Monday, August 31, 2009

The wolves run free

Wind-time, wolf-time ....

I have (or had) been contemplating making this my last post, but probably will be in and out as time passes. It has been fascinating how people come and go, take breaks, disappear, while others go on and on and on awaiting old age to overtake and to collapse them at their keyboards. It is mostly the go on and on and on types which I find most interesting. Maybe, it is like coin collecting or running or reading. It becomes addictive after a while, part of one's life, part of one's actual psyche and identity.

Some among the "Englanders" are holding "blog camps," where they meet and get to know each other. That makes sense, perhaps the only real sense of blogging. No matter how talented or intriguing or captivating any particular bloggers might be, they remain little more than fictional characters in a motion picture (perhaps even less than that) unless at some point along the way they are met, and smiles and handshakes are exchanged, and face-to-face conversation replaces words typed on a computer screen.

This is an excellent way to express one's self, so, perhaps, everyone should be required to write a blog and everyone should be required to read the blogs of a dozen other people each day. It would be a way of making a legitimate tool from this "habit" -- if used in that manner, rather than undertaken as a "diversion to winter," as was my original purpose for coming here.

I do wish to thank anyone who actually read the stuff I put here. Some was serious, some was for the hell of it, some was to annoy and to irritate, some was trying to be funny, some was preaching, some was to attract beautiful young ladies. My belief is that eight out of ten guys who blog are here simply to attract beautiful young ladies, while one among the ten is here to try to sell you something other than himself, and the remaining one might actually be trying to express himself through words or photographs. The beautiful young ladies who are here have a greater variety of reasons to be present, I would speculate. In any case, thank you, those who read, for whatever reason you read.

I will be "on the road" more than off it during the next few weeks and/or months. When I was a "little kid," which is to say, a college student, I admired Jack Kerouac and his so-called great American novel entitled, "On the Road." I since have come to hold a certain degree of contempt for many (oh, well, admit it -- for most) "modern" writers of fiction and poetry.

While I would characterize the road trip by Jack and associates as little more than an extension of going out bar hopping on Friday night and discovering you are three states away from home on Sunday afternoon (something many of us had done long before we were introduced to the genius of Sal, Carlo and Dean -- it was symptomatic of a disease called adolescence), my own ventures will be less of a party and more of a celebration.

Since I am at it, I would amend the list of those I hold in disdain to include most contemporary (= politically correct) "professors" of higher education. I place them along side of most contemporary celebrities, who, it seems to me, must spend most of their days standing in front of mirrors asking questions of themselves. A person would be better served by planting and tending a garden than by reading "popular" novels or by attending literature classes in the typical college or university. Sort of a "real food" vs. "junk food" situation.

The former paragraph is an example of me writing to annoy and to irritate -- among other things.

As the sun sets in the West, I will make a notation in regard to fictional characters in films and elsewhere. I am real. I am and always have been who I say I am. No allusion permitted here and, as I have commented before, no time for phonies, no room for amateurs. I will be back when the sun rises in the West -- well, probably before then, especially since many of the words I have left here today are cynical. I might be sarcastic, but I am not misanthropic. Take care ....

Fram the First's Old Norse Talisman:

Nine worlds I knew, the nine in the tree ....
Wise was my speech and my magic wisdom ....
Dark grows the sun, and in summer soon
Come mighty storms: would you know yet more?
Axe-time, sword-time, shields are sundered

Wind-time, wolf-time, ere the world falls ....

O'er the sea from the north there sails a ship ....
The fetters will burst, and the wolf run free;
Much do I know, and more can see

Of the fate of the gods, the mighty in fight.

Now do I see the earth anew
Rise all green from the waves again;
The cataracts fall, and the eagle flies ....

Then fields unsowed bear ripened fruit ....

In wondrous beauty once again
Shall the golden tables stand mid the grass,
Which the gods had owned in the days of old ....
More fair than the sun, a hall I see,
Roofed with gold, on Gimle it stands ....
And happiness ever there shall they have ....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Absolute Beginners

I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane
As long as were together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean/sail over heartaches second time
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake
As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean/sail over heartaches second time
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Friday, August 21, 2009

July Morning

There I was on a July morning -- I was looking for love
With the strength of a new day dawning and the beautiful sun
At the sound of the first bird singing I was leaving for home
With the storm and the night behind me and a road of my own
With the day
Came the resolution
I'll be looking for you

I was looking for love in the strangest places
There wasn't a stone that I left unturned
I must have tried more than a thousand faces
But not one was aware of the fire that burned
In my heart
In my mind
In my soul
In my heart
In my mind
In my soul

There I was on a July morning -- I was looking for love
With the strength of a new day dawning and the beautiful sun
At the sound of the first bird singing I was leaving for home
With the storm and the night behind me and a road of my own
With the day
Came the resolution
I'll be looking for you

Thursday, August 20, 2009


And the new day's breaking through
The morning
Of another day without you
And as the hours roll by
No-one's there to see me cry
Except the sunrise
The sunrise and you

Tired eyes drift across the shore
Looking for love and nothing more
But as the sea rolls by
No-one's there to see me cry
Except the sunrise
The sunrise and you

Bless my eyes
Catch my soul
Make me whole again
Sunrise, new day

Hear my song
I'm tired of fighting
And fooling around
But from now on
Till who knows when
My sword will be my pen
And I'll love you, love you
For all of my time

Monday, August 10, 2009

To every thing there is a season

Scio Fram Lupus est scio silva phasmatis

The time has come for the wolf to leave the pack for a while. This is a scout, a reconnaissance, a reconnoiter, a time to search for tomorrow. How long this trek will take is unknown. What regions it will cover are unknown. If it even ever will end is unknown. Well, no. That is being a bit melodramatic. Surely, it will end at some point. Meanwhile, one thing is certain: Fram is on the trail; Fram is on the loose, for now.

During the interlude, enjoy the sound of music ancient to an epoch when time was measured only by the movement of the sun and the moon and the stars -- and there was none to measure it. The names of these singers are unknown, but they have been performing a never-ending generational song and have mastered it well.

Some trails are more fascinating than others

"I said this'd be my last trail," continued Wetzel. "I felt it, an' I know it'll be yours."


"If you get away .... the girl, she'll keep you at home, an' it'll be well. If you don't succeed, you'll die tryin', so it's sure your last trail .... I said it. Somethin' told me -- a hard trail, a long trail, an' our last trail."

A few words from the novel
"The Last Trail"

By Zane Grey

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Think I'll go out to Alberta

At the end of the rainbow is a glimmering girl

W.B. Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright, and Nobel Laureate for literature in 1923. This poem, "The Song of Wandering Aengus," was written by him. It reflects my mood. Aengus is a figure from Irish mythology, who is said to have been a god of love and youth and poetic inspiration. He had four birds symbolizing kisses hovering around him and, according to legend, those of you who put "xxxx" at the close of your letters to represent kisses are emulating those birds. When he found his true love, they flew off together as a pair of swans, singing songs that put all who listened to sleep for three days and nights. See, you learned something today.

Went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

The Song of the Wandering Aengus
By W.B. Yeats

Weather's good there in the fall

This song, "Four Strong Winds," is considered sort of an anthem by many Canadians. The melody is absolutely beautiful, and the words are as true as any ever written. It reflects my mood. It is sung here by the man who wrote it, Canadian Ian Tyson, along with his wife, Sylvia. During the concluding few seconds of the piece, they are joined on stage by Murray McLauchlin, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot and Emmylou Harris. The recording is from a 1986 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television production.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow

One song among the timeless

A very few songs have a quality that gives them life for decades, possibly, maybe, even forever. A person who once listened to this song, posted here today -- August 6, 2009 -- made the following comment about it: "Timeless, in a time when songs come and go like the rain."

I agree, and for anyone who missed the 1970s, this song pretty much explains the best of that decade. This song is "Layla."

Today, August 6, happens to be the birthday of a certain, very special, young lady. Instead of a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to note the occasion, I decided to offer this song, one of the most beautiful from the rock and roll era, as commemoration of her arrival upon Earth.

"Layla" originally was performed by Derek and the Dominos, who were Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Although not a member of the band, Duane Allman played guitar on a number of songs in the group's one and only album. The piano and guitar work in the second half of the piece is exquisite.

On this version, only Clapton is present from the original cast. It was recorded on June 28, 2008, at the Hard Rock Calling Festival at Hyde Park in London.

And, to the young lady whose birthday we observe, I make this toast: May the year be a ride upon a rainbow to the place of your dreams.

Another Lake Superior message

The young lady of whom I speak sent me a video featuring still photographs of Lake Superior. Although it is not my birthday, I welcome her gift and convey a very sincere thank you. Some might recognize the first lighthouse shown as Split Rock Lighthouse, the same landmark in Minnesota I used for illustration in a post last week. I also am nearly certain the "black rocks," shown in other photos I have used from Michigan are present among these stills.

The song accompanying the photos is "Dante's Prayer," performed by Meav of Celtic Woman. The music and the photos seem to go very well together.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Who now follows the call of the Sirens?

John William Waterhouse:
Ulysses (Odysseus) and the Sirens -- 1891

The prodigal returns to Mother Earth

But as he danced, he held the human short-lived soul
clenched tight between his teeth for fear the winds might take it.
When the great dancer had danced his fill, he shrank like fire,
the burning stones calmed down, the world stood still once more,
and as he panted, the brain-sucking man could hear
his blood leap frothing through his flesh from head to toe.
Like the lithe snake who in wide circles twists and coils,
delighting in the world from head to tail, just so
the archer wished to merge in one form head to foot.
He bent and fiercely bit his heel till his lips filled
with warm salt blood, and thus his fearful body drank
communion as he sipped his blood, refreshed, till all
his strength flowed round his body in full, steadfast rings.
Man, woman, god, and beast all merged within his blood,
turned to blood brothers, vanished in swift freedom's wheel:
"I've no more children, comrades, dogs, or gods on earth.
May they speed well and prosper, may winds fill their sails!
Enough! I want their breaths and their sweet swoons no more,
for I'm all ships, all seas, all storms, all foreign strands,
I'm both the brain-begotten god and the anti-god,
I'm the warm womb that gives me birth, the grave that eats me!
The circle is now complete, the snake has bit its tail."
At length Odysseus leapt erect, he cut new roads,
his heart grew light, his white beard gleamed like grapes in the sun,
and his mind shone like mountain summits after rain.
As the full-bodied moon stepped lightly up the sky
and the sun plunged in waters silently to cool,
the freed mind of the great god-slayer stood between them;
he felt he tossed the sun and moon in both his hands
and flung them in the sky like falcons trained so well
they came when he called again, bound with fine golden chains.
The honey of evening slowly dripped on the cool ground,
the heart grew tranquil in calm truce with sovereign Death,
till for the lone man freedom was a saddened power
that crossed her hands and watched all things on earth with tears,
and wore a wreath of cliff-weeds in her russet hair.
He passed beyond pride's arrogance, the drunken rage
of plunder, each man's secret week of sin, until
the savior, saved from his salvation, bent with awe
and kissed his mother, Earth, with sweet humility
and the due homage of a son long prodigal.

The closing lines of Book Sixteen
"The Odyssey -- A Modern Sequel"
By Nikos Kazantzakis

Song of the Earth

What better way to observe, even to celebrate, one's return from the Ethereal to the Earth than through the voices of Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli performing "Canto Della Terra" on a summer evening? There is no better way, I think.

It also seems like a good moment to prepare for the not too distant future with a second piece from Sarah and Andrea. "Time To Say Goodbye," unquestionably, is the best known of their collaborative efforts.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lupus in fibula

Why not? Since I was a tourist for a brief time, here are three photographs from my excursion. There are no crashing waves to see because the Manitou of Lake Superior gave me perfect weather. The first photo is, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable sites in Minnesota. It is Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Superior. I have much the same photo as this from my only previous visit to the site. I was 11-years-old at the time, so it has been a while. When I think of it, my photograph from then might be "superior" to this one. The next photo shows a view from atop the lighthouse. The final photo is of Gooseberry Falls, which lies down the road a few miles from the lighthouse. The falls consist of three or four levels or tiers, of which this is the upper. If you are curious to see the panoramic view, pop the photos to their full size.

I believe I need to work for a while longer

This is the wolf's tale of the past few days.

I rented a kayak and did a bit of paddling around a Lake Superior inlet for a few hours. I have hundreds, probably thousands, of hours in a canoe, but these were my first in a kayak. I still prefer the canoe for anything short of going over waterfalls, and to those who do such stunts, I say, get a life.

I fired 100 rounds for fun from my Colt 1911 Gold Cup Series 70 pistol (the best of the 1911 line) at nondescript targets -- plastic bottles on land and water (please, do not chastise me), at rocks, at targets attached to dead trees. And, to those who tell me to get a life, I laugh at their naiveté.

I sat on rock beaches and on sand beaches. The weather was perfect, with temperatures in the 60s; with high, billowy clouds, thunderheads at times, always visible, both white and dark, but almost always with sunlight present.

I jumped from a boulder into 25 or 30 feet of water and sank to the bottom, opened my eyes and looked at the light above. I drank water from the Lake. I mixed water from the Lake with brandy (sorry), and drank a salute to those who have loved the Lake before me. I slept for a while on a warm, sandy beach, and I dreamed.

I think the Manitou of the Lake welcomed my arrival by shutting off the rain that had fallen during most of my drive there at the instant I first came within sight of the "big water." I think it displayed its anger at me for my departure by unleashing an absolutely torrential rainfall just as I stopped to take a last photograph from the final ridgeline before the Lake is gone from view. The rain was so fierce I could not see to drive for 25 minutes and, when it lessened a bit, kept up with an off-and-on onslaught for 50 miles distance from the Lake.

I believe I need to work for a while longer before adjourning into an absolute Sanctuary. It was most difficult to turn the car around and to return home. There is nothing at home. There is nothing in the past. All that exists is in the future. The future is work. The future is a woman who has an instinctual sense of what it is to be a lady, and who wishes to be one. The future is a house on a hilltop or, maybe, on a shoreline next to big water. The future is beauty in art and music and literature. The future is a refuge for wildlife. The future is opposition to the socialists now in power in Washington, D.C. The future is belief and faith in the strength of my own right arm -- nothing more, nothing less.

Here endith July 2009 ....

One more from Dokken

Farewell, to the band known as Dokken, for a while, at least, but not until taking the time for one more song. This piece is entitled, "The Hunter." It seems to me this song demonstrates that stage performances are designed for the eye and not for the ear. View this song as the band performs it with heavy metal guitars, percussions and antics. Then, view it again, and imagine how it would sound to the ear if performed with the accompaniment of soft guitars and, maybe, a piano, and sung in a gentle voice. With only a few variations, it would then become a love song.

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."

William Shakespeare
"As You Like It" Act 2, scene 7, 139-143

Something special ....