Thursday, August 19, 2010

Skywatch Friday

August 20th, 2010

An August Sunrise in the Similkameen

For more beautiful skies from around the world visit Skywatch Friday and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The answers to What?

What Delights Me?

At this very moment a book I picked up at the local outreach shop (the Bargain Centre where I put in hours).

A Treasure of Terms & Literary Quotations for Readers & Writers.
The Describer's Dictionary by David Grambs.

I don't plan to write a review but I have to say that what appeals to me most about the book is the accompanying descriptive passages from a diverse number of writers from
novelists to naturalists and other non-fiction writers.

I adore descriptive writing - a good paragraph which paints an evocative literary image
 gives me quite as much pleasure as a well done portrait or landscape.

I open the book at random and find these words from Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
"Then, as the midday sun withdraws from the gulf the shadow of the mountains the clouds begin to roll out of the lower valleys.  They swathe in sombre tatters the naked crags of precipices above the wooded slopes, hide the peaks, smoke in stormy trails across the snows of Higuerota.  The Cordillera is gone from you as if it had dissolved itself into great piles of grey and black vapours that travel out slowly to seaward and vanish into thin air all along the front before the blazing heat of the day."

Marvelous, - just like opening a box of candy and having it filled with all your favourites!

What Lightens my Heart?

News that my sister will finally be able to leave the Intensive Care Unit where she has been since the 4th of June after a serious heart operation, and that the depression which has oppressed her for all this time has finally lifted and she is once again enthusiastic about living, ready to regain her strengthen and take up her ties to those who love her.  I am impatient for her move to a Ward where the Internet is one of the perks, and we can once again enjoy the marvels of modern communication, - two old ladies sending instant messages up and over the Rocky Mountains!!

What is it that Dismays me?

I am currently reading Chris Hedges 'Empire of Illusion' and this I am accomplishing in fits and snatches.  A snatch is about all I can stand before I have a fit of despair at the picture he paints of the state of affairs in the United States of America.  A regular Jeremiah, and I am hoping the glass is not as empty as he makes out..

I am sorry you cannot click to look inside!  It is his sub-title that drew me to the book - 'The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle'.  It is a concept I am quite in agreement with.  I shudder at Facebook and Twitter and at the minimal use of actual words in the communications they host.  To say nothing of adjectives or adverbs or any other kind of civilized and entertaining epistles.

And when you consider the Triumph of Spectacle, alas, his examples are all too blatant and pernicious.
Hedges describes a certain meanness that feeds the Celebrity Ego, and a diminishing of generosity and civility throughout society.

I sigh, and put the book aside, horrified that what he says may be true - to the extent that he says it is!

Here is the little dog, enquiring about a walk in the dusk, and so we will put cares aside and go out into the coolness of the evening and the sweet scented path through the garden, and all will be well......all will be well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The enchanting letter this week is E

E is for Enchantment

If we can keep the wonder and enchantment of childhood with us all our long life through, what a wonderful  antidote to cynicism it is!  Wordsworth's concept of 'trailing clouds of glory' is pure enchantment.....

It is the dim haze of mystery that lends Enchantment to the pursuit.  Antoine Rivario


...and life's Enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim
Lord Byron

the Enchanted kingdoms of childhood

........and the Enchantment of Gardens

the Enchanted Garden

the Enchantment of Music

'music's pure algebra of Enchantment' Conrad Potter Aiken

The Lady of Shallot  

and the Enchantment of story and myth and poetry

A Song of Enchantment

A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
in a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree.

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go'
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green.

Twilight came; silence came;
The plant of Evening's silver flame;
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thickets trembling with drops of dew.

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat along,
Ages and Ages have fallen on me -
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

Walter de la Mare

For more enchanting E's visit ABC Wednesday. with thanks to all who maintain this Extraordinary meme

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A bedtime treat

Caspar and Miss Callie and I go out for a last stroll down the driveway and are enchanted, as always, by the delicate fragrance of the night-scented stock.  A wispy and insignificant little flower by day, planted in a pot surrounded by sweet-peas and sweet alyssum close to the doorway, - at night its magical perfume keeps us lingering in the still night air.

The Garden by Moonlight
Amy Lowell

A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snowball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies' delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, padding between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
But who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone.