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Failing and Flying
By Jack Gilbert


Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

--------

Had a fairly quiet day, other than the usual Thursday carpool chaos. Organized some web page stuff, caught up on some correspondence and phone calls, still haven't managed to make a dermatologist appointment even though that's been on my things to do list since February and how does that happen exactly? I'm not exactly sure where the morning went. Older son had a field trip today with his chorus to perform at an elementary school near his middle school, and tomorrow has a field trip for an environmental cleanup somewhere along the Anacostia River -- we were told to dress them in old clothes and shoes -- while younger son brought home his poetry book that each student in the class wrote -- I must remember to scan and post one of his illustrated poems. The pollen is bothering me more this week than before; there's a layer of yellow powder on the car windows every time I get into the car, even if I cleaned it off a couple of hours earlier. The azaleas are still beautiful but I won't mind when the pollen count drops.

In the evening, because [livejournal.com profile] apaulled expressed curiosity, we watched The Winter Guest. (He couldn't quite figure out why it caught my attention at first, because I've never been a huge Emma Thompson fan and he didn't pay attention to the directing credits. *g*) It's a beautifully done movie, something I think you have to be in the mood for -- very slow and quiet particularly at the beginning, with absolutely gorgeous, fairly minimalistic cinematography (it's set in Scotland in winter, and there's a lot of layering of whites -- snow on ice, fog over the frozen sea, even an off-white comforter on white bedsheets in a white room, and black and white photos play a big role since Thompson's character is a photographer). Thompson's mother Phyllida Law plays her mother in the film, and the two of them are exceptional together; it must be rather difficult to play a fractious relationship with an actual family member. While she and her mother are walking through the town sniping at each other, her son is being pursued very aggressively by a girl, and meanwhile two boys playing hooky are trying to figure out what in hell their lives are about and two old ladies who go to funerals for fun are doing the same thing.

The plots aren't exactly parallel and in the case of the old ladies they don't even converge -- the only point of contact involves spying on them through a telescope -- so all the connections are very subtle and the overall effect is too. There's never a hint of melodrama and the performances are all very restrained, even during the one erotic scene where there are all kinds of other complications getting in the way. I'm definitely going to have to watch it a few more times, because the accents on the kids are so strong that it's sometimes hard to catch what they're saying and I was more focused on the acting than how the camera work (which was quite complicated -- long tracking shots) was working with the story. Oh...and there are kittens. In other words The Winter Guest did nothing to alleviate my Alan Rickman crush.

Your brain: 60% interpersonal, 40% visual, 200% verbal, and 100% mathematical!
Congratulations on being 400% smart! Actually, on my test, everyone is. The above score breaks down what kind of thinking you most enjoy doing. A score above 100% means you use that kind of thinking more than average, and a score below 100% means you use it less. It says nothing about how good you are at any one, just how interested you are in each, relatively. A substantial difference in scores between two people means, conclusively, that they are different kinds of thinkers.

My test tracked 4 variables. How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 55% on interpersonal
You scored higher than 34% on visual
You scored higher than 99% on verbal
You scored higher than 57% on mathematical
Link: The 4-Variable IQ Test written by chriscoyne on Ok Cupid


I thought I might be going to see Kingdom of Heaven again with [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan but in classic Friday the 13th style, neither multiplex has an early show, even though it's Friday, much to our chagrin, and I wouldn't be home in time to get my kids. Woe! And of course I must spend the evening reviewing Enterprise, for the last time. I have only just discovered that Mirando Otto is in War of the Worlds so even though I'd thought the double whammy of Cruise and Fanning might make me want to miss that, I am now torn -- though I think I will wait for some reviews by people I trust. This upcoming weekend is the last for Hebrew school for the semester and younger son has a soccer game in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, and we might get haircuts for the boys afterward, so Saturday will probably be relatively uneventful.


Another from the Lake District right outside the town of Grasmere: the sun competing with clouds on a hillside.

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