Year 2020 365 Photo Journey (July 14th – July 26th)

I present for your viewing pleasure yet more pictures of lovely Cottage Home Neighborhood. COVID currently prevents me from going much elsewhere. I’m sure to take a vacation sometime this year! Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

365 Photo Journey

Apparently, this is a thing. Consider it a challenge, a journal, or a journey (I prefer journey). Take a picture a day and post it to your blog. Here are some reasons why you should try it, too.

100 Days of French – Day 8


The Learning French 100 Day Project


I’ve been studying French on and off for about a year. My interest in the language began when I started reading classical French novels by Balzac, Dumas, Flaubert, Stendhal, and others. I’m also a budding armchair historian of the French Revolution. In 2018/19, I spent Christmas and the New Year in Paris. Bonne Année !!

French is a beautiful, musical, romantic language, … and I’m keen on learning it.

For the next 100 days, I’ll focus daily on three French words—a noun, a verb, and an adjective—and use them in sentences. The results of my efforts will surely be hilarious, peppered with errors, and unequivocally bad French … but you gotta have the freedom to fail.

So, without further ado … let’s learn French! Allons-y!

VERBE DU JOUR

rêver : (it.) to dream; to daydream

PRÉSENT
je rêve
tu rêves
il/elle rêve
nous rêvons
vous rêvez
ils/elles rêvent

L’IMPARFAIT
je rêvais
tu rêvais
il/elle rêvait
nous rêvions
vous rêviez
ils/elles rêvaient

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ
j’ai rêvé
tu as rêvé
il/elle a rêvé
nous avons rêvé
vous avez rêvé
ils/elles ont rêvé

NOM DU JOUR

le rêve, les rêves (m.) : dream, daydream

ADJECTIF DU JOUR

sombre, sombres : dark, gloomy

MES PHRASES RIDICULES



J’ai un rêve ! (I have a dream!)
Il rêve de la poésie de Valéry la nuit. (He dreams about Valéry’s poetry.)
Dans mon rêve, mon père aimait un éléphant violet. (In my dream, my father loved a purple elephant.)
Elle était entrée dans une période sombre de son histoire. (She had entered into a dark period of her history.)
Elle peint un tableau aux couleurs sombres. (She paints a painting with dark colors.)
Il portait un long manteau noir et son visage était sombre. Il n’était pas un homme heureux. (He wore a long black coat and his face was gloomy. He was not a happy man.)
J’ai rêvé que j’étais dans un bateau rouge sur une mer sombre et calme. (I dreamt that I was in a red boat on a dark and quiet sea.)
J’ai vu le côté sombre de son âme. (I saw the dark side of his soul.)





Shall I Sing Thee Thy Praises

Shall I sing thee thy praises,
as do the hollyhocks bend
to fortune’s grace at summer’s crest,
to have lived and laughed so long and joyfully?
They have no eyes for autumn.

So long, yet longer still
will summer’s days graze lazily
on blind and honeyed pastures
.

Why would I look to a world beyond you
when milk is in your clouds
and in your sky mysteria?
My blood and yours
are two rivers red converging.

The world comes alive
when you see it in my eyes,
but when you are gone from me,
I cannot even name the flowers.

Fill The Commonplace: Meditations

WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK?

A commonplace book has traditionally been a place where one copies quotes, poetry, recipes, factoids … well, just about anything. People have been making commonplace books since at least the Elizabethan times. In fact, I learned about commonplace books from a podcast about Shakespeare.

I have read a lot of books over the years. Often, I’ll underline passages that I find particularly noteworthy. I have the idea of starting my own commonplace book (a digital one, of course), and thus, this series of posts is born.

I’ll be rummaging through all my old books and pulling passages from them to put in my commonplace book (maybe you should start a commonplace book, too). And, for your enjoyment, I’ll post them here, as well. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!


Meditations are the personal reflections, never meant to be published, written by the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius (121 to 180 AD). They are quite remarkable for a man that was then the supreme ruler of much of the known world. Remarkable because, despite his enormous power, the writings reveal his rich, inner life, and how he framed his thoughts and actions within the Stoic philosophy. He was quite aware of his own mortality, sought to be a just and equitable man and to serve fairly, not only his close associates and friends, but his empire as a whole.

Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.

Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small—small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. Small as even the greatest renown, passed from mouth to mouth by short-lived stick figures, ignorant alike of themselves and those long dead.

Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.

The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts.

When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep on going back to it.

Frightened of change? But can you exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?
Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.

To erase false perceptions, tell yourself: I have it in me to keep my soul from evil, lust and all confusion. To see things as they are and treat them as they deserve. Don’t overlook this innate ability.

Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside.

100 Days of French – Day 7


The Learning French 100 Day Project


I’ve been studying French on and off for about a year. My interest in the language began when I started reading classical French novels by Balzac, Dumas, Flaubert, Stendhal, and others. I’m also a budding armchair historian of the French Revolution. In 2018/19, I spent Christmas and the New Year in Paris. Bonne Année !!

French is a beautiful, musical, romantic language, … and I’m keen on learning it.

For the next 100 days, I’ll focus daily on three French words—a noun, a verb, and an adjective—and use them in sentences. The results of my efforts will surely be hilarious, peppered with errors, and unequivocally bad French … but you gotta have the freedom to fail.

So, without further ado … let’s learn French! Allons-y!

VERBE DU JOUR

venir : (t.) to come

PRÉSENT
je viens
tu viens
il/elle vient
nous venons
vous venez
ils/elles viennent

L’IMPARFAIT
je venais
tu venais
il/elle venait
nous venions
vous veniez
ils/elles venaient

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ
je suis venu
tu es venu
il/elle est venu/venue
nous sommes venus
vous êtes venus
ils/elles sont venus/venues

NOM DU JOUR

le abbé (abbés) (m.) : abbot; priest.

ADJECTIF DU JOUR

certain, certaine : certain, definite

MES PHRASES RIDICULES


Le mal abbé vient de Rome. (The evil abbot comes from Rome.)
Nous venons de manger toutes les nouilles épicées. Ils étaient délicieux! (We just ate all the spicy noodles. They were delicious!)
Le Martien est venu sur terre pour parler de l’amour à tout le monde. (The Martian came to Earth to speak about love to everyone.)
Un certain nombre de mes amis ne m’aiment pas. (Quite a few of my friends do not like me.)
J’ai embrassé une certaine personne plus de mille fois. (I have kissed a certain person more than a thousand times.)
L’abbé apologétique a prié pour pardon pour ses mauvaises actions. (The apologetic abbot prayed for forgiveness for his evil actions.)
Les mals chats venaient la nuit pour manger tous les oiseaux de la ville. (The evil cats came at night to eat all the birds of the town.)






Fill The Commonplace: Holy the Firm

WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK?

A commonplace book has traditionally been a place where one copies quotes, poetry, recipes, factoids … well, just about anything. People have been making commonplace books since at least the Elizabethan times. In fact, I learned about commonplace books from a podcast about Shakespeare.

I have read a lot of books over the years. Often, I’ll underline passages that I find particularly noteworthy. I have the idea of starting my own commonplace book (a digital one, of course), and thus, this series of posts is born.

I’ll be rummaging through all my old books and pulling passages from them to put in my commonplace book (maybe you should start a commonplace book, too). And, for your enjoyment, I’ll post them here, as well. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!


Holy the Firm is a deep, poetically written work on how to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe, and why innocent people often suffer undeservedly, and the idea of God. It was published in 1977.

Has God a hand in this? Then it is a good hand. But has he a hand at all? Or is he a holy fire burning self-contained for power’s sake alone? Then he knows himself blissfully as a flame unconsuming, as all brilliance and beauty and power, and the rest of us can go hang. Then the accidental universe spins mute, obedient only to its own gross terms, meaningless, out of mind, and alone. The universe is neither contingent upon nor participant in the holy, in being itself, the real, the power play of fire. The universe is illusion merely, not one speck of it real, and we are not only its victims, falling always into or smashed by a planet slung by its sun ̶ but also its captives, bound by the mineral-made ropes of our senses.