Tuesday, February 10, 2009


'The Joys That Are Left'

The habit of joy, like study, exercise or any other regimen, must be consciously maintained sometimes. I confess I'm having to work at it right now. The past few days this old poem has been an odd and unexpected blessing to me.

"The Joys That Are Left"
By Will Carleton

IF the sun have been gone while we deemed it might shine;
If the day steal away with no hope-bearing sign;
If the night, with no sight of its stars or its moon,
But such clouds as it hath, closes down on our path over-dark and o'er-soon;

If a voice we rejoice in its sweetness to hear,
Breathe a strain for our pain that glides back to our ear;
If a friend mark the end of a page that was bright,
Without pretext or need, by some reptile-like deed that coils plain in our sight;

If life's charms in our arms grow a-tired and take wing;
If the flowers that are ours turn to nettles and sting;
If the home sink in gloom that we laboured to save,
And the garden we trained, when its best bloom is gained, be enriched by a grave;

Shall we deem that life's dream is a toil and a snare?
Shall we lie down and die on the couch of despair?
Shall we throw needless woe on our sad heart bereft?
Or, grown tearfully wise, look with pain-chastened eyes at the joys that are left?

For the tree that we see on the landscape so fair,
When we hie to it nigh, may be fruitless and bare;
While the vine that doth twine 'neath the blades of the grass,
With sweet nourishment rife, holds the chalice of life toward our lips as we pass.

So with hope let us grope for what joys we may find;
Let not fears, let not tears make us heedless or blind;
Let us think, while we drink the sweet pleasures that are,
That in sea or in ground many gems may be found that outdazzle the star.

There be deeds may fill needs we have suffered in vain,
There be smiles whose pure wiles may yet banish our pain,
And the heaven to us given may be found ere we die;
For God's glory and grace, and His great holy place, are not all in the sky.


Will Carleton was a Michigander!
For ER... in the midst of our forties..

from Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood
William Wordsworth


O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.


Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
It is a biological fact that the act of smiling make you feel better. That is making the face into a physiological smile without even without emotional reason will make you feel better emotionally.
Very cool, Feodor.

I'd heard that, DrLobo; thanks for the reminder.

... Our poor corgi, Riker, could be on his last leg, and Dr. ER, his mommy, has been gone for the worst of it. She's back this afternoon.

Weird, but it gave me flashbacks to Mama ER's final ordeal -- and damned if this dog's deal has actually caught me more off guard emotionally than Mama's did.
A joy for me is to see the English subjunctive being used properly! That's wonderful!
Some griefs, too great to comprehend within that one experience, are re-minded and blended with each following loss.
I'm finding that out. I blogged Mama's ups and down. Starting November 22, '06, through early February '07, virtually daily for a long time; I got this laptop in fact so I could be by her side and keep working. Feb. 26, '07 is her blog obit, and picture of my sweet mama.
If anyone was wondering, the tornadoes missed, although there were substantial touchdowns less than 1 mile northwest, 2 miles north, 5 or so southwest and 3 miles northeast.
Thanks fer the lil update Rudy. I was thinkin 'bout you this evenin when I heard 'bout them tornadys up there in Okie-land. Glad you-n-yourns is alright. Again, I'se a lil more fond of hurricanes than whirly-winders. Keep safe
I understand we made national news live. Dang, and it is only Febuary 10th.

I sat in the corner of the parking lot of Home Depot just East of I-40and Rockwell, and through the clean bright air watched the one that hit at Rockwell and NW Highway. That made me six miles away. Had a clear view of the back of the wall cloud as a rather wide column popped out sideways and down and did its stuff. Not longer than 10 seconds and it was back up. It was too far away to see debris, but it changed color (white to grey). Wasn't quite sure I actually saw what I saw until the radio reported the hit about five minutes latter.

Tell Dr. ER that the area of wind shear was actually visible between the wall cloud and the air behind it. Neat stuff.

Nope, no camera.
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