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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Powder Train

File:Fireworks over La Paz.jpg

Fireworks over La Paz, after the election of Evo Morales, 22 January 2006: photo by Alhen, 2006


Welder making boilers for a ship, Combustion Engineering Co. Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 1942: photo by Alfred Palmer, 1942 (Library of Congress)

Our God is not out of breath, because he hath blown one tempest, and swallowed a Navy: Our God hath not burnt out his eyes, because he hath looked upon a Train of Powder: In the light of Heaven, and in the darkness of hell, he sees alike; he sees not onely all Machinations of hands, when things come to action; but all Imaginations of hearts, when they are in their first Consultations; past, and present, and future, distinguish not his Quando; all is one time to him: Mountains and Vallies, Sea and Land, distinguish not his Ubi; all is one place to him: When I begin, says God to Eli, I will make an end; not onely that all Gods purposes shall have their certain end but that even then, when he begins, he makes an end: from the very beginning, imprints an infallible assurance, that whom he loves, he loves to the end: as a Circle is printed all at once, so his beginning and ending is all one.

John Donne: from a Sermon Preached at the Spital Cross by the Hospital of St. Mary, Bishopsgate, Upon Easter-Munday, 22 April 1622


JetBlue flight 292, an Airbus A320, makes an emergency landing, after front landing gear malfunction, runway 25L, LAX, 21 September 2005: photo by Andrew Marino, 2005

File:Blake Hell 26 Ulisses&Diomedes.jpg

The Divine Comedy, Inferno XXVI: Ulysses and Diomedes: William Blake, 1824-1827

File:Operation Desert Storm 22.jpg

Oil fires outside Kuwait City in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm: photo by Lietmotiv, 2006

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The Divine Comedy, Inferno XIX: The Simoniac Pope
: William Blake, 1824-1827 (Tate Gallery, London)

File:City under siege, waiting for the new  year.jpg

City under siege, waiting for the new year, Tbilisi, 1 January 2007: photo by Vladimer Shioshvili, 2007

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The Divine Comedy, Inferno VII: The Stygian Lake, with Ireful Sinners Fighting: William Blake, 1824-1827 (National Gallery of Victoria, Australia)


New Year celebration, Wroclaw, Poland, 2001
: photo by Julo, 2001

I can't put out these fires on the lake the stymied deity cries

File:Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit  on fire.jpg

Fireboat response crews battling blazing remnants of offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, 21 April 2010: photo by US Coast Guard, 2010

I'm not even going to try

File:Closing Ceremony.jpg

Carnival closing ceremony, Patras, Greece, 10 December 2006: photo by Gontzi, 2006





Curtis Roberts said...

As Steve said. And in line with the musical theme of the companion piece, Arthur Brown and "Fire" have nothing on this, which is very rich and will occupy me for a while. By the way, it's 103 degrees in the Hudson Valley.

TC said...

We haven't yet made it to sixty here.

Damp fuse for the powder train.

TC said...

Okay, some more comments were here but have now mysteriously disappeared. The Blogger gremlin, it seems, was hungry again tonight. I'm going to give up on the restoring of comments, probably a waste of time and aggravation anyway as they'll likely disappear again and if they don't... will it matter.

(This is one of those "testing, testing" comments.)

It's more and more of a relief every second once the fact sinks in that from now on one may say anything at all sans regret or remorse, as it will all be swallowed up by the Cloud. The aim would then become: to give the Cloud indigestion.

I'm way too old for this.

And as I am aware that the average visit to a blog is zero to five seconds, I can be confident now that whether or not anyone is reading this, and whether or not it disappears, it doesn't matter in the slightest, because Nobody's Got Time.

In fact the Blogosphere has to be the biggest catch basin for wasted time ever invented.

So I'm sure those speedreaders who are now at 4.5 seconds and counting will be interested to learn that the passage from the John Donne sermon quoted in this post is but a small fragment of a two and a half hour sermon Donne preached on a Monday (on Sundays he preached at St Paul's for the Lord Mayor & Aldermen &c., it was his job) to a general audience that included, for example, the boys of Christ's Hospital.

The eloquence of Donne's prose is in my view the exact opposite of the idiocy which is Blogger. Present company of course included. Except for Stephen and Curtis, who are actually gentlemen of learning. (So what are they doing here?)


Tom and Curtis,

I hiked w/ my sister up on the ridge yesterday, 53 degrees when we left the car in Rock Springs, fog (complete whiteout, couldn't see anything) grasses dripping wet across the narrow trails (legs and shoes soaked), wind blowing, no 'views' where otherwise one could have looked 2,000 feet down almost straight down to the ocean. When we got back to car (after 7) we drove up to East Peak -- sunlit, clear, 75 degrees, two completely different worlds/climates up there, a mile apart from each other. . . .

TC said...

It's almost impossible to explain to someone who hasn't lived around here the baffling complexities of the microclimates. Before we moved to the haunted house, a fellow I knew in SoCal, who had once lived in this neighborhood, warned us, "Watch out, the winds through the notch the Gate makes in the headlands bring all the wild wet windy weather in the world straight up that channel." Not until too late did the full truth of that sink in.

John B-R said...

It will all be swallowed up by the cloud anyway. It once occurred to me that if I were great I could say anything because all the crap great people say is treasured forever; and If I weren't great I could say whatever I wanted because no one would care because I wasn't great. Either way ... unfortunately for me I have a conscience or something ...

As for microclimates, I used to walk to work when I lived w/in walking distance. There was always one little 2-ft depression about 20 yards wide I'd pass through and I swear the temp differential between there and anywhere else nearby was always 5-10 degrees ...

TC said...

"...if I were great I could say anything because all the crap great people say is treasured forever; and If I weren't great I could say whatever I wanted because no one would care because I wasn't great."

But, conscience. Too true, too true...

As John Donne also might have thought to himself

around this hour of the morning of Easter Monday,

April 22,


~otto~ said...

Great finish. Great.

TC said...


Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

--L'il Wayne