Tom Thomson in Doubt
By Troy Jollimore
Lay down them projects for the crackling stars.
The hourglass sifts itself. Stars sprawl and blaze
in every each direction, and their howl
torments him into sleep. There was a point
from which they all emerged, of infinite mass,
through which he right now passes possibly through,
knowing it not. But then, what does he know?
And what could tell he to another ear?
Ears tilt away from him now when he speaks,
and people form strange patterns, fields, as if
a magnet he, and iron filings they.
"Lay down," he just repeats, "them projects." He
gives often to himself advice, and trusts
himself, though less these days, to get it right.
We had thought about going downtown on Sunday in the late morning before taking Daniel to the robotics end-of-year party in the afternoon, but two things put us off: both kids had homework to finish and there was a tornado warning for nearly the entire state of Maryland. We sent Adam to the pool early in the hope that he'd get to swim before the storm arrived, but they closed the pool after less than an hour because of thunder in the distance, and while I was still sweeping berries from our neighbor's tree off the porch, it started to pour. So we cleaned out the refrigerator, then watched Doctor Who's "Vincent and the Doctor," which I liked though I didn't think it was a particularly great episode -- compared to "The Shakespeare Code," for instance, I didn't think it did as good a job capturing the sensibility of the artist, and I was irritated that everyone seemed to have conflated "painter whose work sells for the most money nowadays" with "greatest painter who ever lived."
There are a couple of scenes I absolutely love -- Vincent asking the Doctor and Amy to see the starry sky as he sees it is magnificent, and Vincent in the Musee D'orsay is really moving, the shock of discovering that his art can move people generations after his death. Those scenes were undercut, though, by various historical anachronisms, none more irritating than how clean and pristine the village was -- didn't look anything like the south of France to me. I can't decide how I feel about the Doctor slipping up and saying "Amy and Rory" -- I'm sure Rory is coming back, it's the pattern of the series, and if it will save us from any gratuitous Doctor/Amy romance, that is fine with me, but sheesh can't they let one episode go by without reminding us that The End of the Universe As We Know It! will once again arrive before the end of the season?
It had stopped raining and the temperature had dropped by the time we got Daniel to the robotics party (which had been moved from a swimming pool to someone's house). So since we were nearby, we took a walk at Brookside Gardens, where we saw goslings of many ages and lots of other wildlife and flowers. Adam was sullen about having been dragged out of the house when he wanted to do things on his computer, but then he asked if we could stop and get a sheet for him to use as a green screen, so since there's a JC Penney in the Wheaton mall and they were having a big sale, we wound up there, where indeed we found a bright green sheet set for very little money. Dinner was chaotic since Paul had to run out in the middle to retrieve Daniel (Paul had made phyllo spinach pie, which was excellent). Then we all watched The Tudors, which is in its endgame -- I love Joely Richardson's quiet steely reformer of a Catherine Parr, I still like Sarah Bolger's Mary Tudor and the fact that her Catholic passion here hasn't been translated to prudery or haughtiness, the history of warfare is reasonably interesting, but otherwise Henry and his self-absorbed courtiers are at this point becoming more annoying than not!
Around the memorial to the 2002 DC sniper victims, it looks like full summer.
Robins, blue jays, woodpeckers and many songbirds were enjoying the wet grass and the bugs that had emerged.
The water in the lake was high, reaching above the knees of this cypress.
The labyrinth was unfortunately closed for repairs.
A turtle enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine, though the temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees from the high of around 90 earlier in the day.
Many of the flowers still showed evidence of the storm, though no big branches were down in the park as there were in our neighborhood.
Here is a mother goose and her gawky adolescent goslings. There were two other families nearby with chicks of different ages -- photos later in the week.