Containment Is The Key To Breaking Through

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

by Austin MacRae

How best to hold a Master’s mastered light
that flickers deep in pearl, a milklit face?
His paintings stun: complex perspectives right,
well-framed, with every fold and thread in place.
Over and over, within this structured space,
he nails the tough proportions, deftly blocks
the naked eye’s distortions with such grace
of form that every stricture clicks and locks.
Like him, I shoot life through a dovetailed box,
a darkened room. Containment is the key
to breaking through. I watch what it unlocks
inside the mirror’s polished glass, and see
if like the great, meticulous Vermeer,
a blooming world pours through my pinhole, clear.


Camera obscura is the optical phenomenon that occurs when an image at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole and appears as reversed and inverted on a surface opposite the opening. This discovery led to the development of photography.  It is also an apt metaphor for how the world feels six months into the pandemic. I still see the world around me, but it appears smaller and flipped upside down. There is a wall between me and that world and much less light is shining in.

Yesterday, the young woman at the Trader Joe’s checkout jumped away from me as I approached her register and with fright in her voice commanded I stand exactly on the watermelon on the floor in front of the growing fortress-like plexi-glass barrier that separated us.  I warily complied exactly as commanded, all pleasantries of human interaction obliterated by caution and safety, no smiles exchanged through our face masks, her eyes continuously downcast, a bit too intensely ringing up my modest purchase, never once looking at me, tangible her fear of being in the same space that I am in.  I get it.   I am not sure how I would handle a cashier job these days.  I too would probably suffer from moments of the ebbie-jeebies that I was observing. It’s not that I had violated her six foot barrier, it was that it felt like she wanted a 30 foot barrier in that moment.  I made a half-hearted attempt at fake pleasantries but it seemed to make the mood even more somber.  It wasn’t her fault.  In the end it made me feel like shopping at Trader Joe’s was my mistake.  My local Cub Food let’s me check out all on own, maintaining this false notion we have that our social isolation is intact. It’s depressing that when I venture out for my one interaction with the world in a day and the world jumps back from me in alarm, runs away from me in fear, even if that destination has the best gluten-free bagels in town.

I long to get out of this box of COVID-19, end the cues in lines in front of everywhere I go, this social distancing which is another way of feeling social ostracism.  I long to remove the masks and cut a giant hole in the universe and walk back into the world as I formerly knew it. Go to a baseball game, sit surrounded by strangers and drink a beer. I know it can’t be done, that world may never exist again. I fear that the future will be so completely foreign to the world that I had grown accustomed that everything will feel upside down forever and I will be the one much smaller than before, inverted. I feel myself moving along this new foreign, unpaved path, looking for hope, looking for ways to make my world big again, even if these days its only in the pages of a book or in the line of a poem, where an adventure may still await.

images (1)
Vladimir Kush

The Camera Obscura

by John Addington Symonds
Inside the skull the wakeful brain,
Attuned at birth to joy and pain,
Dwells for a lifetime; even as one
Who in a closed tower sees the sun
Cast faint-hued shadows, dim or clear,
Upon the darkened disc: now near,
Now far, they flit; while he, within,
Surveys the world he may not win:
Whate’er he sees, he notes; for nought
Escapes the net of living thought;
And what he notes, he tells again
To last and build the brains of men.
Shades are we; and of shades we weave
A trifling pleasant make-believe;
Then pass into the shadowy night,
Where formless shades blindfold the light

 

 

The Dark Accidents Of Strange Identity

delmore-schwartzs-quotes-1

The Rumor and The Whir of Unborn Wings

by Delmore Schwartz

Some girl serene, some girl whose being is
Affection, and in love with natural things,
In whom like summer like a choir sings,
Yet with a statue’s white celebrities
Although the city falls.  Golden and sleek,
Spontaneous and strong, quickend and one
To wake for joy, the mother of a son
Who climbs with conscious laughter every peak!

But I know well the party rush, the black
Rapids of feeling falling tot a bride,
Trapped in the present and the body’s lack,
Long reasons’s new hat quickly thrown aside,
And soon a child rising and toiling like me
With the dark accidents of strange identity.

 

At a Solemn Musick. (Recorded at the National Poetry Festival, 1962)


O City, City

by Delmore Schwartz

To live between terms, to live where death
has his loud picture in the subway ride,
Being amid six million souls, their breath
An empty song suppressed on every side,
Where the sliding auto’s catastrophe
Is a gust past the curb, where numb and high
The office building rises to its tyranny,
Is our anguished diminution until we die.

Whence, if ever, shall come the actuality
Of a voice speaking the mind’s knowing,
The sunlight bright on the green windowshade,
And the self articulate, affectionate, and flowing,
Ease, warmth, light, the utter showing,
When in the white bed all things are made.

 

 

Attach One Silken Strand To You

e-b-white

E. B. White (1899 – 1985)

Wedding Day in the Rockies

by E. B. White

The charm of riding eastward through Wyoming
Is not so much the grandeur and the view
As that it is an exercise in homing
And that my fellow passenger is you.
In fourteen years of this our strange excursion
The scenic points of love have not grown stale
For that my mind in yours has found the diversion
And in your heart my heart could never fail.

It’s fourteen years today today since we began it–
This sonnet crowds a year in every line–
Love were an idle drudge if time outran it
And time were stopped indeed were you not mine.
The rails go on together toward the sky
Even (the saying goes) as you and I.


Natural History

by E. B. White

The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unwinds a thread of her devising:
A thin, premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all the journey down through space,
In cool descent, and loyal-hearted,
She builds a ladder to the place
From which she started.

Thus I, gone forth, as spiders do,
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken strand to you
For my returning


Youth and Age

by E. B. White

This is what youth must figure out:
Girls, love, and living.
The having, the not having,
The spending and giving,
And the melancholy time of not knowing.

This is what age must learn about:
The ABC of dying.
The going, yet not going,
The loving and leaving,
And the unbearable knowing and knowing.

The Everlasting Universe of Things

Mount Blanc
Mount Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps.  it sits along the French-Italian Border.

Night On The Mountain

by George Sterling (1869 – 1926)

The fog has risen from the sea and crowned
The dark, untrodden summits of the coast,
Where roams a voice, in canyons uttermost,
From midnight waters vibrant and profound.
High on each granite altar dies the sound,
Deep as the trampling of an armored host,
Lone as the lamentation of a ghost,
Sad as the diapason of the drowned.

The mountain seems no more a soulless thing,
But rather as a shape of ancient fear,
In darkness and the winds of Chaos born
Amid the lordless heavens’ thundering-
A Presence crouched, enormous and austere,
Before whose feet the mighty waters mourn.


Mount Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe, its at peak 15,700 feet.  It is also Europe and the world’s most deadly mountain.  Relatively accessible from Italy and France, the steep slopes and beauty of Mount Blanc are a siren song to adventurers both summer and winter. Danger is part of adventure and on average 30 people a year lose their lives to miscalculations of weather, terrain or bad luck on its slopes.

The number of poems written about Mount Blanc is staggering.  Poets as well as adventurers have been inspired by its beauty and the surrounding mountain villages for centuries. There are things in nature that are inherent to  our imaginations, even beyond our imaginations.   Mountains inspire awe.  If you have ever hiked to the summit of a mountain, you know that distances can be misleading, what looks like it should be relatively close, can be miles and miles in the distance anda  much farther to climb or hike than you imagined.  Its why standing at the top of a summit where you can see a 360 degree view of the mountains tops is worth the effort.

The past few decades have seen an explosion in action sports, with inventions as wild and dangerous as men’s imaginations can come up with.   Extreme sports is not exclusive to men, but men tend to push the boundaries in greater numbers in ever greater searches of adrenaline.  Here’s a couple of video’s that will give you a perspective of the scale of Mount Blanc and its beauty along with what must be an incredible rush of gliding down its steep slopes.

 

 

Mont Blanc

by George Stirling

I
The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark—now glittering—now reflecting gloom—
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters—with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

 

V
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:—the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind’s imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?

I Broke The Spell That Held Me Long

William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878)

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware….
William Cullen Bryant – Thanatoposis – Excerpt

Midsummer

by William Cullen Bryant

A power is on the earth and in the air
From which the vital spirit shrinks afraid,
And shelters him, in nooks of deepest shade,
From the hot steam and from the fiery glare.
Look forth upon the earth–her thousand plants
Are smitten; even the dark sun-loving maize
Faints in the field beneath the torrid blaze;
The herd beside the shaded fountain pants;
For life is driven from all the landscape brown;
The bird has sought his tree, the snake his den,
The trout floats dead in the hot stream, and men
Drop by the sun-stroke in the populous town;
As if the Day of Fire had dawned, and sent
Its deadly breath into the firmament.


William Cullen Bryant was a worthy tradesman in the business of letters as a journalist and writer, carving out a small place in American Literature. Not as celebrated or innovative as other poets of his generation like Wordsworth or Whitman, Bryant toiled at his craft. He worked as a journalist, then editor, then part owner of the New York Evening Post, a paper founded by Alexander Hamilton.  Bryant was a long time advocate for organized labor and a consistent critic of Thomas Jefferson, he would go on to be a fierce supporter of Abraham Lincoln and a progressive voice for change.

Bryant’s poetry is largely focused on the beauty of nature and our appreciation of our place in the natural world. I appreciate his rhyming schemes and word play, use of rhythm and the workmanship in some of  his shorter poems. Thanatoposis, his most famous poem, feels a bit outdated, but there are still some beautiful lines. Here’s a clever bit of animation to bring it to life.

 


I Broke The Spell That Held Me Long

by William Cullen Bryant

I broke the spell that held me long,
The dear, dear witchery of song.
I said, the poet’s idle lore
Shall waste my prime of years no more,
For Poetry, though heavenly born,
Consorts with poverty and scorn.

I broke the spell–nor deemed its power
Could fetter me another hour.
Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
Its causes were around me yet?
For wheresoe’er I looked, the while,
Was Nature’s everlasting smile.

Still came and lingered on my sight
Of flowers and streams the bloom and light,
And glory of the stars and sun; –
And these and poetry are one.
They, ere the world had held me long,
Recalled me to the love of song.

Never Known So Fierce A Dancing

Hesse)
Hermann Hesse (1877 – 1962)

There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.

Hermann Hesse

A Swarm Of Gnats

by Hermann Hesse

Translated by James Wright

Many thousand glittering motes
Crowd forward greedily together
In trembling circles.
Extravagantly carousing away
For a whole hour rapidly vanishing,
They rave, delirious, a shrill whir,
Shivering with joy against death.
While kingdoms, sunk into ruin,
Whose thrones, heavy with gold, instantly scattered
Into night and legend, without leaving a trace,
Have never known so fierce a dancing.


Having recently been set upon by hungry gnats, I jokingly did a google search to see if any poetry existed on the subject and found this wonderful gem written by Hermann Hesse, translated by a proud Minnesotan who understands biting insects – James Wright.  I remember reading a bit of Hesse back in college.  I think I would appreciate his writing more today then I did then. His most popular books are focused on spirituality and an individuals search of self knowledge. Hesse espoused the idea that authenticity of our true selves in how we think and act is what leads to a fully realized life. Hesse felt anxiety arouse by not being in harmony with ourselves, fear comes out of not owning up to our true identity.  Hesse believed our true selves was derived from the quality of our thinking.

Words do not express thoughts very well.  They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.

Hermann Hesse

Although Hesse has fallen out of favor, I am inspired to find a used copy of Glass Bead Game and dig a little deeper. Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946 for Glass Bead Game.  Hesse was a talented painter as well as writer, favoring water colors as his preferred media. Hesse was influential in his day and inspired other writers and artists. Richard Strauss set three of Hesse’s poems to music in his song cycle Four Last Songs; “Frühling” (“Spring”), “September”, and “Beim Schlafengehen” (“On Going to Sleep”).  This music was not performed until after Strauss’ death.    Here’s a link if you want to check it out.

 


In Secret We Thirst

by Hermann Hesse

Graceful, spiritual,
with the gentleness of arabesques
our life is similar
to the existence of fairies
that spin in soft cadence
around  nothingness
to which we sacrifice
the here and nowDreams of beauty, youthful joy
like a breath in pure harmony
with the depth of your young surface
where sparkles the longing for the night
for blood and barbarityIn the emptiness, spinning, without aims or needs
dance free our lives
always ready for the game
yet,  secretly, we thirst for reality
for the conceiving, for the birth
we are thirst for sorrows and death

 

Oh Cherry, Why Can’t My Poems Be As Beautiful

IMG_5822
Cherries in my Dad’s Garden

Why I Don’t Write About George Floyd

by Toi Derricotte – 1941-

Because there is too much to say
Because I have nothing to say
Because I don’t know what to say
Because everything has been said
Because it hurts too much to say
What can I say what can I say
Something is stuck in my throat
Something is stuck like an apple
Something is stuck like a knife
Something is stuffed like a foot
Something is stuffed like a body


It’s cherry picking time!  It is a short season in my Dad’s backyard coming on the heels of the 4th of the July every year.   No one associates cherries with Minnesota winters as they are too cold for sweet cherries.  But a pie cherry tree situated in the right spot where it gains a little protection from the side of a house can live around 20 years and produce an abundance of tart, wonderfully cherry, pie cherries, despite our harsh winters.   Pie cherries are smaller, little jewels hanging on the tree.  My sister and I love the tradition of coming over and picking with my father.  My father’s zeal to try and harvest every one isn’t like it used to be, but its a lovely July tradition to climb a short ladder and pick and pick and pick in the same spot and hardly seem to make a dent in the bounty of fruit hanging before your eyes.  It is particularly satisfying this year, picking cherries is a reminder of the importance of the simple traditions in our lives that give them context and enjoyment. My father is on the 3rd cherry tree in his current yard.  A reminder that life is short.  It is a reminder to honor beauty and the circle of life that sustains us.   It is a reminder of how fortunate I am.

In the past six weeks I have thought a lot about my good fortune and the word privilege. I have written before about how I realize I won the genetic lottery ticket of all time by growing up white, middle class, in the 1960’s suburban America.  I also agree with Derricotte’s poem above,  I am not sure I am the right person nor do I have the words to add to the discussion.  So what should be my participation in change?  I can add to the discussion by listening, learning, absorbing, reflecting. I can let the discussion lead me to ways that I can be better. And maybe if I commit to change and others do too, we can do better as a society and as a community. Despite the omnipresent reminders in the burned buildings of our failure in my community, cherry picking is a reminder that there is hope.  There is still an ancient beauty that is beyond me, that surrounds me,  that came before me and will last after I am gone.  I can appreciate it, I can savor it, I can honor it and taste its goodness with a grateful and regenerative tongue.  Time to make cherry jam this evening!


Cherry Blossoms

by Toi Derricotte

I went down to
mingle my breath
with the breath
of the cherry blossoms.

There were photographers:
Mothers arranging their
children against
gnarled old trees;
a couple, hugging,
asks a passerby
to snap them
like that,
so that their love
will always be caught
between two friendships:
ours & the friendship
of the cherry trees.

Oh Cherry,
why can’t my poems
be as beautiful?

A young woman in a fur-trimmed
coat sets a card table
with linens, candles,
a picnic basket & wine.
A father tips
a boy’s wheelchair back
so he can gaze
up at a branched
heaven.
 .                    .          All around us
the blossoms
flurry down
whispering,

.        .       Be patient
you have an ancient beauty.

 .                                     .      Be patient,
.                                .  you have an ancient beauty.

Once More I Were A Careless Child

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The Careless Child

Sonnet: To the River Otter

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm’d the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that vein’d with various dyes
Gleam’d through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of Childhood! oft have ye beguil’d
Lone manhood’s cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless Child.


A canoe has a bi-polar personality depending on how many people are in it,  the cooperative nature of those paddling it and the amount of wind you are contending with and the direction from which it is blowing. It can be the most gentle cooperative vessel ever invented, or it can be the most unruly of crafts.  In short a canoe is not for amateurs in rough, cold waters and rapids and yet it can be the best of all possible boats in the hands of competent paddlers and conditions.

Most canoes are not designed to be paddled by one person, except on those mornings and evenings in which there is not even a puff of wind and the lake or stream is a mirror.   One person seated in the back of a canoe lifts the bow out of the water enough that the keel lacks some of its grip and it makes it easily influenced by even the slightest wind.

Enough about describing canoes, get out there and experience a canoe!  And if you are fortunate to tip it over, while wearing your life jacket, be sure to enjoy the adventure of getting it back to shore, the water bailed out and a lesson learned about what you don’t want to do the next time.  There is a certain zen like quality to paddling a canoe. Each person must keep their weight centered over the keel and relaxed. You have to keep your weight low, you need to slow down and be centered and present. As children at camp we were taught how to deal with a tipped canoe by tipping them on purpose in water close to shore under supervision and with life jackets on. I recommend if you have children or teenagers or adults who are first time in a canoe that you teach them those skills sometime in shallow warm summer waters, before attempting cold, fast moving water where you don’t want to tip, and if you do, everyone knows what to do.  But its tippiness is what is part of the fun of a canoe, you have to treat it with respect, know its capability, acquire skill and agility with a pinch of  bravery required.

I have been fortunate to canoe upon and alongside river otters several times in my life.  A huge thrill and a connection with the wilderness that takes your breath away.  Coleridge’s poem brings back pleasant memories.  Since in the last blog entry I mentioned my fondness for the short film Paddle To The Sea, I thought I would share a link and make it easy to find if you remember it as well from 3rd grade.

The poem The Canoe Speaks by Stevenson below is one of those examples of  rhyming poetry where the poet intentionally drops the rhyme for stunning emphasis and clarity at the end.  Some of my best sonnets that I have written drop the rhyme in a spot because the exact word I want doesn’t fit the rhyming scheme and because it improved the flow and meaning of the poem. Remember rules are made to be broken with poetry. Dickinson is a master of going in and out of rhyme with devastating precision.  Do you have a favorite poem that leaves a lasting impression because it is unpredictably changes course, like an eddy in a river in a canoe where the next stanza or couplet is unexpectedly different?


The Canoe Speaks

by Robert Louis Stevenson

On the great streams the ships may go
About men’s business to and fro.
But I, the egg-shell pinnace, sleep
On crystal waters ankle-deep:
I, whose diminutive design,
Of sweeter cedar, pithier pine,
Is fashioned on so frail a mould,
A hand may launch, a hand withhold:
I, rather, with the leaping trout
Wind, among lilies, in and out;
I, the unnamed, inviolate,
Green, rustic rivers, navigate;
My dripping paddle scarcely shakes
The berry in the bramble-brakes;
Still forth on my green way I wend
Beside the cottage garden-end;
And by the nested angler fare,
And take the lovers unaware.
By willow wood and water-wheel
Speedily fleets my touching keel;
By all retired and shady spots
Where prosper dim forget-me-nots;
By meadows where at afternoon
The growing maidens tropp in June
To loose their girldes on the grass.
Ah! speedier than before the glass
The backward toilet goes; and swift
As swallows quiver, robe and shift,
And the rough country stockings lie
Around each young divinity
When, following the recondite brook,
Sudden upon this scene I look.
And light with unfamiliar face
On chaste Diana’s bathing-place,
Loud ring the hills about and all
The shallows are abandoned.

The World Is Too Much With Us

williamwordsworth
William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.

William Wordsworth

The World is Too Much With Us

by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

The world has felt too much of late, this year’s mid summer holiday not even registering as a holiday in my mind, it was so completely removed from traditional rituals and celebrations.  I stayed home and social distanced and worked on projects.

Dickinson does have a way of coming up with phrases that register as strangely optimistic in my thoughts;

“Unconcern so sovereign To Universe, or me – Infects my simple spirit with Taints of Majesty, till I take vaster attitudes and strut upon my stem, disdaining Men and Oxygen for Arrogance of them.”

Arrogance was in full regalia this past weekend by Trump in his usual narcissistic ramblings with his absolute lack of empathy for the impact that COVID-19 is having on families, individuals and communities.  I am still energized by the moment that change is happening and pleased to see emblems of white privilege and worse white supremacy under scrutiny, like the names of pro sports teams, finally coming to a reckoning for change.  Let’s hope that it is more than talk and action follows to eliminate symbols of injustice and bias with new emphasis on inclusion and crafting a legacy all can be proud and embrace.  I am hopeful being a patriot is supporting a better, more just path forward.


Of Bronze—and Blaze—

by Emily Dickinson

Of Bronze—and Blaze—
The North—Tonight—
So adequate—it forms—
So preconcerted with itself—
So distant—to alarms—
And Unconcern so sovereign
To Universe, or me—
Infects my simple spirit
With Taints of Majesty—
Till I take vaster attitudes—
And strut upon my stem—
Disdaining Men, and Oxygen,
For Arrogance of them—

My Splendors, are Menagerie—
But their Competeless Show
Will entertain the Centuries
When I, am long ago,
An Island in dishonored Grass—
Whom none but Daisies, know.

The Child Is Father of the Man

Lake Harriet Band shell Minneapolis
Rainbow over Lake Harriet Band Shell in Minneapolis

My Heart Leaps Up

by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold 
   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety


The magic of rainbows is one of the delights of summer.   In Minnesota the best ones are generally in the early evening after a brief shower, the clouds moving west to east so that as the storm passes by you get a glimpse at a rainbow for a few brief minutes in the eastern sky. I don’t believe that rainbows can be explained only by physics.  Physics doesn’t take into account the wonder it casts.  When I was a child and conditions were right we would run outside after the rain had passed over, grab our bikes and see if we could find a rainbow.

I have some amazing memories of rainbows, a particularly glorious one recently with my daughter in Scotland that went on and on and on across the Scottish countryside.  If ever there was going to a pot of gold hidden, it was there. The treasure was the adventure with my daughter.  Do you have a particularly vivid memory of a rainbow?  What was your hidden treasure?


The Green Mountains

by James Lowell

Ye mountains, that far off lift up your heads,
Seen dimly through their canopies of blue,
The shade of my unrestful spirit sheds
Distance-created beauty over you;
I am not well content with this far view;
How many I know what foot of loved one treads
Your rocks moss-grown and sun-dried torrent beds?
We should love all things better, if we knew
What claims the meanest have upon our hearts;
Perchance even now some eye, that would be bright
To meet my own, looks on your mist-robed forms;
Perchance your grandeur a deep joy imparts
To souls that have encircled mine with light, –
O brother- heart, with thee my spirit warms.