Un peu francais.
5. Do you have a passport?
Yes. Taking it to England in two months.
1. what is one thing about you that you hate?
Lack of willpower and laziness when it comes to things I need to do.
2. what is one thing about you that you love?
My spiritual conviction. I never feel like there's no point to life or the universe.
3. if you had to change one thing about you what would it be and why?
I do have to change my exercise habits or I am going to have the same heart artery diabetes etc. problems as my parents. Hence #1 here is of real importance.
4. what is one word that you would use to define yourself?
5. imagine what you would look like in a perfect world...what do you look like?
I'd effortlessly be at a healthy weight, and perhaps tall enough to reach the glasses in my cupboard.