Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat"

The legend of Prometheus dates to a trilogy called the "Prometheia," originally attributed, but now disputed, to an ancient Greek named Aeschylus. It tells the story of a Titan, Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humankind. As punishment, Zeus had him bound to a rock atop a mountain where an eagle comes every day to feast on his liver. Eventually, Prometheus is freed by Hercules .... and, you can read the trilogy if your curiosity is sufficient to learn the rest of the tale. The painting here is an oil by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. It was begun in 1611/1612 and completed in 1618 and is titled "Prometheus Bound." It is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection. The eagle was painted by Frans Snyders, a specialist animal painter.

Quotes to remember ....

It is said there is a quote for any and every occasion and, when one finds it, someone else will find another which contradicts it .... and, someone else will locate an earlier version of both.  (Or, should that be "of each?")

As a college boy, I encountered a number of quotes which struck my fancy. Among them was this one: "Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad."

The line was spoken by Prometheus in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Masque of Pandora."

I since have discovered a number of references using descriptive words other than the term, "mad," to illustrate the concept, and written examples demonstrating that the thought goes back to other "Old Greeks," ­such as Sophocles and Euripides, if not to even more "distant" times.

English poet and playwright, John Dryden, who lived about two centuries before Longfellow actually wrote this: "For those whom God to ruin has design'd, He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind." Sort of sounds the same, does it not?

No matter who, what, where, when or how, I still like the quote, occasionally use it and have seen indication it often is reasonably correct and accurate.

A fascinating side note of this (to me, anyway) is the possible connection between the Greek mythological woman Pandora and the Biblical woman Eve. There is a theory, which I will not elaborate on at this time, that they are based on the same individual. I sort of think it is a very plausible theory.

And, with that, here is another quote which I recently discovered and to which I am drawn:

Written on a t-shirt /
Worn by rock front man Doogie White /
While performing an on-stage concert /

I have no job
I have no money
I have no car
But, I'm in a band

I like that one, too ....

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The memory of a tree

Time to say goodbye to an ash tree

I adore trees. No ands, ifs or buts. I absolutely love them. In the midst of them is one of two places I feel most comfortable and most at home. The other place is in a canoe or a boat somewhere on "big water" .... Lake Superior is one such setting.

So, it really pained me to have a tree cut down, which is what is happening in the two photographs taken last week. The ash tree was diseased and would have to be taken down at some point. The point arrived, in my mind, a few weeks ago, so I made the necessary arrangements. The cutting crew blocked off the street and dropped it there, then cut it up and hauled it away. Such is the fate of life ....

There are two songs here this time. One is the Taliesin Orchestra rendition of, "The Memory of Trees," by Enya. It sort of goes along with the photographs. The second, "I Will Always Love You," sung by John Nommensen Duchac, also known as John Doe, is here because it came up in a recent conversation.

For those of you who watch films with a critical eye, often a few times, you may have become aware that a man is singing this song during the "saloon" dance scene with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in the film, "The Bodyguard." It took me almost forever to track down the singer, and it turned out he is one who has been around for just about that long -- but, his usual music is not on my listening list.

For three or four reasons, his is my favorite version of the piece .... mostly my favorite, I suppose, because John Doe sings it with a Western twang and because the cowboy embedded deeply within me is drawn to it ....


Something special ....