Thursday, December 17, 2009

Calhoun’s Can(n)ons for December 17, 2009

‘Tween Time

Enough is as good as a feast
John Heywood (1497-1580)

It is a season out of joint. In the back yard, the great grape vine can’t make up its mind. Half of its vines are bare and settling in for a long winter’s nap while the other half are filled with deluded leaves reaching for the last rays of the sun. The eternally optimistic nasturtiums have put forth a burst of growth only to be bent hard by an unexpected early frost. It rains, but an inch down the sand is dry. We are in a damp drought and entering a warm cold unpredictable winter.

And in the season of the ancient solstice, wise and serious men and women are meeting in Denmark to discuss the destruction of the earth. They will make passionate speeches and pass fine resolutions and then return to their respective countries where too little will be done too late.

Too late because Mother Nature has already begun the process of killing her ancient children and fashioning new ones for the new world that is coming into being. It is a dance as old as time. The only difference here is that this time we humans were the tripwire. And it is not known if we will be among the disappeared. Or whether we will have the wit and will to avert the worst scenarios and bring our world back from the brink.

Given that humans are hard-wired with delusion as their default position and have great difficulty thinking past the length of their noses, the chances aren’t good. It will be a supreme irony if our epitaph turns out to be a petard.

I would despair of all of this, but despair is a sin of the ego. The world will be what it will be, not what I wish or want it to be. It is written nowhere that polar bears, tree frogs or glaciers must belong in the world any more than thunder lizards, wooly mammoths and dire wolves did. So, I can’t despair, but I can grieve.

And hope, of course. There’s always that in a season that’s turning from dark to light, a season of traditional renewal, of carbon-burning Yule logs, and wasteful Christmas lights bringing joy into the dark night.

And songs and wooden nutcrackers put out on the mantelpiece again, but this year they will share a place next to a large blousy, absurd rubber Henrietta Chicken dog toy, a gift from friends far away. And standing in the yard on Christmas Eve to muse under a star-studded sky, the silhouette of the limbless, dead pine tree out near the front street looms in the darkness like a dark sentinel. The stars are distant and indifferent. To them, we’re a dim, empty planet lost in a limitless cosmos; Nothing special, nothing precious, just one among billions.

But this one particular planet on this one particular day has friends and family and enduringly inedible fruitcake and undrinkable eggnog. And always, always the touch of my dogs’ cold noses on my hand to remind me again that time is passing. That joy is always an option. And that the leashes are ready and that the best Now of all the best possible Nows is a walk in the cold winter air on a frosty morning of a new day.


Donna said...

when i read your columns i am filled with "yes" and my head nods in agreement.
this particular column is so poignant and true that my comment is, "Exactly, dear heart."

annerallen said...

Gorgeous piece. Joy is always an option, indeed.

Mike Green said...

Anne flourished with impeccable accuracy:
"It will be a supreme irony if our epitaph turns out to be a petard."

I'm gonna steal that one for erudite conversation fer sure!

Well wishes and Salutations from Oregon my dear LosOsians
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Or just plain Happy, Happy, Joy Joy.

You need it, California is listed as the 46th. Happiest State:
Oregon the 30th.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

Another perfect Solstice piece, Ann.

Alon Perlman said...

I mean,WOW.
Thank you for the gift of giving, Ann.

"That joy is always an option."

I reciprocate with the gift of taking, without which there would be no balance, to joint the season.

"That joy is always an option."

Yule logs releasing sequestered carbon.

Thanks Mickey G for pointing out the phrase-
"It will be a supreme irony if our epitaph turns out to be a petard."

Let's run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes it.

That is a nautical shakesperian reference.
"There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon:
O, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet. "

Bill "Shakes" Pierre

We can hear you coming
We know what you're after
We're wise to you this time
We won't let you kill the laughter.

We know you've got to blame someone
For your own confusion
But we're on guard this time
Against your final solution

But in these new dark ages
There will still be light

Can you feel the resistance?
Can you feel the thunder?

(Lizards? whose Power animal is a "Thunder Lizard"?)(Red Rider consolidated)

Word Verification; migases
Used in a sentance; Migases es sou gases, senior.

Churadogs said...

Alon, who wrote that beautiful poem above?

Oh, a note. If you're like I was, for the longest time I pictured a petard as some sort of pole you would be hoist up on. Found out it isn't. It's a bomb (land mine? sort of). The "miners" of Shakespeare's reference above, would tunnel under a castle wall safe from enemy fire (heh-heh) and then roll down a petard, a giant barrel filled with black powder, light the fuse then run like hell. Alas, in the old days, fuses (and black powder) were (are) notoriously iffy and many "miners" (sappers) didn't make it out of the tunnel in time (that "Ohhhh shhhiittttt" moment) and when that petard was lit, it "hoist" sappers and part of the castle wall alike UP into a hellacious fiery kaboom; hence, hoist by one's own petard or done in by one's own schemes.

Alon Perlman said...

Tom Cochrun of Red Rider from The fair land of Canadia to the North. (Truncated for Trolling PC Gendarmes)

The bomb and the mine were inter changeable terms in the early times, Grenade = Pomegranate
The stick may be real-
Dangerous, but a 10 foot barge pole fitted with a small charge could deliver an accurate explosion to the water line (as two ships close in battle on the same line).

Cherry bomb on a stick,
it isn’t safe for you to lick.

(Haiku style)

I admit –I had to Wiki check this one
Wikipedia is sometimes right sometimes used to create a fake "Citation".
Entries are sometimes reedited incorrectly.
Sometimes, completely bogus.
Anything with a Shakespeare focus is seen by a thousand and one eyes of the many carousing editors. So if it is "Virtual Graffitied" it gets corrected quickly.

So this is reliable--

The actual intent as Shakespeare uses it, is more than ironic.
Hang yourself with your own rope?
Note the French origin for explosion –
(Flatus in medicalese)
So the hoisting is more than ironic, part slapstick, gets your rear up out of what you are sitting on.

The theatre in the round crowd,
Did not appreciate the Bard,
They only wanted Crass and loud,
Bombast and ripped leotard,

Coaches screaching around corners,
Clowns mixed in with mourners,
Poisoners, unwilling blood donors,
Nubians, moors, and exotic foreigners.

Tales of Gold from El Dorado, A boosting of bravado
A little innuendo, a whole lot of crescendo,

On that stage, Elder statesmen
surrendering their social station
Their reputations used as floor mats,
To rip-roast, hurl rotten fruit at,
The rinds will feed the stage rats,
who grow bigger than the ally cats

It was all about their neighbor’s,
trysts and sexual favors,

Censor not your peers,
just box them on their ears,
then make them show their rears
And mock the Kings, no fears

It was all about THEM, then

As ‘twas was with the cavemen
Back in the dawn before then
Before they thought up “now" or "when”

When apes who spoke as mimes
Thought not of future times
Sea ventured not to tropic climes
Sucked sour not on bitter limes
Committed not enslavement crimes
Clapped hands but made no rhymes

But now, another season
Enters the age of reason

Thank God it's different now.

Word verification; whirrunh
And so it turns

Churadogs said...

Alon, I asked for attribution of the poem. Was it a poem or song lyric? Like, did it appear in a book of poems? If so, title of book. Title of poem. Was that the whole poem or an excerpt? & or part of a song lyric? etc. What's Red Rider? Am not familiar with that. The Canadia reference, you mean he's a Canadian poet? Singer/songwriter? Uh, I'm looking for clarification, not more puzzles. So, enlightenment, please? Thanks.

Alon Perlman said...

Man , trying to put the finishing touches on a coastal appeal that is in the mail, and version two may not make it by deadline, while struggling with a blog addiction.

I can do it, just click to close the comment window…
cumon what are you waitin for… click it…

Well… if I blog just a little more?..
Just one more time won't hurt….

No, stop it! Stop rationalizing… Just close the window … It will still be there tomorrow…
Just say no….


Check out the lyrics and the link below (play it on the best sound system you have, crank the Amp to 11, and stand between the stereo speakers at the end)
From Wikipedia:
Lunatic Fringe is a song by the Canadian rock band Red Rider from their 1981 album, As Far as Siam. The song was inspired by when guitarist Tom Cochrane read a book about anti-Semitism in the 1970s. Its video played on MTV, featuring the band in eerie silhouette forms.

The song starts rather abruptly before launching in the guitar (sounding similar to Led Zeppelin's "Good Times Bad Times"). Then, it gets into an 80s beat with ambulance sirens near the end.

Lunatic fringe
I know you're out there
You're in hiding
And you hold your meetings
We can hear you coming
We know what you're after
We're wise to you this time
We won't let you kill the laughter.

Lunatic fringe
In the twilight's last gleaming
This is open season
But you won't get too far
but you've got to blame someone
For your own confusion
But we're on guard this time
Against your final solution

We can hear you coming
(We can hear you coming)
No you're not going to win this time
We can hear the footsteps
(We can hear the footsteps)
Way out along the walkway
Lunatic fringe
We all know you're out there
But in these new dark ages
There will still be light

An eye for an eye;
Well before you go under...
Can you feel the resistance?
Can you feel the thunder?

Category: Education

Churadogs said...

Alon. Thanks! I wasn't familiar with that group or that song. Excellent.