Sunday, March 6, 2016

Trevanian’s Meadow*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

* See related posts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Meadow

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From Nabokov's The Gift


Click for more about the Pushkin verse.

See also Trevanian + meadow and Congregated Light.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Meadow

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:07 PM

Appalachian meadow

"Is it a real meadow?"

Yes, of course.”

Saturday, March 19, 2016

To Sum It

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 PM

"To sum it all up I see mathematical activity as
a jumping ahead and then plodding along
to chart a path by rational toil."

Verena Huber-Dyson, Feb. 15, 1998

"VERENA HUBER-DYSON, mathematician and logician,
died yesterday [March 12, 2016] in Bellingham, Washington,
at the age of 92. She was Emeritus Professor of the 
Philosophy Department, University of Calgary, Alberta."

—   John Brockman at edge.org, March 13, 2016

Some posts from earlier this month are related to mathematical
activity, Bellingham, jumping ahead, and plodding along:

"The process of plodding is being analyzed by proof theory,
a prolific branch of meta mathematics. Still riddled with questions
is the jumping." — Huber-Dyson, loc. cit.

Still riddled — "Why IS a raven like a writing desk?"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ornamental Language

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:26 PM

See Trevanian's Meadow in this journal as well as

"Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo."
The Beach Boys, 1988

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Lovely Bones*

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:48 AM

An adaptation for the late Barbara Lea

Man's spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is nót distréssed
For a ráinbow fóoting it nor shé for her bónes rísen.

— After Gerard Manley Hopkins, Society of Jesus

* "And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it."

    — Alice Sebold

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shall I Compare Thee

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Margaret Soltan on a summer's-day poem by D.A. Powell

first, a congregated light, the brilliance of a meadowland in bloom
and then the image must fail, as we must fail, as we

graceless creatures that we are, unmake and befoul our beds
don’t tell me deluge.     don’t tell me heat, too damned much heat

"Specifically, your trope is the trope of every life:
 the organizing of the disparate parts of a personality
 into a self (a congregated light), blazing youth
 (a meadowland in bloom), and then the failure
 of that image, the failure of that self to sustain itself."

Alternate title for Soltan's commentary, suggested by yesterday's Portrait:

Smart Jewish Girl Fwows Up.

Midrash on Soltan—

Congregated Light

The 13 symmetry axes 
of the cube


Appalachian meadow


Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me?


"…meadow-down is not distressed
For a rainbow footing…."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday February 2, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:19 AM
Incident at Twenty-Mile:

Matthew had a couple of hours on his hands before dinner with the Kanes, so he drifted up to the only grassy spot in Twenty-Mile, the triangular, up-tilted little meadow crossed by a rivulet running off from the cold spring that provided the town’s water. This meadow belonged to the livery stable, and half a dozen of its donkeys lazily nosed in the grass while, at the far end, a scrawny cow stood in the shade of the only tree in Twenty-Mile, a stunted skeleton whose leafless, wind-raked branches stretched imploringly to leeward, like bony fingers clawing the clouds. The meadow couldn’t be seen from any part of the town except the Livery, so Matthew felt comfortably secluded as he sauntered along, intending to investigate the burial ground that abutted the donkey meadow, but B. J. Stone called to him from the Livery, so he turned back and began the chore they had found for him to do: oiling tools.


After they did the dishes, Matthew and Ruth Lillian walked down the Sunday-silent street, then turned up into the donkey meadow. He was careful to guide her away from the soggy patch beneath the tree, where the Bjorkvists had slaughtered that week’s beef. Lost in their own thoughts, they strolled across the meadow, the uneven ground causing their shoulders to brush occasionally, until they reached the fenced-in burying ground.


“Matthew?” she asked in an offhand tone.


“What’s ‘the Other Place’?”

He turned and stared at her. “How do you know about that?”

“You told me.”

“I never!”

“Yes, you did. You were telling about your fight with the Benson boys, and you said you couldn’t feel their punches because you were in this ‘Other Place.’ I didn’t ask you about it then, ’cause you were all worked up.  But I’ve been curious about it ever since.”

“Oh, it’s just…” In a gesture that had something of embarrassment in it and something of imitation, he threw his stick as hard as he could, and it whop-whop-whop’d through the air, landing against the sagging fence that separated the burying ground from the donkey meadow.

“If you don’t want to tell me, forget it.  I just thought… Never mind.” She walked on.

“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. But it’s… it’s hard to explain.”

She stopped and waited patiently.

“It’s just… well, when I was a little kid and I was scared– scared because Pa was shouting at Ma, or because I was going to have to fight some kid during recess– I’d fix my eyes on a crack in the floor or a ripple in a pane of glass– on anything, it didn’t matter what– and pretty soon I’d slip into this– this Other Place where everything was kind of hazy and echoey, and I was far away and safe. At first, I had to concentrate real hard to get to this safe place. But then, this one day a kid was picking on me, and just like that– without even trying– I was suddenly there, and I felt just as calm as calm, and not afraid of anything. I knew they were punching me, and I could hear the kids yelling names, but it didn’t hurt and I didn’t care, ’cause I was off in the Other Place.  And after that, any time I was scared, or if I was facing something that was just too bad, I’d suddenly find myself there. Safe and peaceful.” He searched here eyes. “Does that make any sense to you, Ruth Lillian?”

“Hm-m… sort of. It sounds kind of eerie.” And she added quickly, “But really interesting!”

“I’ve never told anybody about it. Not even my ma. I was afraid to because… This’ll sound funny, but I was afraid that if other people knew about the Other Place, it might heal up and go away, and I wouldn’t be able to get there when I really needed to. Crazy, huh?”

Related material:

The Meadow,

Logical Songs,

Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Saturday January 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 PM

Strange Attractor

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051123-Star.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Epiphany Star

(See also the star as a
“spider” symbol in the
stories of Fritz Leiber.)

For Heinrich Harrer,
who died today…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060107-WhiteSpider.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Harrer was one of the 1938 team that first climbed the north face (the Nordwand, also called the Mordwand, or “death” face) of the Eiger.

Wikipedia on the north face of the Eiger:

“A portion of the upper face is called ‘The White Spider,’ as snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice-field resemble the legs of a spider. Harrer used the name for the title of his book about his successful climb, Die Weisse Spinne (translated… as The White Spider).”

Connoisseur of Chaos,”
by Wallace Stevens,
from Parts of a World (1942):


After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops’ books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so . And yet relation appears,
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.


The pensive man . . . He sees that eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

Related material:

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday December 18, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:11 AM

The Meadow

“Heaven– Where Is It?
  How Do We Get There?”

To air on ABC
Tuesday, Dec. 20
(John Spencer’s birthday)

By Trevanian, who died on
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005:


“Well… the flow of the play was just right, and it began to bring me to the meadow. It always begins with some kind of flowing motion… a stream or river, maybe the wind making waves in a field of ripe rice, the glitter of leaves moving in a breeze, clouds flowing by. And for me, if the structure of the Go stones is flowing classically, that too can bring me to the meadow.”

“The meadow?”

“Yes. That’s the place I expand into. It’s how I recognize that I am resting.”

“Is it a real meadow?”

“Yes, of course.”

“A meadow you visited at one time? A place in your memory?”

“It’s not in my memory. I’ve never been there when I was diminished.”


“You know… when I’m in my body and not resting.”

“You consider normal life to be a diminished state, then?”

“I consider time spent at rest to be normal. Time like this… temporary, and… yes, diminished.”

“Tell me about the meadow, Nikko.”

“It is triangular. And it slopes uphill, away from me. The grass is tall. There are no animals. Nothing has ever walked on the grass or eaten it. There are flowers, a breeze… warm. Pale sky. I’m always glad to be the grass again.”

“You are the grass?”

“We are one another. Like the breeze, and the yellow sunlight. We’re all… mixed in together.”

“I see. I see. Your description of the mystic experience resembles others I have read. And this meadow is what the writers call your ‘gateway’ or ‘path.’ Do you ever think of it in those terms?”


“So. What happens then?”

“Nothing. I am at rest. I am everywhere at once. And everything is unimportant and delightful. And then… I begin to diminish. I separate from the sunlight and the meadow, and I contract again back into my bodyself. And the rest is over.” Nicholai smiled uncertainly. “I suppose I am not describing it very well, Teacher. It’s not… the kind of thing one describes.”

“No, you describe it very well, Nikko. You have evoked a memory in me that I had almost lost. Once or twice when I was a child… in summer, I think… I experienced brief transports such as you describe. I read once that most people have occasional mystic experiences when they are children, but soon outgrow them. And forget them….”

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer,
  “Midnight Sun

Friday, December 13, 2002

Friday December 13, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Dead Poets Society

Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is nót distréssed
For a ráinbow fóoting it nor hé for his bónes rísen.

—  The Caged Skylark,

Gerard Manley Hopkins,
Society of Jesus

In accordance with this sentiment,
this midnight in the garden of good and evil
is the occasion for a change of site music
to “Skylark,” by Hoagy Carmichael
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

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