Saturday, March 30, 2013

Horseblankets? A Saturday Snapshot

You know you're in the wild wild West when the local laundromat has a designated machine specifically for horseblankets! This is a shot of me out front of just such a place when we were touring around in British Columbia -- hmm… we just got in the car and drove, exploring wherever the road[s] would take us, so I actually forget the name of this town we landed in.
But wow, we got out of the car and instantly felt like we were extras in an episode of Gunsmoke! 

It was a mining town, actually quite a beautiful place, surrounded by tree-lined mountains. A wonderful, relaxing holiday -- I highly recommend B.C. to one and all if you have any vacation time coming up. 'Specially if you own a horse with laundry issues.

Thank you Alyce, for hosting this terrific Saturday Snapshot meme @ At Home With Books.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Splash du Jour: Friday!

Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.
-- David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest --

Have a great [Good] Friday!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.
-- Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten --

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
-- Bertrand Russell --

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thinking About A Poem...

In the novel I am currently reading [Canada, by Richard Ford] I came across an allusion to a poem by Yeats. In the book, the narrator is thinking back upon his mother's philosophy of life, concluding that she had an ability to harmonize the dichotomous aspects of perfection and imperfection. Things being imperfect, "yet still acceptable". At one point in his youth he recalls her citing a line of poetry -- "Nothing can be sole or whole that has not been rent."
This line intrigued me, so I looked it up.

Crazy Jane Talks With The Bishop

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
'Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'

'Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.

'A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'

-- William Butler Yeats --

For such a short poem it's quite packed and powerful. It turns out it is the sixth in a series of seven poems Yeats wrote spotlighting this character "Crazy Jane", an old and possibly deranged woman. In this one, the Bishop admonishes her in the first stanza to finally, in her old age, renounce her former lusty ways and seek spiritual regeneration.
She replies, however, in the following two stanzas by saying [basically] that virtue and vice are not only coexistent, but actually need each other for the positive aspects of life [in this instance, sexual fulfillment vis a vis Love] to be appreciated. She denies the implication that the body is to be hated or deprived of pleasure and states that [old or not] her body remains for her the physical location of Love.
I see it as a poetic way of saying "Screw you!"
It's an ingenious capturing of so much about existence in general, I think. Nothing about it [existence] is as simple as the Bishop's statement that one is either a resident in a "heavenly mansion" OR "a foul sty." Crazy Jane points this out by suggesting her "mansion" is [anatomically] nearest the place she excretes bodily waste!
Go figure!
As for the last two lines, the initial source of my intrigue, I now paraphrase:
Wholeness necessitates an acceptance of goodness and badness / perfection and imperfection. NOTE: There is also the perhaps not so subtle suggestion that we start out torn ["rent"] and must become whole.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Splash du Jour: Friday

Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.
-- George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops? --

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
-- Albert Einstein --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
-- Frank Herbert, Dune --

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Stories never really end even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don’t end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.
-- Cornelia Funke, Inkspell --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Splash du Jour: Monday

Not In Me

It’s not in me to win a bout, my Love.
Your eyebrows, or how you say chocolat
as if you know other words in French.

The little chirping sounds when you’re hurt.
Your unique al dente rules for spaghetti.
Your sock-folding ways and love of oral

hygiene. The way you floss, and toss.
The gloss on windows when you’re done.
It’s not even fair at all you should know

when it comes to anything knock down
drag out
-- the referee will be slapping the
mat thrice, and holding your left arm high.

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2009 --

Have a great Monday!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Splash du Jour: Friday

With great power… comes great need to take a nap. Wake me up later.
-- Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian --

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Literature -- which is art married to thought, and realization untainted by reality -- seems to me the end towards which all human effort would have to strive, if it were fully human and not just a welling up of our animal self. To express something is to conserve its virtue and take away its terror. Fields are greener in their description than in their actual greenness. Flowers, if described with phrases that define them in the air of the imagination will have colours with a durability not found in cellular life.
-- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet --

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.
-- Oscar Wilde --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Splash du Jour: Monday

There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.
-- Irving Stone, Clarence Darrow for the Defense --

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Loss of a Faithful Friend: A Saturday Snapshot

Well, this will be a sad posting, I'm afraid.
Some, or more likely, most of you who know of Bookpuddle know also of my cat, Jack. I've talked about him a lot over the years. Jack became very ill in the past few weeks. I only noticed that he was not eating his usual amount of food and drinking water in an odd manner -- and, to my own shame, I waited a bit too long to take him to the vet.
His first trip there was last Saturday, a week ago, and the doctor discovered that Jack had a tumor on the underside of his tongue. Painkillers and steroids were prescribed, and I had a heck of a time getting these pills into his mouth, especially when this was an area so sensitive to him at the time.
A few days later [Thursday] I returned to the vet with the intention of having poor Jack injected with steroids, rather than continuing to struggle with the pill format.
His prognosis was not good, though. He had deteriorated yet further, having lost about one-quarter of his body weight, and was in more obvious pain than before.
The doctor considered that given Jack's age [nearly 13], even with surgery there was no guarantee that Jack would survive, fully healed and pain-free.
I had to make the decision then and there, to have Jack euthanized.
I have rarely been more sad and grieved, and definitely never more sad over the loss of a pet. 

He died in my arms, wet with my tears.
Jack was the perfect gentleman -- the calmest and most patient of friends, my room-mate and buddy for over 12 years. He was just the best cat ever. Sitting here now in the quiet of night, so aware of the lack of his presence, is very painful for me.
The above photo was taken just before we went to the vet on Saturday. Out of respect for Jack, I do not show his face. He was still beautiful and heartrendingly adorable, but his mouth was inflamed and very irritated looking.
Below is a shot of Jack about a year ago now, in all his inquisitive beauty.
I love you and miss you Jack.

Thank you Alyce, for hosting the terrific Saturday Snapshot meme @ At Home With Books.

-- Jack --
May 1, 2000 -- March 7, 2013

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.
-- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Splash du Jour: Monday

And he loves to read. He loves the whisper of the pages and the way his fingertips catch on rough paper, the pour of the words up from the leaves, through soft light, into his eyes, the mute voice in his ears.
-- Keith Miller, The Book of Flying --

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Crime or Good Fortune: A Saturday Snapshot

I'll admit, these particular Saturday Snapshots of mine may be a bit boring to a lot of people, perhaps. But to me, this is like… scenery! Like, like -- a beautiful moment, captured.
See -- last night as I made my way to the elevator, loaded down with grocery bags, I glanced into the open door of the laundry room in my apartment building and there was a pile of books on the folding counter. And next to them a sign that said "Take these! FREE!"
Most of the books were absolute junk. Like real boring. [Meanwhile, the ice cream in bag number three is melting, you get the picture]… I had to look through them all, of course. 

Then my eyes nearly popped out of my head.
There, amid the riffraff, and in pristine shape, was a hardcover volume of Jose Saramago.
Blindness and Seeing, both novels combined in this one edition. Beautiful.
Did I take it? Of course I took it.
I revere Jose Saramago's writing, and these are two of his best books. Not only have I read EVERYTHING by him [except his book about Portugal], but I also had the privilege of meeting him in person. Being in his presence, if you will, in the year 2005.
He is just such a gem. Since his passing in June of 2010 -- I have had the pleasure of reading several of his posthumously published works. And finding this beauty last night was a real treat. 
Enter a moral dilemma, though -- Is it wrong for me to have absconded with this thing when I already own both books? In fact -- having an autographed copy of Blindness here on my shelf? [see below]. Is it wrong for me to have deprived someone else of discovering Saramago?
Crime or guiltless Good Fortune. What is your verdict?

Thank you Alyce, for hosting this terrific Saturday Snapshot meme @ At Home With Books.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Splash du Jour: Friday!

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in American lives. I have no idea what that means but I believe in quoting him I appear far more intelligent than I am. I don't know about second acts, but I do think we get second chances, fifth chances, eighteenth chances. Every day we get a fresh chance to live the way we want.
-- John Kenney, Truth in Advertising --

Have a great Friday!