And today’s entries

About the two entries earlier, In a Dark Time and Someone to Watch Over Me:

Today I spent part of the day at the Route 66 State Park, a park dedicated to the heritage and history of the famous coast-to-coast Route 66 highway.

I met my first deer of the season, and was able to get relatively close for a photo, stopping when they started getting concerned. I am more than a little partial to this photo, and feel the photo/poem is one of my best pairings yet.

As soon as I took the second photo, the Gershwin song “Someone to Watch over Me”, started playing in my mind, and I used this song as the ‘poem’ for the picture. After I posted it tonight, I was struck how both the photo and the song can have two different interpretations.

The first interpretation, the more traditional one, is that the person saying the words of the song wants to find someone to love and be loved in return. There’s lonliness in the song, reflected in the picture of the solitary bike rider, and in the words I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods. The photographer’s perspective then becomes one of the watcher – the person the protagonist wants to meet, to love. The mood is melancholy, but expectant.

However, in the second interpretation of both song and photo, the view is much darker, better reflected in a B & W version of the picture. In this view, the protagonist is afraid, lost, wanting to be protected as much as loved. With the lines Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed? Follow my lead, oh how I need Someone to watch over me!, does the singer want the person to hurry up because they want to find true love? Or because they’re afraid something else is out there, something frightening, intimidating, and unknown. In this case, the perspective of the photographer could either represent the person who protects, or the thing to be protected from.

(I’m also adding writing to these posts that reflects some of my inner deliberations when finding the poem to go with the photograph.)


In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood–
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks–is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is–
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Theodore Roethke


Inner Dialog about use of poem

:You can’t use this poem. It’s the name of Loren’s weblog.

:But it’s the perfect poem for the photograph.

:In a Dark Time is the name of Loren’s weblog.

:In a Dark Time is the name of the poem.

:Which came first – the poem or the weblog.

:The poem.

:No, no, no! Which did you discover first? The weblog or the poem?

:Oh. <pause> But he likes deer.

:Oh. <pause> Okay, then. But what if he doesn’t like the photo?

:Tough cookies.


Someone to watch over me

There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
I hope that he turns out to be
Someone who’ll watch over me
I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the wood
I know I could always be good to
One who’ll watch over me.

Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key!

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed?
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me!

George and Ira Gershwin “Someone to Watch over Me”

Frank Sinatra Snippet


Places Plants

Spring thickens the air

St. Louis Springs are like Fall unfolding. Rather than green fading to dying brown, autumn’s last colors are increasingly giving way to green in all its variations. Light green, dark, medium, pale, yellow green, bluish. Among the verdant defiant, bright purple or pale pink flowers on late blooming tree, joined by vivid red and yellow tulip. I have never seen such a Spring.

Today, everything had a thick coat of pale green from the pollen, and even the darkest color car looks washed out and faded. Tonight, I opened both bedroom windows to catch the cool air, and when I later returned to the computer, the keyboard was covered with a fine layer of dust. And when we walk, we’re accompanied by headache and shortness of breath, peering out at the green through eyes red and teary. Spring here is for the plants — animals will just have to bide their time until this procreative moment is past. Close one’s eyes, and think of England.