A Postcard From The Volcano
By Wallace Stevens
Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill;
And that in autumn, when the grapes
Made sharp air sharper by their smell
These had a being, breathing frost;
And least will guess that with our bones
We left much more, left what still is
The look of things, left what we felt
At what we saw. The spring clouds blow
Above the shuttered mansion-house,
Beyond our gate and the windy sky
Cries out a literate despair.
We knew for long the mansion's look
And what we said of it became
A part of what it is... Children,
Still weaving budded aureoles,
Will speak our speech and never know,
Will say of the mansion that it seems
As if he that lived there left behind
A spirit storming in blank walls,
A dirty house in a gutted world,
A tatter of shadows peaked to white,
Smeared with the gold of the opulent sun.
I had a relatively quiet day -- the last one this week, as Back-to-School Night is Thursday night and then Labor Day weekend starts -- putting away laundry and unused school supplies, reshelving books that got left around during the summer, getting school stuff organized (now both kids have hooded sweatshirts with their respective school logos!), writing a few Trek articles and, in between, watching the news. It's hard to look away and just as hard to look, trying to imagine moving from the Superdome to the Astrodome for possibly several weeks and knowing that those people are the very lucky ones among those who remained. There was a lot of coverage of looting and it bugged me that they were classing women taking bottled water and diapers for their children with people stealing televisions; no, technically the bottled water does not belong to them, but this is a survival situation and all the experts kept pointing out that there is no safe drinking water anywhere in New Orleans or most of Biloxi. The grocery stores should be reimbursed out of emergency funds later but the National Guard should be distributing their packaged food now, not trying to protect it!
We spent lots of time in the evening going through our Britain photos and putting together a calendar for relatives for next year as we realized suddenly that it was the last day of the Shutterfly sale. I want to do a fancy book-type thing of photos with borders, captions, etc. (the_reverand has promised to help me, for which I kiss her feet) but this is the quick and dirty one to ship out to the west coast cousins. I haven't looked at those photos in order since we got back and it was so much fun! We could have done three calendars this year -- one from England, one from the Olympic Peninsula and one from Delaware. I really need to do a better job of actually remembering to print my photos; most of them I have only in electronic slide shows and stuff. I keep taking walks at night right as the sun is setting, as tonight, and seeing glorious sunsets that I never have my camera with me to photograph. I don't like to walk encumbered -- even the little mp3 player armband feels like a lot.
This amethyst crystal growth is about two feet high by three feet wide. It's sitting on the floor in the Museum of Natural History's rocks and minerals collection where people can touch it.
A piece of the meteorite that created Meteor Crater in Arizona 50,000 years ago.
And speaking of ancient, this didn't start out as stone but it is now: a petrified cycadeoidea marylandica, a giant conifer, over 100 million years old, found in Prince George's County, Maryland.
And this lovely? Fossilized feces from a giant ground slug. ETA: SLOTH! This is what happens when I post when I am too tired to think straight.
Here he is! (The Smithsonian did not explain whether that dung belonged to this sloth, heh.)