An animated version of Auden’s poem
An animated version of Auden’s poem
by W. H. Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I finished the Dervla Murphy book The Ukimwi Road and I’ll soon get another one of hers to read next. I love her outlook and spirit. Perhaps I’ll get her first book Full Tilt about her bike journey from Ireland to India.
Work’s gotten strange and nerve-wracking, but hopefully that will change.
I began working part time for the U.S. Census. We had one day of training last Monday and got our equipment for our task of systematically checking addresses block by block to make sure the government’s records are up to date. We had about 15 hours of online training, which was really done well so that it’s easy to remember what we’re supposed to do. Tomorrow we gather for our next training.
I just finished watching Gate of Hell, a Japanese film from the 50’s about the samurai era. The costumes were gorgeous and made me wish I had lived in that time — as a royal.
I’m in the 6th of 8 weeks in my University of the People courses and I’m learning quite a lot about coding with Python. I have to take another class in college readiness, “because their program is unique.” I tried to get out of it since I know how to take notes and I know all about active learning. I’m learning nothing and the homework takes a lot of time. That’s the weakness of this program.
I’d never seen a film with a bolder use of color than Gate of Hell directed by Kinugasa Teinosuke. During the Heiji Rebellion, al hell breaks loose when Lord Kiyomori is traveling. Rebels lay siege to the lord’s castle. During the coup Moritoh, a loyal samurai, asks for a volunteer to pose as the lord’s sister while the sister and father escape. Kesa, a lady-in-waiting steps up and this beauty impresses the samurai and he’s smitten.
After defending the lord’s castle, Moritoh returns to his home with Kesa in tow and finds his brother has gone over to the side of the rebels. Loyal to the Lord rather than his brother, Moritoh warns Lord Kiyomori of this rebellion. To reward Moritoh, the lord offers to satisfy any wish the samurai has. He asks permission to marry Kesa, however she is already married. He’s offered a chance to ask for anything else, but Moritoh’s so obsessed with this honorable woman, that he spends the rest of the film pursuing Kesa.
Kesa’s married to Wataru, a wonderful man who cherishes her. She has no desire to leave him. Moritoh challenges Kesa’s husband to a competition. The story ends with a surprising turn. At least it surprised me as a Western viewer.
The film begins at high speed in the rush of battle and then moves to a meditative pace, while keeping the audience engaged till the last scene. The film won the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and Costumes. The kimonos are gorgeous and it’s worth it just to watch to see them.
I read this in The Ukimwi Road and looked it up.
anserine: adj. silly or stupid as in “Stop your anserine behavior.”
Travel writer par excellence Dervla Murphy’s The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe chronicles her incredibly journey across Africa on her bicycle in 1992. During this time, AIDS was sweeping through Africa and as Murphy traveled, she learned how AIDS impacted the people of each country. Murphy talks with healthcare professionals, missionaries, corrupt border officials, health educators, prostitutes, feminists, truck drivers, and more.
Her plan, Murphy insists, was to have a pleasant 3,000 mile ride through Africa. Instead her ride is an intense education into the AIDS epidemic in which she seeks answers to what caused Africa’s epidemic and how can it be stopped in a place where so many men won’t use condoms or stick with one partner. One of Murphy’s strengths is that she judges herself as much as anyone else. She seeks to understand the people of Africa and critiques the role of foreigners who’ve colonized and now offer aid in forms that usually fail.
Murphy’s witty and perspicacious. She’s a keen observer and thorough researcher, who made me feel like I was right there with her listening to stories around a common dinner table as she also made me grateful that bedbugs or dirt roads on a rainy day were affecting me.