Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reflections: Honor

The reflections of cattails, trees, sky are ephemeral, discarnate, bodiless, weightless, yet accurate and delightful.  When I gaze at them, for a moment I too feel weightless--well, almost weightless.

The arbor vitae seems frosted.  Or is this juniper?  If I had crushed one of these berries to get the scent I would have known.  Juniper is unmistakable.  Sniff gin and you smell juniper.

I hope the zinnias will go on until the first hard frost.  The colors are so intense they seem hot enough to melt frost.  Red admiral butterflies are feasting on the zinnias.  (I'll try to get a picture of them.)

It's lucky to have these sights so close to home.  Classic forms in New England.  Those loops of handles are generous!

The sculpture at the base of the Town Hall flag pole have a wonderful shine.  The child's hand resting on the mother's is a familiar gesture.

There are four words carved at the base: honour, liberty, patriotism, obedience.  We hear a lot about patriotism and liberty ("freedom" is the word favored now) but hardly anything about honor or obedience.  According to Wiki, Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), defined honor as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness.  An elegantly written definition.  I wish our public figures possessed such honor.  Mitt Romney was dishonorable when he played up to the Birthers, who insist that Obama was not born in America,  by saying in a recent speech in Michigan, that no one asked to see his birth certificate.  

As for me, I hope to be obedient to a code of honor, and thank Samuel Johnson for his clarity.  "Scorn of meanness."  Meanness here meaning lack of generosity.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Neighborhood Pleasures

It's been far too long away--away at my desk, putting together a new book, away taking art classes with M.S., away to the pond.  A few days ago J. and I went to the Cambridge Public Library and took the elevator up to the children's floor.  There's a delightful corner with a view and a carpeted area in which to sprawl and loll with books and toys.

The carpet is sculpted.  I could feel the soft humps through my crocs.

The giant zinnias are coming into their own.  Tomorrow the magenta ones should open.  Magenta!

Turtles come up to sun themselves, always the same rocks, always their heads facing the same way.

Another neighborhood sight--a rare one in this liberal area.  I smile whenever I see it.  Why does this display give me so much pleasure?  The fixed, frozen quality, I believe, the display of foolishness.