We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, December 29. 2012
Glory be to God for dappled things
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
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Where's my team of poet-tasters? One one is not as simple as it seems.
Still no bites?
OK, why "dappled" things? Why not things of one color or shade?
Wake up, team. It's morning in America.
Love this poem. At the risk of drawing your ire, cat-hating Bird Dog, first response was to think of my aging bird-hunting Siamese cat who has American house cat mixed in. She stalks them in our yard, dappled with shade from the neighbor's hateful bamboo, her fur speckled brown and tan, camouflaging her beautifully against the free wood chips from the dump that we strew on the soggy low spots (global warming, worse every year, every time it rains mallards swim on them. We are philosophical and enjoy watching the ducks. By the time the house floats away we will be in our dotage anyway...) Anyway, the cat is dappled, the garden is dappled, and she sits still for hours patiently awaiting her prey like a hunter in a blind. The dumb bird alights on the fence next to her, senses something is wrong, tries to fly and gets caught between her clawless paws (we adopted her from cruel owners who declawed her) and is no more...Her favorites are these horrid critters I call catbirds, who build nests in the thickets around our yard and who divebomb the people in the yard with progressively more human eye-directed aerial attacks as each summer progresses, and who are therefore quite a pest.
As far as Gerard Manley Hopkins and this poem...So much in it. THinking of the speckled cattle in the Bible, was it Jacob who bargained for the speckled ones then got the cattle to mix it up so there were more speckled babies for him...
Thinking of dappled light, the tricks it plays on our eyes, trying to judge distance, how it can transport us. A cathedral with the light speckling the grey stone, God's glory refracted. You come in with the mud of the fields on your boots, mired in earthly cares, then lifted up into God's heavens. The music helps, but it is the dappling of the light that hints at divine mysteries, the miracle at the core of the mundane, the life in the midst of death.
Our kids like random things. I am not always so sure (what a shuffle does to a recorded book is appalling) but God is definitely about upsetting the applecart, defying our expectations.
Camouflage is dappled.
A brownie looks more delicious sprinkled with confectioner's sugar (dappled?)
My new kitten is dappled with baby tiger stripes.
There is not a flat color in nature. A polar bear looks white only from a distance.
What's the word for that science of measuring the infinite distance around a coastline, the smaller the scale, you see the infinite number of bays and inlets? Blake's line about to see an infinity in a grain of sand...
God is strange, fey, seeks us and eludes us when we seek Him. We did not choose Him, He first chose us...
The woods are dappled, my first cathedral, never bettered, even in blackfly season...Light broken up, shining thru and on things, reflected in mud puddles teeming with life...
Fur is dappled, rough one way, smooth the other...
Praise Him--that's where I learned to, feeding my dappled pony on a Pennsylvania farm, chasing my dappled 18 beagles when they dug out of their kennel to run thru the dappled corn fields of the irate shotgun blasting farmer across the street.
It's about the play of light which is God in our darkness. God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all...
I could go on, but enough from me for now.
"He died at 44, after enduring years of a serious depression"
This is the saddest thing of all. Is the cause of his depression known?
Is there ever a cause? These things are usually overdetermined. I know many sufferers who try to make a virtue of necessity, by reminding themselves that He afflicts those He loves. That He does not afflict us with anything He does not think us capable of bearing. As Mother Teresa reminded us, however, "sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much." The thing about divine timing, however, is that had Gerard Manley Hopkins been depressed nowadays he'd have had the God and the beauty medicated out of him. He'd have walked the earth usefully, a cab horse blinkered to see only the way ahead, less agonized, stolid and feet planted firmly on earth. Better a falling star than a clod I say.....
I feel so sorry for him, that he was so low, but consider the alternatives...
well, I would not go that far, R. But you are right about "causes."
Anyway, I think a poem is just a seriously-written song lyric.
I like that view of a poem. Sting isn't a bad poet, to turn that around. He used to be an English teacher, before he became a rocker...
i think to get that brownie dappled, tho, you'd have to go to the icing. the sugar would make a 'speckled' brownie. think, 'speckled roan' vs 'pinto'.
If you sprinkle the sugar thickly enough, it's dappled...Hey, I'm one for the basics. Brownies came to mind because we eat so many of them at church (the real reason the kids want to go?)
because it says the light of day
comes in the eye as photon play,
we conjure up a word like 'dapple'
'cuz it delights us like an apple.
LOL--the kids realize that the Lord wishes they eat them brownies.
I used to ride a little old speckled roan.
I told him lots of things I wouldn't have told at home. I said to the speckled roan, said I, I'm so lonesome I could die!
But I ain't gonna stay lonesome very long!
I used to ride a little ole yellow dun.
Mending fences, rode him in the rain and sun.
I said to the yellow dun, said I, I'm gonna be rich or know the reason why. Gonna take my money to town and find the fun!
And then I bought me a big old ropin' gray. Roped for money and I made it ev'ry day.
But I said to the ropin' gray, said I, I sure do miss that prairie sky!
And he lit out laughin' and he surely knowed the way.
I brought my money home and I brought it home to stay. Couldn't have stayed in town, not another day.
I'm gonna live out under a prairie sky, gonna live out here 'till the day I die --with the roan and the dun and the big old ropin' gray!
not great poetry, just the words to the song, which is a rare sort of song, i think, with elements of Gregorian chants, Jewish Nigunem, and the Carnatic prayer extemporania of southern India.
Why such a mouthful for a dumb old Kingston Trio cowboy song? It's in the sound -take away the lyrics, and what is the sound but the direct emotion of riding the wide open spaces, at a canter along the far frontier? That's what them ancient and middle ages sounds were/are, too --direct emotional communication outside the realm of thought words.
melody onomatopoeia --not it itself, in the KT song (which if twernt commercial wouldn't finance its creation), but 'about' it itself.
Both a speckled trout and a speckled roan fit into the speckled theme, but the trout doesn't fit into the horse music.
Really the horse wild west dream music --
...with the lyrics laid on surely with all that in mind. At least one gangly kid had a revelation moment on the last line, where yipee! that cowboy didn't sell the first horse nor the last or the in-between, nor did they die, and they weren't forgot about neither --they stuck together, they're all still together, all four out there under the endless sky, out there on the lone prairie.
One message that kid picked up was ''here in this world, us kihgston trio, we like Loyalty.''
Definitely a poem in my top ten: "All things counter, original, spare, strange;" The acknowledgement of the uniqueness and value of all God's creations. The things that might seem a defect are part of His plan.
Suffering can be a gift offered up to God. Don't discount God's love for us because of disease and strife.