Friday, October 30, 2009

Winter is in the Air

15 minutes ago:
Those who in February were harbingers of spring,
while passing Seanhenge singing their "Farewell".


  1. The poet says:
    "And pray for a warm dwelling place."

    Lovely, lovely photo of the cranes leaving, Sean. Worth a thousand words...:)

  2. Claudia,
    hm ... :)
    Lovely the photo becomes when while watching those silhouettes in the misty sky you are able to hear their song.
    Ha, each year when watching and listening the cranes' arrival and departure, this ice-cold, sarcastic and sometimes even swearing blogger feels a deep joy in his heart (or wherever the joy-gene is situated).

    As for the poet's prayer: I hold it with Reinhold Messner“'s partner, Peter Habeler.
    Being asked during an interview some months after Messner and Habeler had been the first to climb Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen, if when feeling near the end he had prayed, Habler's answer (basically) was: I don't believe in any god. Thus, to pray when in fear of death would have been been hypocrisy, wouldn't it? No. I did not pray.'
    :) In this sense: I do not pray. But yes! I know I am privileged that I (we) will probably not have to freeze however cold the next winter will become.

  3. Dear Sean,:)
    I doubt Schiller meant to go on one's knees and pray. I understood the line more like:
    "And wish for a warm dwelling place."

    You're absolutely right. To pray without faith is hypocritical. Also useless. To pretend to believe for political or personal gains would be despicable.

    I wish you could add the cranes' song to your marvellous photo.

  4. I will echo what Claudia wrote, Sean: what a lovely photo! From a distance the lines of cranes seem like wispy filaments, the work of a large airborne spider.

    Here we have not only winter in the air, but autumn too and even some moments of lost spring, all jostling for predominance. It is busy up there.

  5. Ah they say farewell but the time until they return will pass in the blink of an eye!

  6. A wonderful synthesis of image and text. Thanks for giving this (not very) old sourpuss a smile!

  7. Claudia,
    right you are. Is it 'cause I am agnostic or 'cause I am no native speaker or both that I'd not think of praying in another context than worshipping? This might even be a subject for Stan. :)
    It's interesting that you call the photo 'marvellous'. I shall resist, though, to vehemently oppugn.

    lovely description, Stan. Just lovely.
    It does almost make me regret that by a whisker I would have started an argument with Claudia. :)

    As you mention it: It's indeed similar here - a kind of Winsprumn?

    ... could you at the next opportunity ask de Selby how many blogposts do match the blink of an eye? :)

    thank you.
    You do, of course, know that you gave me two smiles: One after looking up sourpuss (thanks for teaching me a new word), and then when trying to imagine you being one.

    On a note less light*: Hope you feel much better, by now. Get well soon, my friend.

    [* Is that correct English, Stan?]

    Hope your

  8. Dear Sean,
    It's my experience that agnostics (and atheists) are very jumpy when they hear the name God and prayer. I guess too many people tried to convert them. You'll never get that from me. Faith is a gift. Even with the best arguments, I couldn't give it to anyone.

    And, as I said to Bertrand Russell, "You're wasting your time. You could never take faith away from me." The poor man lost precious hours writing about someone who, according to him, didn't exist.

    My last words on the subject.
    La paix de la nuit, cher ami!

  9. Thank you again for your marvellous photo. :)

  10. Claudia,
    can you see me smiling?

    Not many hours of my time would I waste writing about someone or something who / that might or might not exist.
    Rather I'd write about people who would believe in what might or might not exist. :)
    The peace of the night.

    [Ha ,ha ... may I return the compliment? You are marvellous.]

  11. Winsprumn

    Sean: Yes! This is what it is.

    "On a note less light" would normally be written: "On a lighter note", but your version is fine, and the inversion lends it a poetic feel.

    Regarding prayer: it depends on what one means by prayer. It need not be delivered to a god, though this is overwhelmingly the case; it could instead be a way of improvising praise for the universe in its natural glory and beauty, without implying any listener or ultimate creating entity. It could also be simply a way of making sound as an aid to meditation — like a mantra. But in the former case such a person would not normally use prayer to praise the universe, and in the latter they would not normally call it "prayer". The word has different connotations for everyone.

    My brother told me he recently overheard a rosary where a speaker said: "Blessed is the feet of thy womb, Jesus" (feet replacing figurative fruit). Presumably the praying person has spent decades singling out Jesus' feet for praise.

  12. Stan,
    thanks a lot!
    I thought of "on a lighter note" before writing "On a note less light", and at the same time feeling the syntax is probably weird; if not wrong at least archaic.
    However, "On a less light note" to me did / does sound even more strange.

    Anyway, trying to play with words / syntax is the more enjoying when knowing there is someone to help, advise and correct mistakes.