Thursday, February 22, 2018

Proverbial snows

Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
Village scene for Thaliad (Phoenicia Publishing)


Everything feels  semi-proverbial this morning--the snow, the glass of water, the tea, the memories of the day before...

The world went to all the trouble to summon up a warm wind for some hours yesterday and melt the snow heaps. Evidently that was in order to make a more lovely snowfall today.

Persistence, the grain of dust that may flower into crystal.

If someone of intelligence and curiosity arrives in a village, he will inevitably be described by some as a man of mystery and condemned for the same.

You can tell when people are at last starting to recover from a hard flu when the complaints increase.

If you attempt to help a madwoman, you will go to three destinations you did not expect, but in the end she will run into the dark.

For someone of the South, the nature of falling snow is always dream.

A thick, greenish glass inscribed with faint vegetative motifs makes the water more beautiful.

A poet is without honor in a tiny village. This is for the best.

Snowflakes are dust-hearted and return to dust.

Tea with lavender and milk.

Here is a secret I will not tell, folded like origami, so small that it can never be unfolded by human fingers.

In snow, the birds may call from all corners of the sky but remain invisible; this is mystery.

14 comments:

  1. You write:
    For someone of the South, the nature of falling snow is always dream.
    This reminds of Robert Frost. As a transplant from San Francisco, New England became and remained for him a brave new world of wonder-filled differences and moments.
    In my case, a transplanted Yankee, the South continues to be a natural and cultural carnival full of surprises. I do not, however, miss the northern white stuff.

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    1. It is astonishingly beautiful, always. Frost was certain good with snow. And I am sure that I've gotten more work done in a harsher climate.

      Glad you're still traveling online, even if you've put the blog to bed... Best wishes, Tim!

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  2. Marly, even as I — more than slightly insane — continue to rage against the dying light, I’ve kicked the blog out of bed and put it (with somewhat altered name and address) back on its wobbly legs in the community room of the senior citizens’ home.
    https://inquiriesinformal2ded.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hahaha! I am so not surprised. Shall pop by later.

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  3. I think snowfall has the nature of a dream for nearly everyone. My earliest memory is of being out in the snow in northern Ohio, and I have seen a fair bit of it since. But I can't think of much better to watch out a window or walk or run through than falling snow. Do you remember Richard Wilbur's "First Snow in Alsace"?

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    1. The dead young soldiers with snow on their eyes, the boyish soldier who is first to see the snow... I have a book he signed. But didn't introduce myself--couldn't figure out why he would want to talk to me!

      I just walked through town. The branches in the park were still outlined, and I could barely see Orion's belt--there was a lovely rosy ring around the moon.

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  4. I'm told that one of the first times I beheld snow as a very small child, I looked out the front door and exclaimed, "hey, it's snowing!" Then I ran to the back door and cried, "hey, it's snowing out here too!" Maybe this anecdote suggests that snow is so dreamlike that one does indeed have to learn to make sense of it. Or maybe it simply reveals that I've never exactly been the sharpest saw in the shed...

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    1. Hah, lovely! Why wouldn't we expect any additional strangeness from snow?

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  5. Some of these are plotting clichés (sorry about that).

    The man who arrives in a village for the first time is, by definition, a man of mystery, even if he's a driver for FedEx. By the time he has revealed his intelligence his mysteriousness has been forgotten, unless the author continues to be very coy. Why is it always a village?

    Madwomen are always innocent of any crime they may be suspected of. However they are usually loaded with symbols the author believes are germane to his multi-layered plot. Their utterances are always gnomic and they are never married.

    The poet. Again! in a tiny village (proof that the author is uneasy about manipulating more than six well-defined characters). Lazy plotting. One gets the feeling that the poet would be better labelled as The Poet, like The Greengrocer and The Doctor - little models to be shuffled round the board behaving poetically, greengrocerishly or doctorishly. The poet is never described writing poetically, usually because the author has never written poetry himself.

    Tea with lavender and milk, but not one infused in the other. An ideal detail for slowing down the action. These scenes are written by authors who were terribly impressed in their youth by the exchanges between Gwendolen and Cecily; all such authors would have loved to have been wards. Especially if they are American.

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    1. It's a village because I'm looking out of a window in a house in a village. It's a man of mystery because of a new friend who is striking a large number of women as a subject of gossip.

      It's a madwoman who runs away because I gave a ride to three places to a madwoman, and at the last one she ran away into the dark. I hope they found her.

      The poet, well, I was thinking of my own obscurity as a writer in my little village. Many people I know I write. Perhaps that is useful to me.

      It's tea with lavender and milk because I was drinking tea with lavender and milk.

      Just reality... whatever that is.

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  6. Well, Marly, at least you didn't indulge in any of that unpleasant Gott-mit-uns Catholicism. ;)

    "A poet is without honor in a tiny village. This is for the best." I like this, and find it true. We have a few poets and artists here in our community, with its 6,500 households strewn across hundreds of thousands of acres, and I know a few, but this isn't a place for fame. I'm glad about that. Even an obscure writer with only one minor midlist success a decade ago needs to keep his damn foolish ego in check, which offers new, better reasons for finding the writing worth it.

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    1. Better reasons. Yes. I hope I have them in firm grasp.

      I don't know why you are so suspicious to the Spam Lords that you always--or nearly always--land in the Gulf of Spam, so that I must trek out and rescue you!

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    2. I must have a shady look about me!

      It's more likely, though, that it's because I tend to use my name and URL rather than my Google account. Let's see how this works...

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    3. No rescue needed! I do the same thing elsewhere (name/URL) but haven't noticed a problem. Maybe I just don't know... or maybe you're special.

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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.