August 15, 2012

My friend Craig does not feel bad about negative experiences.  I remember his ideas when I become malcontent.  When we went to a bad restaurant, he said that it was all an adventure.  We would know not to do that again.  When I went to the Texas Roadhouse for a steak dinner, I was told there would be a five minute wait.  It was a busy time.  But the receptionist said the reason was that there was a meeting behing held for the service staff; they would return in about five minutes.  About eight minutes later, I was seated.  It was noisy.  The room pulsed with loud country-western music.  My waitress arrived and I had to raise my voice to give my order.  The food was expensive.  The medium-rate steak I ordered was medium.  I set it back and waited and waited.  The second steak was medium also.  I started to leave, but I was hungry, and I ate it.  It was all right.  The potatoes were greasy.  The salad was not fresh, and the dressing was anemic.  The waiters and waitresses who sang “Happy Birthday” had to scream and shout it above the broadcast music.  A steakhouse in Hell.  As I left, I noticed a gaggle of waitresses waiting at the reception area.  They looked like slatterns.  I will not go there again.  A few days later the church service was not organized well.  The pianist apologized for missing notes in the opening hymns.  She said she was out late last night at a wonderful party of two of her peianos students.  She would do better on the last hymn.  The sermon video was tedious and did nothing to exemplify the thesis of the speakers before the video.  But the folks were realaxed and friendly and welcoming.  I remembered both times Craig’s statement of learning adventures.

One of the nights of the meteor showers was a  night of pouring rain.  The next night, at 3:30 in the morning, there were heavy clouds and patches of clearing.  THe moon was a brown-orange orb low in the northeastern sky.  I imagined the scene without the streetlamp at the corner, without the across-the-street neighbor’s spot light, without my next-door neighbor’s pole lamp lighting all her back yard and part of mine.  Pan would reign.

Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron is a good mystery novel.  I read mystery novels for setting and character mor than for plot, and Maron writes to my liking.  I collected speech from the novel, speech still heard in parts of eastern North Carolina, where Maron’s books are set:  (1) “bust his britches” (to get something done)  (2) “thought she hung the moon”  (3) suffering from the “sugar diabetes”  (4) coffee smelling “fittin’ to drink”  (5) that’s “why come” something happened  (6) the law (meaning police officer)  (7) He “favors his brother” (resembles)  (8) “poor as Adam’s housecat”  (9) “poor as Job’s turkey”  (10) “fixing” to do something. 

Geocaching at Lake Michael, Mebane, North Carolina.  Why am I tearing around, walking quickly, checking the GPS device often, rushing to the location of the cache?  It’s a hot day.  I have nothing else to do that afternoon.  I’m not enjoying the woods, its coolness, its sounds, its smells.  I’m in a rush to the coordinates, ignorning all else.  What is going on here?

The p-h-y-s-o-t-e-g-i-a in the north border is blooming now.  Beautiful light purple bells.  Try typing it.  Each time I did the spell-correct changed it to hysteria.  No wonder typewriters are making a come back.  Try it.  Does your word processor change it?  Mine doesn’t if I were to capitalize Physotegia.  I noticed many bees (“Buccaneer of Buzz” and thought it attracts hummingbirds, I not seen one there.

A murder of eight crows examined the back yard.  They made their lordly walk around, searching for the ground for something.  Another crow was stationed as a look-out.  They don’t often come; I’m glad when they do.

“Ruby Sparks” is a fun movie.  It questions our concepts of reality.  It’s funny, especially the character of the brother of the writer.  Many leaving the theater said it was “strange.”  The friend with me thinks our lives and relationships are pretty much a crap shoot.  The movie sows how we make our reality.  I will plan to see it again.

Hearing Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 2 was a summer treat.  The recording is 1986 by Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.  The fifth movement is a romp.  It must be fun to play, to end the piece with the abrupt BLAAH of the last chord!  Next will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, with its evocation of an afternoon thunderstorm.

There are several poems celebrating trees in One Hundred and One Famous Poems, which I finished this week.  My favorite (and best) is Lucy Larcom’s “Plant a Tree.”  Each stanza illustrates what we plant when we plant trees: hope, joy, peace, youth, love.  Some research on Larcom provided interesting information.  As a child, she was a mill worker to support the widowed mother; she became a teacher.  Whittier admired her poetry.  A search of web sits on Larcom shows one web site which contains many of her poems.  In the introductory poem of a 1896 collection:  “…All thiings are beautiful/Because of something lovelier than themselves,/Which breathes in them, and will never die.”  How about that for those of us with panetheistic or almost-pantheistic souls!  And: “Earth is suffused, inhabited by heaven.”

Since my reading alternates fiction and nonfiction (with plans and poetry read on the side), I’m ready for fiction again.  My nonfiction was a book of essays, Only the Sacred: Transforming Education in the Twenty-first Century edited by Peggy Whalen-Levitt.  It was a gift from a firend in New York City.  My favorite essay, the best, is by John Shackelton of Asheville, NC, who writes:  “We have not approached knowledge respectfully or revered its sacred nature; we have probed it as a means of controlling our destiny; we have treated knowledge as a servant to our purposes, and now we are in a dangerous place.”  Yes.  Now to another Margaret Maron mystery!

I hope your week was good, and that you will enjoy the time before I write again.

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About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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