Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pond in the Dark

  • My phone identifies this as District 20. I'm glad hunting season's done in District 20.
  • I remembered today hunting season ended January 15 on the downhill on 270 from Park Mill Road to Frederick, so we went to District 20 rather than redo a section of AT we'd hiked since we last hiked District 20: hunting season started September 15.
  • I saw no news of hikers shot this past hunting season, though signs on Catoctin Trail at both points Catoctin Trail enters District 20 strongly discourage hiking during hunting season. 
  • To be fair, hunters were shooting guns in District 20 in August.
  • The blazes on trees along the roads in District 20 and on the trails themselves and often down off the trail, a tree a hundred yards of bushwhacking away, are new, long horizontal red, tree-marring.
  • Crowded. First nice weekend day in everybody wanted out.
  • Thanks to all for Kind words yesterday. I have not been so Dark as to be ambitious in a year, really nothing more than that, and I'd buy that daily.
  • I am getting a dog the day I retire. 
  • The good thing about Poet B's and Poet C's back-and-forth (which continues) is I was reminded to read Poet K.
  • Snow melt done though ice in shade on trail a bit. Ponds still frozen though melting.

  • Going back today.
  • And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
  • Why we have free speech on university campuses.
  • Least resistance: I would like, with your pardon, to point out a bit of news that is of course far less important than Trump’s pants size or the question of whether, after 40 years of repeatedly belching crude bigotry in public forums, he could perhaps be said to hold somewhat less than completely enlightened views on racial equality. But I do think it is worth noting, at least in passing, that this week also saw the United States commit itself to an open-ended military occupation of territory in a foreign country with which it is not at war — in a region which has been turned into a tinderbox of violence and extremism by open-ended US military invasion, occupation and intervention.
  • Bad theology.
  • Will the Internet kill us all?
  • What was the child? If childhood as we know it emerges where children are segregated from waged work and are imbued with all these emotional qualities I’ve been talking about, then the current epoch of capitalism’s crisis seems to imply a deep crisis for the ideal of childhood too. Not only are work and play increasingly difficult to distinguish today, but the markers of childhood and adulthood are increasingly mixed up. Permanent employment, perhaps the ultimate marker of adulthood, grows increasingly unattainable for greater and greater portions of the population. Meanwhile, we’re asked to keep learning and “growing” throughout the period of our increasingly precarious attachment to work. It seems that as the capitalist wage relation undergoes fundamental mutations since the early 1980s, so too does the ideal of childhood become increasingly difficult to hold on to.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • New Philip Roth interview. Once upon a time I'd read every new Roth novel as soon as released.
  • UPDATE! Francine Prose's Problem.
  • Ann Quin's Unmapped Country.
  • This song released 40 years ago yesterday:


James Tate

Someone called in a report that she had
seen a man painting in the dark over by the
pond. A police car was dispatched to go in-
vestigate. The two officers with their big
flashlights walked all around the pond, but
found nothing suspicious. Hatcher was the
younger of the two, and he said to Johnson,
"What do you think he was painting?" Johnson
looked bemused and said, "The dark, stupid.
What else could he have been painting?" Hatcher,
a little hurt, said, "Frogs in the Dark, Lily-
pads in the Dark, Pond in the Dark. Just as
many things exist in the dark as they do in
the light." Johnson paused, exasperated. Then
Hatcher added, "I'd like to see them. Hell,
I might even buy one. Maybe there's more out
there than we know. We are the police, after-
all. We need to know."


  1. Freedom of speech for people he approves of, that's what he's advocating. Beware of any organization calling itself "Campus Antifascist Network".

    1. I try to beware of anything that calls itself a network or organization these days.

      Posted mostly for my colleagues at Hilltop - this topic comes up often and always.

  2. following the example of tate's poem, the curmudgeon's blog post, which you have linked to using the author's title "bad theology", could also be titled "the vineyard at sunset"

    the curmudgeon critiques the capricious - and one might even say cruel, in its manifest unfairness - pay policy depicted in the parable of Matthew 20 i-xv

    there is another way to look at this hypothetical situation, however, which is described by cynthia bourgeault, episcopal priestess and proponent of a spiritual path called "centering prayer":

    From the Egoic Mind to the Mind of the Heart. The Teaching and Lived Experience of the Christian Contemplative Path.

    The great spiritual traditions unanimously affirm that beyond the boundaried egoic consciousness, typically identified along the psychological spectrum as "myself", lies a more spacious, unboundaried selfhood whose attainment (variously known as "non-dual realization," "enlightenment," or "Christ consciousness") comprises the true fulfilment of our human journey. In this paper, Cynthia Bourgeault expounds that the way toward this state is through nurturing the heart in its foundational role as the seat of non-dual perception.

  3. Replies
    1. Jane Kenyon is connected by marriage to Poet B of the story. Poet B is far more renown in the small town of poetry, but Kenyon is the real deal.

      I've met Poet B and he's been kind to me. Kenyon died before I had the chance to meet her.