Monday, August 25, 2008

hover fly, conversation, real or imagined

Posted by PicasaAt least that is what I believe it to be. The flower is a Japanese anemone.

This morning I think to myself that conversation is something to be treasured. There isn't enough of it and there ought to be more of it. To define conversation is difficult without becoming sententious. But something which the Victorian poet William Johnson Cory said when speaking of education strikes me as relevant also to conversation. He referred to "the art of entering quickly into another person's thoughts", to "the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms" and "the habit of working out what is possible in a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage and for mental soberness."

While cutting courgettes (zuchini) I find myself deceived on two scores. First when I think I see one in the shade of the big leaves and find that I am in fact looking at a stem of one of the leaves; and second when I miss a courgette altogether because it looks so much like a stem.

4 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

I particularly like "the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms" for this is surely what distinguishes discussion from argument.

Your piece about zucchini left me with the heebie-jeebies. I am deeply antipathetic to all the members of this particular family which I imagine to be - probably erroneously - remarkably large: cucumber, squash, marrow, aubergine and courgette are all vegetable structures whose prime function seems to be the retention of fluid. Perhaps a suitable name covering my case would be elephantiaphobe

Dave King said...

I am not sure about "the habit of working out what is possible in a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage and for mental soberness." It seems completely out of key with today'[s thinking.
Interesting post, though.

Plutarch said...

Barrett, the smaller the zucchini,the less water retained and the more likely you might be to revise your dislike them.

Dave, I agree with the you about the last part of the quotation. I nearly left it out, but it seemed to me to represent a desirable objective neverthess. He was, course talking about education,and not the more relaxed business of social intercourse, where humour must play a part.

Lucy said...

That photo is so beautiful!

(Aubergines aren't cucurbitae are they?)