Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturdays in the Garden - Deep Melodic Tones and Insane Amounts of Reflection


I don't have anything original to say here I'm afraid.  It's been a week of uneventful weather, not too cold and with some sunny days to banish away any gray-day wool gathering.   So I think I will endeavor to make this the quotiest post of all time by giving the floor over to my old friend Henry David Thoreau (from Walden).

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 
I like the idea of there being unfathomable things to put us in our proper place.  The ocean has always been restorative for me, at least in part because standing on the shore looking out at it is a sure fire way to convince me of my smallness and fragility.  That seems like it might be demoralizing but oddly I find it comforting and freeing. 


I am incredibly grateful that work has actually been rather quiet and peaceful for a few weeks.  I've been able to catch up on some things that were way overdue and make some progress on other projects with a minimum of stress.  However the start of this week was a bit of a doozie.  

I'm a wildlife biologist by profession and I work for a government agency.  It has been a rough few years to be both of those things (someone who cares about nature and a government employee) and a number of things happened early in the week to really drive home the up hill struggle that is faced.  I feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a long steep hill, believing in the goal with all my heart just to see the boulder roll right back to the bottom every single time something positive is gained.  I wrote a whole paragraph about what I think is wrong with society these days but erased it all because in the end it doesn't matter.  The only thing I 100% control is me and I either need to embrace this Sisyphus gig or give up. 

So, I solemnly vow to remember that we all have our row to hoe and who am I to judge? I will do my best to be compassionate to all.  I also solemnly vow to do my best and work hard for what I believe in even if it often feels like a losing battle.  At least I can try not to add to the problem.  

I have a quote and a poem that were helping me deal this week. One was sent to me by my co-worker after a bout of depressed commiseration. The other hangs on the wall of my office and I rarely even notice it but it sort of popped into my vision when I needed it this week.

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
                                            Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

That woman is a success . . Who lives life to the fullest; who has discovered and shared the strengths and talents that are uniquely her own; who puts her best into each task and leaves each situation better than she found it; who seeks and finds that which is beautiful in all people . . and all things; whose heart is full of love and warm with compassion; who has found joy in living and peace within herself.

                                                                                     - Barbara J. Burrow


First things first.  Audible's Book of the Year is a Hamlet novelization read by Richard "I have the most beautiful and sexy voice ever created except for perhaps Mathew MacFayden" Armitage. That'll be going on my wish list.

Don't believe me about the voice? Here's Richard reading a children's story for the BBC.

And just to be fully investigative in an empirically scientific manner, here is Matthew Macfadyen reading an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice.

What's your vote?  I admit that I think my critical brain function has been stunned by the deep melodic tones and I cannot choose.

No books were finished this week but the reading was good.  I'm halfway through Sabriel by Garth Nix, almost finished with A Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and slowly making my way through The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams.

The past week on the blog was a fun one for me. 
SUNDAY: Sundays through the Stargate  - SG1 Season 5.  Season 5 starts a little shaky but rallies later in the season with some great episodes.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday - New-To-Me Authors in 2014.  This may be my favorite recurring topic for TTT even more so then the best of books. 
WEDNESDAY:  A review of Nancy Mitford's two most famous novels - The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. They charmed me silly.
THURSDAY: A review of Richard Dawkin's The Selfish Gene.  A classic book on evolutionary theory that is a very enjoyable and fascinating read.

Next Week on the Blog:
SUNDAY:  Sundays through the Stargate - SG1 Season 6.  Daniel's gone!  But it's surprisingly a.o.k.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Books of my 2014.  I put my in there because while I read some new releases each year, most of the books on this list will be older titles.
WEDNESDAY:  Review of The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani.
THURSDAY: Review of How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer.

Kind of an overly reflective SITG this week  but at least there was some Richard Armitage and Matthew Macfadyen.  Winter is a good time to be reflective, I suppose.  Hope all is well in your corner of the garden! 

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