By James Joyce
Goldbrown upon the sated flood
The rockvine clusters lift and sway;
Vast wings above the lambent waters brood
Of sullen day.
A waste of waters ruthlessly
Sways and uplifts its weedy mane
Where brooding day stares down upon the sea
In dull disdain.
Uplift and sway, O golden vine,
Your clustered fruits to love's full flood,
Lambent and vast and ruthless as is thine
Compared to Tuesday, when I got to see friends and share entertainment and eat fabulous stilton and pear salad for dinner, Bloomsday was crappy. Adam had high school orientation, so I woke up early -- though in the fall it won't be early but the regular time -- and by the time he was finished late in the morning, it was raining so hard that my new umbrella collapsed between my front door and my car to go pick him up. Driving in the storm was miserable but I got him and his friends back here, only to discover when I went to change out of my wet clothes that our roof had apparently flooded our attic, since water was leaking through into my bedroom closet and had soaked through a bunch of clothes. I think I managed to track down all of it, dry the things that could be dried and get the stains out of one pink shirt that had been pressed against a relatively new black skirt that rubbed blue stains onto the shirt -- assuming that my careful use of bleach doesn't lead to delayed white spots after washing and rinsing -- but now we have to wait for the insurance to call the inspectors who will have to call the adjusters and we're going out of town next week and it's supposed to storm again between now and then.
So I am pretty cranky. Paul came home early to see if he could figure out where the leak was, and he thinks he has successfully put a bucket beneath the spot in the attic (I can't reach to get up there even with the stepladder). I did thrilling things like emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, writing an e-mail to Adam's orchestra teacher to find out whether he in fact collected the practice sheets that Adam said they were told didn't need to be turned in because Adam has straight As and if he lost it over an orchestra form I would cry, nagging Daniel to get out of bed and work on college stuff, etc. We ended up watching the director's cut of Blade Runner, which I'm not sure I ever saw -- I saw the theatrical version many times, and I think the recut one does a much better job with subtlety and ambiguity because it doesn't have all the voiceovers. Now I have a headache from too little sleep, too much weather and too much stress, so here are some more Manassas Battlefield photos:
The rebuilt Henry House, blasted apart in the Battle of Manassas. The elderly woman who owned it and died inside is buried in the garden.
The original Stone House, one of only three intact antebellum buildings on the battlefield grounds, used as a hospital after a past as a tavern.
Much of the battlefield now consists of open grassland with some representative artillery to show where the lines of battle formed.
Here I am next to one of the cannons.
The museum features an LED display of the First Battle of Manassas, which the Federal troops expected to win easily, but badly miscalculated.
Most soldiers carried pistols or revolvers, but few got close enough to the enemy for the weapons to be effective.
The museum also has displays of uniforms, swords -- mostly ceremonial in a battle dominated by sharpshooters and artillery -- gear, ammunition, personal effects, even some tintype images of soldiers.
There are also films and artwork attempting to capture the devastation of the war.