Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another definition of time

And here you thought the purpose of screens on windows was to keep flies and other pesky bugs outside. I guess that might be true at lower elevations, but in a lighthouse screens might also serve to keep dogs, cats, children and lighthouse keepers who have a tendency of enjoying too much brandy from falling head-long to the rocky shoreline a few hundred feet below. Of course, I am only speculating since I, personally, never have been a dog, a cat, a child or a lighthouse keeper. The photograph, for those of you who might keep track of such things, was taken inside Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Gichigami or Gitche Gumee or Le Lac Superieur or Lake Superior -- the exact name, of course, depending upon your frame of reference and spiritual affiliation. I really do not have anything to say tonight, but since time is always waiting in the wings and speaking senseless things -- to borrow a thought from David Bowie -- I decided to make another statement about it. About time, that is to say. To do this, here are two renditions of, "The Final Countdown," by Europe, in 1986 and in 2011, as an illustration of how to measure a quarter-century in real time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Manitou of Fram

There are more than a few interpretations of what a Manitou is and descriptions of its powers and purposes. I have written about my concept in previous posts, so all I will take the time to mention here and now is to once again say that I believe every object -- animate and inanimate -- has one. If you look perceptively at the photograph, you will see mine watching over me. He and I are eager to be on the move for a while again. It is the middle of July, and time to formulate plans for autumn. So .... last call .... any thoughts ?? Whatever else may come, do not say you were not given the opportunity to express your ideas.
Last call, last run, last camp, last last ....

July this year arrived for me with warm days bordering on hot (according to my definition) and few clouds to blunt the force of the sun. It has been very different from May and June, which were reminiscent of Biblical lore and brought the name Noah to mind.

Those who have come by here in previous Julys and who actually have read the words posted here might recall that this month has been a time for dramatic changes in my life. Perhaps foremost is that I have been married twice in July and the divorces for both marriages were finalized in July. For a number of years, I have had an inner feeling that I am destined to have three wives and have thought it would be fascinating if all three marriages took place during the month of July. Whether that will be the case or not, it is absolutely certain there will be no third July marriage for me this year.

I also have had one child born in July, began active duty with the Marine Corps in July and I tasted combat for the first time in July .... well, many significant events have begun or ended for me during July, but that is mention of enough for this post. I assume you get the picture. And, July has not only been a month for doing, it has been a time for planning, for formulating, for devising -- and, some might also say, a time for scheming.

Not too long ago, I wrote in another post here that I have been building up to making another "run" in September or October -- a "run" being my way of describing another plunge into a way of life different from my usual manner of existence. If the "run" lasts for a year or longer, it becomes an "incarnation" –- a life within a life, so to speak. I am leaning toward making this "run" another one to Europe, but I cannot stop myself from wondering if I should choose somewhere else -- somewhere really new to me. And, I still am searching for suggestions, advice, ideas.

I have grown to be superstitious about months, and expect each of them to have certain traits and characteristics in regard to my life. There are months I fear and months I welcome. Is that not ridiculous? Is that not superstition carried to an extreme?

I suppose I am superstitious in several respects, and I have a tendency to believe life is inexplicable and enigmatic, and to take literally the notion that: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Which leads me back to autumn again. September. October. November. To paraphrase this time: Where to go, when to go, what to do? Those are the questions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

There are moments when time stands still

This is the way the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Lake Huron looked a few days ago. From a distance and through a bit of afternoon haze, it probably appears much the same now as it did in 1896, when it was the focal point in the novel, "Bid Time Return," by Richard Matheson. Or, as it did in 1912, when the date of the story was changed for a film version entitled, "Somewhere in Time." The hotel was constructed in 1887, and is a monument to Victorian elegance. And, it is a place where time has been known to stand still.

Time is what you make it

In the realm of science fiction and fantasy, there are, perhaps, five writers who have produced stories which I consider my "favorites."

Jack Finney wrote the novel, "Time and Again," which is one I constantly re-read. George Stewart wrote, "Earth Abides," unquestionably a masterpiece of many facets. Clifford Simak, a long-time reporter and editor for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction books. His novel, "Way Station," is among my favorites. Robert Holdstock is an Englishman whose novel, "Mythago Wood," is a special story, I think.

Then, there is Richard Matheson. He wrote possibly the most romantic story among science fiction novels, "Bid Time Return." It is better known by the name given to the motion picture based on the book, "Somewhere in Time." He might be the most recognizable among this group of writers I have mentioned since six of his stories were made into films.

The reason I am mentioning this is because the 87-year-old Matheson died on June 23 and because I have had his story, "Somewhere in Time," on and off my mind since learning of his death. I have written about all of these authors and their books in previous posts, and my imagination is always stirred and reflects upon their "tale craft" when some event occurs to lure one of them from the recesses of my memory once more into the forefront of my thoughts.

"Somewhere in Time" was far from the top of the list in terms of being best known among the books Matheson wrote. It was for many, though, the only one which really counted. There are readers who travel to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island where the motion picture was filmed just because of Matheson's time-defying love story and the desire it creates to touch its magical nature.

In fact, each autumn, a "Somewhere in Time" weekend event is staged at the hotel for aficionados of the novel and the film. Between the history of the island and its hotel, and the romance of a love that even time could not conquer, I assume it is easy to understand why some of us are captivated by this bit of enduring enchantment in the otherwise rather superficial world in which we pass our time.

As described by hotel staff: "This special weekend includes a screening of the film, discussions of the movie's production process, visits with returning cast and crew, and hotel guests are invited to make a cameo appearance in costume at the cocktail receptions, costume promenade, and Grand Luncheon Buffet."

So, what are you doing the weekend of October 4-6, 2013? If you have a few thousand dollars to spare and would enjoy wearing period costume to live in the world of 1896 for a few days -- or, should that be 1912? –- you might discover the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is the perfect place to visit a moment in time which once was and which still exists if you are a believer in the existence of everlasting love.

See you there? Maybe?

Something special ....