Wednesday, May 10, 2006


"To the International Soldier Fallen in Spain"

If there are men who contain a soul without frontiers,
a brow scattered with universal hair,
covered with horizons, ships, and mountain chains,
with sand and with snow,
then you are one of those.
Fatherlands called to you with all their banners,
so that your breath filled with beautiful movements.
You wanted to quench the thirst of panthers
and fluttered full against their abuses.
With a taste of all suns and seas,
Spain beckons you because in her you realize
your majesty like a tree that embraces a continent.
Around your bones, the olive groves will grow,
unfolding their iron roots in the ground,
embracing men universally, faithfully.
Miguel Hernandez


Anonymous Anonymous said...

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way"
Isn't it interesting that, as a species, we haven't learned anything at all. Is that to be the epitath of the human race?
My apologies, but when I read Goebbel's speeches and see how they are being reproduced today, when I read beautiful words by such as Hernandez, and see how they reflect the same thoughts from a half century before - I could go on, but what's the use. Is this to be the curse of the human race - we don't learn?
Forgive me, I'm being maudlin. My son was hit by a car on Thursday. It was an unfortunate accident. The driver was a 20 year old girl who goes to university taking courses so she can specialize in dealing with handicaped children and holds down a job to enable her to pay for her education. It was traumatic - my son is the light of my life, but fair is fair. She made a bad call, and my son is okay, or will be once the sprains in his limbs have healed. Since that day, I've received all sorts of advice on how my son should get what he can from the incident - go for the gusto, get money - I just want his bike replaced for goodness sake, and she was prepared to buy a new, very expensive bike. My son refused, asked for $150, which is what it would have cost for a very, very basic new bike, and bless her, she gave him twice that! I know that he could have demanded many times that amount, could have ensured that she never got insurance again, but to what purpose. Could he have lived with that? Is that what we have become - out for ourselves at the cost of others?
And tonight, I watched an interview about the carnage in the Congo, which is far worse (if that is possible) than what is happening in Darfur.
Geez, I don't like this world we've created for ourselves. While I appreciate the beauty of the words of Hernandez, Dickins and so many others, what good are they when the majority don't know how to empathize, to relate, to feel?

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hard drive fairy came in the night and an immaculate installation was accomplished.
The mom-in-law has been moved into assisted living, eldest son has come and gone for younger son's graduation, and life goes on.
I do love your choice of "Tale of Two Cities." I always loved the last line, which I will butcher (excuse pun) "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go than I have ever known."
I'm sorry to hear that your son was hurt, but relieved that it wasn't worse.
While my youngest was at IU, he used his bike to get around, and coming from an area of absolute pancake flat prairie, he had to adjust to the hilly area around Bloomington. One day he was cruising along and suddenly found himself heading down a unforeseen slope, which was populated with masses of students. It was his Freshman year, so he was still unfamiliar with the territory, and when he was mostly through the obstacle zone, he thought he had navigated his way through the crowd admirably, until, to his horror, he plowed down a girl walking along toward him. The weird thing was, they both saw each other and were moving to avoid contact. Unfortunately, when one moved in one direction, the other moved in the same...sort of like a dance. Anyway, it was a brief Tango, and she wasn't hurt. He felt terrible, swore off his bike, and started taking the bus.

9:03 AM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

That's why whenever I'm in that situation, I just stop and let the other person react. Unless it's a car trying to run me over by backing up without looking in a parking lot, which happened last week. Then you just get out of the way.
I see my prayers to the god of computers have finally paid off........Welcome back!

9:35 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

Whattheheh, I think it very hard to understand men if you do not accept that there are forces at work bigger than human conciousness perceives. If we are actors on a stage, as Shakespeare suggests, well... you know where I am going. Either man's large brain has developed a capacity for evil on it's own, which has happened no where else in nature, or evil exists outside of us and we are reactive to it. I lean towards the latter but no matter your opinion I think it the only explanation for our folly.
I admire your stance on the insurance but saddened to hear that many Canadians are as foolish and greedy in this way as Americans are. And thank goodness your boy is okay.


How delightful to have you back. what has soldiered on admirablably in your and Marks-o's absence and Canuck to a lesser degree (I think he just comes here to chat up you ladies ;) ) but no one can replace your irrepressible good humor! Welcome back!

2:44 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Ok, will someone please tell me what it is that I'm doing that has everyone either worried about me or wondering when I'm going to comment? Sheesh! ;) Here's the scoop, folks, my life is BORING. It is DULL. I don't have any profound statements on historical Spanish fights against fascism, but I like to add a minor thought or two to a discussion or to get a discussion going. Hanging out here at durrati's is like going to the Chicago Art Institute for me- I don't have much to say, but I love what I see.
See, I've opened my mouth impulsively so many times over the years, that I'm finally developing the habit of just watching and enjoying the discussion, because I always have something that's not on topic waiting to be spewed out of my impulsive mind.
Now, on the other hand, I love being asked for my thoughts- it makes me feel like I have something valuable to contribute and listening well is, for me, the best compliment I can pay someone or they can pay me.
And for everyone's info, the last week or so has been really hard on me mentally- I'm having difficulty sleeping because my mind won't slow down, and when I do sleep, it's broken and unfitful. My sleep cycle is so screwed up, it doesn't exist anymore. I can't sleep until 6 a.m. sometimes. So I'm getting tired, more than usual. Which causes more stress, which causes frustration, none of which is stuff this venue is a good place to vent about.
There. That should give you guys something to chew on for a while.
And for the record, yes, I'm just here to chat up the ladies.

3:28 PM  
Blogger durrati said...


I would be a dull host indeed if I insisted you stay O/T...that is in the past :) And I am always concerned how my friends are doing... and... I knew it!

If you want to read some Durrati in old J.C. form venture to "My Left Wing" (link outside) it is easy to navigate (you can pull up all my comments easily) funny stuff! If I do say so meself :)

4:24 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Hey, that's cool. I joined up there the day she opened. My UID is 861, although I don't spend a lot of time there. It's a great site, though. Sometimes I imagine MaryScott as the first U.S. female president. She'd whip the entire federal government into shape in about 3 weeks flat.

5:39 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

maryscott for prez and a daily rant in every pot!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to have gone missing so long. I was hoping you weren't thinking I had tossed a drink in your face over something and stormed off your site for some unknown reason. I have to catch up on all the posts. The site looks great!
As I approach my 49th birthday, I'm happy to know that the gents are still chatting up ladies of our particular age group. It's right up there with getting carded ;)
I can relate to the sleep issues, but for different reasons. I can only lay on my back and have to get up after 6 hours tops. I don't know about you, but I find myself dreading the nights.
My life is back to being dull. It was pretty hectic for a while, and now it's dull in a sort of day to day drudgery bill paying, house cleaning, health issues, waiting for the next M-80 to blow, way of life. I don't dream about happiness anymore. I learned long that ago happiness is something you experience in the moment, and that life is good.
One thing now feels normal again. I have my computer back. Yes!

6:16 PM  
Blogger durrati said...


I think we have past the point in our commune that I do not trust you to say ciao. I hoped you were busy, hoped you were not ill... As for the martini in the face, I would feel honored that you cared enough to serve it shaken and not stirred!
Life is indeed like war, days of tedium punctuated by moments of terror. Or words to that effect.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jackie_O, it's so exciting to have you back! Thank goodness for the computer fairy, and thank the goddess for your sense of humour. I also love the last line of Tale. When I was a youngun, too many years ago, I watched a lot of late night television (when I wasn't reading), and one of my most moving experiences was watching the movie, starring Dirk Bogarde as Sidney Carlton. When he spoke those words as he was being led to the guillotine, I dissolved in tears. I never forgot that feeling of rage, impotence and deep sadness. As for your son, everyone has some experience that one wishes had never occurred, and Kid is correct - it's almost like a dance - you move one way, they move the same way, so you alter direction and darned if they don't too. By the way, have a truly wonderful birthday. Treat yourself. And don't worry about 50. It's a breeze. I find the older one gets, the less one worries about getting older. Mind you, that's me. I've some friends who obsess on age, but I don't feel any older than I was at twenty, and that was 36 years ago.

Kid, take care of yourself. I love to read your comments and it doesn't matter whether you are an expert at anything - what matters is what comes from the heart. It's heartening to come here and find my favourite commenters. I hope you are getting some assistance from the medical profession with regards to the sleeping issue. Do you have apnea? I've had problems for years, and I know that I have apnea (chronic snoring, breathing ceasation etc), but I'm reluctant to go through the tests cause they'll make me wear the mask at night. Mind you, I've two friends (both men, both married to friends) who have to wear the mask, and they say they never had a decent night's sleep till they got the machine. Something to consider eh? In addition, I was just advised that I'm dangerously deficient in vitamin B12, which apparently results in all sorts of nasty situations. it's amazing that these tests are not run on most people, because the results of deficiencies such as this are truly horrific. Now, I just have to learn how to take pills every day.
Durrati, soldier on, we're here because we want to be.

8:52 PM  
Blogger durrati said...


I remain on duty, gaurding the Aragon front...

9:14 PM  
Blogger Joe Don Martin said...

Sir, On behalf of those who are actually not Spanish or Basque but pretending to be Basques who secretly wish that they could give up their days of jai alai and clandestine ETA meetings and just be plain old Spaniards napping in the afternoon before joining their amigos for tapas in the night time but who, are, in actuality, just former rock stars with exgirlfriends who spent years abroad in Valencia and Barcelona with even an excursion to Toledo without so much as a sword for an almost faithful touring minstrel stateside and oddly strong memories of a particularly hirsute young lady of Spanish origin, who, over time, has come more and more to resemble the enigmatic Gala Dali as she stepped from her eggshell on some, presumably Andalusian(?) rockstrewn beach in Salvador's film, though the comely Miss deMovellan really looked nothing like Gala but did speak English alot like Salma Hayek which is odd because Salma is Mexican, I would like to ask you to please do a post called DURUTTI FRUTTI about whatever you like- and in no way do I mean to cast aspersions about Buenoventura's sexual proclivities no matter what Cletis may have said.

Also, Kid, the best way to deal with sleeplessness is to just ride it out to it's end. I've suffered bouts such as those you speak of myself on many occasions- some probably medically induced, others just circadian anomalies, but, eventually, your body will decide; that's it, I've had enough, it's time to sleep. That moment is positively delicious, orgasmic even. Heavens to murgatroyd. Exit, stage left...

1:38 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Just what is it you do on Friday nights to get your muse into cyclone state? I appreciate the advice, it's not that I can't sleep per se, it's that I can't sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning. I'm trying to figure out how to break this cycle, which I fear is my natural one, but I get really stressed out. I can handle getting up at 10:00 a.m., but 12 or 1:30 after 7 hours of lousy sleep just gets frustrating. And if I try and just stay up for 36 hours, I get really anxious and stressed and finally crash at like 10:00 a.m. It's just a pain in the ass. And thanx to whattheh also, but it's not apnea.
I haven't been inspired by anything enough to put up a new post for a while, so I'm going to ask my few and valued commenters for ideas- maybe I'll get a jumpstart.
Have a good weekend, everyone, plant something and enjoy the weather.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Joe Don Martin said...


One of the problems I'm suffering with- one of the small subset outside of the umbrella of the giganto-normous Venn diagram known as "Republicans Running My Country Into the Ground" is the lack of a Muse. The last was referred to as "Ashley" and left when she realized that the job description for "hermit" didn't include "hermit's assistant"- or "co-hermit" to be politically correct. Hence, my posts are likely to be scattered, feast or famine, ruminations on, oh, why my PBS affiliate airs the German national news in English every nicht at midnight- Gewurztraminer! for instance. As for your struggles with Morpheus. Is there a reason- job for instance- that you can't sleep during the day and be up at night? Or is it just the sheer freakishness of the turned around existence that is the graveyard shift. Third shift can drive the sanest among us batshit crazy- probably something to do with circadian rhythms- but if you can find a community, either live or online- of like-minded night-owls it can really take the edge off and help you imagine that night is day and vice verse. Still, make sure to get out either early am or early evening to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder from setting in on top of normal frustration. Above all, stop stressing over it and listen to your body's needs so long as it's not impractical. Sorry, Mr. D, for the O/T

9:26 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

Please, JD, do not apologize. I always enjoy pursuing your Joyceian prose no matter the subject. And the mere mention of Barcelona,Valencia and women who do not resemble Barbie or Little sister Skipper when unshucked stir up such fond memories of my youth that your subject matter hardly matters. I missed Toledo and Klinger's little hot dog place...
Besides you and the Kid have matters to sort out and are more then welcome to do so here where I can eavesdrop :)
Your suggestion for a post topic will be honored tonight or tomarrow, sounds like fun. I owe Jackie-O one on Jack Reed also which is even now in the works. But I will leave this post up throughout today in case what and jacq wish to chime in on "Sleepless Near Toronto"...

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kid, have you tried fresh air (walk) and camomile tea? The walk tires you out physically, and the tea is calming and soothing.

Durrati, where is Reed? I realize it's Saturday night and you're probably out reveling...but....I'm not, so get on that keyboard.

3:35 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

JD & whattheh-
First, for JD, like so many of us avid commenters here and, it seems, on so many liberal blogs, I have a complex disability and haven't worked since.......a 3 month stint in 2004 with my dad on a brick job where I did the final damage to my back, causing a full-blown case of arthritis, as well as forcing me to realize that, a) my rotator cuff damage was very serious and b) it was time to start thinking of getting out of the work force. Not having day-to-day commitments and a very limited social life has led to me falling into what I said earlier is probably my natural cycle, just that I can't stand it. I can't plan anything before 1:30 in the afternoon.
And for whattheh, I'm trying a herbal insomnia formula with everything from passionflower to chamomile, but it's not working. I think I'll just go to the back-up plan- a triple shot of Bailey's on ice just before bed........ Just kidding, kind of. ;)

7:17 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Plus, I just put up a new post- see you there!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You should read this writter in spanish, he is incredible.

9:37 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

Wish I could Diego, I am such a dumbass, come back soon!

3:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home