By Omar Khayyam
Translated by Edward Fitzgerald
Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small,
That stood along the floor and by the wall;
And some loquacious Vessels were; and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talk'd at all.
Said one of them--"Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to this Figure moulded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."
Then said a Second--"Ne'er a peevish Boy
"Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy;
"And He that with his hand the Vessel made
"Will surely not in after Wrath destroy."
After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
"What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"
"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
"Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
"The luckless Pots he marr'd in making--Pish!
"He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."
"Well," murmur'd one, "Let whoso make or buy,
"My Clay with long Oblivion is gone dry:
"But fill me with the old familiar Juice,
"Methinks I might recover by and by."
So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!"
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"
We are back from New England, having awoken to snow on the ground and falling from the sky, but having arrived home under clear skies and surprisingly warm January weather. Paul did some work to dig the van out, but once we got on the road, we drove past very pretty iced trees in sleet that had stopped by the time we reached the Connecticut border. It was very noisy in the van while boys were comparing notes on things they need to know for their exams this week -- Adam informed us that in health class, the teacher was allowed to tell them that some people object to the IUD as a form of birth control because they think it's like abortion, yet was not allowed either to teach them how it works or to explain what abortion was -- but they also did lots of reading.
We had lunch at a Garden State Parkway rest stop, stopped to stretch our legs at the Chesapeake House, watched a beautiful sunset as we approached Baltimore, and were through the door of our house before 7 p.m. This left us time to have dinner and start laundries before Heroes, which hasn't been holding my interest that much of late yet redeemed itself greatly this week by bringing back George Takei and having Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei argue against Hiro in near-death-experience court with the line, "Objection, your honor! He's reciting the opening to Quantum Leap." Our cats did not starve to death, thanks to my mother who fed them, so I am going to let Rosie snuggle me -- more tomorrow when I am more awake.
A triceratops skeleton, one of many wonderful things you can see in Boston's Museum of Science.
A slice of a giant sequoia tree that started growing during the lifetime of Julius Caesar.
A model of the portion of the Himalaya containing Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse, plus a photo of the same peaks.
A live black widow spider...
...and a no-longer-living 42 lb. 7 oz. lobster caught in 1934 (it is no longer legal to trap and keep lobsters of significant age and size).
Part of the shell collection of Gretchen Osgood Warren, whose daughter Rachel endowed the gallery in which it appears.
This is a painting of Gretchen and Rachel Warren by John Singer Sargent. The two women were interested in the relationship between scientific and artistic forms.
Speaking of artistic forms, here are myself and Dementordelta in front of one of the giant Harry Potter exhibition posters in the corridor between the parking lot and museum.