Friday, July 12, 2013

A Whole Roll of Film

My mother took this picture of me days before I left for college in 1953. Despite the fact that cash was short because we were fixing up our old farm, she used a whole roll of film! "You'll never be the same," she said, and it was true. I was gone to Arizona by the time the pictures were developed and only remember seeing a couple of them. These are all rare pictures of me without glasses, (which my mother had instructed me to remove) which I had been wearing since I was nine years old.
I've been working on a batch of these scanned slides today and yesterday; I want to get them tuned up, uploaded to Flickr, labeled, and shared with the rest of my family. It is fun to see these pictures, and also a little sad, because now (if I'm lucky) I have less time left to live than my whole 17 years up until that point. And my brothers and sisters (all younger) were each one of them SO terribly young!

Here is another poem from Dark Elderberry Branch; poems of Marina Tsvetaeva. The translation is by Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine, page 15.

I know the truth

I know the truth! Give up all the other truths.
No time on earth for people to kill each other.
Look---it's evening; look, it's nearly night. No more
of your talk, poets, lovers, generals.

Now no wind, and the earth is sprinkled with drizzle,
and soon the blizzard of stars will go quiet.
And soon, soon, to sleep, under the earth, all of us,
us who alive on earth won't let us sleep.


Read this short account in Wikipedia of Marina's life. It will make you relish the pleasures in your own life, I am sure. In the translation above, I am particularly fond of the "blizzard of stars" and the way the word "drizzle" chimes to that.  I also think the one word, "generals" introduces a topic of which all of us are aware, and about which there is nothing that we ordinary folks can do. Tonight, I was asked what "depleted uranium" was by someone who just encountered the phrase in a news article about a veteran's health problems, We read the article in Wikipedia. I'd do something about the way were have strewn and are strewing this stuff about on earth in many places if I could. Or if I could choose just one thing to "do something about" how would I choose?? Perhaps I'll go out now and look at the blizzard of stars, and try to think of some way to do something useful. Good Night.

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