My candle burns at both ends

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
Edna St. Vincent MIllay

edna st. vincent millay eyes

Friday already, and I haven’t done half of what I need to do. That is life in the digital age.

Time out!

Edna St. Vincent Millay died at the age of 58, the result of a heart attack after a coronary occlusion. She was dressed in a nightgown and slippers when her body was found by James Pinnie, a caretaker, (who cares?) who had arrived to light a fire for the evening. “Miss Millay,” as the New York Times called her, had lived alone in her home in the Berkshire hills of New York, close to those same hills that James Taylor sang of (he lives there), since her husband died ten months earlier.

The Times continues to say: “Miss Millay was born in Rockland, Me., on Feb. 22, 1892, in an old house ‘between the mountains and the sea’ where baskets of apples and drying herbs on the porch mingled their scents with those of the neighboring pine woods.”

She had friends, she had foes, she acted, she wrote, she lived in The Village, she escaped to Florida, the Riviera, Spain, and finally, she escaped to Maine.

She was, the Times continued, “a frivolous young woman, with a brand-new pair of dancing slippers and a mouth like a valentine,” young, red-haired and unquestionably pretty.

What we remember is what we choose, ’tis the pity, she was much more.

My choice…

Figs from Thistles: First Fig
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

For this and other poems, Millay won the the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923.

Friday already, and I haven’t done half of what I need to do.

millay-poster

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Tolkien Variations

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Hands that touch warm the heart
Such is the nature of love.

Tolkien Variations

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Thanksgiving thought

Each day I pray
I’ll learn
I am not too old to learn
So many things become so little

When I realize
How blessed and lucky I am.
What gets bigger the more you take away?
The anger in your heart because
That space is filled with love

thanksgiving_pumpkin_pie

 

Success

[In case you wondered, from time to time, I sell Stressless recliners and home furnishings on homefurnishers.com. It is a living, but not a life.]

It is said that to succeed one has to get up before the others, before the birds, before the sun, drink a cup of coffee, eat a piece of toast and an egg, put on your shoes and run, run just to keep in the same place, and run faster if you want to succeed.

Oh, but the trees, the mountains, and the lakes know better. They are always there  wordlessly, watching me, knowing there is a joy in the silence. Lessons are learned by listening, not just with the ears, but the eyes.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, Stresslessly.

kintla_lake_cowboy

What a beautiful place to be, I thought, gazing around Kintla Lake. Calm, peaceful, serene, about as far north in Montana one could go without going over the border into Canada.

“Be mindful of the bears,” the park ranger said.

“Oh, I know,” I replied, “life is full of them.”

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Words

Words without meaning mean nothing.

The monkey typewriter theorem says that if a certain number (infinite is the one that comes to mind) of monkeys were each given a typewriter (nowadays, a keyboard) and a really long time (forever) they could write the works of all the famous writers (e.g. Shakespeare, Dickens, Browning, Voltaire, Diderot, Tolstoy, etc.) and then some…

Of course, this would require teaching the monkeys to type.

monkey-hand

In memoriam

 

 

In memoriam: Las Vegas

Mother, mother, sister, brother,
Father to us all,
Children one and all
Tell me why
They’re gone
Mother, sister, father, brother
Tell me why
It’s not the time
To stop this madness
Tell me, if you can,
Tell me why you’re gone

Charlie, Brennan, Erick, Quint, Neysa, Dorene,
Pati, Nicky, Chris, Andrea, Adrian, Brian, Brett and Bo
Denise, Chrissy, Candy, Lisa, Rocky, Jordy
Austin, Laura, Dana, Carrie, Tom and Jenny

Is that not enough?
To me its more than plenty
I like a poem that’s short

Kurt, Jack, Sandy, Angie, Jenny, say it twice,
Bailey, Susy, Rachel, John

I am not too fond of saying this
Guns are killing us

Tara, Calla, Jessie, Jordan,
Haven’t I heard this one before,
Chris and Carrie and Carly,
Can’t you see the insanity
Of doing nothing, nothing at all
And saying let us have our fun
Rhoda, Lisa, Bill and Sonny, Denise, Steve and Cameron,
And finally Heather,
Oh, but it is not final
Because you’d rather keep your guns

And when you
You know who
Lay down your head upon your pillow
Say your prayers,
And bless those fellows who died for us, for you
Think of this
Let’s lay down those guns
That keep killing
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
And the children who are our future

From Nevada:
Charleston Hartfield, Brennan Stewart, Erick Silva, Quintin Robbins, Austin Meyer, Neysa Tonks

From Alaska:
Dorene Anderson, Adrian Murfitt

From Arizona:
Brett Schwanbeck

From California:

Pati Mestas, Nicol Kimura, Christopher Hazencomb, Andrea Castilla, Brian Fraser, Derrick “Bo” Taylor, Denise Cohen, Christiana Duarte, Candice Bowers, Lisa Patterson, Rocio Guillen Rocha, Jordyn Rivera, Austin Davis, Laura Shipp, Keri Galvan, Hannah Ahlers, Stacee Etcheber, Michelle Vo, Victor Link, Melissa Ramirez, Kelsey Meadows, Dana Gardner, Carrie Barnette, Thomas Day Jr., Jennifer Parks, Kurt Von Tillow, Jack Beaton, Sandy Casey, Angie Gomez, Jennifer Irvine, Bailey Schweitzer, Susan Smith, Rachel Parker, John Phippen

These lovely souls,
So young, so fair
Called off by earthly doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In paradise could bloom

From Canada:
Tara Roe Smith, Calla Medig, Jessica Klymchuk, Jordan McIldoon

From Colorado:
Christopher Roybal

From Iowa:
Carly Kreibaum

From Massachusetts:
Rhonda LeRocque

From New Mexico:
Lisa Romero-Muniz

From Pennsylvania:
Bill Wolfe

From Tennessee:
Sonny Melton

From Washington:
Carrie Parsons

From West Virginia:
Denise Burditus

From Wisconsin:
Steve Berger

From Utah:
Cameron Robinson, Heather Alvarado

 

White on Blue

Oz asks, Where does time go?

A vacation to Flathead Lake in Montana (the largest lake west of the Mississippi) inspires many thoughts. The season is ending, the tourists going home, the kids to school, and all too soon, I am back to work.

sailboat on Flathead Lake, Montana

White on blue
Standing on the shore of Flathead Lake,
I spy a solitary sailboat
Spreading her white sails to the breeze and the water
Oh, my heart aches to be there,
I long to be gone
A speck of white
Where the blue of the lake meets the blue of the sky
Long do I gaze while the boat disappears
When the cold wind kicks up, and
With a sharp tug on my pants
My sons says to me,
Why are we here?

Un grain de blanc en bleu

Au bord de la rive de Flathead Lake
Je regarde un bateau à voile
Diffuser ses voiles blanches à la brise et à l’eau
Oh, mon cœur a mal à être là,
J’aimerais être parti
Un point de blanc
Où le bleu du lac rencontre le bleu du ciel
Long je regarde pendant que le bateau disparaît
Lorsque le vent froid se lance, et
Il y a un pistolet sur mon pantalon
Pourquoi sommes-nous ici, me dit-il mon fils?

1 flathead lake boat_close

Glimmering yellow on blue

Raven, a restaurant and brewpub on Flat Head Lake, Montana
sunset_lake
Flathead Lake – Not everyone is here to escape, some are here to stay.

 

Another season is ending. The setting sun on Flathead Lake turns the blue sky a golden yellow.

An hour before.

The afternoon sun warms my black shirt and shoulders. A brief swim in the cool lake momentarily cleanses my body of sweat. From the waters edge, I gather five smooth stones to remember my visit. The largest of the stones, a soft grey granite with even white striations, fits nicely into the palm of my hand, but once out of the water it begins to lose its luster.

Now, sitting on the porch of the Raven, the sweat begins to return, running into my eyes as I stare into the distant haze. If you can’t stop life’s relentless pace, at least a cold beer slows it down long enough to enjoy a moment before it becomes a memory.

In such a place, strangers come and go.

From down the road, a mother arrives with her eight-month-old daughter, Cory on a mini-vacation. I complement the blond curl on the top of Cory’s head, we exchange observations on life as strangers do.  At another table, sits a teacher from Austin, on her last hurrah before returning to her students. Inside at the bar, three tattooed bikers in baseball caps with sun glasses perched on the visors share beers and adventures.

Raven, a restaurant and brewpub on Flat Head Lake, Montana

Even the bartenders and waitresses at the Raven know that the season doesn’t last. Only the coming snow will stop the endless parade around the lake and the side trips up into Glacier National Park.

Not everyone is here to escape, some are here to stay and play.

Flathead Lake, Montana
Flathead Lake, Montana

Note. Inspired by a stop at the Raven, on Flathead Lake, in Woods Bay, Montana, near Bigfork.

raven+lake+june+4th
Raven, their pic, Flathead Lake, Montana