[Sub-titled: Maybe My Middle School English Teacher Did Teach Me Something After All]
Thursday afternoon I was at home, waiting for a few things to happen. I couldn’t go any farther on the projects at hand until I got some more info from other sources, so I was feeling a bit stuck. And grumbly. I wasn’t in the mood to watch TV or to read, so to keep myself from turning into a crabius maximus I decided to goof around with my camera.
First I took a photo of the gorgeous blue sky. I like to photograph the autumn sky so that when the winter days get gray and gloomy I can look at my photos and remember that once upon a time we had sunshine and clarity. You understand.
Then I decided to try to take a photo of the sun. At first, all I could manage was this impressionistic blur which was more Claude Monet than Ansel Adams.
However, after a few more attempts I got this photo of the sun. Granted, it’s not the most spectacular photo ever, but I did achieve my goal and entertain myself in the process so we’re going to call this a win. Huzzah!
But here’s the thing, as I was goofing around with my camera I got thinking about a few stanzas of a poem that I was
forced inspired to learn along the way. A poem, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that seemed to perfectly encapsulate my stuck-at-home-in-the-suburbs afternoon. A poem that Miss Gillan, my 7th grade English teacher who was about a hundred years old when I had her, would be happy to know I still remember… more or less.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real ! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
[a bunch of stanzas that I don’t recall]
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.