|our "neighborhood" has yet more wild plum trees|
Photo by J. Harrington
Accompanying such arboreal developments, grass is greening and growing. That probably accounts for our discovery this morning of the first tick of the season (on us). It was crawling across the base of our neck. We realize that it's much more likely the arachnid crawled up our leg and under our sweatshirt, but we have more of an impression that it dropped from a tree's new green leaf onto us. Do you remember the scenes from Star Wars, with the Ewoks on Endor?
Back to Earth, the softness of our landscape and the gentleness of the falling rain brought to mind the line from the Merchant of Venice, about "droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath." We think the last time we read much of Shakespeare was when we were still in college and that was many years ago. Looking at today's poem, we can see great value in revisiting at least some of his works. Contemporary writers seem keep coming up short on the quality of and need for mercy. An understandable but very regrettable state of affairs. If memory serves, mercy is implicit in the works of writers such as Charles Bukowski, Philip Levine and Raymond Carver, but not expounded on as Shakespeare does. Does that help explain why too many of us may fail to execute on the fundamentals of being human?
|wild plum blossoms herald Spring's arrival|
Photo by J. Harrington
Before we go today we want to publicly acknowledge and thank the Better Half for, once again, bailing us out. She correctly, we believe, identified as wild plum the flowering bushes we recently posted about. (Our story [that we're sticking to for now] is that we speculated several weeks ago that that's what we thought they might be and just hadn't gotten around to confirming it
The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I
[The quality of mercy is not strained]
The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: ‘T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown: His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway; It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God’s When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this, That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea; Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.
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Please be kind to each other while you can.