Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Beauty of the Ice

The beauty of the ice has everything to do with where water gathers,

and how it cracks.

Gammon's Pond and West Quoddy Bay, Nova Scotia

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Brief Picture of Delight

How fitting that the history of the word delight runs back to the Latin word delicio, meaning, "allure," enticement, sweet attraction.  "Delicious," too, emerges from this antique root, where pleasure lies side by side with charm, luxury and attraction.

We are utterly seduced by the arrival of snow--and any sort of delight--and wish both were less fleeting. Still, were they not, would we luxuriate in them so?

Here, as in many things, I take the dog as my model. She knows more than I do.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Look Forward, Look Back

(A Short Pronouncement that Turns to Dialogue. And Citation.)

Look forward, look back: isn't that what we we do on this day?  But why just this day, or yesterday, or during the intervening week between Christmas and New Year's, when news is on short rations and so simply recycles? Always so many questions we might ask, but don't:

Who knocks as the clock clangs, as the snow piles up, flake by flake?
Will I be the one who must answer?

Our beauty so fleeting it runs out like ice on a hot day.

How far do I have to run to avoid coming back?

--As if you could, you know.

"Death is all things we see awake; all we see asleep is sleep."

--I know that, that's Heraclitus.  Just so you don't have the last word, here is another of his aphorisms:
"If all things turned to smoke, the nostrils would sort them out."

Or this: "The fairest order in the world is a heap of random sweepings."

--I knew you'd do that, get the last word.

But it wasn't me; it was Heraclitus. 

And now it's you.

No, it's you.  

Heraclitis, Fragments LXXXIX, CXII and CXXV from Charles H. Kahn.  The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: An Edition of the Fragments with Translation and Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979. 

Photo: Old Montreal through the side mirror