Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

It's Earth Day. It's raining. This should be good for the earth, as long as the rain is clean.

Yesterday was Thor's Day in the blog, but the thunder continues. Over at Facebook, a college pal posted a funny video of "Little Thor," alerting me to the movie Thor, opening Friday, May 6.  I do hope I remember to do something about that here in the blog, on Thor's Day, May 5.

I have put it on the wildflower calendar on my office door, but there is a chance I won't look at the calendar.

Thor and "Little Thor" both have really big hammers.

As the Writer's Almanac reminded me, today is the birthday of Louise Gluck, one of my favorite poets. (If you don't like her, you can Google, find, and read the sucky commentary at "Louise Gluck Sucks," but I do like her. She's smart and honest and a good poet. She troubles me, but I'm OK with that. The world troubles me, what God is troubles me, so poetry should trouble me, too.)

I love The Wild Iris, which goes inside various wildflowers and states of weather & light and also includes matins and vespers, the morning and evening prayers. There is nothing at all sentimental in all this. There is hard, cold, bold, risky, Thor-like thundery truth-telling:

Poets might be cold. God might not be listening. Deal with it.

The Wild Iris won the Pulitzer Prize.  This year's Pulitzers were recently announced.

This morning I woke up from a dream in which I'd asked a hunky man to feel my bicep. I was pretty sure my bicep was impressive. He was not very impressed.

1) I interpreted the dream to mean, perhaps, that I am not as strong as I think I am.
2) Then it occurred to me that it's a dream of perception.  He did not perceive me as strong, but maybe I am.
3) But there was the bicep test, and he was an undeniably hunky man.
4) Self-knowledge and how we are perceived in the world are not the same thing.
5) I need to a) build my biceps and b) make sure how I am perceived matches what I know myself to be.
6) If that is even possible.
7) I remember the feel of my own bicep in the dream; there was surely something there!


April 22 poem-a-day prompt: freedom, free with purchase, or any other association or irony of the word "free"

Painting by Tony Rio, Stop Hand.  Permission given.


Emily said...

Or maybe, your dream is a neurochemical reaction to sleep, and there really isn't anything to it.

Or maybe, since this is coming from somebody who takes meds that are notorious for inducing vivid dreams before bedtime, you're right.

Word verification: blestive, barto

Kathleen said...

In either case, Emily, I take the value of dreams as in being what I get out of them, the chance for contemplation on images and stories. Sort of the same reason/way I read anything.

Collagemama said...

How to you get the hunky man dream and I spend the night removing shoes from a moose on a roof?

Kathleen said...

You had louder thunder.

Hannah Stephenson said...

I would say that you already had good biceps in the dream--you are strong in ways that you don't feel are "impressive" to others. And something about the concept of being tested...hmm...

My brilliant therapist friend Tracey ( says "Where you are in the dream is where you are in life."

My other brilliant friend Amy was writing about irises this week--you would like her blog, and she would like yours, I think:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kathleen said...

You, too, Hannah! Thanks for these links!

Nancy Devine said...

i am troubled by The Wild Iris. and like you, i am troubled by a number of things, so it is okay if poetry troubles me.

Emily said...

Hmm. I have trouble interpreting my dreams, so I just take the scientific approach, unless it's quite obvious, even to me. Chris will tell you I'm pretty scientific, anyway. Glad you take something from them, in the same way you take something from reading books, which is to say, you know you can interpret *anything* from them.

Kathleen said...

Ah, once again, interesting, Emily. Oddly, I probably take a rather "scientific" approach to the interpretation of literature, in that I don't think you can interpret anything! You must argue from evidence, that provided in the text itself!

But there are other theories of interpretation of literature. Reader response theory privileges what the reader brings to the text, as I understand it.

Me, I think there are valid interpretations and some not so valid. The ones rooted in close reading of the text itself tend to impress me most.

Julie Kistler said...

I have been waiting a long time for cool people to share my birthday. Somebody live, I mean. Alex Haley and Charlotte Yonge were both cool, but also departed. So first I found Viola Davis, and she is plenty cool. Yay! And now there's also the guy who is playing Thor in that new movie. I don't know how cool he is, but I am glad for him to join me and Viola Davis in reclaiming August 11.

Kathleen said...

Ah, I see that your birthday conveniently falls on Thor's Day this year, Julie!

Julie Kistler said...

YAY!!! Excitement!! And perfect for the Thor guy to celebrate his birthday this year.