Monday, 15 March 2010

Mary, Mary, quite contrary / How does a poem grow?

I just finished re-editing my poem The Journey. I am still not completely happy with it, but I suppose I will have time to change it later on.

Did I tell you someone wrote a short piece on my stuffed animal Macaroni? We had to describe something which mattered a lot to us, and the only thing that came to mind was my duck, sitting on my bed and waiting for me to come back home, his beady eyes, slightly scuffed from years of love, staring at the door handle. We then traded slips of paper, and she--I forget her name--wrote the following:

In the grey drip of dreary weather
He acts like a thermal blanket which wraps around
My lungs, my heart, my whole being.

Shielding me from the terrors, the dullness, the nothing
the horrid world outside
I realize I am alone, apart from him
and he is a toy, inanimate, yet somehow living
Secretly and solely to me.

His life emanates from memories, trapped inside him
he is a well-traveled duck
faded from journeys to Sweden and Singapore,
the confident, busy style of life I used to lead

One where I never expected I'd be
Sitting alone in this room

Pretty spot on, wouldn't you say? Well, you would say so if you'd ever seen Macaroni. I also went over three other poems, The Rack, The Dirk, and Iscariot. I never plan to write poetry, but most of all, I do not plan the subject matter. It always turns into something strange and slightly creepy. Can't help it if my deepest thoughts are cold and calculating.

Rise, Tyro! and receive my golden rays, my fiery hues,
my red seal upon your breast, pressed deep into
your nature, binding you and casting you into my copper
Son , my full-forged prentice singing, singing praises to the
dawn, your hammer ringing, ringing in the early

Don't ask.

Unapologetically Yours,
Bodo of Dobo Isle

Now I must finish my paper.

Friday, 5 March 2010

We're All Mad Here

Sitting at my desk, with one shoe on, one shoe off, like Miss Havisham.

At least I have not been abandoned on the day of my wedding on account of my wealth and fortune.

The last two days have been busy. As you already know, I can do everything, and a few things are not to get in my way or distract me from my larger purpose. For example, yesterday was Thursday, and I had class at 10:30, and at 3:00, I met up in town with a guided walking tour around York, highlighting the Christians that have gone before us. Our guide, an elderly gentleman with a sonorous, dare I say Shakespearean, voice who led us through the city, beginning at the statue of Constantine outside York Minster and ending outside of St. Michael Le Belfrey, discussing David Watson and his ministry in the 1960s. Our guide's father turned his life over to God at one of D.L. Moody's sermons here in York.

It is good to have a history, a Christian history spanning hundreds of years, one--as any--filled with both sordid and kind acts. It is good to have a group with which to identify yourself, to help anchor your place in history and situate yourself in the face of the future. Where would we be without the people that came before us? If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

After the tour, Theresa, Melissa, and I went to Chandini, which is an Indian restaurant that has a student deal on Thursdays. I had a Chicken Tikka Masala, nan, and a Mango Lassie. It made me miss Singapore even more. It also made me think of my father's good work in India, among the poor in Calcutta and Jharsuguda, Orissa state. I visited two Christmases ago, just before the persecution of the Christians flared up again. Instead of a family Christmas at home, we visited the Children's home and were able to distribute some Christmas gifts. It was not much by any modern standards, but it was much appreciated. The children had never seen a frisbee before, but got the hang of it once we showed them how. The orange one quite quickly disappeared over a low wall and was never seen again.

After the city tour, we dispersed and went home, each to her own. I joined Melissa and stole her chocolate while she was not looking and then returned home to read a short story for my Creative Writing class called Sally, In Parts.

We used the story in class as an example of how a specific, even artificial structure was used to tell a story. In this case, the narrator goes through Sally's different body parts, such as her eyes, nose, lungs, etc., and, while describing them, manages to weave in a story about her relationship to her father and his final days in the hospital.

After my class, which finished a few minutes early, Erin and I went to the cinema to chope seats for Melissa, who would come later because she was dying her hair. We watched Alice in Wonderland, and ate Sainsbury's dark chocolate and a candies collectively called Strawberry Things. (Imagine! Strawberry is a flavour phenomenon. Not a day goes by without my coming across this marvelous little fruit.)

Aren't we all a little mad? Aren't we all the Mad Hatter? To which, you would reply, Not at all. There are people in this world that are perfectly sane. You have just yet to meet one. As like attracts like, you are decidedly out of the sane circle of health and well-being.

I suppose that's true. Mad as a Hatter, mind you, mind you.

But only the Brain could dream dreams as big and as wide as world domination. And he was most decidedly delusional. No one faults him for his dreams. Or perhaps, do you?

We are all mad here.

the Cheshire Cat

(P.S. I ended today with a potluck dinner and then a brief stop at Professor Dean's house where we watched an episode of Simon Schama on the Young (and eventually Old) Queen Victoria and the times of progress during her reign.