Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Stuff

I have a great new job, and I also now have no life, but although my vision is filled with the following nearly 24/7, I want to get some pictures up of fall activities for family and friends far away (and nearby too). There is a lot going on, and for now I'll let my family take it in, and I'll try to catch up over Christmas vacation.I move from one table to the other - to the floor - back to a table - keeps me from cramping up over long periods of time.We have a new house:Someday I hope to read some books in the new house.The boys (including David) are enjoying the pool.The boys are also enjoying the new experience of having a 2-story house.We continue to cheer on the Enochs cross-country team, and especially Anthony (who in this picture is hidden behind the second person from the left).We've had some weird - and beautiful - weather.Caleb has found his true identity as "ketchup boy" (aka "Chip" in his youth group).We are so thrilled that Mike and Amy and Sierra and newly arrived Ava live so near us now - in a home we can see from our new home! Another reason I'm eager for break is to have some time with them!We took a quick trip to one of our favorites - Knight's ferry:Here are my special guys at Knight's Ferry. I need to get back to my "task" and not lay it aside, but I need to record that life is going on in my near vicinity anyway, and I'm eager to rejoin it soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

As for Tasks

The Suicide

“Curse thee, Life, I will live with thee no more!
Thou hast mocked me, starved me, beat my body sore!
And all for a pledge that was not pledged by me,
I have kissed thy crust and eaten sparingly
That I might eat again, and met thy sneers
With deprecations, and thy blows with tears,—
Aye, from thy glutted lash, glad, crawled away,
As if spent passion were a holiday!
And now I go. Nor threat, nor easy vow
Of tardy kindness can avail thee now
With me, whence fear and faith alike are flown;
Lonely I came, and I depart alone,
And know not where nor unto whom I go;
But that thou canst not follow me I know.”

Thus I to Life, and ceased; but through my brain
My thought ran still, until I spake again:

“Ah, but I go not as I came,—no trace
Is mine to bear away of that old grace
I brought! I have been heated in thy fires,
Bent by thy hands, fashioned to thy desires,
Thy mark is on me! I am not the same
Nor ever more shall be, as when I came.
Ashes am I of all that once I seemed.
In me all’s sunk that leapt, and all that dreamed
Is wakeful for alarm,—oh, shame to thee,
For the ill change that thou hast wrought in me,
Who laugh no more nor lift my throat to sing!
Ah, Life, I would have been a pleasant thing
To have about the house when I was grown
If thou hadst left my little joys alone!
I asked of thee no favor save this one:
That thou wouldst leave me playing in the sun!
And this thou didst deny, calling my name
Insistently, until I rose and came.
I saw the sun no more.—It were not well
So long on these unpleasant thoughts to dwell,
Need I arise to-morrow and renew
Again my hated tasks, but I am through
With all things save my thoughts and this one night,
So that in truth I seem already quite
Free and remote from thee,—I feel no haste
And no reluctance to depart; I taste
Merely, with thoughtful mien, an unknown draught,
That in a little while I shall have quaffed.”

Thus I to Life, and ceased, and slightly smiled,
Looking at nothing; and my thin dreams filed
Before me one by one till once again
I set new words unto an old refrain:

“Treasures thou hast that never have been mine!
Warm lights in many a secret chamber shine
Of thy gaunt house, and gusts of song have blown
Like blossoms out to me that sat alone!
And I have waited well for thee to show
If any share were mine,—and now I go!
Nothing I leave, and if I naught attain
I shall but come into mine own again!”
Thus I to Life, and ceased, and spake no more,
But turning, straightway, sought a certain door
In the rear wall. Heavy it was, and low
And dark,—a way by which none e’er would go
That other exit had, and never knock
Was heard thereat,—bearing a curious lock
Some chance had shown me fashioned faultily,
Whereof Life held content the useless key,
And great coarse hinges, thick and rough with rust,
Whose sudden voice across a silence must,
I knew, be harsh and horrible to hear,—
A strange door, ugly like a dwarf.—So near
I came I felt upon my feet the chill
Of acid wind creeping across the sill.
So stood longtime, till over me at last
Came weariness, and all things other passed
To make it room; the still night drifted deep
Like snow about me, and I longed for sleep.

But, suddenly, marking the morning hour,
Bayed the deep-throated bell within the tower!
Startled, I raised my head,—and with a shout
Laid hold upon the latch,—and was without.

* * * * *

Ah, long-forgotten, well-remembered road,
Leading me back unto my old abode,
My father’s house! There in the night I came,
And found them feasting, and all things the same
As they had been before. A splendour hung
Upon the walls, and such sweet songs were sung
As, echoing out of very long ago,
Had called me from the house of Life, I know.
So fair their raiment shone I looked in shame
On the unlovely garb in which I came;
Then straightway at my hesitancy mocked:
“It is my father’s house!” I said and knocked;
And the door opened. To the shining crowd
Tattered and dark I entered, like a cloud,
Seeing no face but his; to him I crept,
And “Father!” I cried, and clasped his knees, and wept.
Ah, days of joy that followed! All alone
I wandered through the house. My own, my own,
My own to touch, my own to taste and smell,
All I had lacked so long and loved so well!
None shook me out of sleep, nor hushed my song,
Nor called me in from the sunlight all day long.

I know not when the wonder came to me
Of what my father’s business might be,
And whither fared and on what errands bent
The tall and gracious messengers he sent.
Yet one day with no song from dawn till night
Wondering, I sat, and watched them out of sight.
And the next day I called; and on the third
Asked them if I might go,—but no one heard.
Then, sick with longing, I arose at last
And went unto my father,—in that vast
Chamber wherein he for so many years
Has sat, surrounded by his charts and spheres.
“Father,” I said, “Father, I cannot play
The harp that thou didst give me, and all day
I sit in idleness, while to and fro
About me thy serene, grave servants go;
And I am weary of my lonely ease.
Better a perilous journey overseas
Away from thee, than this, the life I lead,
To sit all day in the sunshine like a weed
That grows to naught,—I love thee more than they
Who serve thee most; yet serve thee in no way.
Father, I beg of thee a little task
To dignify my days,—’tis all I ask
Forever, but forever, this denied,
I perish.”
“Child,” my father’s voice replied,
“All things thy fancy hath desired of me
Thou hast received. I have prepared for thee
Within my house a spacious chamber, where
Are delicate things to handle and to wear,
And all these things are thine. Dost thou love song?
My minstrels shall attend thee all day long.
Or sigh for flowers? My fairest gardens stand
Open as fields to thee on every hand.
And all thy days this word shall hold the same:
No pleasure shalt thou lack that thou shalt name.
But as for tasks—” he smiled, and shook his head;
“Thou hadst thy task, and laidst it by”, he said.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happiness or a Ham Sandwich?

Which is better, eternal happiness or a ham sandwich?

It would appear that eternal happiness is better, but this is really not so!!

After all, nothing is better than eternal happiness, and a ham sandwich is certainly better than nothing. Therefore a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.

Friday, October 16, 2009

There's a new post on DAVID at right.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Need a Reason to Celebrate?

In case you are looking for an excuse to celebrate, don't forget that "Mole Day" is coming soon!

Here's what it's all about (according to Wikipedia): Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists in North America on October 23, between 6:02 AM and 6:02 PM, making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates. The time and date are derived from the Avogadro constant, which is approximately 6.02×10^23, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in a mole, one of the seven base SI units.

May I suggest as a celebration idea some "pi ala mole?"

Friday, October 09, 2009

Splinter Swerve

The Brain, within its Groove
Runs evenly-and true-
But let a Splinter swerve-
'Twere easier for You-

To put a Current back-
When Floods have slit the Hills-
And scooped a Turnpike for Themselves-
And trodden out the Mills-
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Worth Repeating Right Now

Sometimes, exhausted
with toil and endeavour,
I wish I could sleep
for ever and ever;
but then this reflection
my longing allays:
I shall be doing it
one of these days.

- Piet Hein (1905-1996)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Packed - My Life and My House

A lot has happened since I last posted, which is why it's been a while since I last posted, which reminds me, I need to add something to (or about) the last post - just a cool little related item. Since I last wrote we have moved to a new house. I have posted pictures of lots of different houses. The one we moved into is the one posted here. Of course the furnishings you see belong to the former owners. Right now, imagine the same space but with lots of boxes! I have lots to post about the move and the house, but I need to wait until my head has a chance to stop spinning. I had not packed a single box as of Thursday - couldn't - could not do it given my work schedule. Thankfully we have the most awesome friends and family in the world and that some of them also happen to own pick-ups! I can't say enough thanks to friends and family who helped us. They worked tirelessly, packing my/our belongings, transporting them, unloading them, helping us to settle in and on and on. More on that in a future post. For now, since life seems so serious and busy, and even math, which I normally have so much fun with has become more work than fun at the moment, I want to post something math-related just for fun. See if you can figure out how it works (or not). Either way, have fun!