The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday


Absolution
By Siegfried Sassoon


The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time’s but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?

--------

It was a pretty good Thursday, all things considered. Was looking up some stuff because I said I'd write something about Tu B'Shvat and Imbolc for my circle and found some lovely online Goddess art galleries: Dream Weaver Gallery, Out of the Mists, Visionary Art (one reminds me of Susan Seddon Boulet, one of Kris Waldherr and one did the Sacred Geometry Oracle deck). I had lunch with gblvr and vertigo66 at Cheeburger Cheeburger in the shopping center with the worst parking lot anywhere, but the grilled chicken with jalapeno cheese was really good and afterward I stopped in the big Ritz Camera there and found, for $7.99, a little camera bag intended for one of those skinny new Coolpix cameras but it happens to fit my phone perfectly and it fits Tamrac's strap accessory system, so I can now attach my phone securely to my new camera backpack. (Am still looking for a way to pack my camcorder securely in very little space, since we only get one carry-on apiece and I really do not want to put it in packed luggage.)

In general it was a good day for my material covetousness. gblvr brought me honey body wash and scrub. Then I got home I got the package I ordered with an Amazon.com gift certificate, which had my new Bluetooth headset and Celtic Woman's A New Journey (beautiful recordings of "Beyond the Sea" and "Scarborough Fair" among other things). And because I am a dork, after looking covetously at expensive glass kaleidoscopes for a long time, I also got this $15 one, and while it is not an object d'art like the glass kaleidoscopes, it looks just as pretty inside as the crystals fall by, which is what I really care about. Plus I got a Valentine from Alan Rickman my girlfriend dementordelta with fan art, whee!


Ice over the river at Great Falls last weekend on Olmsted Island.


The water plants that grew not long ago when it was absurdly warm are now making green ice.


Across the river on the Virginia side of the falls, ice emerges from the cliff side.


I never noticed this marker before and it looks like it's been there for ages, off to the side from the path on Olmsted Island.
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Thursday night means Smallville, Shark and the last episode of the original Star Trek, which is a sad occasion and not just because the last episode is "Turnabout Intruder." (Which vertigo66 gave me on VHS as a birthday present a million years ago!) It's particularly painful to watch this the week of the Lisa Nowak insanity, and I find it so irksome that they make the episode all about Janice Lester hating being a woman rather than her frustration with institutionalized sexism or competence issues that have nothing to do with gender, like the Trill who steals the Dax symbiont on DS9 because he hasn't been chosen as a host (played by John Glover, sadly absent from Smallville again this week). Sigh. Ah well, on to reviewing TNG, the only Trek series I have never written up in any form, not even in fic. Next week, "Encounter at Farpoint"! And for now, Smallville...which was pathetically predictable and annoying! I sat there all episode hoping against hope that, since Lana obviously needed to be rescued and was no way going to be allowed to rescue herself, at least it would be Chloe who got to do it, but no such luck. We got the cliche where Superman swoops in and reduces her to pathetic, sniveling womanhood worthy of what Janice Lester thinks women are.

It doesn't help at all that twice Lana announces that all she cares about is the baby no matter what happens to her. Of all the galling cliches! There are a thousand ways to have a woman express concern about her pregnancy without defining her as a self-sacrificing vessel. I loathe and despise this character so much -- even her trusting Chloe more than she trusts Lex comes across as capricious and hypocritical when it should make her look like she has an iota of smarts. Chloe's line, "She's been orbiting your secret for years and I think she may finally be coming in for a landing," is just about a perfect summary: here comes Lana, crashing through the skylight into the arms of her Twu Wuv, but of course even then she doesn't realize what it means! (And Martha deserves a trophy for stupidity this week, too. What kind of idiot lets her son's ex-lover who's now engaged to his worst enemy stay in his room? Where in hell is the spare bedroom...where did Lois sleep when she lived there?)

And since when do private security rather than the police investigate when there's a murder? Does Lex now own the police force, even if he can't keep track of the lunatics on his private payroll? The psycho bodyguard is telegraphed all episode. Even the ending, which it is possible to read as luscious slashy goodness, doesn't make up for the rest of the badness: Lex saying he relates to wanting to know all about Clark the way Lana does, then giving Clark an invitation to their wedding, telling Clark to come see what he lost. (I assume Lex means Lex himself, not Lana.) Ah well, at least I like that I like that Rise Against song.

And Shark...less predictable, since I thought all episode that the younger sister was going to be the killer, in a what-if-Ashlee-wants-Jessica-out-of-the-way storyline, but it doesn't quite hang together for me when it turns out the stepfather-lover did it after all. Why kill Taylor and have her legend overshadow her younger sister forever? Why not let Taylor go marry the boyfriend from rehab and promote the sister in her place -- since the stepfather clearly isn't in love with Taylor, he could probably turn Sister #2 into what he wants with no risk or sacrifice on his part. Moreover, if what Taylor really wanted was out of Hollywood, why did she agree to do the fake catfight in the club the night she was murdered, and why is she back to doing drugs if she's no longer caught up in that lifestyle? Doesn't sound to me like she was leaving Hollywood at all, but competing with Lindsay Lohan for publicity.

As always my favorite bits involve Stark and Julie, though I'm not much crazier about her My Bodyguard experience than Lana's. At least Julie's private security is merely irresponsible rather than insane. Stark warns her not to grow up to be Britney Spears; she says she's thinking Justice Ginsburg, but when a guy who's years too old suggests that she could model, she's immediately tempted, despite growing up in L.A. and seeing models crash and burn all the time, which just makes me arrgh. And the way everyone presumes that Taylor's lover from rehab must have been a stalker because he was an ordinary guy daring to approach a star...clearly these people buy into the whole attitude about stars living on and being entitled to a different planet than ordinary mortals, even as they're pretending to be all cynical about the drugs, etc. It's disappointing.

Speaking of celebrities, Anna Nicole Smith...boy, I hope her husband is the father of that poor baby girl. And the other claimant backs off and lets the child have some semblance of a normal life. Can't take any more news. Off to play with my pretty kaleidoscope...
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