Friday, January 01, 2010

archive, new year, jay


Posted by Picasa Because the lap top has lost Windows and none of the usual or recommended steps have brought it back, I am upstairs in the studio with the old computer, enjoying the afternoon sun entering the window at eye level. I have resorted to the archive for today's leaf. It is in fact a leaf of four years ago, which I found in this skeletal state on the compost heap, and have preserved, between the pages of a notebook, ever since. Some visitors may have seen it before because I doubled it up with a mirror image to make a pair of wings for a Christmas card. Today I am glad to find it on my Picassa file: it consoles me for the temporary loss of lap top comfort. and it still inspires me as a symbol, frail and delicate though it may be , of survival.
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Auld lang syne still appeals despite it endless repetition. "A cup of kindness" is to my mind the best thing that one human being can offer another. One of the later verses, I dare say seldom sung south of the border, goes:
"And there's a hand, my trusty fiere, (companion)
And gie's a hand o' thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie (hearty) waught (big drink)
Fo auld lang syne".
Two sorts of cup, but both appropriate on New Year's Day. A Happy New Year then!
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In the garden among the bare branches of a tree, the colourful feathers of a jay - pinky brown breast, black tail, white stripes on wings, a spot of blue somewhere. Blackbirds, robins, sparrows, magpies, crows, thrushes and various tits are here in plenty, but you don't so often see or hear a jay.

4 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Congratulations on bringing to light that later exhortation from "Auld Lang Syne" which tends to get ignored, at least by Sassenachs. I picked it up during the suber-absorbent days of my youth, struck by its vigour, and what a pleasure it is to find its familarity celebrated by someone else at such an appropriate time. In my recent admissions about singing in the kitchen I referred to yet another Burns' poem, "My luve is like a red red rose." with its engaging simplicity. Alas the best known tune to accompany it has a spread of two octaves which forces me and many other amateur warblers to "modulate" (a five-dollar musical word for "cheat") but the tune is so lovely I can't resist it. I've always been put off by Burns' scottishisms (the poetic equivalent of "Adam Bede") but perhsps this is the occasion for a mini-resolution to explore him further. My best wishes to you and Heidi and thanks for being a presence at my elbow.

marja-leena said...

I love the skeletal leaf. It's rather similar to the magnolia which has this slow deterioration over winter into these amazingly strong skeletons.

Sorry to hear about your laptop concerns, hope that's going to be resolved soon. I've always liked that song though find the words somewhat incomprehensible, so it's lovely to read more about it, especially the 'cup of kindness'. That elevates it above a mere drinking song.

Fred and I wish you and Heidi the happiest of New Year's!

Lucy said...

The last two posts are a wonderful pairing, the sparse, dreamy, slightly melancholy one from New Year's Eve, and the brighter, more outward looking one for the first day of the year.

Happy New Year to you both, and thanks for all the cups of kindness!

The Crow said...

As frequently happens, I am a day late, and a dollar short, but Happy New Year, friend! To you and all those whom you hold dear.

:)