November 12th, 2005

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mint marigold macduff

When I travel, I find myself with long spaces of time which proves ideal for reading. This week I finished two books.

One consisted of first person vignettes about the Kindertransport, the evacuation of Jewish children and the children of political dissidents from Germany and other European countries occupied by the Nazis, for placement in homes in the United Kingdom. Each of the kind, as they are called, describes how oppression descended upon day to day life, culminating in evacuation to another country and the challenges of fitting into a new situation while parents faced unimaginable horrors. I found the down-to-earth nature of the narratives reassuring and in their own way inspiring. They reminded me that great horror is sometimes abetted by denial, and that great kindness is no less kind for being alloyed with flaws and imperfections. I found the book quite moving, and it made me want to see th Attenborough film on the topic.

The other book I read was C.S. Friedman's "This Alien Shore". This novel uses the conceit of "mind-warpning space travel" as a metaphor to permit an exploration of an alternative reality in which mental variation from the "norm" is treated as cultural rather than medical. One can read the entire novel as metaphoric, including even a confrontation with the monstrous daemons of the id, but fortunately the narrative is much better read as a good old-fashioned hard-sci-fi novel. My own weakness is for space opera when I read science fiction, and I enjoyed Ms. Friedman's narrative style.

In our small front flower beds, flowers bloom, including in particular ample mint marigold. The weather this Autumn has in the main proven unseasonably warm and dry. We remain in moderate drought conditions, while trees remain in many instances fully stocked with fully green leaves. The warmth is pleasant, but I believe we need a good rain and a friendly chill. There is always payment due for these environmental anti-seasonal things.

Some years ago, I saw a good filmed version of MacBeth done with Maura Tierney playing Lady MacBeth, set in a Pennsyvlania burger joint. This morning I imagine the play done in a Krispy Kreme franchise. "Is this the doughnut I see before me? Come, let me clutch thee".

We ate tandoori chicken last night at Kebab n Kurry in Richardson. We accomplished a small if costly virtue by foregoing the naan bread. Today I have a little work to do, but a great deal of leisure planned.
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join hands brothers and sisters of the poll, whatever your journal may be

I always like that religious song which asked "let us break bread together on our knees?". I think, though, that religious songs are of limited use, unless one is among one's co-religionists or fellow travelers with one's religion. Polls, on the other hand, have no east or west, south or north, but are one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth. Shall we feel the love?

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