Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.
Give me again all that was there,
Give me the sun that shone!
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
Give me the lad that's gone!
Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
All that was me is gone"--from a Robert Louis Stevenson lyric
Today I took one of our dogs for a walk around Glendover Pond (the other of our dogs being a bit too old to enjoy a walk), on a day when the sky was gorgeously blue, if laced with distant dark clouds. The mosquito fish in the small pond scurried into deeper water from the bank. A bass or two leaped in the morning sun. When we returned, the older dog, which I bashfully admit has always been my favorite (surely that's an immorality--to have a favorite loved pet), emerged from a closet, where she'd been sleeping, unaware we were gone.
My wife and I went for lunch at the Abbey, a restaurant in nearby Frisco in an old church in a Main Street downtown. We had gotten an invitation to attend a lunch and meet the local Democratic candidate for the state legislature. A Democratic candidate in Collin County runs to make a statement, as seventy percent of the local voters are Republicans, and forty percent of the voters vote "straight ticket" Republican, pressing only a single lever each election. When we arrived, the candidate (and our friends Donna and Scott, whom we understood were coming) were not present. It turned out we were a week early for the meeting.
We stopped in a "paint your own" ceramics shop, and I remembered a ceramic chess set my brother and I painted with spray paint when we were in high school. We have it still, but I believe it is short one pawn. Perhaps I will go back and paint another someday. We stopped in an arts/crafts store which operates on a shared consignment basis. The nice woman behind the counter caught my imagination when she said that the Lord led artists to her. I have a thousand sarcasms ready about that, and a hundred worldly-wise things to say, but I'd rather just let the phrase hover in mid-air, without editorial. She touted the local artisan chocolates as "goodbye Godiva", which is a charming notion, while I was taken with the Bahamian tree seeds in the shape of hearts. At the nearby antique store, they had wonderful vintage books, but they cost too much.
I read about a local Frisco stargazer group that meets monthly, and resolved to go peer into telescopes. Cassini makes me long for the days when I saw the tiny orb and rings of Jupiter through the glass. I gave my telescopes to a community college in California, having purchased them from a Scientologist in need of ready cash.
But now I miss them, a bit. I love gazing up into the sky.
I spent Saturday afternoon in a long overdue readying of my defunct Ford for sale.
I had originally meant to donate it to charity, but now in a burst of selfishness, I am inclined to use it as the funding source for my potential mountain dulcimer.
One of my goals is to make my hobbies cost as little as possible, not because I "must" but because I feel I "should". A car for dulcimer exchange seems about right. But we'll see if I can get even a harmonica off this nearly valueless ruined old Ford. I think I will go the eBay route, because that appeals to my sense of humour, somehow. I love the idea of writing an eBay ad which tells the buyer just how defective and mistreated the car was at its long life's end. I believe that truth can move mountains, and sometimes prompt bids.
I bid on a hand-crafted mountain dulcimer by a Texan, but could not match the reserve. I hope to solve the dulcimer issue during August. It's curious to me that I know I must have one, as they cost more than my usual hobby materials do, but I just know in the way that I know a lot of similar things that one is right for me.
I hope I can learn "Skye".
I napped again Saturday afternoon, which is never to my taste. I prefer to never nap, really. But I needed the sleep. I kept reading about north Africa battles,
and then I was asleep. We went to a Japanese restaurant in nearby McKinney, where I had beef teriyakin which was good if too heavily teriyaki sauced. We drove past expensive homes, and talked about how people lived.
I played two games of on-line backgammon at pogo.com, demonstrating again to myself that my strategic sense for the game requires many favorable dice throws for me to win.
I rented "Pieces of April" for us, along with "Hellboy" to watch tomorrow.
"Pieces of April" was darned sweet, really. I also tried to rent "Bonhoeffer", but it turned out that "Bone Collector" had been placed behind the "Bonhoeffer" box, which is not quite the same thing. I may just go purchase "Bonhoeffer", because I have this notion it might be fun to start it circulating around LJ, mailed from one to another to another.
I am still workig on my can-jo skills. I do a mean "Red River Valley"--my very favorite autoharp song. I live sixty miles from a Red River, but the song is actually about a river in Canada. I also looked up the lyrics to "Skye" and learned that the lyrics I love are a Robert Louis Stevenson poem called "over the Sea to Skye". I will need to learn to play it on the dulcimer, as ever since I learned it in grade school music class it moves me to tears, which, reading the lyric sheet, I cannot quite understand.
Tomorrow I take my 12 year old nephew on the train to Dallas World Aquarium, a nice small aquarium in downtown Dallas. I hope to peruse the leafy sea dragon, and
get a good fluorescent look at jelly fish.
On Monday, my father turns 71, while during August I turn 45. I remember being a boy, and sitting on my back in the grass, and looking up into a blue, blue sky, and seeing clouds and all manner of meaning. Where I live now there is grass growing pretty much everywhere, and the sky is still a delightful blue. I want to lie back and look up at my personal Skye.
That fellow Bonnie Prince Charlie was a curious man to have such a gorgeous set of songs and notions written about him. The Jacobin rebellions are barely a footnote to history these days. When the rebellion failed, he became a kind of walking parody of himself. I like to imagine that there's an innocence available to all,
which can be recaptured at will, a defense against self-satire and curmudgeonly behavior.
I have so many books! I will soon follow skygoodwill's suggestion, and offer them up for free or trade in this very LJ. I must clear the shelves!
I feel a little stress about work now. It's good to be busy, but it's unfortunate to feel stress. I also want to feel that I'm getting on top of everything.
But I also want to fly a kite tomorrow, and see it go up into the deep blue sky.