The breeding groups will disband on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. It's all over but the tiny baaing of their newborn lambs in 5 month's time. The rams will go back with their fellows and the ewes will gestate as a group winter-grazing a 20 acre hay field for a month or two. The rams and the ewes have been together for two 18 day ovulation cycles but most of the breeding happened early on in the first cycle.
Before breeding we quartered the ewes next to the rams, separated by two electric net fences, to get them yearning and yearn they did. The double fencing, each fence was about 40" apart from the other, discouraged jumping as the sheep knew that if they jumped the first (only 34" high) they would land on the second. They stayed put exchanging longing looks over the fences but what a party they had when together; I blush like Saint Valentine to think of it.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
Marcus wrote: Very tender, I agree Eugene. I have LOL'd sometimes as well...
Humor as well as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but what made Botticelli laugh is probably not what would make us laugh today, yet his Zipporah is still as beautiful as the day he painted it. Humor is more temporally affected than beauty as we see. That Botticelli attempted humor, if he did, is also a feather in his cap, and Proust attempting to be funny is not "clumsy", as I had said, but in many ways laudable no matter if he succeeds with you and fails with me, but the attempt at humor is one of valor in the dark days that began in 1914, not that earlier days were not as dark, but we are still in the shadow of those days that began with the Great War, and worse, the children are blind, as always.
I chuckled once, but as I didn't remember where and about what, I said "never". If I'd laughed and said 10 or 20 moments were LOL or "hilarious" it would amount to a similar sum compared to the moments we've read in 3903 pages including this weeks reading. Yes, humor is 'in the eyes of the beholder'.
Where I see Proust's humor is in the preposterousness of the entire novel and its characters. They are sad and all defective in one way or another but a writer who takes aesthetics, learning writing, social relations/personalities, social history, etc. as his subjects and peoples it with the ridiculous and convenient cast he has chosen is not only funny but witty. So, it's not that I'm a humorless person, Marcus, I just laugh at different parts.
Today, the garlic is planted; it took three people about a week to put in a 1/2 acre by hand. Next comes the mulching of the field with straw, to suppress the weeds, that we do just before a snowfall to set it in and keep the Winter wind from blowing it away. Our garlic overwinters in the ground and sprouts in April; its harvest is on the 4th of July, so patriotic it is. We plant a hard-neck garlic, a German White (a porcelain variety which is stronger), that keeps until February; unlike the milder soft-neck garlic that you find year-round in supermarkets, it is not irradiated (or killed) for shelf life. You can plant our garlic and it will grow, but supermarket garlic, usually exported from other countries, will not; it's DOA at your table. So unpatriotic (it can't even salute the flag), this globalized irradiated garlic, but it's cheaper. Yes, offshore food exemplifies the adage of being penny-wise and pound-poor.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
Early on when I began reading In Search of Lost Time, I formed a question, one of several, with which I would read the novel. What I wanted to better understand was the relation of art to jealousy (both major themes in the work) and here Proust, in the voice of the reflective Narrator, points to an answer for me or I should say a working answer as that will leave me with "endless suppositions" which is what I want reading a work of art.
It is one of the faculties of jealousy to reveal to us the extent to which the reality of external facts and the sentiments of the heart are an unknown element which lends itself to endless suppositions. ML p. 699
When one encounters a chef-d'oeuvre (I think of the portraits of Mme Cézanne in the Met) one has new-found suppositions that are different from the suppositions we entertained at a previous encounter and will be different from suppositions we are handed at the next visit, thinking of Cézanne at the Met, or the next encounter with Proust's words when we open the pages of ISOLT again.
Art, and I mean good art, is like jealousy—it is living—always changing us in front of it, as Albertine changes for her lover and as does the Narrator after her departure, in those "endless suppositions".
..."Mademoiselle Albertine has gone" was like an allegory of countless other separations. For very often, in order that we may discover that we are in love, perhaps indeed in order that we may fall in love, the day of separation must first have come. ML p. 683
In today's selection -- for Europeans in 1000 A.D., the month of July was the most difficult month, and people could starve at the balmiest time of the year:
"July was hay month in the year 1000. It was the first great harvest of the year, a time of worry about the weather and the need to get the grass cut and dried before the rain could spoil it -- and all to feed the animals, since the midsummer harvest produced no food for humans. Hay was fodder to keep the livestock going through the winter. So when the arduous work of haymaking was done, the medieval cultivator found himself facing another stretch that was harder still -- the toughest month of the entire year, in fact, since the spring crops had not yet matured. The barns were at their lowest point and the grain bins could well be empty. Tantalizingly, on the very eve of the August harvest, people could find themselves starving in the balmiest month of all. July was the time of another phenomenon quite unknown to us in the modern West -- 'the hungry gap.'
"In Piers Plowman, the late medieval fable of the land, we read how July was the month when the divide between rich and poor became most apparent. The rich could survive on the contents of their barns, and they had the money to pay the higher prices commanded by the dwindling stocks of food. Grain and bread prices could soar to exorbitant levels. But this scarcity made July the month when the poor learned the true meaning of poverty. As Piers sleeps in the fable, Patience comes to him in a dream, showing him how the poor suffer as they try to survive through their annual midsummer purgatory, grinding up the coarsest of wheat bran, and even old, shrivelled peas and beans to make some sort of bread.
"Midsummer was also the season when that other sardonic observer of peasant life, the Flemish artist Pieter Breughel the Elder, painted his famous tableaux of crazed rural festivals. At the very end of the Middle Ages, Breughel depicted countryfolk wrapped up in fits of mass hysteria, and the historical accounts of these rural frenzies have explained the delirium in terms of the slender diet on which the poor had to subsist during the hungry gap. People were light-headed through lack of solid food, and modern chemistry has shown how the ergot that flowered on rye as it grew moldy was a source of lysergic acid -- LSD, the cult drug of the 1960s.
"This hallucinogenic lift was accentuated by the hedgerow herbs and grains with which the dwindling stocks of conventional flour were amplified as the summer wore on. Poppies, hemp, and darnel were scavenged, dried, and ground up to produce a medieval hash brownie known as 'crazy bread.' So even as the poor endured hunger, it is possible that their diet provided them with some exotic and artificial paradises. 'It was as if a spell had been placed on entire communities;' according to one modern historian."
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Pre-breeding is a busy time on the farm. We trim all the ram's and ewe's feet which takes 2 people 2 days; then on following days we marshall the sheep with Poem, a Kelpie herding dog, through a chute with 14 feet of a 5 inch deep footbath trough filled with wet wool (to keep the sheep from splashing as they dash along) and an antiseptic solution.
Depending on the availability of help, and after we've determined where the breeding groups will go we fence the areas with Electronet, put out water tubs with automatic fill valves and minerals feeders which have in them a mix of salt, calcium and trace minerals, adjusted to the forage that the sheep eat. Depending on the weather, i.e. the rainfall, the temperature (meaning the growth of the grass) over the next several weeks we will alter the mineral composition, when the sheep have eaten the grass available as it stops growing, and are eating a different forage, i.e. round bales of hay and whole oats (to supplement the protein required for a gestating ewe raising healthy lambs). The seasons are more predictable than the daily forecasts hence this will happen about half way through the 36 day breeding period (two 18 day ovulation cycles).
But first we must determine who gets bred by whom. All the ewes on the property are purebred Saxon Merinos. This week, in the chute, I selected the best wooled Saxon Merino ewes to breed to selected purebred Saxon Merino rams of the finest wool quality. We record the ewe eartag numbers and spray mark their heads with a scourable maker. On Tuesday the 23rd we will sort the spray marked Saxon Merino ewes at a head gate and put in the Saxon Merino rams. Breeding begins. The Saxon Merino ewes not selected will be bred to Corriedale rams; their vigorous, large and fast growing offspring will be for lamb.
We keep track of the eartags at shearing so the purebred Saxons and their wool are kept together for the fine yarn I will spin and to separate the coarser, crossbred wool that will be sold to another yarn maker.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
So I'm not disinterested, so I know the singer in the band, so what...but Annie is a cut from Forest Fire's new album Screens and I like it.
You can say what you want about this or that technical stuff, you can talk about where the band has come from and where they're going, you can talk about the personnel. You can talk about any number of things but you have to like what you hear, you must sense pleasure, and in the encompassing splendor of music that makes everything else nonsense. Screens.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
"In the beginning was the word..." John 1:1. Language has always been important in the Bible but Matthew Stillman's gentle elucidation of the sexuality already wrought in Genesis got his home vandalized. Having just read Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah I was curious to see how Stillman handled what may be considered a more volatile subject, homosexuality.
The men of Sodom surround Lot's house:
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
Lot refused to give his visitors (actually angels) to the men of Sodom and, instead, he offered them his two virgin daughters "which have not known man"...(the virgin daughters were refused). After Wikipedia
Hmm... Know, known? "In the beginning was the word..." then I suppose came opinion; see the NRSV, NIV and NJB readings above. Stillman doesn't touch this issue; he leaves unchanged know and known which are to be found in the King James version of the Bible that he modified.
Genesis Deflowered is a gentle and faithful read; an excellent way to start reading the Bible, either for its literary value, your curiosity or for religious interests. At Amazon in Kindle or paperback.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
The sheep are ready to breed. Sheep are phototropically sexual; when the day begins to shorten they want one another. A ewe ovulates for a day and she seeks out a ram; she stands close to him, if he moves North, so does she, if he stops, so does she...sheep dance in courtship.
To separate the groups we installed a 2nd 34" high electric net fence 40" from the first so that if a sheep would try to jump the first they would be sure of landing on the second. Sheep are smart, they don't jump. Having the ram and ewe groups next to one another gets them ready to breed and they will on the 23rd of this month when we combine the groups.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
Having given up a year of my time to read Proust's In Search of Lost Time, a year that marks the publication 100 years ago of the first volume, Swann's Way, here is a comment on the reading of The Captive, volume 5, posted to a discussion list provided by Goodreads.
Ah, the music that we hear in the different voices that sing this tale. Here the Narrator--his reflective self comments on his younger active self--explains the duplicity required by being in love.
If the reader has no more than a faint impression of these, that is because, as narrator, I expose my feelings to him at the same time as I repeat my words. But if I concealed the former and he were acquainted only with the latter, my actions, so little in keeping with them, would so often give him the impression of strange reversals that he would think me more or less mad. ML p. 467
On p. 461 we have 1st person direct conversation with Albertine that becomes a more mature reflection (a different voice) about his younger feelings of love and his feigned actions or his 1st person words that we read until we come to p. 471 where again direct 1st person conversation ensues between Albertine and his younger self. We have changes of key or the tonal structures differ in the writing.
The varied stories are simple: the Narrator/Albertine, Charlus/Morel, Swann/Odette; the complexity, for which Proust is heralded no matter the type of narration, is in the drawing of characters, for example:
Besides, for a long time past, my constant anxieties, my fear of telling Albertine that I loved her, all this corresponded to another hypothesis which explained far more things and had also this to be said for it, that if one adopted the first hypothesis the second became more probable, for by allowing myself to give way to effusions of tenderness for Albertine, I obtained from her nothing but irritation (to which moreover she assigned a different cause). ML p. 466
And the complexity, how the character is drawn, is syntactical within the sentence and between them, to the paragraph, to the passage and to the volume even. Wagner is mentioned more in these pages than any other composer and there is a reason for that, not for his leitmotifs and not for any specific musical greatness for which he is celebrated, but for his decision to call, and perform four of his works in sequence, The Ring. That is what I read when I read ISOLT--The Ring--and I not only hear the music of the words but I also hear the music between them, between the passages, between the words and actions of the characters who continue and I hear their voices sing even when they're silent. Proust calls his beginning Overture, we wait for his Götterdämmerung.
The scale and scope of the story is epic. It follows the struggles of gods, heroes, and several mythical creatures over the eponymous magic Ring that grants domination over the entire world. The drama and intrigue continue through three generations of protagonists, until the final cataclysm at the end of Götterdämmerung. More on Der Ring des Nibelungen:
An increasing amount of seemingly human, but still generic, spams have been added as comments to blog posts, each offers a link to follow in the text of the comment. To protect you and not to be 'aiding & abetting' the spammers I have disabled the blog comments.
You can always post a comment through the Contact Us page.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
We need people to work at the stand at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday. Email me if you think it's right for you; we'll agree on a time to meet and talk about what we do there.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
I laid down in the middle of a field; never having seen me like this before, the ewes came over to me wondering what happened, then I slowly sat up and took pictures of them as they were inches from my Nikon 14-24 mm zoom lens in extreme wide angle.
Curious they are.Posted by: Eugene Wyatt