DH Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence – The Ship of Death


Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
and the long journey towards oblivion.

The apples falling like great drops of dew
to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.

And it is time to go, to bid farewell
to one’s own self, and find an exit
from the fallen self.


Have you built your ship of death, O have you?
O build your ship of death, for you will need it.

The grim frost is at hand, when the apples will fall
thick, almost thundrous, on the hardened earth.

And death is on the air like a smell of ashes!
Ah! can’t you smell it?
And in the bruised body, the frightened soul
finds itself shrinking, wincing from the cold
that blows upon it through the orifices.


And can a man his own quietus make
with a bare bodkin?

With daggers, bodkins, bullets, man can make
a bruise or break of exit for his life;
but is that a quietus, O tell me, is it quietus?

Surely not so! for how could murder, even self-murder
ever a quietus make?


O let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!

How can we this, our own quietus, make?


Build then the ship of death, for you must take
the longest journey, to oblivion.

And die the death, the long and painful death
that lies between the old self and the new.

Already our bodies are fallen, bruised, badly bruised,
already our souls are oozing through the exit
of the cruel bruise.

Already the dark and endless ocean of the end
is washing in through the breaches of our wounds,
Already the flood is upon us.

Oh build your ship of death, your little ark
and furnish it with food, with little cakes, and wine
for the dark flight down oblivion.


Piecemeal the body dies, and the timid soul
has her footing washed away, as the dark flood rises.

We are dying, we are dying, we are all of us dying
and nothing will stay the death-flood rising within us
and soon it will rise on the world, on the outside world.

We are dying, we are dying, piecemeal our bodies are dying
and our strength leaves us,
and our soul cowers naked in the dark rain over the flood,
cowering in the last branches of the tree of our life.


We are dying, we are dying, so all we can do
is now to be willing to die, and to build the ship
of death to carry the soul on the longest journey.

A little ship, with oars and food
and little dishes, and all accoutrements
fitting and ready for the departing soul.

Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies
and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul
in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith
with its store of food and little cooking pans
and change of clothes,
upon the flood’s black waste
upon the waters of the end
upon the sea of death, where still we sail
darkly, for we cannot steer, and have no port.

There is no port, there is nowhere to go
only the deepening blackness darkening still
blacker upon the soundless, ungurgling flood
darkness at one with darkness, up and down
and sideways utterly dark, so there is no direction any more
and the little ship is there; yet she is gone.
She is not seen, for there is nothing to see her by.
She is gone! gone! and yet
somewhere she is there.


And everything is gone, the body is gone
completely under, gone, entirely gone.
The upper darkness is heavy as the lower,
between them the little ship
is gone

It is the end, it is oblivion.


And yet out of eternity a thread
separates itself on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
that fumes a little with pallor upon the dark.

Is it illusion? or does the pallor fume
A little higher?
Ah wait, wait, for there’s the dawn
the cruel dawn of coming back to life
out of oblivion

Wait, wait, the little ship
drifting, beneath the deathly ashy grey
of a flood-dawn.

Wait, wait! even so, a flush of yellow
and strangely, O chilled wan soul, a flush of rose.

A flush of rose, and the whole thing starts again.


The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
And the little ship wings home, faltering and lapsing
on the pink flood,
and the frail soul steps out, into the house again
filling the heart with peace.

Swings the heart renewed with peace
even of oblivion.

Oh build your ship of death. Oh build it!
for you will need it.
For the voyage of oblivion awaits you.

an amazing coach

king arthur

I just heard an uplifting story this morning on a trail run with my good friend, so I thought I’d break my blogging silence and share. My friend told me she was at her son’s middle school conference track championship last month and during the 4 X 100m one of her son’s teammates took a step over the lane line. He didn’t impede any competitor, nor did he take the dreaded, penalty-inducing “3 steps in a row over the line,” but he was disqualified nonetheless. An appeal was made, of course, because the boy was clearly not violating any rule, but the “officials” stayed firm. Disqualified. Wrongly. This DQ cost the relay team the win and his whole track team the championship title, so you can imagine how sad and devastated this boy felt …. devastated, that is, until the night of the awards banquet at the school a week later. On this night – a time for encouraging, praising, and rewarding athletes in a private, school-only setting – the boys’ amazing middle school coach helped heal a broken heart by having tee-shirts printed out for the relay team that read, “The Real Champions.” The whole assembly cheered as the boys put the shirts on over their dress clothes. It was a Camelot moment in track and field if ever there was one. What will that DQ’d boy remember about this whole experience? That his coach loved him enough to make a wrong right.

Bravo, Coach S!!!!!
Long live the King Arthurs of the world!

King Arthur: “One of what we all are … less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems that some of the drops sparkle. Some of them do sparkle.”

thank you for the music!

My daughters sang this, a capella, in the backseat on the way to school today:

I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
‘Cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I’m so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk
She says I began to sing long before I could talk
And I’ve often wondered, how did it all start
Who found out that nothing can capture a heart
Like a melody can
Well, whoever it was, I’m a fan

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

I’ve been so lucky, I am the girl with golden hair
I wanna sing it out to everybody
What a joy, what a life, what a chance!

Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

Thank you for the music
For giving it to me…



I just bought a new guitar for myself for my birthday and I sometimes wish I had chosen to be a musician for life rather than a runner for life. Perhaps there’s still time to play. luna

hang in there

“What do you think a human being is?” [Wallace] Shawn asks in The Fever. “A human being happens to be an unprotected little wriggling creature . . . without a shell or a hide or even any fur, just thrown out onto the earth like an eye that’s been pulled from its socket, like a shucked oyster that’s trying to crawl along the ground. We need to build our own shells.”

from the article Catnip in June 1, 2009 New Yorker magazine.

I loved Wallace Shawn in My Dinner with Andre … in my all-time top ten list of movies.
What’s at the top of your list?

oh no, i’ve said too much

That’s me in the corner …

lyrics from R.E.M.:

Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight, I’m
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

remembering May 8th, 2000


Sometimes a purchased gift just isn’t enough to show how much you love someone … so I made this painting/collage for Dave’s anniversary present. Embedded in the piece is my bluets poem and, if you look closely, a photo of the two of us!

Too bad anniversary number 9 isn’t “cloth ” but pottery.
that would have been perfect.

pie season

Yesterday, my friend invited me to stay for oolong tea while our children had an old-fashioned play-date. I felt inspired to bake a pie in celebration of friendship. It is actually more of a tart, but we call it “Betsy’s Pie” (named after another friend who taught me how to make this delicious pastry):

cream 1/2 cup brown sugar
with one stick butter.
mix in one cup flour, 1 tsp. vanilla and then one beaten egg.
next, press dough into lightly greased tart pan

layer fruit in design of choice using plums, or peaches (or apricots).
dot with 5-6 bits of butter
squeeze juice of one lemon on top
sprinkle with 2 Tbs sugar

bake for 30-40 min.
in preheated 350-degree oven

let cool before eating.
best served with a steaming china cup of tea …
with a friend who enjoys conversation.


here is Rosie with the plum pie she made last year:

Happy Birthday, en espanol

Las Mañanitas Lyrics:

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.


This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s day we’re singing it for you
Wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn
birds singing


I love my new “appearance” on this blog, especially the pinking sheers cut bottom of the header.
Nice work, Paisley creator!



This morning Dave and I had the pleasure of accompanying our 7 year-old to a spotlight student of the month breakfast. We shared a table with 1st grader, Shawn, who kept us entertained during the certificate presentation with his many out-loud, uncontrolled blurtings (despite our grown-up “shhh’s”) … the favorite of which was, “Did you know a snake has no eye-lids?!” Of course, what made this whole scene so funny was that the theme for this month’s spotlight student was self-discipline.


platinum highlights

gray hair

Most women my age, and many younger, dye or color or highlight their hair so much so that no one knows how old anybody is these days. Men, too, are forgoing graying temples (which used to be considered “distinguished’) in order to look younger. I am re-reading Margart Craven’s “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and today I pondered this line: “Her hair was white, which, in an Indian, means she was very old.” It used to be that with all people, not just “in an Indian,” white hair was a sign of being very old … and, hopefully, very wise. What are we avoiding when we cover the gray? What are we afraid of facing? I have vowed never to color my hair … but maybe someday I, too, will be afraid of rejection from this youth-obsessed culture and will pretend to be younger than I am. It makes me sad to think of living a lie just to fit in.

And I wonder, is it also deception if I follow my hair-cutter’s suggestion: “Just tell people your gray hairs are platinum highlights.” ?

to life!


KM died yesterday
at 2:00pm
while I was taking a nap
knowing I would wake up
in time
to pick up Lizzie at the bus stop
and, later, Rosie
Sarah Jane would text
to tell me when I was to get her.
My taxi duties feel like heaven today
thank you, God.


Personal Record

Sarah Jane just ran a 12:14 2-mile PR in a duel meet against “nobody.” Her splits were 6:08 and 6:06 and she ran in trainers. When I spoke to her before the race she was so casual and relaxed saying, “Coach wants me to run it as a tempo run b/c there’s no competition; what do you think?” “Yeah,” I agreed, “It’s hot. Save your hard effort for Wednesday.” But when the gun went off and she found herself in a pack of boys [mixed race], she got swept along and before we knew it she was on her way to qualify for regionals. What is so amazing about this, so epiphanous, is that she has been unable to train with the track team for a month now because she has been in play rehearsal for a musical that just ended Saturday night. Sarah Jane has been running workouts by herself at dawn and dusk, before school and after play practice, to stay in shape for her beloved track coach. She told me, “The thing I love to do most is drama, but the PEOPLE I love most are my track family.”

Me too, Saries – except for the drama part :)

a sabbath prayer of thanksgiving

Normally, I hate hearing lawn mowers on a Sunday afternoon (I understand Portland, OR has a public ordinance for leaf-blowing hours per week?) … but today, when I heard the familiar drone of my next door neighbor’s riding mower I was more than happy to endure this sound pollution. Six months ago he had a brain tumor removed.

Ride, Johnny, ride.

Oh, the fruit of the spirit is …


that’s an odd duck)

Thanks Jonathan, my hairdresser/pastor for reminding me of this lovely list.
Galations 5:22

Rosie is twelve today!

I made birthday breakfast crepes for Rosie this morning. She ate one with chocolate and raspberries, one with olives and goat cheese, and saved the “classic” for last – lemon and sugar. Thanks for the recipe, Bill:

2 cups milk
3 whisked eggs
1 cup flour
6 Tbs melted butter
pinch salt

use a hot crepe pan, greased with butter or splash of oil before each crepe.

Bon Appetit!! crepes