Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I had a guinea golden;
I lost it in the sand,
And though the sum was simple,
And pounds were in the land,
Still had it such a value
Unto my frugal eye,
That when I could not find it
I sat me down to sigh.

I had a crimson robin
Who sang full many a day,
But when the woods were painted
He, too, did fly away.
Time brought me other robins ~~
Their ballads were the same, ~~
Still for my missing troubadour
I kept the "house at hame."

I had a star in heaven;
One Pleiad was its name,
And when I was not heeding
It wandered from the same.
And though the skies are crowded,
And all the night ashine,
I do not care about it,
Since none of them are mine.

My story has a moral:
I have a missing friend, ~~
Pleiad its name, and robin,
And guinea in the sand, ~~
And when this mournful ditty,
Accompanied with tear,
Shall meet the eye of traitor
In country far from here,
Grant that repentance solemn
May seize upon his mind,
And he no consolation
Beneath the sun may find.

~ § ~

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


  1. FT,
    You are not only grieving and despondent.

    You are angry, too, I think.

    I don't blame you. I'd be angry too.

    Unfair, unfair, unfair!

    I have often cried out, particularly regarding the situation in this household and the loss of my Dusti six months ago, "This isn't is not fair! I did nothing wrong! Why am I being punished?"

    The axiom "Life isn't fair" is of no consolation, is it? Neither is the axiom, one of my mother's favorites, "This too shall pass."


  2. The Animals
    By W. S. Merwin
    All these years behind windows
    With blind crosses sweeping the tables

    And myself tracking over empty ground
    Animals I never saw

    I with no voice

    Remembering names to invent for them
    Will any come back will one

    Saying yes

    Saying look carefully yes
    We will meet again

  3. By this part of the century few are left who believe
    in the animals for they are not there in the carved parts
    of them served on plates and the pleas from the slatted trucks
    are sounds of shadows that possess no future...

    Really, duckman?

  4. I never knew that you were such a Spielberg fan! ;)

  5. ...and FT, there was no "betrayal" evident in the missing pet caper, I hope. ;)


    It is just this rage for consideration that has betrayed the dog into his satellite position as the friend of man. The cat, an animal of franker appetites, preserves his independence. But the dog, with one eye ever on the audience, has been wheedled into slavery, and praised and patted into the renunciation of his nature. Once he ceased hunting and became man's plate-licker, the Rubicon was crossed. Thenceforth he was a gentleman of leisure; and except the few whom we keep working, the whole race grew more and more self-conscious, mannered and affected...

  6. from letters between Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife:

    At Davos they had a great deal of trouble with their little dog, Woggs, a beautiful but eccentric Skye terrier that had been given them by Sir Walter Simpson. Both were tenderly considerate of animals, and when this little creature was ill with a cankered ear they took turns sitting up at night with him. She writes of him:

    "Woggs is ill-tempered, and obstinate, and rather sly, but he is lovable and intelligent. I imagine that it is with dogs as with people—it is not for being good alone that we love them."

    and an acrostic:

    "When my wife is far from me
    The undersigned feels all at sea."

    R. L. S.

    "I am as good as deaf
    When separate from F.

    I am far from gay
    When separate from A.

    I loathe the ways of men
    When separate from N.

    Life is a murky den
    When separate from N.

    My sorrow rages high
    When separate from Y.

    And all things seem uncanny
    When separate from Fanny."

    "Where is my wife? Where is my Wogg?
    I am alone, and life's a bog."

  7. Thank you, everyone.

    The idea that "we shall meet again" is particularly appealing to me.

    I know this much, despite the threats of tribal elders and the theologians who followed:

    Heaven and Hell are perfectly real, BUT they are states of MIND -- not geographical locations, and they COEXIST inside each of us. We experience them INDIVIDUALLY not collectively, and pass back and forth from one extreme to the other constantly.

    We live in state of FLUX. Constancy, permanency, stability are ILLUSORY. Those longed for conditions are not characteristic of LIFE at all, but rather of DEATH.

    If Life is truly eternal, it will CONTINUE to remain a volatile admixture of heavenly and hellish elements.

    If Death is real, it will simply mean OBLIVION.

    Life IS stress. Life IS constant change. Life IS -- and will continue to be -- FORMIDABLE, DAUNTING, EXHILARATING, DEPRESSING, EXCITING, PROMISING, REWARDING, TRAGIC and terribly terribly UNFAIR.



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