Thursday, March 17, 2005

See 3/14 below

today's post is below under 3-14-05. Someday I'll get it straight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Forthcoming posts

Is it enough to say that I have posts forthcoming? Does that help the anxiety of wishing I had more time to collect thoughts, share ideas, etc.?

I suppose so, since a friend (Roland) recently said he had some posts that he was working on, I too must claim this to keep the peace. I am "guilty" of the thinking the following: poor wording, no resolution, not deep enough, so it goes into the cancel section of my mind. Furthermore, I know nothing of politics, music, and film to share with my well-informed friends--I have only a curious spirit.

This curiosity brought me to blogging as a way to keep in touch with friends, steal their ideas, and take their reccomendations for good reading, art, etc.

Recently this has come in the form of Annie Dillard (For the Time Being). Being the prude that I am, I have procrastinated Dillard for some time thinking that she was something she is not, but it was well worth it--I wasn't ready. Her voice, her curiosity, her way of allowing things to just "be" and not try to always force closure on her arguments--I am mystified. She relates the world in a catalogue of seemingly unrelated stories (new and old) and allows language to mirror nature.

Now there's a thought--Dillard's language sounds like nature. I think she would like to hear that. I am glad that I can drive to the sound of her words--this book is on tape in my car.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Faerieland: by request

Actually this was a post I've been holding on to, but just can't seem to get enough time to edit it here goes.

May I propose that our culture has lost its ancient sense of superstition with its fascination with technology. Except, of course, if our superstitions are founded upon a technological imagination. It is not preposterous for a well-respected person to believe there is life somewhere besides earth: just turn on the Sci-Fi channel and you may be blessed by a number of different films, shows dedicated to this possibility. Just recently I was watching one with Val Kilmer wherein he must do something heroic on Mars to get the girl.

So lately I've been teaching myself about the lovely "Longaevi" or Long-livers (no, their livers are not long). These are the those whom the ancient and modern Celts call the "good people," the "people of the wood," "fairies" and whom fantasy writers have taken a liking (we have to remember that C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkein were first and foremost professors of Medieval English literature--they are not what you would call "original"--and that is, of course, what makes them great).

Apparently there is no question, for some, whether these folks actually exist. Just like for some demons are real and, though unseen, they invade our comfortable world. Many a college professor's career was put into question after s/he "came out" dedicating their research to these superstitions. Just ask W. B. Yeats who spent much of his early career gathering faerie stories from Irish folks and collecting them into lovely anthologies.

So while a good college roomate adored artwork of the faerie, I feel obligated to set the record straight: these are not little people with wings (I do not know enough of the pixies)--this was a modern invention (kinda). They are usually human-size folks who are not governed by the rules of this world--they are overly passionate, violent, they love to hunt with hawks, clothe themselves in wonderful garmets, create beautiful gardens, etc.

Some famous examples occur in canonical literature such as: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Lanval, Sir Orfeo, Spenser's Faerie Queene, etc. Or take Shakespeare's Tempest and Midsummer Night's Dream.

They can be fierce (even green) persons and beautiful at the same time. In fact, these two--beauty and horror--seem inseparable at times. They dwell in the space between this world and the next: just before you fall asleep at night, in-between night and morning, or in the cleft of a two large rocks.

What is necessary to be warned of is what role the faerie play in y(our) lives. Oftentimes they are ministers of a certain test. They invade our comfortable worlds in quite disheartening ways and remind us that they too share this earth. When you lose your phone or keys--yep, faeries. When you are cutting down a tree (they love trees, horses) and your ladder all of a sudden slips out from under you. You get the idea--this is the "aventour" (adventure)--a moment when you are to consider the frailty of your existence alongside a much deeper, more passionate, playful, skilled race.

I use frivolous examples since we are not religious/superstitious/spiritual enough to see the significance of this other world. Or are we?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow

Snow is a wonderful thing when one's job is teaching English. Not only are there great poems to study, such as Emily Dickinson's "It sifts from Leaden Sieves," but one is periodically told to stay home until the world becomes a safer place. I am certainly glad the snow (if that is what her poem is "about") stilled this artisan.

IT sifts from leaden sieves,

It powders all the wood,

It fills with alabaster wool

The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face

Of mountain and of plain,—

Unbroken forehead from the east

Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,

It wraps it, rail by rail,

Till it is lost in fleeces;

It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem,—

The summer’s empty room,

Acres of seams where harvests were,

Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,

As ankles of a queen,—

Then stills its artisans like ghosts,

Denying they have been.