http://www.anenglishinkentucky.com/ - May 18, 2013 7:08:29 AM - Oct 3, 2010 6:19:05 AM
Friday May 17th 2013
One of the problems of being dominated by The Rabbit is the persistence of his past, which now intrudes. One consequence of this intrusion is boredom for any one who might read these pages and another consequence is such things as for example a name for the Out House. Which in my mind has become a tentative "Saint Teresa of Avila." For his part, The Rabbit formerly achieved Sainthood, in the Year of Our Lord 1099. But as is well known, since around 1100 a person does not usually become a Saint, until he or she has been gone form the mortal plane for a respectable period of time. There are a great many recent exceptions, and I'd argue that these exceptions are primarily a reactionary whim on the part of the modern Vatican, a pandering to populist demand. As well there has been in recent times a horrible habit of what I will call "Mass Sainting." The eight hundred Martyrs of Otranto, may be an extreme example but it is far from unusual. In the 1970's Pope Paul the sixth suddenly announced the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, most of whom had had their moment on earth at around the time tea first arrived in England.
The Rabbit was born around 720 and died around the time Offa came to the thrown of Mercia, which according the Anglo Saxon Chronicles was near enough to the year 757, though of course the calendar has changed a little, so it might have been 758, or 756. And during The Rabbit's time upon earth, it was more likely that in order to be a Saint a person had first to have held a very respectable office within the religious hierarchy, and as admirers gathered for a final farewell there would be graveside discussion of Sainthood, and onward the process would quickly go all the way to the Pope, who'd pretty much gloss through evidence of Sainthood and make the decision on political grounds. Then there would occasionally arise a rascal, who for one reason or another would be made a Saint for purely political ends. Which is why one of the phenomena a commission on sainthood considers worthy, is what's called the Odor of Sanctity. And here "St. Teresa of
Avila" became a Saint because her grave exuded a sweet scent for nine months after her death. Saint Teresa was one of the founders of the order of Barefoot Carmelites, who are called to a cloistered existence of "prayer, penance, hard work and silence."
Thursday May 16th 2013
William the Second was a son of William the Conqueror. "Hateful to almost all his people and odious to God," he well might have been. After the death of Archbishop Lanfrac, an Italian Norman who had been Archbishop of Canterbury, William was reluctant to name another Bishop to the postion and that way he was able to secure Church Revenues for his own purposes. Then one day William fell sick, and he was able to convince himself that this sickness was a punishment from God, and he set about the business of appointing a new Archbishop of Canterbury. He chose another Italian Norman called Anslem, a brilliant politician who a hundred or so years after his death was recommended for Saint Hood by none other than Thomas Becket. Saint Anslem of Canterbury died in the year 1109.
William the Second's nickname was William Rufus. He had a "red faced" appearance and probably suffered from some sort of red blotchiness as I do. He was 'flamboyant' and without entail. And it's possible that the good scribes of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles added this aspect of William's personality to their understanding of "odious to God." William died while hunting. The Anglo Saxon Chronicles suggest he was "shot by an arrow from one of his own men." The arrow pierced his lung, he fell from his horse, and there in the forest he was abandoned by the nobles. His younger brother, Henry, raced to Winchester where the Royal Treasury was kept and within days Henry had himself crowned King of England. And I have told the Rabbit of Usk that I have no intention of going hunting with a marksman.
Wednesday May 15th 2013
OK. I will wave the white flag. And I'll try to argue my surrender has nothing to do with any wimpy-ness on my part, or fear of Grocery Store encounters, or boiling head syndrome, or Tic. Nor do I want you to think my surrender follows after some form of enhanced interrogation technique on the Rabbit's part. Rather, I have endured everything I am prepared to throw at myself, and after last night's long conversation with Walking Stewart he has agreed to merge briefly with the oneness on the understanding that my conclusion brings out the shine in Pythagorean thought, and, so long as I take care to offer detailed accounts of the Rabbit's horribleness.
And I guess there are some who when they attempt an account of their own existence, their Ecce Homo, if you like, have some sort of control over the course of what the technical device calls 510,643 words. A summation so callous I can feel my heart break. And grudgingly I can understand the importance of structure, when the Rabbit of Usk shrugs off his sulk and now begins to insist it is his turn to take the lead, otherwise anarchy and unwarranted innuendo, some of it very risky, will reduce me to a gibbering wreck, a chaotic pile of confused inconsequence. And of course The Rabbit's first words to me after the months of his silence had to be a quote from the Anglo Saxon Chronicles. "You're like William the third," he said to me, "hateful to almost all your people and odious to God." An un-auspicious reemergence, I'd suggest.
Tuesday May 14th 2013
The Rabbit of Usk faces such a conundrum there's a possibility I'll never again be able to have a hair cut. The problem lies in the relationship we share, I am unwilling to compromise and his response for some time now has been silence. It's been a long impasse in communication. So around the beginning of March, which is when one of us last made a decent contribution, I drew a conclusion that perhaps if I let my hair grow through the March hair cutting deadline, my hair would become intolerable as the warm weather arrived, and this would force me to achieve an increasing intensity of concentration that might permit progress.
Already I have been called 'madam' in the Post Office, and I've been offered a biscuit recipe by a large round man with bad hair plugs in the Grocery Store. And now that Tic season has conjoined with Out House Construction season I am possessed by a twitchiness that defeats all attempt at clear thinking. But I will not surrender. I will not kill off Walking Stewart by causing him to discover his lost button then disappear into the ethers of the Ottoman Empire. And I will insist upon knowing the names and life history of the Advocates for and against Timothy's canonization. And whenever that's done, I'm going to get my hair cut. As well I believe somehow the failure of Carrot Rows has contributed to the Rabbit of Usk's continuing stubbornness. And who knows what might happen to thinking when Beans might be ready to pick.
Monday May 13th 2013
The late afternoon of May 12th 2013, less that six weeks this side of mid summer's day, and a frost advisory issued by the National Weather Service. It's these sorts of dramatic moments that pulls a mind into closer and closer affinity with the men and women of the weather service. It's their opportunity to express emotion in their prose, wax lyrical, share mood. EER was unusually blunt: "Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered." I heard relish and keen anticipation in his voice, and I don't know about you, but I suspect EER is not person who likes his vegetables.
JH, who I am convinced grows his tomato on a balcony somewhere, offered: "Potted plants normally left outdoors should be covered or brought inside away from the cold." I could hear the nervousness, see the telephone call to a grandmother and the worry. But for understatement, and pure cocktail drinking calm, a person had to go to Geogerian/Dusty, my own hero of the National Weather Service: "Those with agricultural interests may consider taking precautions to protect tender vegetation." Myself, I thought the frost last night, "Spiteful and inconsiderate." The Artist for her part, called it a "A farewell love pat, because nobody was hurt."
Sunday May 12th 2013
A pair of Blue Grey Gnatcatchers. A Least Flycatcher. The butterfly flight of a courting Yellow Chat. One Hummingbird, who paused a while to sit in sunshine, warm himself on a cold morning. Indigo Bunting, bad tempered in the cut grass. Three Tree Swallow. One Confusing Warbler, he or she was greenish and had the sharp beak. Two Nightjar. It's a list for this morning's coffee clutch with migratory birds. Which, I'd suggest, is the only possible reaction to the Pope canonizing just 800 of the 813 Martyrs of Otranto who were beheaded in 1480 by Ottomans following a dispute over who might own the One God.
I don't call Phoebes, or Snow Birds migratory any more, nor can I call the Northern Harrier a winter visitor. The two Bobwhites are residents. And we are getting a little too much attention from Crows, so full we are of eggs and nests and rushing around. And the Red Squirrel is guilty of something, I'm certain. He has the happy smile. And late tonight into tomorrow's sunrise there could be frost on the Iris. So, if for some unaccountable reason you care about these sort of things, it's all very exciting and well worth waking up for.
Saturday May 11th 2013
Pontius Pilate as he attempted to maneuver a way through a political impasse, must have decided that if he could demonstrate that Jesus was no more than a person, those agitated by the possibility of Jesus being divine, would come to their senses. He had Jesus whipped, crowned with thorns and with the words "Behold The Man" he presented a much humiliated Jesus to that part of the populace who had been following the various flows in idea. And you have to wonder what Jesus might have been thinking through the course of that particular ordeal.
If ever you read "Ecce Homo" which is Nietzsche's "Behold The Man," pay no attention to the idea of it being an autobiography. If you even begin to think that, you'll get badly irritated and you will fall to the vice of scholarship and you'll start rambling about this and that and you might cease being true to the existentialist cause. Instead think of Nietzsche putting himself in Jesus' place, with Pontius Pilate grinning in the back ground, and blast of expectant faces out there in front of him. And with this scene in place, as you read Ecce Homo, ask yourself the question "how did I become what I am."
Friday May 10th 2013
A year or two ago I was mobbed by a hooligan band of juvenile Hummingbird for wearing a colorful shirt while attempting to make Blackberry jam on the outdoor stove. And anyone who might think it a cute or wonderful moment has obviously never experienced a mobbing by Hummingbird. It's kind of like being Biggles in a Dirigible surrounded by Die Fliegertruppen. Unnerving as it sounds.
This morning, while he was doing his rounds of Red Columbine, a boy Hummingbird paused to get a better look at me. And there was something very familiar between us. He darted closer to me, his beady eye inches from my forehead, and I have learned how pointless it is to swat at Hummingbird, so I blew cigarette smoke at him. And if I'd had an Eye Pod, or Google glasses, I'd be able to show you a picture of a Hummingbird sneering.
Thursday May 9th 2013
The Big Town in the State of Kentucky is Louisville. I was there yesterday, amongst people with cell phones and in unbridled traffic. An English can get close to an adequate pronunciation of The Big Town's name if he realizes the 's' is silent, otherwise confusion may rule. Louisville is named after the French King Louis the sixteenth, who is the French King who lost his life to the guillotine, and whose nickname is Louis The Last. And it's worth noting that in the lineage of French Monarchs, Louis the sixteenth was actually followed by Louis the seventeenth and by Louis the Eighteenth. The first King Louis of France, Louis the Pious, is not to be confused with King Louis the First of Spain, or the first King Louis of Bavaria, or the first King Louis of Hungry. The name Louis is generally thought to mean Famous Warrior, so a great many proud European kings must have named their boy child Louis in hopeful expectation. But how the word Louis emerged from words reflecting the idea of fame and war and warrior in any language defeats me. I've always thought of the sound "lewis" and "looee" as "big bottom pansy ass boy," which I am well aware is yet one more flaw in me that I should work on, and I will.
Louisville was founded and given it's name by George Roger Clark. He was soldier from Virginia in the Revolutionary War, which was a war that saw the French on the American Colonist's side. Of current day pronunciations of Louisville this is how some might be spelled, "Loouhvull" or the much friendlier "Luhvull" and sometimes to better encompass the ear of outsiders the sound is repeated as "Looeevil." Louis, or Famous War Warrior, in the English language way of these things, is 'lewis,' the 's' is not silent. And indeed there is a town called Lewisville in Texas, which is named after man called Basdeal Lewis. Lewisville Texas is pronounced "looisvil." As well there is a town in England called Lewes, it's about twenty miles from where the Saxon King Harold lost his battle with French Normans in the year 1066. A loss that can still hurt me as much as the loss of Carthage to Rome and Troy to the Athenians. And this town of Lewes in England as well as the town of Lewes in Delaware is pronounced "lewis." Lewes is also a name with an origin in Wales, and there are some who will tell you it comes from the Welsh word "Llyue" which means 'leader' or perhaps brightness' and probably arrives in English from the Welsh name Llywelyn. And I wonder what might have happened had George Roger Clark been inspired by Llywelyn The Last of Wales, rather than Louis The Last of France. Llywelynville would sound something like "hhluwwerlihnvull." Which to my ear is even further from sounding like ""big bottom pansy ass boy town" than is "Luhvull."
Wednesday May 8th 2013
The observation is that of all life forms that have ever existed upon earth, four fifths of them are debatable. Which means, there is no clear unadulterated fossil evidence of their having been here. There is no dinosaur bone. Rather the existence of fourth fifths of past life on earth is assumed from scanty physical evidence from peculiar, yet familiar structures, which support a theoretical over view of what it is past living things did, or might have done, had they been here. As an example, the argument is, our planets breathable oxygen is a product of ancient life forms, a pollution which some of us learned to cherish as we fed upon creatures that produced breathable oxygen as an unwanted byproduct of their own life cycle. A perspective is to think of the past five thousand years of our history and say that of those five thousand years of history there is no real concrete evidence of anything ever happening prior to 1000AD. In the context of United States history, a history which begins around the war of independence, it would be as though records began in something like 1960. All of which is grist to a creationist mill.
For the more modern people still aboard it, the planet Earth is about four and a half billion years old. Which makes Earth about one third the age of the Universe. From a great many sources of evidence the estimate is that a little over three and a half billion years ago the first life forms emerged upon earth. On April 22nd of this year, which is about two weeks ago, a Netherlands based group called Mars One asked for a million 'psychologically stable' volunteers who are 'proficient in the English language' to support their vision of colonizing Mars sometime in 2013, which they claim is an imperative if we are to 'understand our place in the universe.' Since April 22nd there have been 78,000 volunteers. My question is "why is their answer on Mars?" And while I suspect the Mars One answer is somewhere in the word "mission," it's interesting that Mars One is planning to fund their search for an 'understanding of our place in the universe' with reality television programming. Nor does a person have to lie about his age on the application because so long as you are over eighteen and can mutter in something like English or plan to be able to soon, there is no upper age limit.