Well, now I've had some coffee and feel much, much better. Bat: now there's a Germanic etymology for you. I don't understand how you got from this idea of "to strike" to this flying rat. Because people tend to strike at them? (I don't think so.) In any case, it's nothing like the latinate murciélago that you have in Spanish: "blind rat." Now that's a descriptive word!
Sunday was the Feast of the Assumption! Without a doubt one of the most beautiful days of the year!!!
So now it's on to day two of the Willoughby Fellows technology workshop. It will be a busy day.
Finally: your homework is to go see the film City Island. Very funny. Don't miss it.
Signs of decadence are all around us. Has it ever been otherwise? But, in reality, civil behavior here in Carlisle is very often quite admirable. People say hello on the street, are very patient driving, etc.
Oh, I forgot: that JetBlue guy: just before jumping onto the chute he grabbed a beer. Cool under pressure?
Anyway, weeds got me thinking about negativity in language, which got me thinking about insults, which got me thinking about the thoroughly miserable state of our political discourse, which seems to sink ever lower.
And that was my walk, observing how some neighbors are very attentive to weed control and others not. And that got me thinking about the difference between wanting and fantasizing. In a gardening context. I keep going back to the garden not because I want anything in particular, but because I fantasize about an aesthetic ideal. I'll never get there, but the process is fun and sometimes quite gratifying. After Eden? Perhaps. And I suspect it was the very same "after Eden" fantasy that got me going with weed. Chasing fantasies can blind. And can enlighten. I hope I'm learning something about the distinction. And that's what I'm on guard against, I think: the dangerous illusion of convergence.
This little bit of neighborhood history is brought to mind because this morning I was walking by this house with Waldo and was impacted by a detail that I'm sure I've observed many times. But today it kind of hit me on the head like a brick. Near the top of the walkway leading up to the front door, perched atop an elegant iron stand about seven fee high is a very large clock. (And I noticed it's a functioning piece of equipment set to the correct hour.) "Welcome. And by the way, the clock is ticking!" I've walked by thousands upon thousands of homes, and this in the only one Ive seen with a huge clock out front, like a sentry offering a gesture of... welcome? Warning? Irony? Unique, in any case. And I found myself thinking about The Clock, the one you can never rewind. Perhaps I'm fooling myself, but I think I'm making some progress in terms on accepting this universal fate. (The photo above is not from our neighborhood, but rather from Detroit.)
Of course, I don't really care much how writers resolve the AAA bond bind, but I find it interesting and am now reminded of a truly fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal that was sent to me the other day: "Lost in Translation". The article reports on recent research that demonstrates how language actually determines culture, perhaps to an extent we could not have imagined. I learned that many languages do not have the concept of "left and right". Rather, they use the cardinal points for this kind of lateral orientation, even for the body. And, experiments have shown that people in cultures whose languages do this tend to have better spatial orientation. That is, they have "a great sense of direction." Learning another language can expand our horizons. The metaphor is perhaps more appropriate than we had imagined.