Friday, December 16, 2011

Things Our Heroine Needs to Remember...

just one in a looooooong series.

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

-- Thomas a Kempis

Friday, July 8, 2011

Percy as Poem

I've been feasting on the archives at Korrectiv when I should be working.

He caught TB in med school,
bending over the corpses
of bums who died in the street.

He was sent away to rest,
surrender to the only cure:
rest, no exercise, sleep.

And so he read: Nietzsche,
Proust, and his favorite,
“the melancholy Dane.”

Happiness was despair,
he learned, even in America:
smug faces in the checkout lines,
a nation that believed
in bigger cars, more pills,
better bombs.

He thought about his ancestors,
their Delta plain and seas
of cotton, men who were
merely stoics at the end…

One day, he checked himself
out, drove across the country
to New Mexico.

He walked outside, night
after night, his heart
turning to a painful stone.

He saw the darkness between
the distant stars, faint light
at best.

But what if the sky
was only a book, open
to another, more careful

Out there, in the desert,
anything was possible,
even God.
– William Miller
Literary Review, Winter
2004, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p. 103-4

Of Soren and Socrates

I miss my finger puppet...

The majority of men in every generation, even those who, as it is described, devote themselves to thinking (dons and the like), live and die under the impression that life is simply a matter of understanding more and more, and if it were granted to them to live longer, that life would continue to be one long continuous growth in understanding. How many of them ever experience the maturity of discovering that there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood. That is Socratic ignorance, and that is what the philosophy of our times requires as a corrective…It is quite literally true that the law is: increasing profundity is understanding more and more that one cannot understand. And there once again comes in “being like a child,” but raised to the second power.

— Soren Kierkegaard

Things I Need Reminding Of - Part I

To live in the past and future is easy. To live in the present is like threading a needle.

- Walker Percy, Lancelot

Thursday, March 31, 2011


"Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask, 'Where did I go wrong?' Then a voice says to me 'This is going to take more than one night.'" -- Charles M. Schultz

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Heroine Has A Contrite Heart

Out Heroine has been exerting entirely too much control over her life lately, and so it comes as no surprise to her that the results are so unsatisfactory & underwhelming. Y'all, William Cowper knew what ailed me back in 1779:

A Contrite Heart

THE Lord will happiness divine

On contrite hearts bestow;

Then tell me, gracious God, is mine

A contrite heart or no?

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,

Insensible as steel;

If aught is felt, ‘tis only pain

To find I cannot feel.

I sometimes think myself inclined

To love thee, if I could;

But often feel another mind,

Averse to all that’s good.

My best desires are faint and few,

I fain would strive for more:

But when I cry, “My strength renew,”

Seem weaker than before.

Thy saints are comforted, I know,

And love thy house of prayer;

I therefore go where others go,

But find no comfort there.

O make this heart rejoice or ache;

Decide this doubt for me;

And if it be not broken, break,

And heal it if it be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Awwww, C'Mon

C'mon guys -- if I lose Mad Men so soon after LOST, I will have to see a grief counselor:
The Emmy-winning show is the subject of a bloody battle between creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner and network honchos at AMC. The show has yet to be renewed for a fifth season, and the sides are far apart on a deal. Money is the issue, Deadline and The Daily report, but it has nothing to do with Weiner's contract; the two sides were close to agreeing on a two year, $30 million deal for the mind behind the acclaimed period drama. Instead, the struggle involves budgeting in other areas, namely advertising and even actors.
Read the whole horrible thing. Best case, we have to wait til 2012.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, RMK!

Happy Birthday to RMK, the best brother and friend a Heroine could ever hope for. I hope that we live to be 100 together, and that God gives me ample opportunities to rescue metaphorical CHiPS helmets for you.

Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply...

~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

Monday, March 21, 2011

Future Plans with Die Suesseste

I can't wait til the day I can read this to Die Suesseste:

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you
can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

The Velveteen Rabbit

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Poetry Shot: Pushkin

From Alexsandr Pushkin, one of the most romantic poems of all time. Our Heroine is a sucker for men with broken hearts.
I loved you.
Even now I may confess,
Some embers of my love their fire retain,
But do not let it cause you much distress,
I do not want to sadden you again.
Hopeless and tongue-tied, yet I loved you dearly
With pangs the jealous and the timid know;
So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,
I pray God grant another love you so.

When I read this in high-school, I was so moved by it that I memorized it (and a few other romantic tearjerkers).

Years later, visiting Russia, I discovered that our guide had also loved and memorized this poem (albeit, in Russian), and so we recited it together (her in Russian, me in English), each to the other. That someone else should feel sorry for Pushkin, and the anguish he felt that wrung this poem out of him, and that these two people should meet by chance and recognize eachother as kindred spirits, was just so cool.

It remains one of my favorite memories of that trip.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Die Suesseste

The most important thing that happened while this blog was on hiatus:

Our Heroine joyfully welcomed a fresh character into the panoply of people she loves: Die Suesseste.

Dear Die Suesseste,

One day when Our Heroine is old and gray (but hopefully still kicking around the place) you can read the archives of this blog and realize that auntie was just as eccentric as Mommy and Daddy told you she was. She loves you very very much and for always.

Godmother Auntie