Tuesday, February 21, 2017

G is for Grooks

ABC Wednesday
February 22nd, 2017

The letter is G for GROOKS

The first book (and there are many)

The Author

Piet Hein (1905-1996)

One of the most original Danes of the 20th century he was a many-sided man in the best sense.

An author, philosopher, mathematician, designer, scientist, game inventor, as well as the creator
of a new form of poetry he called "Grook".

In his philosophical writings he asserted that the great cultural divide in society was not between the haves and the have-nots, but between the knows and the know-nots - and to myself I whispered "yes, yes, yes".

"Piet Hein wrote over 10,000 grooks, most in Danish or English and published in more than sixty books....His grooks first started to appear in the daily newspaper "Politiken' in April 1940 - shortly after the Nazi occupation and under the Old Norse pseudonum "Kumbel" meaning "tombstone"

Grooks are small aphoristic verses characterized by irony, paradox, brevity, precise use of the language, sophisticated rhythms and rhymes, revealing in a minimum of words and with a minimum of lines some basic truth about the human condition."

Here are a few examples to wet your appetite.......

T.T.T.                                                                           The Road to Wisdom

Put up in a place                                                         The road to wisdom?                              
where it's easy to see                                                   Well it's plain to see
the cryptic admonishment                                            and simple to express
T.T.T.                                                                            err
                                                                                      and err
When you feel how depressingly                                 and err again
slowly you climb                                                          but less
it's well to remember that                                             and less
Things Take Time                                                         and less

On Problems

Our choicest plans
have fallen through,
our airiest castles
tumbled over,
because of lines
we neatly drew
and later neatly
stumbled over.

Today I really like this one, the February sun being loathe to appear......

PRAYER (to the sun above the clouds)

Sun that givest all things birth
shine on everything on earth.

If that's too much to demand
shine at least on this our land

If even that's too much for thee
shine at any rate on me.

More interesting Gs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who have, are and will maintain
this lovely meme.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday morning thoughts.....

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Well first, the Weather Report....

The clouds are skirting the bottom of the hills and the sky is overcast and dour.  A little while ago I saw a very small patch of blue (enough to make a sailor a pair of pants, as my grandmother would say) edged in a little reflected light from the sun that lurks behind, and shines on the higher hills.

The forecast is for more of the same, - perhaps even a little snow.  But February is almost as fickle as April, and one never knows what she will cast down for us to cope with or enjoy.

I went to Penticton on Friday, and on the way home the setting sun made vision impossible - shining in the eyes and obliterating the road.

I went to Penticton with  third son and his dear wife to attend the funeral of what would have been my oldest living friend.  A very beautiful Celebration of Life, Anglican style.  With a few little modern additions much appreciated by the non-church-goers.  The Presider sang a lovely song. with guitar accompaniment, and my friend's granddaughter played a beautiful farewell lament on her violin, as well as an enchanting dance tune, for Granny.  The grandchildren did readings and prayers. The church was full.  On her 90th birthday the Arts community in Penticton paid her tribute for her years of creative contribution, both in painting and encouragement to younger painters.

Charles started Grade One with Jill.  I met her soon after we were married, in 1947.  After her husband entered the Ministry he was at St. John's for almost ten years, and in that time a friendship for life was cemented and grew stronger and dearer.

our last lunch together - ladies with canes.....

As I took part in the old familiar service I noticed that many of the congregation  participated more as spectators, and I guess it is rather a drama in some ways.

But sometimes I think that those who are not familiar with the church, - who maybe left her to go their own ways after Sunday School age, - who maybe have a slight disdain for the intellect of the people who they think believe in the "Sunday School God", (Old Man with Beard recording misdeeds) - sometimes I think that they don't realize most church-goers have advanced beyond that view and have a more mature and sophisticated image of Life and Spirituality, and "God".  And that their Services are a reminder of the morality and mysticism, of a human realization that this is probably only part of our journey......

Anyway, it was a fond and loving farewell.  And I like to think that Charles was there beside me, saying his adieu (and welcome?), to a friend who was dear to him too.  So few left.  I can count them on one hand!!

The dear old priest who gave the homily ended with the analogy of death, as a sailboat setting off from shore;  the friends and loved ones watching as it fades from view in the distance; and the friends and loved ones on the other side, waving their welcome when it comes into sight.

Comforting.....thoughts of Tennyson and Crossing the Bar passed through my mind - " Sunset and evening star/ and one clear call for me/ and may there be no moaning of the bar/ when I put out to sea......

I see a bigger patch of blue, above me, - and the clouds are billowing white in favoured places where the reluctant sun hides but sends a few rays to illuminate and tease.

I go to play the ukulele this afternoon, - how we who are left amuse ourselves, looking for pieces with easy familiar chords and tunes that echo our youth..... I found that the Chattanooga Choo Choo
is something I can manage quite nicely!!