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Psalm Nine
By Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Ben Bennani


O rose beyond the reach of time and of the senses
O kiss enveloped in the scarves of all the winds
surprise me with one dream
that my madness will recoil from you
Recoiling from you
In order to approach you
I discovered time
Approaching you
in order to recoil form you
I discovered my senses
Between approach and recoil
there is a stone the size of a dream
It does not approach
It does not recoil
You are my country
A stone is not what I am
therefor I do not like to face the sky
not do I die level with the ground
but I am a stranger, always a stranger

--------

[livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan came over with oranges and Volver, which I meant to see when it was in the theater but never quite made it. It was utterly fantastic...neither the genre I was expecting nor the twist I was expecting although I suspected the nature of the real crime from the beginning, which made it all the better. Penelope Cruz (whom I have resisted liking in recent years because of her association with that other Cruise -- everyone he touches turns loathsome for me) is both superb and unbelievably gorgeous...she has curves and doesn't try to look ridiculously young and is so much more beautiful than any of the 20somethings shoved on us in other films. I love, love this movie and will be watching it again very soon, though I almost wish there were one male character in the movie who wasn't worthless...this is very much a story about how women support each other because all the men in their lives let them down so badly.

I wrote an entertaining article on William Shatner's numerous upcoming appearances in which I learned not only that Shatner will appear on the reality show Fast Cars & Superstars, but that StarTrek.com now links to slash art. With a Gorn, no less! Go Kirk! I also wrote a less entertaining article about all the money-making schemes surrounding sending Scotty's ashes into space, in which I tried to be nice but covering the post-death Doohan circus has not been pleasant. Had dinner with my parents, since we can't tomorrow -- we are going to pick up older son from school after his return from Boston, where apparently he has had a great time (based on the text messages I have received about buying baseball caps, visiting M.I.T., taking photos of the Mayflower, etc.), and my parents are going to New York to my brother-in-law's birthday party to which my sister did not invite me until today.


Snowdonia National Park has paths crossing farms and sheep enclosures, requiring hikers to open and shut livestock gates.


This is the watchdog on the Aberdyfi farm where we stayed, not watching all that carefully, though the Jack Russell terrier who woke everyone up made up for that...


...and this is one of the four cats in a rare moment not sitting on my kids' laps. As you can see, it was acting a lot like a cat.


Ravens and rabbits live high on Glastonbury Tor.


And, though it may not be native to Britain ("bred in captivity"), here is a snakey peeking out at the Dudley Zoo. (Note: this photo is for [livejournal.com profile] dementordelta.)


Watched Smallville, which I enjoyed more than perhaps any episode in the past two years...I don't care how hot Oliver is, I still love Clark and Lex together, and given that what first attracted me to the show was the metaphor of growing up superhero as a parallel for growing up gay, and later how the distraction of power is only a surface consolation when the person you love doesn't love you back, everything about this episode was right up my alley. Even Lana, for once. The poor terrorist woman was thrown away too quickly, I thought -- I'd have had her survive, since she's obviously smart and skilled -- but that was all just backstory to get Clark and Lex stuck in a cave together, which is a fan fiction cliche in every fandom I've ever been in (I've written it in several).

And then the dialogue is like...well, fan fiction cliche, but right up my alley! Lex goes on about how he thought Clark was more than human and even if he's flesh and blood, he's been hiding secrets from Lex since they met. Clark asks why Lex cares anyway and implies that Lex's obsession with exploiting people with different abilities stems stems from their friendship. Lex helps Clark past meteor rocks without quite seeming to realize why Clark is so weak. Clark announces that Lana told him on Lex's wedding day that she wanted to call the whole thing off, but that's a minor concern compared to the question he really wants to ask: "Were we ever really friends, Lex?" To which Lex explains that he wouldn't know, he has no point of comparison, since Clark is the only person he ever really loved...err, the only real friend he ever had, but somewhere along the line Clark turned on him and decided Lex was his nemesis. And then Clark thinks Lex is going to leave him to die after Clark gets trapped by falling rock, and Lex comes back for him and asks, "Did you really think I was going to let you die alone down here, Clark? Guess you never knew me at all." (Note: in better fan fiction than this episode, this is the point at which they would fall into each other's arms and have mind-blowing sex...ahem.)

Meanwhile, Lana has received a temporary backbone graft (I say temporary because she always loses it again) and visits Lionel in the hospital, pointing out that even though he trapped her into marrying Clark, his medical decisions are now her responsibility and she could kill him right then! Then, unfortunately and more in character for the idiot she usually is, she believes him when he says he's protecting Clark, but she comes off a lot better than Chloe who is trying to reach Clark on his cell phone and says she feels like his stalker ex-girlfriend, even though she was never his girlfriend, and oh this is awkward...I know I am supposed to be posting that I hope it isn't Chloe who dies, I'd rather it be Lex, but the simple truth of the matter is that Clark-crush girl Chloe makes me cringe and if I have to choose between this week's Chloe and this week's Lex to survive, Lex wins. Lana, of course, comes in last, but at least this week she's smart enough to discover that Lex has maps of the tunnels...and doesn't tell the cops until she finds out that Clark is trapped as well as Lex and Chloe convinces her that Clark isn't invincible.

Things get a little silly after that...Clark and Lex both walk unscathed away from a massive explosion, Lionel taunts Lana about not being dead before he asks her to trust him with Clark's safety (though when she intimates that she'll tell Martha that Lionel used Clark as a bargaining chip, Lionel says admiringly that Lionel has embraced wholeheartedly what it means to be a Luthor). Then Lana has some fine moments lying to Lex, claiming she wanted out of the wedding because she thought something was wrong with the baby, and Lex says he would love her no matter what, and Lana says she wishes she was that strong because if someone lied to her the way she claims she lied to Lex, he would lose her love forever. She adds that she doesn't know what she did to deserve him.

Meanwhile Clark is telling his mommy that when Lex pulled him to safety, he saw a glimpse of something he hadn't seen in years: his friend Lex. Martha, who says she knows they were in love they went through a lot together, warns Clark that he doesn't know when to let go and his hope is his greatest weakness as his greatest strength. She claims that her thing with Lionel is different because she doesn't trust Lionel, but Clark, who doesn't trust Lex and never did, is still fixated: "What if I gave up on him too soon?" And meanwhile, Lex, of course, is back in his secret lab torturing the husband of the woman who started it all. So, yeah, completely unforgivable in canon, but I still enjoy watching Michael Rosenbaum better than anyone else on the show except sometimes John Glover, and I want Lex to stick around far more than either Lana or Chloe.

Also watched Shark, which was well-played but the plot was stolen right out of a case I'd read about, so I knew where it was going from the beginning. That case with the abducted kid who wouldn't testify against his kidnapper but then they discovered he had abducted and abused an older boy was all over the news awhile back. My favorite parts involved Jessica running for re-election and Stark trying to get the mayor to support her. I wish we saw more Jessica and the women on Stark's team, because I like the characters better than the actual cases...also true of Boston Legal, but there they're smart enough not to make the cases the focus most of the time. And the silly endings make sense on Boston Legal whereas on Shark they just feel unnecessarily pat. Now, someone please reassure me that Ryan is not leaving the show after the season finale next week! Though I'm equally afraid that they've decided they want Stark and Jessica romantically involved, so they had to make her stop being his boss...grr.

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