Monday, October 29, 2012

Waves of Bitter Tears

Today like all others I am waiting to see what havoc will result from the Frankenstorm.  I decided to stay at home, in case the roads are blocked for a long period of time and I can't get back to my animals to feed them.  I left my car in a large treeless lot next to the church in the village, because it's almost certain that the long drive through the woods to Wit's End will be impassable.  I decided that even if a tree falls on the house, it's unlikely to penetrate to the first floor, so I think I'll be safe...unless the creek overflows.  It's going to be a long night, and I have nothing new to say about trees dying from air pollution that I haven't said before, so this post is a short digression.

This morning RPauli sent me this excerpt from Sagan's 1987 book, The Demon-Haunted World (p. 25):

"I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time--when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."

Superstition and darkness are exactly what I expect as reluctant people are confronted with the unimaginable reality that we have ruined our planet.  More evidence of this will be presented upon the release of the movie "Chasing Ice", which looks to be excellent.  In the meantime here is the song from the credits.

On Saturday, I saw Otello at the Metropolitan Opera.  A full version is embedded below but first, this ineffably beautiful version of Desdemona's Willow Song, by Maria Callas.  Desdemona sings this as she awaits her jealousy-crazed husband, who is planning to strangle her.  Lyrics follow.

She wept singing in the lonely land,
    the sad girl wept.
O willow, willow, willow.
She sat upon the heath, her head on her breast.
Willow, willow, willow!
Let's sing!  Let's sing!
The willow will be my funeral garland.

The brook flowed between banks in flower
Her broken heart
And from her lashes flowed waves of bitter tears.
Let's sing!  Let's sing!
Willow, willow, willow.
The willow will be my funeral garland.

The birds flew down from branches to hear her sweet song.
And her eyes wept so bitterly
That even the rocks were moved to pity.

He was born for his own glory, I for love.
I to love him and to die
Let’s sing! Let’s sing!
Willow! Willow! Willow!



  1. Sway and bend with the wind...GALE...Gail.
    Take care,
    David Lange

  2. You might like the other J Ralph composition - kind of a blend of the two you posted... this has a strong classical sound

    He does lots of orchestral composing. But his music works well as a film score


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