Tuesday

Oct. 7, 2008

Now

by Greg Watson

I told you once when we were young that
we would someday meet again.
Now, the years flown past, the letters
unwritten, I am not so certain.

It is autumn. There are toothaches hidden
in this wind, there are those determined
to bring forth winter at any cost.
I am resigned to dark blonde shadows

at stoplights, lost in the roadmaps of leaves
which point in every direction at once.
But I am wearing the shirt you stitched
two separate lifetimes ago. It is old

and falling to ash, yet every button blooms
the flowers of your design. I think of this
and I am happy, to have kissed
your mouth with the force of language,

to have spoken your name at all.

"Now" by Greg Watson from The Distance Between Two Hands. © March Street Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

It's the birthday of the novelist and critic Elizabeth Janeway, (books by this author) born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1913. She was in college when she started writing a novel, but she didn't finish it until many years later, while she was raising her first child and pregnant with her second one. The novel was called The Walsh Girls (1943). She went on to write six more novels, and she was a social critic who wrote books about gender issues. She judged the National Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, and she was president of the Authors Guild. She was an influential book critic as well and wrote a famous defense of Lolita when it was first published in the United States. Elizabeth Janeway was the inspiration for the character Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager.

She said, "If one is going to change things, one has to make a fuss and catch the eye of the world."

It's the birthday of the poet and fiction writer Sherman Alexie, (books by this author) born on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, in 1966. The book that made him famous was his first collection of short stories called The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993). He adapted it into a screenplay for the movie Smoke Signals (1998). Smoke Signals was the first commercial feature film entirely written, directed, and acted by Native Americans. His newest book is a young adult novel called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007).

He said, "Indians have a way of surviving. But it's almost like Indians can easily survive the big stuff. Mass murder, loss of language, and land rights. It's the small things that hurt the most. The white waitress who wouldn't take an order, Tonto, the Washington Redskins."

It was on this day in 1959 that the first photos were taken of the far side of the moon. People had been speculating for hundreds of years what the other side looked like, including Galileo. Finally, in 1959, the Soviet spacecraft Lunik 3 flew over the south pole of the moon. It took 29 pictures, and many people were disappointed to find that the far side of the moon looked a lot like the near side. But scientists were excited by the differences. Instead of being covered in many round seas, the far side was mostly covered in mountains.

It's the birthday of the poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman, (books by this author) born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1948. She is the author of A Natural History of the Senses (1990).

It's the birthday of the physicist Niels Bohr, born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1885. In 1913, he published a theory of atomic structure. He proposed that electrons travel in orbits around the atom's nucleus, and that elements are determined by the number of electrons in the outer orbits of their atoms.

He won the Nobel Prize for his work on the structure of the atom, he got married and had six children, and he continued to make important advancements in physics.

Niels Bohr said, "A physicist is just an atom's way of looking at itself."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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