The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Great Falls Life

Had I Not Been Awake
By Seamus Heaney

Had I not been awake I would have missed it,
A wind that rose and whirled until the roof
Pattered with quick leaves off the sycamore

And got me up, the whole of me a-patter,
Alive and ticking like an electric fence:
Had I not been awake I would have missed it,

It came and went so unexpectedly
And almost it seemed dangerously,
Returning like an animal to the house,

A courier blast that there and then
Lapsed ordinary. But not ever
After. And not now.


I'm pretty sure I posted that when Human Chain was published, but ethelking reminded me of it the other day and it's worth another reading.

My kids and I all had dermatologist appointments on Wednesday, and we all ended up needing very minor procedures (mine was the most complicated since I needed stitches -- I have skin cancer all over my family, so any spot on my skin darker than chocolate or larger than a lower case o tends to get removed). I was ordered not to get it wet or exert myself for the rest of the day, so I called Paul and he met us at Tara Thai for lunch, then we came home and watched Titanic, which I'd gotten in the mood for at Mr. Popper's Penguins where they showed a preview for the IMAX anniversary edition coming to theaters for the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. I know it is uncool to admit, both because it has historical inaccuracies and because it won James Cameron a slew of Oscars, but I really love that movie -- even the much overplayed music. I have always really liked Kate Winslet, even in movies I have really disliked like Revolutionary Road, and I can watch sea voyages (especially in which Ioan Gruffudd has a role) over and over.

Since I was on my rear end for a lot of the afternoon, I played with all my Superpoke penguin's friends and sold off some old Superpoke furniture until I had enough coins to buy the boardwalk habitat. We had some kind of yummy tofu satay for dinner that involved cocoa in the recipe, watched the second episode of Lost Empires in which Colin Firth tried hard to lose his virtue, then watched an absolutely superb documentary on PBS, Journey to Palomar, about George Ellery Hale's efforts to build telescopes that would reveal the universe's secrets while he was dealing with financial problems, nervous breakdowns, world wars, doubters, trucks that couldn't get up Mount Wilson, glass that couldn't be annealed properly, etc. It has cameos by Einstein and Carnegie and a lengthy examination of Hubble's importance -- together Hubble and Hale contributed as much to our understanding of the universe as Galileo and Copernicus. Fascinating stuff. Here are some photos from Great Falls last weekend:

Adam meets a goose.

A duck suns himself on a rock in the Potomac River.

A moth enjoys flowers on Olmsted Island.

Well-camouflaged great blue herons go fishing in the rapids.

I'm not sure the Canada geese around the Potomac River migrate any more.

Wildflowers bloom along the C&O Canal bank.

The mules that pull the canal barge wait in the shade for the lock to fill.

A heron hands on the rocks across the river on the Virginia side of Great Falls.

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