The title of this blog post comes from the beautiful but heartbreakingly sad song “Casimir Pulaski Day” from Sufjan Steven’s Illinois, which in my opinion is his masterpiece. Having wandered through the goldenrod on Sunday, I can easily see how one might take these to a heavily burdened friend to brighten their day. Curiously, though, while I thought a quick Google search would tell me what a 4-H stone is, there is no obvious artifact to which this might refer other than one guess that perhaps it refers to different types of precious stones that 4-H leaders get for for certain numbers of years served in the organization.
At any rate, if you like Casimir Pulaski Day, you may enjoy more Sufjan. And I should note that much of his work is far more exuberant and energetic. My favorite albums of his in order are: Illinois, Seven Swans, and Michigan. Oh, and as the season is quickly approaching, I cannot forget to mention Songs for Christmas. There will be a moment this Winter when I will be driving in the dark and listen to this and weep and be joyful.
At any rate, that is a very long introduction to these pictures with goldenrod either in the foreground or background, which will hopefully make you joyful.
Grey backdrop. Check. The
Leaves are in their dressing rooms.
The pageant of Fall.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins from “God’s Grandeur,” full poem here
When growing up in Pakistan, my mother and a dear Scottish “Auntie” would make a huge pot of tea and drink it between the two of them. They were rather addicts, and I am afraid so am I. It is not that I particularly dislike teapots (I am drinking a cup of tea poured out of one at this very moment) it is just that not having a nice snug tea cozy for my rather large teapot the tea tends to get cold. And perhaps more to the point, I really do associate drinking tea from a teapot with having another person or several other persons with whom to share it. And, so, I generally only pull it out when company is over or to make a thermos of tea for work. Oh, and they are a rather a bother to clean, are they not?
This rainy morning I came home after church and a big stein of tea seemed in order. Plus, I feel more manly drinking Constant Comment from it a tea which I have always somehow associated with the fairer sex. The stein, or giant glass mug, was a very kind gift from two dear friends in replacement of its predecessor, as was the red electric kettle that boiled the water!
Photographically speaking, I took a number of shots to try to capture a nice whorl of steam. I took so long in fact that some very aesthetically pleasing condensation appeared at the top as well.
Oh, and the tea was brilliant!
On Sunday, I wrote a sister piece to this post about simply being at the St. Louis 9/11 memorial, and the importance for me to not take photos on that day.
Today, I visited with my camera and some of the same thoughts went through my head as on Sunday. And yet, even so, I hope these photos let you experience this memorial a little yourself, to see both the scope and intimacy of this installation and the care with which it was both erected and is being visited. Even on this rainy Wednesday evening, there were visitors–a man in a business suit, a couple, a family. May God continue to bless and heal the families who lost loved ones on that day.
The memorial is scheduled to remain up until September 18th.
the rain like dew drops
glistening, rolling, rolling;
the canadas’ backs