An English In Kentucky



















October 14th 2009

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     Here in Kentucky, we are in that window of the year when first frost can be anticipated.  The pattern is a period of cooling, followed by a period of warming that gravitates increasingly toward cold.  Then one morning the ground has a whiteness, and I am left to record an impression of first frost, which from one year to the next is never recalled with reliable accuracy.

    So I will look forward as a seer might and I will say on that first day of frost the Mockingbird is soothed and Bluebirds look grumpy. 

    These are not statements pulled from a hat, because I have seen the Mockingbird soothed and a Bluebird look grumpy.  And I can identify traits characteristic of these two moments, one of which is season.  The Mockingbird is still when he sits without voice and there is in his eye a curiosity.  The Bluebird is grumpy when he stares down at the ground which I know is too cold for insect life.




    I sometimes am tempted to think winter would be easier to comprehend were it characterized by imagination and those inventions of imagination that predate the scientific order of things.  

    So, on the first day of frost, if I were to tell my neighbor that the Great White Owl of the north has cast her shadow on the green fields of Kentucky, he might ask me why?   Then I could find an answer that might propel purpose between us and give me something more than an axial tilt of the planet that remains a consequence of Earth's collision with a large object early in the Earth's development. 

    But what might imagination produce in answer to his 'question why' that does not include a facsimile of that part of man that leads to axes, tanks and atom bombs.

    I could say, the Great White Owl of the north has cast her shadow on the green fields of Kentucky so that I might see the Mockingbird curious and the Bluebird grumpy, but that might appear overwhelmingly absurd and lead to terminal discord.

tim candler

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