About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Riparian: "By the shores of Gitche Gumee..."

Looking back on a busy life, one can see that certain heuristic events had great "mileage" or impact. For me, the Song of Hiawatha [Longfellow]has a resonance, a pull upon me, beyond anything that can be explained or reasoned out. A child is open to influences one cannot predict, and which may even be arbitrary or contrary.

BY THE SHORES OF GITCHE GUMMEE,
BY THE SHINING BIG-SEA-WATER,
STOOD THE WIGWAM OF NOKOMIS.

DARK BEHIND IT ROSE THE FOREST,
ROSE THE BLACK AND GLOOMY PINE TREES,
ROSE THE FIRS WITH CONES UPON THEM;
BRIGHT BEFORE IT BEAT THE WATER,
BEAT THE CLEAR AND SUNNY WATER,
BEAT THE SHINING BIG-SEA-WATER.

Of course, we CAN compare and "explain" post factum.
The poem was my first reading primer. And life is
clearly a desertified jungle, famine-flood, and gitche gummee
with beatings. So many gloomy pines later --
"no quiero acordarme" [Cervantes]-- here I am "Nel mezzo del cammin
di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura" [Dante].