Brooks is a “moderate conservative” (he discusses this in the recording, saying he is really more of a 19th Century Whig) NY Times columnist, TV and radio pundit/commentator, book author, philosopher, and now director of a social movement called Weave: The Social Fabric Project with the Aspen Institute (weareweavers.org – you’ll like his 2-minute video on this page; find out about the project in the text under the menu bar items).
I’ve been a big fan of Brooks for many years. I once posted a comment on his Twitter page nominating him for Secretary of Reason in the next White House administration. (I don’t use Twitter anymore. Or Facebook.) But I guess it wouldn’t make sense for the government to have a Department of Reason.
They push the heart toward believing more about the world than it seems to want believed, something more believable — more real — when they sing about it, something we need them to sing about, to keep the spirit breathing, to strengthen faith and disarm disbelief.
“I used to hike a lot through the woods, and I’d always take this girl with me,” said Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, 1936, opposite Jean Arthur’s sneaky, conniving two-faced Mary. Enjoy the rest of Mr. Deeds’ romantic speech in this one-minute clip.
Going through some old folders, I found the original set of 2005 Moose Pond Moon photos in a surprise location. It included a scenery shot that I guess I had written off when the set was put where it belongs under photos/nature/moon. Turns out it was worth keeping.
[This post has only 706 words, chunks of it in music quotes, and a few minutes for one song performance.]
I don’t think it’s exquisite. It just has a way of holding my eye that doesn’t make sense. Maybe there’s something wrong with my eye.
When I remembered the moon in Harry Chapin’s song, Circle, I was glad to have him join the moon song hit parade with this salty-sweet sing-a–long.
“You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!” -NHGS
NHGS started out as a gardening blog — by a garden and landscape professional, self-described now as, “Once a professional gardener, now a helper” — who now shares with us nature studies, photographs, descriptions and more, including personal reactions to nature as it occurs in New Hampshire habitats of the same kinds I have here in the Northern Adirondacks.
It is terrific nature writing, wonderfully illustrated, and I am grateful to be a subscriber.
It is a delightful source of education about things I see every day, written in a fresh, light, personalized style, loaded with information about the things explored, in all seasons. I’m introduced to things I did not realize I was seeing! I’m enlightened about the things I have seen and long appreciated. Continue reading →
Trees get so much attention in this drifting journal, The Balsamean, because they are easier to write about than people are, and trees often make better friends than most people do, and the tree fairies would sprout leaves green with envy in the middle of winter if I gave as much time to humanity as to them.
This is another long post, about 3,000 words, but it has lots of pictures, one of my favorite poems (a famous classic), and a piece of original art by The Balsamean.
It took a year to write this. It’s not that I took a year to start it. I worked on it dozens of times beginning last September. The earlier versions were close to 6,000 words, and told too many stories that deserve articles of their own.
If not for too many long sentences, this would be an easy read. But my readers are sharp. And it’s especially readable if you just take a seat, slow down and act like the world moves at the speed it should, not the one it does.
Oaks against the sky, Ramparts of leaves high-hurled, Staunch to stand and defy All the winds of the world; Stalwart and proud and free, Firing the man in me To try and again to try – Oaks against the sky.
– Excerpt from Trees Against The Sky, Poem by Robert William Service
It’s not a good idea to fall in love with a guy whose favorite book is the dictionary. This thought occurred to me today when I perused my 1995 10th Edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which I would prefer over using the Internet to look up words, but my eyes can’t take it.
I felt something like comedic irony when I saw her inscription to me in this dictionary, my Good Book, a gift on the third anniversary of our first date.
That relationship brought me to the brink of swearing off women forever. After dalliances since then, I’m now so selective, it’s as good as having sworn off them. I won’t deny the possibility of someone coming along to inspire a romance that makes people dismissive of Tristan and Isolde, or that inspires me to write an eternally classic novel about civil war, bells tolling, and earth-moving sex. (Hemingway, you delightful madman.) Still, she won’t lure me away from Balsamea, or get me to abandon my little Defiant Oak tree.
Balsamea’s new veterinarian, Dr. Nick Sherman summed up the change when he said of Buddy, Prince of Balsamea, “He’s a seizure dog now.” That was the night he gave me a supply of phenobarbital, because Buddy had four general (i.e., “grand mal” or full-body) seizures in one day, February 10, 2015.
So he’s “a seizure dog” now, but he retains his royalty, and reigns here as ever.