“So long as you are praised
think only that you are not yet on your own path
but on that of another.”
– Assorted Opinions and Maxims, 1879
Bus Stop on Division Ave.
Acquainted With the Night
By Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain–and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
Doppler and the Book Bag
Today is one of those typical Portland days where it is raining, raining, and raining. Did I mention it is raining? I braved the rain long enough to go to the farmer’s market and hit a couple of garage sales, but now I am holed up in the living room beside my boyfriend on the couch. We are both snuggled in with blankets and pillows. I think it is going to be a night of sipping Bailey’s and watching Gilmore Girls.
Because of the rain here in Portland, I have been thinking about that old nursery rhyme, “It’s raining, it’s pouring.”
I decided to do a little research about it and I found the following information:
I do wonder about the the real origin of the rhyme. I was always taught that it ended with the following phrase:
Once upon a time when I was very, very young, I was rummaging through my grandmother’s treasure trove of a basement and found this children’s book. From the moment I saw it I was hooked. It is the story about a family and their move. Coming from a family that moved around a lot, I could really relate to the topic of the book. I remember spending long periods of time studying the pictures in this book and wondering if they were really perfect or did they feel the things that I felt during a move like fear, loss, uncertainty, and sometimes anger. If they felt those things, they definitely didn’t show them. In this book, everyone is perfect and they all look perfect also. The girls all wear dresses and bake, and the boy plays sports and helps the dad with outdoor chores. I know, it is a horrible stereotype. It reminds me of the word problems in old math books. The ones where the girls are always trying to figure out their measurements to bake a cake, and the boys are trying to figure out how fast they can climb the mountain.
I am not sure that this was a healthy book for young children to read. If I had a child, I think I would raise them on books that may not show perfection, but build character. Books that in some way show an imperfect person or family facing an imperfect situation and coming up with a working, but maybe not perfect solution. I would show them books that had chubby girls and boys with glasses. I would read to them books that showed mothers who had the beginnings of crows feet and fathers who were balding.
I was also raised on children’s books that told bible stories and showed incredible pictures. Who needs superman when you have Samson and Goliath? They were good stories that showed human weakness and divine forgiveness.
I still have a fondness for this book because I spent so much time with it growing up. I also like it because shortly after finding it grandmother noticed me looking at it a lot and told me to go ahead and take it home with me. She saw us move around a lot, and she witnessed firsthand the toll it takes on the nerves of everyone in the family. I think she thought this book might be a way that she could help, or maybe she didn’t put that much thought into it. She passed away a few years ago at the age of 91, and I now wish I had taken this book to her and asked her why she gave it to me. Whatever the reason I did enjoy the book growing up, even though it showed a very stereotypic and perfect family. Good heavens, even the dog was perfect in the book.
This is the inside cover of the book. As a little kid I used to spend a lot of time looking at the pictures of the perfect nuclear family with the pretty mom, the handsome dad, and the well dressed children. As an adult, I just now realized that according to the story there were actually three daughters and one son. Huh! I wonder why they chose to only show the perfect two child (one boy, one girl) family on the inside cover?