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The Approach to the Departure [Jun. 10th, 2012|08:30 pm]
It was one of those afternoons I'd that would have been perfect to spend sitting in dappled shade by a stream, maybe with a small waterfall nearby— one just big enough to make a pleasant sound as soft as the breezes and as bright as the green, sunlit leaves. Lacking such amenities, I made do with a stream from the garden hose splashing among the lamb's ear and around the oleanders. I had the whole afternoon, as my weekly shopping trip has been delayed until tomorrow. It's going to be hot tomorrow. I hope I'm not tempted to blow my food budget on tempting but costly early-season watermelons.

Creeping up on the summer solstice makes me a bit sad. A month from now the evenings will be getting noticeably shorter again, and the jasmine will be fading. Despite all the tasty fruit it brings, summer always seems to me a long decline. I know there are autumn's color and longer nights of stars ahead, but I'll miss the freshness of spring and the new growth. It might be different if I lived in a place with summer rains, but here there is so much dessication as the season proceeds. Brown fields have pleasures of their own to give, but to me they don't compare with the delights of green spring.

Sunday Verse


by Anne Sexton

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.

[User Picture]From: zyzyly
2012-06-11 03:52 am (UTC)
I always think of summer as a long, hot build-up to fall, mu favorite season.

It was in the 90s down here today, and felt hot. I'm not ready for the long, hot build-up.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2012-06-12 02:17 am (UTC)
Fall was my favorite season when I lived in Los Angeles, where the spring tends ot be hazy and clammy, but here in the Sierra foothills spring is usually very nice.
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[User Picture]From: forioscribe
2012-06-11 10:05 am (UTC)
I don't think we have the capacity to break words. Just a tendency to use the wrong ones.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2012-06-12 02:34 am (UTC)
Words can be distorted by misuse to the point where their original meanings are all but lost. At that point I think of them as broken.
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-06-12 11:21 am (UTC)

Usage Rules

Linguists say that the major characteristic of all languages is that they constantly change. Usage rules. Meanings and definitions evolve. Tape is an example.

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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2012-06-13 10:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Usage Rules

I'm not talking about the gradual accretion of additional meanings that words develop through popular usage, metaphor, or analogy, even when those new usages sometimes completely displace an earlier meaning. I'm thinking of the distortion that takes place when words are abused, deliberately or carelessly, by the likes of politicians, second-rate journalists, and other purveyors of muddled meanings.

Political jargon in particular is full of broken words. A large percentage of the people popularly called conservatives, for one glaring example, are in fact quite radical in their beliefs, and in their actions, but try to get that message across to people who call themselves conservatives. The word has taken on meanings that are almost antithetical, depending on who is saying it, or hearing it. The word is broken.

If a common word does not have a clear meaning that is quickly grasped and agreed upon by just about everyone, it will be prone to being misinterpreted. That's a word that has been broken. Such instability has nothing to do with the evolution of language. It has to do with the death of clear meaning.
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[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2012-06-11 09:19 pm (UTC)
I'm with zyzyly about summer being the build-up to autumn. It comes, in my case, from growing up in the midwest, where summer sweltered but autumn was gloriously beautiful.

I like the Sexton! "Sometimes I fly like an eagle/ but with the wings of a wren." Well, yeah.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2012-06-12 02:23 am (UTC)
Summer can be exhausting, especially in a place like this where you can get wildfires fouling the air. Then the wildfire season can linger long into autumn it it's a dry year.
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