At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I’ve loved this poem from the very first read some three decades and countless connections ago:

The Silken Tent
By Robert Frost

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

* * *

I think about connections often. Not in any epistemological sorta way, no’s always passion over pedantry for this pilgrim.
I think about the human connections that keep us tethered, grounded, rooted to the earth. Without them we’d surely be mere dander in the breeze. Our connections keep us sane and standing upright when we’ve lost our compass, our strength, our very will.

I think about connections and how they may begin with such amazing raw potential that one would swear the cables will come to be the stuff of braided steel. It’s a shock to find the ties were mere (or mebbe mutual) illusion/delusion...or expressions of hope beyond hope...
or...or...inexplicably keyed to bedrock of smoke.

The connections that mean the most are the true and time-tested bonds. The connections that we so desperately rely upon are those that have been tried and proven countless times, battered by both tempers and tempests, yet found ever resilient (though often frayed).

We need these tethers and the comforts they bring.

* * *

Gratuitous non-sequitor:

Things that kinda rattle in my brain:

"I was gonna send you a thank you card, but I remembered I forgot to buy stamps"

* * *

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In the Distance

The windows were openly welcoming the breeze. Somewhere in the distance, I thought I heard a piccolo play. I found the notion both beguiling and strange. You see, I rarely pay piccolos much due.

It was a sweet ditty. Repeated over and time again. I pictured a small child, sitting on the edge of a bed, sheet music arrayed on a stand before her. She practices making soft Again and again and over again. This fugue of mine was comforting. These innate qualities of the human create, to strive, to pursue beauty...constitute a bedrock of comfort and hope. To serve us (as needed).

So there I sat, lost in a sweet dream, when the ditty grew appreciably louder...then much louder still. I heard the motor of our friendly neighborhood ice cream vendor’s wagon mutter its way down my drive. Those soft and plaintive piccolo notes were synthesized, digitized and amplified tones cheaply replicating an organ-grinder’s repertoire.

Funny how things change, yet every moment remains so very real.

* * *

And now, for those of you who wish to spend nine minutes with eyes gently closed and ears wide open (and let’s toss in sweet breezes at your cheek while we’re at it), here is the “Scene aux champs” from Hector Belioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (one of my most beloved passages in classical music):

* * *

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Cloud Whispers

Clouds tell their tales through form and motion. For those conversant in their language, there is much to know and true foretelling. I never was much good at reading tea leaves or entrails. I leave those arts to others. But clouds? Clouds speak a language I oftimes comprehend. And when they roar, well, even the inanimate/insensate understand.

The clouds are whispering. With ear bent skyward I strain to hear.

* * *

I had not known that the Royal Meteorological Society catalogs cloud languages. I may have never learned about these linguists except for an odd new development. For the first time in more than a half century, the cloud listeners are cataloging a heretofore unheard dialect (oh dear, methinks I may have beaten this poor metaphor to death...sorry).

Meteorologists have dubbed these clouds “Asperatus” based on the Latin word for “rough”. They’ve been sighted around the world in recent years, from Scotland to Australia, over Iowa and the Arctic seas. They appear ominous, dark and demonic. Although sodden with water vapor, they rarely result in rain. The heat energy required to create such roiling forms must be immense indeed. Physicists conjecture they may result when warm air trapped in the lower atmosphere bumps up against a boundary layer of the cooler middle atmosphere.

The clouds are whispering. May we possess the wisdom to listen
and learn.

* * *

Friday, June 05, 2009

Curious Clockworks

We have ourselves our atomic clocks. They are the most accurate time and frequency standards known. The clocks maintain a continuous and stable time scale.

Big woop.

We have ourselves our Rolexes, our Hauers, our dashclocks and digital Paul Reveres, too. Time lurks always within eyeshot to remind us it is fleeting, inexorable, uncompromising, fastidious and prissily precise.

But I have my battery-operated wall clock, see? She never knows the “time”. No matter how I twist her dials, she’s never right. She clings to kitchen wallpaper in a cloud of confusion. It’s after midnight in atomic time, but she pleads it’s almost dawn. I love that clock!

She’s never right (and never wrong).

I don’t wear a wristwatch. I have no need. Time and I...well...we engage in a curious pas de deux. She leads. I follow. Sorta.

We have our clocks, we have our watches too. But our bodies count the minutes and the hours in their own weird way. We each have “body clocks”. We really do. Some of us run fast. Some of us run slow. It’s 2:00am and I’m wide awake. I haven’t slept for days.

My body clock has gone astray.

My closest friends have always laughed at/with me. I was always “wait ‘til next year”. Always was that way. Still am. I vow to accomplish something, and I do...years past the promised or the “past due” date. Time and I, well, what can I say? We maintain a curious and “fluid” relationship. Time is fleeting while I plod along.
I guess one can say we were “made for each other”. Opposites attract.

Time has always worked for me. Never troubled me. I set my sights on something and I conquered...years long past and gone.

Time spreads her arms wide open and I succumb.

That fluid waltz I’ve danced with Time no longer satisfies nor works for me. I have little time to spare and much to do. I can’t swear:
by this time next year”. The seconds scramble, the minutes scamper. The hours, weeks, months and years recede...the Future’s now a midget...and shrinking fast.

* * *

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Telephone

She called
I answered
She hung up.

* * *

Gratuitous non-sequitor:

The hair is gone. All gone.
Lots of gray.

(I've got a hole in me, now)

* * *

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