Caveat: And vast compassion curving like the skies

To the Old Gods

Old gods and goddesses who have lived so long
Through time and never found eternity,
Fettered by wasting wood and hollowing hill,

You should have fled our ever-dying song,
The mound, the well, and the green trysting tree.
They have forgotten, yet you linger still.

Goddess of caverned breast and channeled brow, 
And cheeks slow hollowed by millennial tears,
Forests of autumns fading in your eyes, 

Eternity matvels at your counted years
And kingdoms lost in time, and wonders how 
There could be thoughts so bountiful and wise 

As yours beneath the ever-breaking bough, 
And vast compassion curving like the skies.

- Edwin Muir (Scottish poet, 1887-1959)

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Caveat: Tree #1576 “Awaiting some sun”

This tree is hoping for a bit of sun in through the window. There is a maple tree and two bay laurels, which I got a few months ago via the internet. I don’t want to subject these baby trees to the unending damp of an outdoor life in Southeast Alaska just yet – I have noticed that exotic saplings seem have a hard time with that aspect of the local climate, moreso than issues with the lower temperatures or lack of direct sun. Too many of my saplings have died of “too much moisture” – mostly due to concomitant mold / fungus, I suspect.


CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 2.5km;]

Caveat: Tree #1575 “A challenge”

This tree confronted overcast skies.


My mental association with me yelling is that I’m angry. Or terrified of something. Of course, this makes sense. I’m not a person to raise his voice without good reason.

The “emotional” problem I have in dealing with Arthur is that – in the context of his increasing deafness – the only way to get through to him in answer to whatever banal, day-to-day questions he asks of me (and always without his hearing aids, because he “forgets” to put in his hearing aids, of course), is to yell: much louder than my accustomed tone of voice. And the mental trick my mind plays, that I can’t seem to overcome, is that by yelling, I become angry – whether or not I really am. And I just can’t seem to bypass this gut-level, emotional reaction.

Arthur asks me “What’s for dinner?”

I answer, in a regular tone, “I thought we’d have a salad.”

“What? Who?”

Louder, I repeat, “I thought we’d have a salad.”

“A palace?”

Louder still, I yell, “No. A salad!” Now I’m angry. My gut is churning.

Meanwhile, “Oh, a salad. I thought you said palace. I was very confused. Why would we have a palace for dinner?”

“Just a @#$% salad!”

Repeat, on different banal topics, 10-20 times a day.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 1.5km;]

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