Friday, August 04, 2006

Poem for Friday

A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning
By John Donne

AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
  And whisper to their souls to go;
While some of their sad friends do say,
  Now his breath goes, and some say, No;

So let us melt, and make no noise,
  No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
’Twere profanation of our joys
  To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears
  Men reckon what it did and meant;
But trepidations of the spheres,
  Though greater far, are innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love,
  Whose soul is sense, cannot admit
Absence; for that it doth remove
  Those things which elemented it.

But we, by a love so far refined,
  That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
  Careless, eyes, lips and hands to miss,

—Our two souls therefore, which are one,
  Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
  Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
  As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixt foot, makes no show
  To move, but doth if th’ other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
  Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans and hearkens after it,
  And grows erect as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
  Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circles just,
  And makes me end where I begun.


and demanded that I post this poem after I posted the one that borrowed the title yesterday. So even though I have posted it before, here it is!

, and I decided earlier in the week that we required a matinee to survive the weather forecast (100 degrees in the shade with relative humidity high enough to give me a pre-Excedrin headache), so we went to see Lady in the Water. This is the second Shyamalan movie I have liked better than most reviews I've read (and apparently better than most box-office markers), though I think he's a much better director than he is a writer; he gets wonderful performances out of his actors, but I didn't find The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable all that difficult to predict (I was spoiled for The Village before I saw it) and I knew precisely what mistakes Cleveland Heep was making in Lady in the Water before he did.

Maybe that was part of the point -- the critic character who thinks he knows what is going to happen is vilified and dies a terrible death, and the audience gets hammered over the head with the notion of writers as people who change the world, so I guess we're supposed to just let it happen to us instead of sitting back trying to analyze, but there are so many massive holes in the script and it ends rather abruptly, without letting us see whether The Cove has actually pulled together as a community or whether this was a one-time anomaly, and without really indicating what it means that Cleveland has rediscovered himself as a healer -- is he going to go back to medicine or stay and try to keep this community together or what?

Of course the biggest thing I don't get is what kind of message the Narfs are supposed to be spreading among humans -- I was waiting for a clunky environmental message or something, which is one cliche we didn't get, but in the absence of that, the movie felt sort of felt like Splash with a Narf instead of a mermaid. What holds it together is that Giamatti is completely emotionally convincing and Howard is wonderfully other-worldly. After a point I stopped trying to think about the plot and just watched the cast, pretty much all of whom did a good job playing characters who ranged from annoyingly stereotypical to wonderfully quirky and funny. And the cinematography is lovely.

Had lunch at the mall -- Japanese food, since I didn't eat anything during the movie -- and dinner at my parents' since we won't be there tomorrow evening for Shabbat. The major topic of conversation was which of their friends should sit where at the Bar Mitzvah. Trek news Thursday was a Variety article on people trying to get rich and famous making fan films (with about as much success as people trying to get rich and famous writing fan helps if your husband or best friend is a producer, a publisher, a director, an agent, etc.) and the Sci-Fi Channel getting the rights to Enterprise, which I don't care about all that much, and Threshold, which hopefully means they'll air the episodes that CBS never showed, and a bunch of movies and miniseries. I have to write my review of "Spock's Brain" tomorrow and am trying to come up with something nice to say beyond "Kirk is staggeringly gay in this episode."

At the Maryland Zoo last weekend, this chimpanzee was trying very hard to get this stick it had stuck through the fence back on its own side...

...and when we went around, we discovered it was because the stalk had split but no amount of sign language on our part successfully communicated the problem.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time in the evening removing AOL's virus and spyware protection, which slows the computer to a crawl, and installing McAfee which Comcast is now giving to broadband customers...had to boot in safe mode just to get AOL out of there, cost me much of my evening, and then had to reinstall Outlook and ActiveSync because McAfee had apparently wiped out the synchronization settings between my MDA and my computer!

Ah well, am laughing tonight at Mrs. Betty Bowers ("America's Best Christian") on Mel Gibson ("Frankly, I am furious with Mel for spilling the beans...Mel's honesty makes things very uncomfortable for Christians everywhere after we spent the past two millennia saying, 'There is nothing anti-Semitic about a story that blames the death of God on those filthy Christ-killers!'") because a little perspective is helpful. We are going to see Macbeth at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton Friday night and are staying over to hike around Skyline Drive, so if I don't manage to post from there, I will post from home late Saturday!

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