Monday, September 19, 2016

On Spenser and September and going home

Had my first extended post-illness outing Friday night. Fun, fun, fun, down at the old school.

I'll post the link when the column hits the street, but the short version is I made it to Halls High for the official kickoff of the school's centennial. Old friends, teachers, classmates, people I hadn't seen since before I got sick, some for 20 years or more, were there. Heady stuff for a Halls guy.

Sis and I even got photographed together on the football field. How about that! 

I only had about a three-hour tour in me (not bad, considering where I've been), so I left as it began to rain. Robert Rogers and I met for Mexican. He'd just gotten back from England with his wife. They'd hiked along Hadrian's Wall, and I wanted to hear about it. The pictures were something.

He said the country folks were friendly. Isn't that usually the way of it? And he said the food was fabulous, and the portions were plenty.

I told Robert he'd subliminally inspired me to binge watch British detective shows. I've always had a soft spot for BBC and ITV mysteries, especially "Inspector Morse." So I watched five or six of them while they were gone.

"Morse," if you know the show, sent me seeking English poets. Spenser, for starters. I kept trying to recall a couple of lines that seem to fit this September. Finally found them.

My soul's long lacked food, my heaven's bliss.
Leaves, lines, and rhymes seek her to please alone...

Forget leaves, lines, and rhymes, and sure as heck forget trying to please. The moon's a harsh mistress, and the sky is made of stone. Jimmy Webb taught me that a long time ago. So, I'll just keep on being me. It's the easiest role to play, you see. 

But the nightmare is ending, bliss is in the blessings, and I'm more or less content. My soul no longer wants for much. It got plenty of feeding Friday night and again Saturday at a small gathering. I saw several high school folks and friends there, too.

I had some laughs and enjoyed the chatter and made it about three hours or so there as well. Then I headed home to crash.

Per Robert's suggestion, I watched part of Andrew Marr's "Making of Modern Britain" documentary. It proved to be just the right amount of mental floss to remove the UT/Ohio game from my mind. Then I couldn't sleep, as usual, so I watched another "Morse."

Sunday was stormy, overcast, cool. So I stayed on the couch most of the day. Lo and behold, Dick Powell, a longtime favorite, and "Murder, My Sweet" aired on Turner Classic Movies about 6. I hadn't gotten to watch my favorite channel in more than two years. Monochrome film noir, uncut and commercial free? Magic medicine.

I wonder if students still read poetry? I stumbled across an article that says wonderful words and rhyme are on YouTube, of all places.

Ah, well. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Yeah, yeah, I know that's Herrick, not Spenser, but I have a migraine headache. And I have a little hope that the language will survive after all.

How could I not? What's that old country song say?

"At least I had the weekend..."

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