Guess I’ll use and use some more this comment tree with it’s weird branching and line breaks;hope my gratitude comes through in my presence.As to windmills I don’t think anyone writing fiction can deny that they are using Cervantes;Giants has strong roots in that same massive tome-and pieces of it poke from Tolkien and Twain-and yes even the wispy bits of my scribbling.My Spanish doesn’t get much beyond “cerveza” so I’m really talking of Edith Grossman’s translations,I’ll break a branch of her comments off for you here ” so when I first started reading the Quixote I thought it was the most tragic book in the world, and I would read it and weep… As I grew older and my skin grew thicker… and so when I was working on the translation I was actually sitting at my computer and laughing out loud. This is done… as Cervantes did it… by never letting the reader rest. You are never certain that you truly got it. Because as soon as you think you understand something, Cervantes introduces something that contradicts your premise.”and that brings me back to The Giving Tree.I first read it to my sons,now have it here in my office.The “boy”cuts down the trunk to make a boat and go far away-and the tree is happy to give…but “not really”;the boy comes back and is beyond most needs,and sits.And the tree is happy.Stumps sprout,sometimes-and man is nothing if not restless-power naps or no.Hair and skin get thin,yet thicker too;after each verse there’s a refrain”isn’t there something better to do?”Happy Silent Night and Solstice to you and all men(women too,though like dolphin mothers they seem less in need of that best anti-psychotic,sleep);even and perhaps especially those wrestling demons/angels such as the ones which tormented Don Quixote -and to those who “gave that boy a gun”.
Wow, Peter, good one. Glad you remind us of the Giving Tree’s ending (and so much more). I will revisit.
Debora, Glad you liked the ramble.Tommy,I didn’t men to get on your case but Shel is one of my favorite writers and I think you got him all wrong-hope you’ll check out some other Shel classics-thinking of Lizard and last lunches brought this one to mind
and that led me back to a friend’s rendition of one I wrote
or perhaps like Shel’s shackled prisoners I got “a plan”…
How you posted in a margin with no room for reply is a mystery to me. You are the magic man! Paint, Peter? But you do paint – with your words! Sorry Silverstein fans, a stump of a slain tree is but a scar. Redemption foisted onto this story is a false promise.
Hey Peter, apparently (even though they’re dated 5 hrs apart) we cross-posted because this wasn’t up here when I did my Silverstein stump rant, which I still stand by, or as the case may be, sit upon, either that, or I didn’t upgrade my browser! I’ll check out these links when I get home in front of my big box. I love how prolific you are – you should guest post at Bill and Dave’s.
Guest post! Guest post! Guest post!
Another warm December day begin
Barefoot in wet grass still green
I search grey clouds for signs.
Quiet is the yellow light
A mute pass across peaks
Draped in mist.
My heart sighs.
Deep whispers tell me
I am forsaken.
I have to admit it’s getting warmer (a little warmer)
It’s getting warmer, all the time
I have to admit it’s getting warmer (a little warmer)
(can’t get no snow)
Leave that cold weather, far behind
Getting so much warmer all the time.
– Beattles (circa – 1966)
See, even they knew!
And so does another warm December day begin
I’m blessed with both groan and grin
The equinox is but days away
A little more darkness
Night stretches and extends itself
Knocks ski-boots from the shelf
“Come darkness,with your longing.”
incants the poet in memory
and black diamonds from the past
mock and tempt my aged ass.
A powdery cloud shimmers in a cold sky
Young voices yell “do or die”
“you were meant for rest and sleep”
the poet answers with a gaze so deep
and to her I say sincerest thanks
for both the lies and the deceit
are but needles
in my cold not-yet-dead feet.
The need for snow is pressing
So ripping bare ground, carbon spewing
Dave on a quadrunner has me stewing
What the F does he think he’s doing?
California celebrates half-assed cap and trade
First we lose snow, next we lose shade
What’s next-huffing Raid?
Great stuff, Peter, keep it coming! What’s Dave thinking? He’s in an immersion project, when he comes back wearing an “I love drilling” t-shirt, it may be time for an intervention! So what if he looks like a giant bug that needs to be stepped on (my first reaction).
I LOVE global warming, though I’ll admit, I’m a little alarmed (VERY), we’ve had but one real day of rain in two months, instread of five or six. Warmer air holds more moisture, something about physics, it’s one of the predictions I read 20 years ago. But shorts in December – perhaps my goals are a little short-sighted!
Hey,Tommy-I can’t lay claim to love for Global Warming with ya;my feelings are closer to hate as I’ve written here near the bottom of this page http://eatmorepeople.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-05-15T20:29:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=7&by-date=false
but the rain thing,yeah,as of Friday we’ve gotten 31.1″ instead of the “normal” 46.6 for this year.
I have dug in the sands at Allendale ,SC;carefully unearthing tools made over 12 thousand,perhaps 40 thousand years ago ;that sand blew in and buried the site in a time too dry for trees.As the forest crashes down here day by day,storm and saw opening the sky and stream-beds becoming canyons that are dry( when they are not full of raging torrents of silt)I hear and feel those ancient winds rising.
So Debora,whoever and wherever you are;we are indeed forsaken at the moment by snow.Records show that for Georgia Climate Change has brought wider swings of temperature as well as rain-the orange and olive groves on Cumberland Island and at Darien could never grow in today’s climate.So snow will come,but not gentle or soft-more like the thunder and lightning storms that never used to happen in Alaska but now echo across melting permafrost each year.
Love,love,love… like Mary Oliver I’m so grateful “I have been in love more times than one”;and as Leonard Cohen says he “thought that it could never happen/to all the people you became/your body lost in legends/the beast so very tame/ah but here,right here,/between the birthmark and the stain,/between the ocean and your open vein,/between the snowman and the rain/once again,once again/love calls you/by your name.”
Bildo points out on FB today that a poet’s machine is made all of glass;like Duchamp’s Bride it is stripped bare by it’s bachelors and I suppose seeing my reflection in some glass I must admit love for the terrible shifting climate,as I love this terrible stained ruin of my homeland;Georgia’s poet Byron Herbert Reese cranked this from his poem machine,wish that mine could do so well.
“From chips and shards,in idle times,
I made these stories,shaped these rhymes;
May they engage some friendly tongue
When I am past the reach of song.”
4 years ago, there was much excitement about it being the possibility of being the dryest year on record. Then it rained 8 of the last 11 days. Even with that late rally, rainfall on the last day of the year was predicted to amount to less than half an inch, and a new record would be set. But it rained 3/4 of an inch, and it ended up not being the driest year on record. It was the second dryest. I heard the weather man the other day try yo calm us, saying normal temperatures for this time of year were mid-fifties, so no to be alarmed if today was going to be in the low sixties, it’s only 5-6 degrees higher, which is tolerable when figuring any average. Of course, the problem with that is when the deviations are sustained.
Tommy, you bring up a point that bothers–well actually, makes me really angry and disappointed in contemporary American culture.
I find the whole manner in which the news, the information about our world and its people, is being delivered to us. I don’t want watered down, subjective spins and out right fabrication. Give me the facts and open, mature discussion of the facts for perspective. The only way individual Americans can make informed decisions is by being given unbiased information. Too many Americans believe everything they hear, and as a result, decisions that shape American consciousness are often being made by the misinformed and the overly biased–and the actual results of this are quite harmful.
One small example: The Colorado forests have been decimated by beetle kill. Many of my neighbors (talking green!) are out harvesting wild trees (the very trees that have been growing toward maturation over the last ten years and stand to be the replacement forest) to put in their living rooms for a few weeks. Meanwhile, hardworking Americans who raise and sell trees to make their livings, are set-up down the street offering an informed alternative toward forest management.
Romance, you say? As I consider the life of a tree, its fragility, its beauty, and its contribution to the survival of all things wild, I could not cut it down in order to stick it in my living room and watch it die. Nor could I involve my child in such a deed. When I drive up the pass today for some backcountry skiing, I will be saddened to witness all of the fallen trees being strapped to car roofs. In these moments I can only try to be grateful for my “awareness of certain currents”–Dave G. line!–an awareness that I have learned from readings of fact and intentional fiction (The Giving Tree, for example and one of my all time favorites) and so my gratitude, once again. Gratitude.
I love this, Debora. Damn, I agree with you about the news! Part of the reason was given magnificently, by the Jack Nicholson character in “A Few Good Men”: “You can’t handle the truth!” So, what we’re left with, what we get, is a bunch of lowest common denominator bites people will watch. News is a product, networks use it to sell advertising, it’s not a service! Information?? Slips in there sometimes, but there’s only so much of a story that can be presented in 4 minutes, or 30 seconds.
I read “The Giving Tree” once, four years ago, and was APPALLED. Talk about your basic ( and graphic) abusive relationship. The tree gave at complete expense of itself, and the boy used, and used, and used – until there was nothing left to be given or taken. I’m still horrified, and banned it from our bookshelves!
Beetle kill, also pandemic in the Sierra Nevadas, is a bi-product of drought, which is a bi-product of changing weather patterns, which some say, is a bi-product of global warming. Could also be related to the shift in the Earth’s magnetic fields.
Yes, the plight of the tree…I see your point. But does the tree have a choice? Can it set boundaries? But I see what you mean, there is a mixed message in there, yikes! And another good point that we shouldn’t expect the news to be about the dissemination of information. Haha of course! Just another bit of Gaga!
“It’s coming on Christmas,they’re cutting down trees;they’re putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace/Oh I wish I had a river so long I would teach my feet to fly/Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on.”(Joni Mitchell)
Banning Shel are ya?…well,schools are banning Huck Finn,so I suppose I should not be surprised.I have banned TV news from my sight for many years.We “handle ” the “truths” we can-I think you should look a little harder at claims of drought coming from “the shift in the Earth’s magnetic fields.”and re-read “The Giving Tree” -at least that last page where he sits upon the stump;stumps are not “nothing”-sometimes they are all we need,and/or all we can give.To be able to give,and have the gift be accepted,used and appreciated ,is a gift greater than most to my twisted mind.Messages are mixed and chaotic;full of currents and meanings at so many levels.The “bi-products”are the crazy tilts of our twisted languages-babel/bobbled translations like my Father-in Laws label of the uni-sex sweaters he was selling as “bi-sexual”(no, English wasn’t his first language).Laughter and love somehow leak through this terrible exquisite corpse we call communication-I alternate between viewing it as my obsession or hobby;it’s a horse to tilt at the windmills on even if it’s only a nag.
The poet I quoted and should have credited(Come darkness…)was Janisse Ray ,here’s the end of that poem(Waiting in the Dark)
“Remember how Mars one autumn
hovered as close to the Earth as it had
in sixty thousand years,then drifted away?
These are the last days of the leaving.
We have entered the coming back.”
These little marks are reflections of shadows on a cave wall,after dinner diversions for those who aren’t “making love or expecting rain”they feed our self image as we “Good Samaritans are dressing,they are getting ready for the show;they are going to the carnival tonight on desolation row “…”right now I can’t read too good,don’t send me no more letters,no-not unless you mail them from desolation row”(Dylan)
“When Van Gogh preached to the poor/surely he wanted to save someone/most of all himself/but he wasn’t a Lilly/and walking through the bright fields/only brought him more questions/it would take his life to solve.”M. Oliver
“I’m going back to Beethoven,cause country music sucks” (can’t remember,and Google won’t tell)-perhaps it’s time to switch back to paint….
Hey Peter, I found reference to “tilting at windmills” on pg. 286 of the big book. Is it true that great minds think alike, likely, or, are you paying homage, as I suspect! 🙂
Warmer,like these weird December days
were your tales- and the acted out small plays
Upon a stage in a library basement
talking of Brad Pitt; shunning understatement!
Decatur,Georgia got to hear Bildo
tell what paragraph came first,and what came last
The perspective of seeing forty years writing past
how a walk in the park was also a walk on the plank
How a thing that was ripe , deliciously prime
but held back;came to be mostly slime.
I’d wanted to say how I’d stopped 20 pages short
of finishing Life Among Giants to hold onto that edge
And tell why I’d brought just one book to sign
from all of yours on my shelf in a line
The story I’d wanted to give to a judge of Mr Milk
At Little Henry’s -a job-how it understood
The deep coils of violence,crime and despair
perhaps even tell of prisoners I knew
who had , and still did live there.
But there was a line of people with books
and talk of business, recipes and cooks
My tongue was tied up,I write because
talking’s so hard;to stammer or sing
That’s the choice for a bard and
Singing in a library is awfully
But you remembered there were poems I’d written for you
Tommy was there and said he’d re-read one or two
You wrote “admiration”came with your love
I promised a poem,so before my work glove
I put my hand in here
With thanks for your coming so near.
Warmer, like these weird December days
My board tuned and waxed
Winged-chick, in shades of purple
Flames fly like hair
Caught in the waves of wind
Lifting, the sky is mine
Clouds of white, my crystal wake
Oh me! Oh Life! My need presses
Hahaha! I love my Burton snowboard! XXOXOXX All, SkiGirl!
I love this, Peter! I, too, have stopped a great book I was enjoying reading, twenty pages short of the finish, because I didn’t want it to end. I’m still mad at Bill, though, for taking me from the tiny dancer’s dressing room at the end of Part One, to prepping mushrooms in a restaurant kitchen 18 years later on the next page at the beginning of Part Two! I don’t know if I can continue……. 🙂