trees in the rain
An image of John Lennon just now ran across the movie screen inside my head. I recalled seeing a headline a week or so ago of his son by his first wife telling the world John Lennon was not a nice man at home, that the kid never saw any love in him. John wrote songs about love, but didn't live the love he wrote songs about. Therefore, he was a hypocrite. What does that have to do with anything? King David wrote the most beautiful songs about love ever, period. He was a rogue. John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, was a slave trader. I read in John Berryman's Dream Songs and see video of an interview with him, I don't see all his poems in him. I see just a man whose mind pieced together with words and rhythms some amazing compositions. I don't see suicide in his poems when I read them. I don't see suicide in Robert Lowell's poems either. How they ended their lives is as irrelevant to their art as the brand of tires on their cars. I felt a degree of sorrow for the kid who tried to be a star with his daddy's name and it didn't take. He sees his half-brother, Yoko's son, bathed in luxury, privilege and wealth as son of John Lennon. Julian was left out, never made it to stardom and evidently turned bitter. What a dreary old man he might be, "I'm the neglected son of John Lennon...he was a sorry-ass hypocrite," in the pub night after night.
The last two evenings being year's end and year's beginning, another turn around the sun, I decided to see my favorite movies. Last night's choice was Hero, a film by Chinese director Yimou Zhang. Hero is at the top of the list of the most beautiful films I've seen. This was the fifth or sixth viewing. It is billed an action movie starring Jet Li. The action is choreographed martial arts ballet in flowing clothes of colors that sound like a Chinese violin. It is an historical drama given a touch of fairy tale. Then today I chose to see another favorite film, King of Masks, a Chinese film by director Wu Tianming. A good Chinese story, a gentle roller coaster ride of the emotions, of an old man and a child he bought in the market to be his heir. He was the last to carry the traditional art of the mask, an entertainment of changing masks seemingly by magic. He needed an heir to pass his art form to and bought a little boy. Turns out he was cheated, the boy was a girl and he did not want a girl, the art could only be passed on to a boy. From there it goes round and round to a tear-jerker happy ending Chinese style. A story of everyday life realism with the sense of a fairy tale. Exquisitely beautiful photography in both films.
Didn't do anything else to acknowledge the change of calendars. Haven't even put up the new calendar. Aimed to walk the dog today. Justin stopped by on his way to his deer stand and brought some hay up from the barn in his big pickup. He advised staying out of the woods today. Jan 1 is the last day of hunting season. Everybody was out. I said we'd stay on the road, in that case, and he advised blaze orange if I want to walk the road. Decided to let it go. Lead won't be flying in the woods from Saturday onward. A week ago, Justin killed the big bear living in this area. He estimated it 425 lbs, said the "cape" was 150 lbs. He wants to make a rug to hang on the wall. For a hunter, it's a good trophy. This was the bear he'd said earlier was going about in daylight. He said it means the bear was getting brave. A good one to cull from the sloth. I saw it on the back of his pickup within twenty minutes of being shot. I have a hard time with killing. I have no judgment of hunting. It's necessary, I know it, just don't care to participate in it. I also know my attitude about not killing is a minority of one. Justin knows I'm not a killer, he also knows I admire his skill with a bow and a gun. He brought the bear down with one shot. He said the bear came into view just as it turned dark, "A black bear is hard to see through a scope in the dark."
I've known Justin since he was a baby. We were friends in his childhood the same as I am friends with his baby, Vada. Vada is a feist, just like her daddy was. It's like the same kid, one a boy, one a girl. Vada is becoming a rowdy little kid. She and her daddy play rough and she loves it. It's in her horoscope. She got in trouble in pre-school; when she fights little kids her size, she hurts them. Her dance class had a recital a few weeks ago I'm sorry I missed. She ruled in it. Vada was the star performer and did it like she was born to the stage. Crystal told me after their trip to Disney World, Vada dressed up as Elsa was to walk behind Cinderella around a big circle of people clapping. Not Vada, Crystal said, Vada doesn't follow anybody. She walked around the circle holding Cinderella's hand. I would so love to see Vada grow up. She'll be out front in whatever she does. She is a balanced blend of her mommy and daddy. And her daddy will go crazy when he sees her drawn to rowdy boys. By the time she's in high school, she will have as many deer kills as the best of the boy hunters. She'll make all A's, be head cheerleader, play baseball and be homecoming queen.
photos by tj worthington