Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A little Shakespeare for this time of year...

When I look at the trees this time of year, I can't help but recite the beginning of this sonnet. This year, I memorized the rest of it, so I can say the whole thing to Freya while we walk in the woods. Lucky dog, eh? Just kidding, but I do love this sonnet.

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or few, or none do hang
Upon the boughs that shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self that seals up all in rest.

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed wheron it must expire
Consumed by that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong
To love that well which thou must leave ‘ere long.

I particularly like the line "Consumed by that which it was nourished by."  It reminds me of Tennyson in "Ulysses":
How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bill Durbahn

 My biking buddy Bill Durbahn was diagnosed less than two weeks ago with Acute Leukemia. He's in Rochester, has already received his week-long dose of chemo, and now awaits his bone marrow/stem cell transplant.

I went to visit him yesterday with other biking buddies Heidi, Tim, and Jeanne. We had a rollicking good visit with lots of laughs, but the awareness of the seriousness of this is always in the room. We ate pizza together in the lounge, and met another patient with a similar diagnosis. It's sobering, but if ANYBODY can lick this, it's Bill.  He's in great physical condition and has a fighter's attitude, not to mention endless humor and thoughtfulness about life in general.

His Caringbridge site is: Bill Durbahn Caringbridge site

If anyone wants to think about donating bone marrow or stem cells for such a transplant like Bill will need, go to
 Tim, Heidi, Bill, and Jeanne
Tim, Heidi, Bill, and me
Bill sporting the new gloves and balaclava Jeanne brought: he is masked, gloved, and ready for action. The Rochester Ninja!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn in the country, and reminiscing

I'm home. I'm writing.
Freya is happy to have me here, but I don't think she's as happy as I am to be home.

I also have a ton of school work to do, but since I do't actually have to go teach, I might get some of everything done. I hope.

I love fall. If it didn't mean an overload of schoolwork, it might be my favorite season. If it didn't mean the onslaught of winter, it might also be my favorite season. As it is, it's packed with beauty, but there's that sense like Skakespeare says, "To love that well which thou must leave 'ere long."

Here's why:

 Okay, so the Boxelder bugs are NOT part of what I love about fall, but they are part of autumn in the country. I imagine their desperate attempt to get in my house is a last-ditch attempt to stay alive in the impending ice and snow, so I forgive them, but it doesn't mean I welcome them.
 Morning light.
 Combines remind me of Dad. Every autumn as a kid, I spent hours riding with him in the combine cab. I would don my Halloween costume and go out to show him. He was always combining on Halloween, so the only way he could see my garb was to go show him. He also quizzed me on my confirmation lessons while I rode along. All good memories. And I can still rattle off the Ten Commandments and the Lutheran version of "What does this mean? for most of them (Isn't that useful information, though).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's embarrassing....

Embarrassing, that is, when I just realized I haven't even blogged for a month. That might say something about how little writing I've gotten done this semester, too. I sneak in an hour here and there, and I did write one entire weekend afternoon, but that is far from enough.
I'm so glad that we have MEA (Eduation Association) days off next Thursday and Friday. I'm going to write, write, write. In fact, I am cloistering myself for my own person writing retreat. Me, Freya, my bike. Shhhhh. I'm hoping everybody will think I'm out of town, but I'm only home writing.

I should have something fun to put on here tomorrow. Stay tuned.