March 10th, 2004

abstract butterfly

Leaving a headstone

"And must my trembling spirit fly
Into a world unknown?"--Charles Wesley

"See him, when starved to death and turned to dust,
Presented with a monumental bust!
The poet’s fate is here in emblem shown:
He asked for bread, and he received a stone".--Samuel Wesley

While reading numerous non-LJ weblogs about an issue unrelated to this post, I've been struck by how much name dropping I see among the "fringe literati" whose entries I read. The names vary from the genuinely well known to obscure friends of the weblog diarists.

Some of this I consider healthy, because in some cases folks want to cross-market their friends, and what could be wrong with trying to promote someone you like? But some of the name-dropping has the "look at me, I'm a player, stand in awe" that makes life so curious.

I'm sitting this morning thinking about that most curious attempt at immortality of all--immortality through being "remembered" and "known".

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abstract butterfly

from the most sublime cavities of the heart

"Each line is original. Many of the sadder pieces are the essence of my own heart, while those of the sublime are the very vibrations of the soul"--Alice D. Estes, 1904

Tonight my wife asked me to stop by Half-Priced Books to pick up a better dictionary on my way home. She's doing one of the things she does--contract editing--and felt our home tomes failed to meet the need.

I stopped at "the flagship" of the Half-Priced Books chain, on Northwest Highway in Dallas. "The flagship" and its corporate parent come under fire from time to time by a certain sort of well-meaning but misdirected soul who'd prefer bankrupt independent used bookstores to politely expire into bankruptcy rather than have this workable, small-corporation chain bookstore which manages to stay in business and consistently delight.I find that some folks equate "business" with "sinful". My own lexicon of sin works a bit differently.

I found a suitably heavy and detailed dictionary, replete with worlds of trivia about British and American pronunciations and the like. I could not resist looking at my favorite section in the flagship, "nostalgia books between 1 dollar and 5 dollars". I found there a book entitled "The Gem of the School Room--Poems and Prose of Alice D. Estes". I had never heard of Alice D. Estes, but I could not imagine anything more invigorating than reading 1904 poetry by a stranger. I purchased the book, paying the full five dollar price.

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