Previous Arbor Day Posts
A Tree Can Be Your Chair!
Lincoln Park ~ San Francisco
“What's in a name? that which we call a roseAs post - Shakespearean dramatist John Dryden (1631 - 1700) points out in "An Essay of Dramatick Poesy," it is often something other than plot that captivates the audience:
By any other name would smell as sweet.” (II, ii)
"It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die." (III, v)
"A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents." (V, iii)
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
" . . . it was already known to all the audience: and the people so soon as ever they heard the name of Oedipus, knew as well as the poet, that he had kill'd his father by a mistake, and committed incest with his mother, before the play; that they were now to hear of a great plague, an oracle, and the ghost of Laius: so that they sat with a yawning kind of expectation, till he was to come with his eyes pulled out, and speak a hundred or two of verses in a tragic tone, in complaint of his misfortunes."You've got to love that phrase "a yawning kind of expectation," don't you?!
Sara: I think this every time I watch that movie, it's so annoying when they hit the icebergSuch an interesting range of do - over sentiments represented in our various replies to my niece Sara's post from last year: impatience, despair, eternal return, hope against hope, crisis averted, optimism and resignation, all rolled into one! If only, if only, if only . . .
Gerry: Maybe they hit a different iceberg each time (by avoiding the ones they hit before). Same outcome.
Andrea: I am listening to Dead Wake by Eric Larson, and I kept hoping the torpedo would miss the boat!
Eric: My problem is every time I watch it, I spend half the movie looking for what I could use to build a raft.
Pam: lol....did it work, did they hit that damn icebrerg again?!!
"I am doing all I can now to be aware of my anxieties and bad habits. I am promising myself to continue to read and draw and write and keep my brain active. I am promising myself to always be with those younger than me (students, nieces, nephews)--to surround myself with a variety of age groups--to keep up with technology--to keep my heart and brain ready for risks and newness and change. . . . I do not want to age into some strange caricature of all my worst traits."
~ Jan Donley, writer, artist, teacher, friend
"The left eye delved narrowly into the past while the right gazed wide and affrighted into a future of blackness, error, and ruin. And he was suspended between radiance and darkness. Between bitter irony and faith. Sharply he turned away."
American novelist Carson McCullers, 1917 - 1967
"You're an agnostic . . . ?"
"Used to be . . Then one day . . . I picked up my cousin's new baby and realized how at any moment this pathetic, innocent creature might die in a car crash or get leukemia, and in that moment of revelation, my Road to Damascus, I went the whole way to atheism." 
" . . . Randy's illness was part of God's loving plan for us . . . the darkest tragedy becomes a gift, doesn't it . . . ?"
"It's wonderful you've conquered your grief . . . but I can't help suggesting that a God who communicates with us through leukemia is at best deranged.
"In my view, it's time we stopped having lower standards for God than we do for the postal service. Suppose the doctor had cured your son. Then that would have proved [God's] infinite goodness too, wouldn't it? Follow my reasoning? Heads, God wins. Tails, God wins." 
American novelist James Morrow, b 1947
If All the Unplayed Pianos
If all the unplayed pianos in America—
The antimacassared uprights in old ladies’ parlors
In the storehourses the ones that were rented for vaudeville
The ones where ill fame worsened and finally died
The ones too old for Sunday School helplessly dusty
The ones too damp at the beach and too dry in the mountains
The ones mothers used to play on winter evenings
The ones silenced because of the children growing away—
Resounded suddenly all together from coast to coast:
Untuned joy like a fountain jetted everywhere for a moment:
The whole nation burst to untapped, untrammeled song:
It would make—in short—a most satisfactory occasion,
A phenomenon which the scientists could never explain.
Winfield Townley Scott (1910 - 68)
“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.” Catherine turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh. “I see what you think of me,” said he gravely — “I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow.”
“Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings — plain black shoes — appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half–witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense.”
“Indeed I shall say no such thing.”
“Shall I tell you what you ought to say?”
“If you please.”
“I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him — seems a most extraordinary genius — hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say.”
“But, perhaps, I keep no journal.”
“Perhaps you are not sitting in this room, and I am not sitting by you. These are points in which a doubt is equally possible. Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies’ ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journaling which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.”
Northanger Abbey (1798 - 99), emphasis added
Restrain me, please, control yourself,
and help me do the same.
Such love can only happen once - in nevertime and nowhere.
It sweeps like raging storms - above the ruined days
And skylines follow it around from here to there.
Such love breaks peace and calm - up to the final string
It burns the daring words with fevered lips . . .
Bring me back to my senses and restraints
When I’m still reasoning at least
But not for long, I lost a clue
It’s now time for my belated evening glow
I either freeze my heart with you
Or burn in flames with you - blow high, blow low
Let’s put aside all matters that are pressing
Until I’ve seen enough of sun and green,
Have had long talks with all good folks.
It’s not the time that passes, we are passing . . .
Where’s love, there’s only light
Where sun is rising - darkness loses power
My lucid love, please glow till my last hour
Don’t let the winter ever in my heart