Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Rage for Order at the Palace

I have returned from a visit to my stomping grounds in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where I saw only a little snow; here, I find the same old, same old snow plus a little more. However, I managed to go to the theatre, visit with my mother and friends, see crocuses and daffodils and pansies, fool around in galleries, make a fairy house on top of a mountain with children, etc. All this despite R's History Day paper on Jehanne d'Arc!

Blogging thoughts: I will be slashing a path through a wildwood of posts in the next month. Much will be skewered and purged, ne'er (no, not e'er) to be seen again. I may resurrect a few things from the depths of the past--back when I was no doubt doing nothing but keeping a sort of aerial diary, read only by the accidental sort of tourist--but many others will quietly drift away into the ether or spring into their constituent particles.

"A transition from an author's book to his conversation is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke."

--Samuel Johnson, The Rambler no. 14 (5 May 1750)

The sword-wielding, order-setting woman is a bronze Jehanne d' Arc by Marie d'Orleans in a watercolor rendition by Laura Murphy Frankstone of Laurelines.

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20 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun trip. Thanks for the link to Laurelines.

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  2. Please tell us how to make a fairy house, Marly!

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  3. You purge your archives? I've heard of that. A rarity, I suppose, only because most of us who blog are so lacking in any sense of shame or decorum.

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  4. Marly,
    What a pleasing jolt to come here and see one of my images. Many thanks for that and for your kind words on my behalf. I'm a born archivist, so the thought of your disapparating some of your posts sends a different kind of shudder through my bones. But you're probably wise to do it.
    There's more where those words came from.

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  5. Robert,

    You will like her drawings and watercolors, I think! Laura is very fluent and has expansive plans. She is also from another of my old stomping grounds: Chapel Hill. (Did you ever find North Carolina on that map of yours? Chapel Hill is on the other end of the state from Cullowhee.)

    jarvenpa,

    I'll put it on my to-do list, but I'll beg my mother to send us pictures of the house first, okay?

    dave,

    Perhaps mine simply need more purging than yours! I would hate to lose that feather on the snow, say...

    Decorum is an interesting choice. And yes, I think that I have come to value decorum and reticence, now that both have fled our world and hidden themselves where almost no one can find them.

    ***

    laura,

    Just trying to "blot [my] thousand" or more. Alas, the woman who helps me clean my cottage each week (rather than my castle) has broken her arm and wrist. So that will slow me down on cleaning up those posts, I imagine.

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  6. Hey Marly,

    Glad you returned home safe and sound. Also glad you got to visit NC when the early spring is setting in.

    I've posted some crocus and daffodill watercolors I've done now.

    I too hate the thought that some of your posts will disappear. I rather like keeping things, which is why my house is a compendium of odd assortments of things. However I guess one does need to spring clean once in a while.

    I love Laura's picture as well.

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  7. Yawn.

    Thanks for the good wishes, b. q.

    Must break up the fire and go off to bed. R has finished typing her bibliography for her big fat Joan project.

    Whew.

    12:30 in the morning. And I must rise early to coach spelling for N.

    It is good to be home with one's books and so on (though without one's mama, who wouldn't come up here in the snows for anything), and I'm feeling pleased that I wrote two poems that I like on the way to the Carolinas, and another on the way back. In the car! With three children, husband, audiotapes, CD players, etc. Very satisfying.

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  8. Welcome home...and happy spring cleaning to you.

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  9. Well I have heard of Jacksonville, Rockingham and Asheville, no idea why though.

    I think knew it was South of Virginia and on the coast. I think I associated it with hurricanes slowing down.

    I think there was a “film shot” of it in that film about the geese “Fly away home” which my children loved. We still had geese then, “owned” by my elder daughter.

    Found Chapel Hill, easy but Cullowhee was more difficult to pin point.

    http://www.cullowhee.net/ has a web camera but I couldn’t see you waving, in fact the live web camera shows a very quiet place no movement at all, but sunny and no snow!

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  10. P.S. Hope you were all able to avoid this!!! (Thought I was going to get the weather!)


    http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/coldandflu/local/28723

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  11. Amanda,

    Thank you! As my lady who helps me scrub broke her arm and wrist while I was out of town, I shall have much cleaning to do of all sorts. My house looks like a federal cottage, but it's rabbit-warren endless. Wish I could delete dirt and mess the way one can in an e-palace.

    Robert,

    You are industrious, mapwise and otherwise! There wasn't even a smidge of snow in Cullowhee when I left, although the next morning I woke up in Hagerstown, Maryland (another challenge for you) and it was snowing hard.

    Was the elder daughter "Iona," the one who liked the gold bottom on Chris Miller's sculpture? I like that name, Iona... Was she named after the island?

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  12. Robert,

    I hope so, too. We went to the next country for dinner, and the front headline was all about an epidemic of flu.

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  13. To write three poems one likes is a wonderful thing any time, let alone under those conditions! Welcome home.

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  14. MB,

    Thank you for the welcome!

    Of course, one may not like those poems tomorrow! Or next month, or next year...

    I'm in one of my horrid tossing-out moods. If I'm not careful, I shall throw away too many poems, dump a novel down the well, and quit blogging entirely.

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  15. Don't do that, please. I only just found you. I did my best to answer your question.

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  16. Now Marly,

    I am with MB, you can not throw out to much. I threw out a patio umbrella today. Dont make me put on my power hat.

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  17. Susanna,

    Hey, let's see that hat! (Got candles?)

    Evidently there is some horrible virus going around the village. It even has a name, quite grand. Why did I come back to this semi-polar ice floe?

    mb,

    It must be catching. My eldest was cleaning up his room: astounding moon-mad thing for a boy to do.

    And I'll have to go see what the answer is...

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  18. I had to throw out the first answer because it wasn't to the right question. I hope this one's closer to the mark.

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  19. Yes Marly to both. She got cross with me for saying "nearly grown up family" on my profile as the youngest reached 18 last month so I will have to put "very grown up family" instead! (Might be safer to say "all grown up family" though!!!)

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  20. Just wait a few years and the "very" will start to annoy!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.