By Wilfred Owen
Between the brown hands of a server-lad
The silver cross was offered to be kissed.
The men came up, lugubrious, but not sad,
And knelt reluctantly, half-prejudiced.
(And kissing, kissed the emblem of a creed.)
Then mourning women knelt; meek mouths they had,
(And kissed the Body of the Christ indeed.)
Young children came, with eager lips and glad.
(These kissed a silver doll, immensely bright.)
Then I, too, knelt before that acolyte.
Above the crucifix I bent my head:
The Christ was thin, and cold, and very dead:
And yet I bowed, yea, kissed - my lips did cling.
(I kissed the warm live hand that held the thing.)
I keep being late this week with poems themed to the day, but oh well. This one is still remarkable.
As you already know, I had a very lovely early part of the day walking at Great Falls with my family and nigita and her family. We had five kids total ranging from 4 to 12, and considering that none of them had ever met one another before, they got along amazingly. Of course it helps that at Great Falls there are rocks to climb on, snail shells to find, birds to watch, turtles to spot, etc. Afterward we went to California Tortilla for lunch, which we had already promised our kids after learning that they were giving out free chips and queso in honor of Tax Day (the government owes us money, yay!) By the time we were all done eating, it was after three and we went to get haircuts...well, three of us got haircuts and younger son declined. I suppose that we could stop going to Cartoon Cuts considering that older son is getting a little old for it and my husband and I always have been, but where else can you get a $16 haircut while watching Dora the Explorer? I've had $75 haircuts that were a lot worse.
We came home and hardly had time to change before going to dinner with my parents, with who we also watched "A Piece of the Action," which I was supposed to review Friday but it was obvious by 5 p.m. that that was not going to happen. Last year I was out of town for ten days in England over spring break, so I feel like I should be able to get three days off in a week where I have Passover, out-of-town friends and relatives visiting and two long family day trips in another state. Hubby's office was closed since the stock market was closed and we couldn't remember whether there was mail or not; is there mail on Monday?
fridayfiver: Feel Good
1. Have you ever ridden a camel? Not that I recall. I have, however, ridden an elephant.
2. When you are outside, what does the horizon look like? At this time of year, it's increasingly green.
3. Who is the last person to leave you a message? mamadracula, whom I still have to call back!
4. How many hours did you sleep last night? About seven.
5. Chocolate: take it or leave it? Cannot survive without it.
thefridayfive: A Photo's Worth 1000 Words
1. What is your favorite photo? If I only get one, it's this one -- Earth from Apollo 17. (I can get totally sappy listening to "From a Distance" too.)
2. Who took the photo? Eugene Cernan, Ronald B. Evans or Harrison H. Schmitt -- I'm not sure which.
3. If you could photograph anything or anyone what/who would it be? Oh, I have a list. Mount Kailas, the Western Wall, the ruins of the Parthenon...
4. What makes a good photo? I have no language to explain this. It's some combination of subject matter, angle, lighting, perspective, intensity...not always something I know when I take a photo.
5. Which do you prefer: digital or print? I'd love to be able to afford prints of and a place to display every photo I love, but digital has made it possible for me and thousands of other people to afford to experiment with photography. So digital wins by a landslide.
It's Friday night, which means that after we got home from parents' it was time for Doctor Who! Which went from near-crack last week to utterly heartbreaking! "You destroyed us?" "I had no choice." "And what of the Time Lords?" "Dead. They burned with you." We get the short form of the Doctor's predicament and proof that he's an alien -- two hearts! The bureaucracy -- American this time, a greedy scientist named Van Statten who partly just enjoys being a sadist and partly wants to get rich and famous off extraterrestrial contact, and a bunch of big stupid military types who assume they can take on anything and kick its ass -- is just as heinous as ever, and the Doctor is somber and miserable, as alone in the universe as the Dalek which can't seem to turn off its programming to exterminate anything it deems an inferior life form (meaning, anything it can exterminate). But it needs Rose's DNA to regenerate and regain its powers, and it absorbs more of her than it means to.
Rose spends most of the episode with Adam, a variation on Matthew Broderick's character in Wargames who once hacked into the defense department computers and almost started World War III. She flirts a little to get to see the Dalek, then is so upset at seeing another being tortured that she demands to try to help it...and she assumes that of course the Doctor will want to help too. When the Dalek asks if she fears it, she says no (Go Rose!) and it says it is proud to have met a human who is not afraid. Even after it turns powerful and evil, it keeps passing up opportunities to kill her, meaning it has something significant in common with the Doctor, who tells Van Statten repeatedly that he won't let anything happen to Rose. I love that the Dalek tells the Doctor he'd make a good Dalek, and then later Rose says that it's evolving and asks the Doctor what he is turning into.
As usual, the women are wonderful -- Van Statten's assistant Goddard is much smarter than he is, and I love the female guard who gives her life so Rose and Adam can escape. And Rose! "It wasn't your fault, remember that, okay? It wasn't your fault. I wouldn't have missed it for the world," she tells the Doctor when she thinks she's seconds from death. Meanwhile the Dalek is asking the Doctor what use are emotions if he won't save the woman he loves (by putting everyone else at risk) and the Doctor gives in: "I killed her once, I can't do it again." Then the Doctor realizes he is even more alone than he thought, because while he is the last of his kind, the Dalek is no longer the last of the Daleks because it has become something else through its bond with Rose. I was waiting for the Doctor to realize that applies to him as well, but he's either in denial or afraid to say it aloud. MAN I love this show!
The Fairy Flower Labyrinth, with stones marked with a Navajo blessing about walking in beauty.
The Faerie Cottage. Inside is an ornamental fireplace with cauldron, a set of mini-thrones and a large carved Green Man on the wall.
Visitors who step inside this fairy ring in the summer are sprayed with mist from the bases of these toadstools -- if you look at the bottoms, you can see the mist dampening the ground.