Sunday, December 30, 2007
Ducks stay the winter. They didn't always. When winters were still winters that meant it, ducks flew away more South where temperatures seemed friendlier to them.
But winters have become rather wishy-washy. Not fierce enough to frighten the winged ones away. And why would they not stay? That species called humans brings them food a plenty. When
fish , water insects, and plants are scarce, humans provide. Well meant, but not wise.
I live near a creek streaming strong enough to not freeze over. In a white snow landscape, the water looks black. Black and mysterious. Ducks gather there protected by the woodsy grow both sides. Spring must be on their mind. Mating is on their mind. There are exactly as many males as females busily duck talking and swimming around. A peaceful sound. Their feather coats shine. A deep, gleamy shine.
But wait, no duckling could be born yet, could it? What's that cheepy, whistling baby sound. A bird? I search the trees around. No bird in sight. I've heard this sound now each day I pass. I stop to look. Try to find a duck that forgot to grow up. I study their individual faces. See if one sounds different from the others. But although I hear that clear sound repeat itself, I cannot pin point it.
So I dream of other dimensions. Maybe I walk on the dividing line between two. Maybe another world is entering my awareness. It is late spring in that world. It is alive with many birds, and colourful flowers. It is a young world full of babies and life beginning. A little duckling got separated from his mommy. It calls out in a clear voice. I can hear it. It is speed-run-swimming -hardly touching the water- after her.
From my wintry world I entered new life. Did I? Ah, sometimes I don't like mysteries explained. A little later, suddenly, a flock of mourning doves took flight, out of nowhere seemingly. I heard the whistling from their wings.
And I knew, a single one of that sound was my baby duck. Or the sound from a duck that forgot to grow up. Right in this world. No mystery, no miracle, no magic. But wait, that's not right either, is it?
The whistling sound from the wings of a mourning dove, isn't that mysterious and magic in itself? Those pairs of gleaming ducks, preparing for spring and new life, using their duck emotions and wisdom, how can that be common? Me standing here, listening, watching, dreaming, experiencing at different levels... Ah yes, I think, miracles do exist.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Sounds good, doesn't it? I think so. But it isn't true. It wasn't even ankle deep. More over, Westheight isn't a river. Just a street. Still, it was raining heavily, and all that snow was melting, melting, melting, and Westheight may as well have been a river while I walked there with my seemingly drowned retriever.
We took a turn, and wended our way to a path along the creek. But Creek we did not find. She had been taken over by Thundering River, eager to get where ever he was going, at a speed of one hundred miles an hour. And the ducks loved it. Without using their wings, they were flying down that river, laughing.
And while I was wading knee deep through the Westheight River, dreams of a white Christmas were gurgling down the drain. Like the “Rain in Spain.” It was two days past winter solstice with the promise of every day a little bit more light. What a sunny thought!!!
I was thinking about all these things while wading knee deep through the Westheight River, wondering where that quiet creek had gone. Wondering about truth and non truth.
Is writing about telling the truth? Is the truth poetic? I like language to sound like music. Writing is like weighing words. Strike a balance. Add a word here, take one away there, arrange them. Make them sound like music Make them sing.
I could have started with, “I walked on Westheight Road with my dog. It was raining hard. We sloshed through lots of water...
That would have been the truth. But what is truth? That what I see outwardly, or what I experience inwardly? What sounds nice, and what sounds blah? Who's the judge?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
S N O W
S N O W
S N O W
Never ending snow
Over the hills and far away snow
Whether we like it or not snow
let it snow let it snow let it snow
let's have snow days no work just play days
let's play play play in the snow
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE
Monday, December 03, 2007
Here's the result,
BITTER SWEET MEMORY
there are blanks in my brain
i don't care to be there
there are blanks in my brain
that ought not occur
they spread too
those blanks in my brain
make me forget
what i ought to remember
frustrating like hell
those blanks in my brain
but what can a mortal do
time being the dictator
we're all mortals
in this universe
our vital signs will fade fade
fade slowly away
if we're blessed to live to
a ripe old age that is
now isn't that a
bitter sweet memory
Wild Thing thinking
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Maybe I have to change my mind about November. There have been some pretty marvelous days in this year's, like today. Cold though!. The old winter coat is revisited again. Had that thing for near twenty years. Bought it for 35 dollar at Bargain Harold's, way back then. It's warm, washable, and comfortable. It outlasted several other winter coats.
Did a long Simon walk, this morning. I just came home. Walked along the Conostogo Parkway Trail, all the way to the hydro pole tower and back. Sun, blue skies, pure white clouds, pretty birds flitting by, layers of golden leafs to shuffle your feet through. Many of them still cling to their trees.
I was thinking about Larry's latest blog posts. Wars, fears, unbearably stupid politics, gullibility... and it was so strange thinking about all that horror, walking so peacefully along, feeling happy, on a beautiful day in nature. And it is not just a today thing. Things don't change, don't really get better, when you really think about it. I thought about, and went back, to my very first book of poems, I put together in a dummy book, to a poem written in February 1968, when my English was still pretty iffy.
I'm free to roam around the fields,
To greet the golden sun,
To touch a flow'r along my path
To see a fast stream run.
To listen to the whisp'ring winds.
To hear a birdy tweet:
I'm free to fill my heart with joy
To shy a poison weed.
I'm happy on a hearty walk,
I feel like nature's child, I skip, I dance, I twirl, I sing,
And let myself run wild.
I like to think that this is it,
The sun, this land, no more.
But elsewhere in this wond'rous world
They fight an ugly war.
To just believe that life is good,
That somewhere 'long the line,
All people get an even chance,
For deep felt joy like mine...!
But there, I know this is not so,
And on me creeps a guild
That I should go without a care
While others live in filth.
I guess that was the Vietnam War?
Thinking about the situations in the world, and even just in Canada, enjoying my morning walk with Simon, I felt the irony again, I felt guilty for feeling so good. And then I wondered, which I do so often,
why I always seem to be in the good part of the world. Well yes, I experienced the Second world War. And it was scary. But for the rest of my life, in Holland as well as in Canada, war always seems to be elsewhere.
Our democracies are far from perfect. Big Brother is really watching us. The creep! But somehow, here in our part of the world, compared to Iraq and Afghanistan, and so, it is more peaceful.
And I wondered if it maybe has to do with the richer Western countries, money wise, (not wise as in wisdom) where people can live better, eat better, that it is relatively more peaceful. Although there is a lot of road rage and so...
I don't know. Again, the best thing I know what to do about it myself, is what I am doing. Stay out of the system as much as I can, do the best I can, and hope for the best.
It's a perfect day today, to me. I am eating the last piece of my halloween pumpkin done up in the oven, along with some carrots and potato's topped with cheese, Simon lazing about outside, talking to passers by, Yona fast asleep in a secret place, and soon my gang coming over and going for supper to Haysville.
This post is really a reaction to Larry's Mental blog postings. Wild thing cannot communicate with Larry on Larry's blog. Somehow she cannot get comments published on it. An old problem persisting from one computer to another.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
And also I'll remind everyone that my book launch is tonight in Guelph. I hope some will be willing to stop by... I'm a little worried that the launch will feel a little like a Wild Thing blog post -- myself, all alone, talking to myself!
Last night's launch in Hamilton was fun; a few people showed up who I didn't expect. I'm hoping the same will happen tonight.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Guess what? I am going to attempt to bake a pumpkin pie, Never baked a pie before. But I didn't want to throw out that Halloween beauty. I didn't carve it. I found a recipy on the net for making the filling. I have a recipy for the easiest pie crust known. So, I am going to be brave, and try make the indoors more pleasant than the outdoors. Even Simon and Yona are not interested in being outside. They don't scare easily. Just rain or snow, never keeps them in.
I suspect, given the odds, that blogging has gone out of style. So, I am writing this to myself. It's sorta becoming a habit.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I thought about that, this morning, when I leaved through a book wherein I pen poems. I was indulging on a large chocolate bar, milk chocolate and almonds. The book is one, with quotes at the bottom of the page, but mostly room to write your own stuff.
I read the quote: “Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare
hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”
Judith Viorst wrote that in 1931, 4 years before I was born. She's (was?) an American poet.
All these years later, I have to admit I am lacking that kind of strength. (Do you know that the Super Store has President's Choice, large chocolate bars, 300 gram ones, for $2,99? Plus tax of course.) Oh I am weak!
Anyhow, I read what I wrote on that page. That was in the time that Gary, and even sometimes Leslie, and Van (can't think of the name he had first) came to the poetry get togethers at my place.
We wrote some silly stuff too, experimented a lot. Laughed a lot. (Ate yummy things too). The poem on that before mentioned page expressed my sentiment of mostly El Depresso Poets.
Mostly esteemed poet you
fill your cone with
much less it seems with
when it comes to swirly-swirl
that literarily doesn't thrill ye
How many happy poets do you know???
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
“OK”, I mumble, we're not going then, fine, I didn't want to in the first place.”
The fresh air felt nice, though. It wasn't as cold as I had expected. The wind seemed down. I looked up, and WOW!!! The full moon, bold and bright was speeding by. Or so it seemed. Better no traffic cop look up, I thought, this moon is in for a speeding ticket!!! But how can this be?
Then I saw the clouds, long stringy clouds, that seemed not to move, that made the moon look like it moved, but really it was those clouds racing by, in a continuous motion. Never ending clouds. The moon stood still. Why are the clouds racing like that? (They still are, while I am writing this.) There is hardly any wind. What makes those clouds move? I have never ever seen the likes of it before. I phoned Nigel. And he was looking at it too, and was just as puzzled.
But it is a beautiful moon, and an interesting phenomena. I stood looking at it for a long time. Simon watched me watch it, and sighed a deep sigh when I finally came in. He was ready for bed. No howling at the moon for him!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I needed some eating stuff for supper. So I enter the mall across the street. THE GREAT CANADIAN SUPER STORE!!! ( Yeah right!!!)
It took a while before I clued in. I almost started humming along with the piped in music. Oh, it was soft, and not throughout the store yet. Just greeting you at the entrance where displays of fire logs, with warm flames showing on the boxes, are stacked in seating fashion and all kinds of huggable ( the computer speller doesn't like that word.) teddy bears, and other woolly stuffies sit around at them, cozily, inviting...
What? What is that music I'm starting to hum to? Oh no!!! CHRISTMAS SONGS!!! Not CHRISTMAS!!! Groan!
I though maybe I should complain. How do you complain? Well, you can obtain a survey sheet, to record how “WE ARE DOING.” Where can you obtain that? The sign by the door tells you in very small print that you go to customer service. CUSTOMER SERVICE? That's where there are always long line ups. 'cause they not only take in complaints, exchange non satisfactory items, make up for boo boos that were made at the cash register, they also rent out equipment people have to sign for, and they also sell lottery tickets. And mostly only one person is there to take care of it, and mostly that is a person who is clued out about procedures and has to call in for help, when you insist...
Oh, forget it. Let them play Christmas music in spring, I'll plug my ears and try to get out as fast as I can. (Quite a feat when you figure how large the store is, how far everything away, how badly things are priced, and how badly the shelves are stacked...)
Can we go back to corner stores ? They may close Sundays. If you really are in need, you may knock on the back door and your friendly neighbour who lives behind the store, doesn't mind to reach you what you ask for. Tomorrow, or the next time you're in the store, you can pay for it. It doesn't break church or Sunday laws that way. And if that doesn't work, you pick up a pitcher or cup, and find another next door neighbour and borrow some sugar or vinegar, or so. Why not? Some essential neighbourhood gossip is exchanged for free.
Monday, October 22, 2007
This is the first time in a very long time that I was so caught up in a book that I could not stop reading, and everything else fell by the wayside. It's like living in an other world, and your own reality world is the stranger. That's the place where you are sleepwalking, being there, but not really. This day is a marvelous day, an Indian Summer day, to sit in the sun, feel the gentle warmth, smell the spicy aroma's of maturing nature, and just be carried away into the other world, but still a compatible world, a world where you feel familiar, but where you learn about, and from, others and therefore more about yourself too.
And I wonder again. Why, often I read books, where the subject matter interests me, where I want to keep on reading, but they really do not hold my attention without forcing myself. I think of other things to do, I make many pauses, I fall asleep, I am bored in a way, but still want to know...
So many rows of books in book stores, in libraries. How few that really, really capture you into that other world, that really is your own at the same time.
Are some books good, but badly written? Like good grammar and so, but without lure? Are there stories that are forced? Like not really coming from the depths of a soul? Sort of like someone playing the piano, faultless but not stirring you in any way? Whereas someone playing the piano with stumbles and maybe even wrong notes, sill stirs you, makes you feel all soft and excited inside and you listen with fascination, understanding love?
I can make room for books that may be well written from the heart, but bring story that lies outside my experience. If you have nothing to tie it too, you cannot make it your own in any way. It maybe for example, outside your cultural experience.
I still think that not everyone who writes poems, is a poet. Not everyone who writes story, is a born storyteller. Not everyone who paints, draws pictures, is a true artist. There is a difference, isn't there?
The book I just finished reading and had me under its spell, is,
The Day My Mother Left, by James Prosek. It's a novel, based on th author's own experiences. He's also an artist and loves the natural world.
Of course that may be an indication why his story telling grabs me so much.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I can see her with her auburn hair, in a cheery, printed dress, smiling. We, the family, are biking along trails, through woods and fields. Warm sunshine. The smell of wild flowers, grass, and woodsy floors. “Breathe in deeply,' mom would say, “expand your lungs. This is the best medicine. The air is healthy.”
My mom loved nature. She would have liked not to live in Amsterdam. She always longed for a home in the country. She always hoped that after the war, maybe that wish could be full filled. My dad was a city man. Amsterdam was fine with him. But I believe, had they lived, when things turned better after the war, that he would have found her such a place, maybe not too, too far from the city.
It stayed a dream. After troubled times, after working hard, after caring for others, they lost their health, would not find their reward on Earth. They are no more. But still they are. They are in me at such times, when I inhale deeply, expand my lungs, and drink in that healthy air. And not only that. In so many things I do, my parents and other people I lost, live on in me. That is the mystery of life.
Wild Thing (The Lone Blogger)
Monday, October 15, 2007
O do not know a quote today
Should I then write something
To entertain the blogger bunch,
Like what I had for lunch
To munch on? Not!
I write old fashioned style.
With capitals, and comma's,
And periods and all that stuff,
And rhymes, but without reason.
My fountains run, my candles burn.
I'm not burning them
On both sides, though.
I'm not that dumb.
But surely this poem is.
At only 4 o'clock , I'm out of energy,
And used up all my inspiration,
Day is falling,
Leafs are falling,
Rain is falling,
And I am falling ... short.
No quote today.
Wild & Corny Thing
Friday, October 12, 2007
"We are ourselves only part of the whole, and we can conceive and speak only of parts, but not the whole."
"He listened attentively to what I was saying. But there was nothing in his intellectual or emotional equipment to which he could connect my words. He possessed no frame of reference for such concepts."
Thursday, October 11, 2007
"You can't write without living fully, and you can't live fully and still find time to write."
She calls that the writer's paradox, and suggests different ways to get past that delemma.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
with a frown, they pointed me to the right table. Ha, a man. He was friendlier. He smiled. But still I had to sign a document to proof that I really was Antoinetta Meyer. He asked what language my name came from. “Dutch,” I replied, but correcting myself and saying that in fact it really is a French name. He didn't listen to the second part of my speech. “Dutch” was the key word. “Did you come in wooden shoes?” he chuckled. “No, I replied, “but I sure could have used them in this rain.” He nodded seriously in agreement.
Anyhow, I filled in, (or out?) my ballots, slid them into the ballots box and returned home. After puttering around for a while I remembered my only partly emptied dryer. It felt still warm inside. I reached in and... the towels moved. I pulled my hand back. What was going on? Towels don't move. Must be my imagination. I reached in again, and sure enough there was a motion like waves in there. Very carefully I kneeled down and peeked inside. Just dark clothes. I pushed down on them a bit, and,
“prrr,” two eyes opened up, and looked at me. Yona, all rolled up in the warm towels, blinking his cozy cat eyes at me. I stroked him affectionately and left the towels in, and the door of the dryer open.
For those of you who wonder who brought you her quote of the day, it was me, Wild Thing. Forgot to sign it. And sorry about the two titles. I don't know how to correct things still after publication. Larry explained it once to me, but I forgot.
Collecting quotes is what I like to do. The quote I found today, in the book I am reading,“TheWhale Rider” by Witi Ihimaera, I like a lot and will share. (Larry does “Song of the Day, in his Mental Blog.) Here's my quote of the day:
“Man might carve his mark on the earth, but unless he's vigilant, Nature will take it all back.”
A bit more eloquent than what I used to say, seeing a flower come through the crack of asphalt or a cement wall,: “Cement doesn't have the last word. Nature is stronger.”
Thursday, October 04, 2007
A crowd gathers around our Dove Tale Writers' booth at Word on the Street in Kitchener. One lady scans through the names on the white board underneath the caption "Support Local Writers. Buy Our Books."
One name in particular captures her attention. "I want stories by Netty Meyer," she says like a dehydrated man in the desert thirsting for water.
The lady has already read Netty's stories in our anthology, Many Women Two Men. The copies of our most recent anthology, Stones Turned, have already sold out - a hot WOTS item.
So I give the lady a Dove Tale propaganda handout, and send her to our website to quench her thirst for more Netty. "Check out our Story Archive," I tell her. "And our on-line magazine, Tale Spin."
It continues like that all day - oh, just not demands for Netty, Wild Thing that she is! Some people want more Veronica Ross, and others know Leslie Bamford, and then there was the young man who came back TWICE looking for Matt Bin to find out more about his upcoming book release, "On Guard for Thee." Told that the book isn't yet out, the young man filled out an order form right there and then and paid upfront - he wants that book!
Other hot sellers were the surprise gift bags containing three new books, with at least two of these books by Dove Tale writers. Bob Paul's "Sandcastle Memories" was popular, and one astute reader even noticed that the author of "Tending Memory," Marianne Paul, had the same last name. Are they related?
So it was a good day for the Dove Tale clan. Thanks to John Boulden, Matt Bin, Veronica Ross and ME (Marianne Paul) for manning (and woman-ing) the Dove Tale booth at Word on the Street. We should definitely do it again.
And thanks to Leslie Bamford for being our Dove Tale photographer.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Check the link soon (it'll expire in two weeks) to read the whole article, but here's the relevant portion, with the hope that this falls under fair use provisions...
Anyhow, great stuff -- we're really getting out there!
Besides bringing publishing companies and bookstores together, The Word on the Street also brought in local authors to interact with readers.
Local authors had gathered under the canopy of Dove Tale Writers for the first time at the festival.
"It's a great first time," said Marianne Paul, author of Tending Memory. "People are fascinated with the process of writing. "Our interaction has been really fruitful."
Word is confused. Doesn't recognize Dutch words in its English program. But the thing is, that I was wondering about a supposedly world wide day for animals. “World Animal Day?” I have never heard it mention, here in Canada. (And I've been here for a while,.LOL!) Still, tomorrow, October 4, is “Wereld Dieren Dag.” I decided to look it up on the web. Since I did not know a name for it here. I typed in the Dutch words. Sure enough I found some info on a Children's Center where they celebrate the above mentioned day. I read it all in Dutch. The funny part is, that it took me a while before I realized that I was actually reading Dutch. I was just taking in the information.
So, is there anyone who knows about a day for animals that's celebrated world wide? With special programs? You are supposed to be extra nice to your pets, farm animals, etc. Like you are supposed to be nice to your mother on Mother's Day, to your father on Father's day, to your secretary on Secretary Day, to your nose on Nose Day... oh no, that hasn't been invented yet.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
In a little while I can pick up the photos. I always do the one hour. By the time I bring in the film, it seems unfathomable to me to have to wait five days. It would be cheaper. To get things cheap can be a challenge. Find things in the dollars store or second hand. Be proud to have only paid so much for something you needed or really wanted. Ha!!!
I'm not sure the dollar store counts. The new store at the Highland Hills Mall is even cheaper. Much cheaper, you know, only 99cts, or more. (The 'more' is in the fine print on the sign.) Everything made in China. Underpaid workers. Also untrustworthy quality. Especially toys and food. But, the lure is irresistible. I walk in quite frequently. But I do weigh pro's and con's. You don't see me spend tens of dollars.
I do make many photos. Snapshots. Splurging on 1 hour development rather than five days I may as well spend an extra dollar ( I mean99cts) on a photo album, and have a place for the photos to go so they don't lie around. Easier to show off too.
It's time to pick up my photos. I will be back and tell you about them.
I am back. Much later than I had anticipated. Before I tell you about the photos I want to say that I have a new fountain. Today is Saturday. Saturdays, instead of going the usual walk, Simon and I go garage sale hunting. You all know by now that Simon is a dog. Simon likes going to garage sales. He trots along and waits patiently for me to look around, lying down in the midst of everything to be admired. People stop to look at him, to praise him for being beautiful and sweet, and well behaved. They ohh, and ahh over him. They talk to him pet him and sometimes kiddingly ask if he's for sale. Oh, Simon loves all the attention. He drinks it in quietly.
So at one of this morning's garage sales, I found a fountain for only four dollar. A stone staircase in a basin with pebbles. The water runs down the stairs. It's not very big. I set it up on the shelves by the windows of the living room. It looks and sounds neat. There are two more fountains in my living room. I like the gurgling of all that water. In the backyard, bordering on the living room there are another two fountains.
I am not going into details about all of them, although they all do have their own special story. But the one, a big, greenish metal , three levels one, with a man and a woman figure standing under an umbrella, being rained on when the fountain goes, that's the one the chickadees who live in the big Manitoba maple tree above it, like. They come to shower in it, bath in it, and drink from it. It took me about a million years to catch them on camera. I tried for weeks with lots of patience. Today I succeeded.
That's why I was extra impatient to get that film developed. Not even only the one chickadee I captured, but (see my previous story) also the rescued little turtles. The photos turned out surprisingly well. But you know, I do not have a zoom-in lens. So the target comes out very small. Last time when I caught the squirrel, outside on the pic nic table, eating out of the jar with peanut butter, I forgot to close, on camera, I went to the photo copy store and had the prints enlarged on the colour copier. That worked well. So I decided that I'd do the same with the chickadee and the little turtles. The store was closed. I wondered where another colour copier could be. I biked on a bit along Highland Road. Saw the photo store near Food Basics. Went in and asked if they had a colour copier. No, they didn't.
Well, they talked me into having professional enlargements done. I was offered a real good prize. They were soooo nice. Gave me some freebies too. So I ended up with six great pictures and some simple paper frames for them, and an extra set of four glass frames, on special, for another time, all just for twenty dollar.
Hey, I spent a lot more than I had intended. But the quantity and quality are super. So today I wasn't only cheap. Today I was also classy. Today was a marvelous and fun day all together. I am happy. Life is good.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
“That looks like a turtle, “ I said. Joanne looked down where I pointed. “Yes it does does, she said laughing, and we continued our conversation.
We were walking in the woods off Westheigts Drive, following the gravel path near the duck pond, our dogs running this way and that.
“Another one!” Joane disrupted the conversation, pointing down, “ this really IS a turtle, the other one must've been too then!” We carefully picked up the one and went back for the other.
You had to look well, they were so small. Could've been a combination of a little stone and a leaf. They were caked with gravel. We walked over with them to the pond, and carefully set them on the mud next to water. One started swimming right away. The other one stayed put. We watched for a while. Both our dogs sloshing in the water, the golden retriever, and the black cockepoo. They wanted to be right where we were looking. Like when your dog or cat sits right on the book or newspaper you want to read. We called them away so they wouldn't trample the turtles.
Satisfied that we had done our good 'brownie' deed, we continued walking, keeping an eye on the path.
Sure enough we saw another turtle and another and another... Babies? This time of the year, almost October? Weird.
We picked up one after another, bringing them to water until we saw a hole in the gravel path where they were crawling from. A small, deep hole. The nest. Wow!
“We need to put up a sign,” said Joanne, “people will step on them.” We went up in the woods a bit and found some hefty branch stumps. We arranged them around the nest.. I kept an eye out while Joanne walked over to a near home, and asked for help. The young woman she talked to caught the spirit right away. She constructed a sign, from cardboard and a stick, and came with a marker and a hammer. Joanne wrote on the marker, ” Watch your step, baby turtles on the path,” and we set it up near the barricade.
We thanked the woman and turned around to go home. Joanne had to go to work. No more time to waste. I regretted that I didn't have my camera with me.
Walking back we realized that we should have put up another sign on the beginning of the path. So, at home I made a second sign, and went back on my bike, armed with a camera. I put up the sign, but there were no turtles to be seen anymore. Not on the path, not coming from the hole. Figures! Had we scared them? Was it getting too warm , too late in the morning? Anyhow I took a picture of the nest and the sign. I went up to the water. Only one turtle was still there. Did the others swim away, dug themselves into the mud? I took a picture of the one. It didn't move. Had it died, or was it just stunted?
So many questions.
We guessed that they were snapping turtles. Info on the web tells that September is the month for them to get born. There is a long gestation time. There could be as many as 20 from one nest. When they come out they have to find water. They can live many days without.
Well, we saved, we hope, eight of them. Surely they had little chance not to be stepped on, on the gravel path. And the gravel caking them hampered their moving, and they may have dried up in the sun before they reached water.
Tomorrow morning we go have another look. We know there were more babies down there. We saw them. Will they come out, or have we scared them away and are they tunneling somewhere else now?
Snapping turtles can get as old as 150 or even 175 years. Most of them reach only 50. I've seen a large snapping turtle. They are huge. How long must it take those tiny babies to grow to that size? At least 50 years, I suppose.
Next day: We went back this morning. No turtles. Not on the path, not in the hole, We checked how deep the hole is. Not deep at all, just a small hollow. Not a nest. Did they just hide there? Where did they come from? We are still puzzled.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
How do you eat an elephant?
For most of us, one small bite at a time.
We have a mass educational system that (rightfully so) attempts to educate youngsters on basic concepts and ideas developed centuries ago ( Newton, Darwin).
Koestler leaps across the centuries.
How do you digest Koestler?
One small bite at a time.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Another view is that psychology makes the attempt to create a language and define the thought and feeling process. In turn it attempts to understand intent and motivations…
Both views are valid...
I tend toward the second… Why? Because I find it more interesting than the first...
I could say the exact same thing for religion...
Why my interest in Buddhism… Again, because life for me is more interesting when I view it through that window...
If alive and human we will experience suffering. Buddhism explores the nature of suffering and offers a perspective beyond "oh is me", "why me" and goes beyond blame. For me Buddhism offers me a process to conserve energy.
It too explores what is the nature of thinking, motivation and intent.
What are selfish thoughts and what are selfless thoughts?
If I feel bad often my thinking is selfish. When I feel good often my thinking is selfless.
So my dabbling as a complete and utter amateur in psychology and Buddhism life to me is far more interesting. Larry was talking to me about doors. Psychology and Buddhism are just doors for me and offers me different views about the nature of life.
And if its crap... well its crap that delights me.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Ten thousand thoughts a day...
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
this yearly trek
thru arctic freeze
is no adventure
no historic quest
north pole is not
my ultimate goal
no byrd no peary
no franklin northwest passage
dull day grey
the cycle makes me
weep for change
sun is relief
all too brief
in february march
of ontario southwest passage
(Meanwhile, Larry sez, hey, what up wid dis blog? He & WT, WT & He, rappin to deyself! Ain't no otha pieces of DoveTale to avail?)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Anyway...he tries to keep his Dove Tale posts within the parameters set by the hosts--DoveTalers all--so, something literary or related to writing or the writing life (of which he knows little since he doesn't write but types very well), however tenuous the connection.
Having said that, he can tell you that he debated this one. But his decision was made for him by the appearance in what he's been reading of the phrase "dovetailed into the familiar." How could he not post to Dove Tale with that before his eyes?
He's been reading (again) a book by Arthur Koestler entitled Janus: A Summing Up. It's hard to describe what this book is about without rewriting the book or creating an inordinately long review, which Larry doesn't want to do. Suffice it to say that Koestler sums up and pulls together some of the themes he wrote about in previous books, with the emphasis on one of his main theories. This is the theory of the holon, a word he coined, which means that organisms (social, political, physical) are both complete individual entities and integral parts of larger entities at the same time, and following different sets of rules depending on which aspect is predominant at any given time. Thus the title: Janus. Two-faced. You follow? Larry doesn't either. Read the book...
Larry first encountered Arthur Koestler in his famous novel Darkness at Noon. Wikipedia says:
Koestler's most famous work, the novel Darkness at Noon about the Soviet 1930s purges, ranks with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four as a fictional treatment of Stalinism.Can't argue with that, eh? Both Larry and HWSRN come by their political obsessions honestly. Steeped in it since their early teens...Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Eldridge Cleaver...(all Yanks, you'll notice...)
Larry's first copy of the book looked just like that photo. Now it looks like this because somewhere he picked up a used hard-cover copy:
Except he can't find it. Perhaps it was confiscated by the Yoni School as seditious material. More likely it's in a box in the barn where they keep the hyper-literate horses and a Shetland pony for short potes. Now Larry will obsess about this because, after all, it could be a first edition! Larry has been known to acquire such things by accident.
As you can see, Larry loves to blog cuz he can be a ramblin' man, and if you dare to edit him he will pout with great vigour.
But back to the task at hand...Some years later, Larry discovered these two books by Koestler: The Act of Creation and The Ghost In the Machine. He swallowed them both in one gulp, as they are part of a trilogy, Janus being the hat trick. These two works are an intellectual tour de force in which Koestler mines the fields of physiology, biology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology and who knows what else. Larry's not sure, but he thinks that Koestler was, in fact, the one who coined the phrase, ghost in the machine, which has become part of the lexicon. In that book, he examined the development of the brain and came to the conclusion that humans are psychotic because the modern brain developed without making proper connections to the ancient brain. We became intellectually powerful enough to destroy the planet without becoming emotionally powerful enough to stop ourselves. A rather pessimistic conclusion, but he also discusses the possibility that this can be overcome, since we are smart enough to invent/discover mind-bending chemicals/drugs which could alleviate this flaw.
In any case, Larry's so impressed with these books that he recommends you go out right now to the bibliothèque or Amazon.com or wherever, get copies and read them. They're eminently readable and actually not too technical.
But now, after Larry's droned on and on and on about ancient history and long-forgotten reading habits, let's get to the main point of this post. First of all, Koestler states something that we probably all know, or should:
Drama thrives on conflict, and so does the novel. The nature of the conflict may be explicitly stated or merely implied; but an element of it must be present, otherwise the characters would be gliding through a frictionless universe.Larry sez the fruitfulness of Koestler's writing is demonstrated by the fact that this passage inspired his pome, Frictionless Universe.
But now Larry wants to quote a (unfortunately long) passage from Janus:
With due respect to Shakespeare's 'All the world's a stage', one might say that the ordinary mortal's life is played on two alternating stages, situated on two different levels -- let us call them the trivial plane and the tragic plane of existence. Most of the time we bustle about on the trivial plane; but on some special occasions, when confronted with death or engulfed in the oceanic feeling, we seem to fall through a stage-trap or man-hole and are transferred to the tragic or absolute plane. Then all at once our daily routines appear as shallow, trifling vanities. But once safely back on the trivial plane we dismiss the experiences of the other as phantasms of overstrung nerves.
The highest form of human creativity is the endeavour to bridge the gap between the two planes. Both the artist and the scientist are gifted -- or cursed with the faculty of perceiving the trivial events of everyday experience sub specie aeternitatis, in the light of eternity; and conversely to express the absolute in human terms, to reflect it in a concrete image. Our ordinary mortal has neither the intellectual nor the emotional equipment to live for more than brief transition periods on the tragic plane. The Infinite is too inhuman and elusive to cope with unless it is made to blend itself with the tangible world of the finite. The existentialist's Absolute becomes emotionally effective only if it is bisociated with something concrete -- dovetailed into the familiar. This is what both scientist and artist are aiming at, though not always consciously. By bridging the gap between the two planes, the cosmic mystery becomes humanized, drawn into the orbit of man, while his humdrum experiences are transformed, surrounded by a halo of mystery and wonder.
Needless to say, not all novels are 'problem novels', subjecting the reader to a sustained barrage of existential conundrums. But indirectly and implicitly every great work of art has some bearing on man's ultimate problems. Even a humble daisy has a root, and a work of art, however lighthearted or serene, is ultimately nourished through its delicate capillaries by the archetypal sub-strata of experience.
By living on both planes at once, the creative artist or scientist is able to catch an occasional glimpse of eternity looking through the window of time. Whether it is a mediaeval stained-glass window or Newton's formula of universal gravity, is a matter of temperament and taste.Janus: A Summing Up
by Arthur Koestler, p.146-7
Larry makes no comment.
He has been dovetailed into the familiar.
Update March 17/07:
Koestler also spends a good many pages demolishing Darwinism, evolution, natural selection. He says random mutation has been proven to be irrelevant and natural selection is a tautology. Larry hasn't gotten to the part where he provides an alternative explanation (except that it's "a mystery" and far more complex than earlier scientists imagined) but it probably has something to do with his holon and hierarchical organism theory.
Larry's not scientifically adept enough to judge this argument, but to him Koestler is pretty compelling. Larry wonders if the Intelligent Design proponents know about this, and hopes they never find out cuz then we'd have a helluva mess on our hands, eh?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I'm really excited about this project. I have a lot of connections from my army days (and I knew personally a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last year), and I will be spending my spring
interviewing soldiers who have been on NATO or UN missions. (If anyone knows anyone I could talk to, tips would be welcome...)
Many thanks to Marianne to putting me in contact with Bookland. It wouldn't have happened without you. I'm lucky to know writers who win contests!
She woke up this morning with the first lines of the following poem. She wrote them down and, half asleep still, knitted on the rest. No master piece, but it it conveys the sentiment. Maybe it wakes up dovetale bloggers.
will winter melt
will water again
will flower fairies
will birds &frogs
will trees shake off
sap coursing through
will skates & skis
be stored away
will boats & bicycles
will nature fold away
and reappear in
Hey, wild thing used fancy lettering. Blog publishing is too prozaic for that.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I'd like to assist you in your quest to determine if the Google account and password business are working correctly. But I can't. Why? Cuz.
Cuz my Google account and password are working just fine, and since I'm listed as a co-contributor I don't need to log in. Cuz I already am. Googleated.
Congratulations on having the blog look just the same as it did (except where's the pitcher?) Somehow I couldn't do that with Mental Blog. Anyhow, after the initial strangeness and trying to figure some things out, I'm just as happy with the new format. And I'm sure y'all will inevitably surrender willingly to the soft, all-encompassing embrace of the Googleverse.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Karl Rove, the man behind the president spins information for self-serving political survival of a radical right wing agenda. The talking Head for the White House is Tony Snow.
The most recent spinning aimed at moderate voices comes from Press Secretary Tony Snow. Absolutely despicable!
The most recent Snow job from Tony is that basically any discussion that questions the White House's plan in Iraq will aid terrorism.
In other words to discuss democratic ideas for solutions to the Iraq war is UNAMERICAN.
It’s like trying to advert your eyes to an upcoming car crash. There is a morbid fascination.
Monday, January 01, 2007
When I woke up, this morning, 6 am., I heard a chorus of birds chattering like you hear in early spring. It was not accompanied by any other sound. No traffic whatsoever.
Early New Year’s Day, most people are still sleeping, dealing with hangovers, or just plainly zonked after the crazy, busy times.
There are those who may not want to wake up for a long time yet. Not a pleasant prospect to, still feeling bloated , start thinking about overdrawn credit cards & recklessly made New Year’s resolutions. Ouch, what a headache!
Having welcomed in the New Year with candle light, a glass of pear nectar, and a wedge of apple pie, quietly, just Simon and me, I was wide awake at six. I enjoyed listening to the still. Got up, bathed, had breakfast and set out with Simon for a long walk. Just following the creek and unto other trails. So quiet everywhere.
At first we met no one. Lots of sparrows and other little birds were flitting about and talking up a storm. A cardinal broke out in song. A blue jay screeched, flew up and settled on a branch of a tree, looking around, as if aware of proud crest and sky blue beauty.
About an hour into the walk, we started to meet the odd other dog with their reluctant owners. Simon befriended a beautiful husky he got to run around with, oh joy! The husky’s person was a woman from Poland.
The husky was her first dog ever. She was happy with her dog. She was however worried about a bold spot on his elbow. She thought she would have to take him to the vet, dreading the bill. Luckily I know how active dogs, when they run a lot, hit their elbows with their hind toes, and so create a rough, bold spot. When I explained that to her, she was so relieved. We had a nice chat until our ways parted.
I half expected snowbells to come up. But without snow they wouldn’t be snowbells. I peeked in the flowerbeds and did see, the green beginnings of irises.
It’s January. It feels like spring. Are we going to be in for a white Easter?
Simon’s feet and belly were black with mud. Not very golden. I cleaned him up. He sleeps now. On my bed.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone,