My Blog List

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Frozen pond

Although it was a very cold day, the pond was only partially frozen yesterday because of the high winds.  Today the winds were milder, so it froze completely and the boundary between the new and old ice is distinct.  Tomorrow is predicted to be even colder and windier.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


In my English Literature course we recently read Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" poem, and I was struck by the similarity in thought of a passage in it to the lines at the end of one of my favorite novels, A River Runs Through It.  I was so struck that I was certain that author Norman MacLean must have been familiar with the poem and remembered that MacLean had been a college professor.  Checking with Wiki on the internet told me that he indeed was an English professor and that his specialty was....the Romantic Poets! 

The passage in Wordsworth concerns the interconnection of all things and reads:

 "A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts;  a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things..."

MacLean wrote:

"Eventually all things merge into one and then a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs under rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs." 

 You may love a passage in a book as I have that one and still come to a further understanding of it after 4o years.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To Pam, for her birthday tomorrow...

And on our anniversary today:

My  Wife Asleep


Morning light softened by shade,

Shoulder raised as if to shrug,

Lying on side, breathing deep.


Arm bent, half-covering face,

Wedding band nearly touching

Visible eye closed in sleep.


In describing her posture, words can detail.

In explaining her beauty, words somehow fail.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter in the Suburbs

I took this picture a week ago in the late afternoon, and the snow that was coming down then is still on the ground.  The vantage point is the side window of our living room, a spot that I often sit and read.  I had a vague plan to photograph the same scene in various seasons much as I have been doing with the house and yard and might still do that, but in looking the picture later it struck me what a typical suburban scene it was.

I've lived my whole life in the suburbs, specifically the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.  I've spent a lot of time in both big cities and rural areas, so I have a pretty good sense of what it would be like to live in a different environment and don't feel limited or deprived in any way.  Nor do I feel that the surroundings that I have lived in are the best possible and most desirable.  I've lived a happy life but probably could have been as happy elsewhere.  To me, geography isn't anywhere near the most important factor in determining contentment.