5 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2021
    1. History Is a Pontoon Bridge   Unless everything in a man’s memory of childhood is misleading, there is a time somewhere between the ages of five and twelve which corresponds to the phase ethologists have isolated in the development of birds, when an impression lasting only a few seconds may be imprinted on the young bird for life.

      I'm guessing what he means in the context of this book is his environment left a lasting impression on him. I can respect that.

    1. derrick

      "A machine for hoisting and moving heavy objects, consisting of a movable boom equipped with cables and pulleys and connected to the base of an upright stationary beam." - thefreedictionary.com

    2. My memory gropes uneasily, trying to establish itself among fifty-foot cottonwoods, lilac and honeysuckle hedges, and flower gardens. Searched for, plenty of familiarities are there: the Pastime Theater, identical with the one that sits across Main Street from the firehouse in my mind; the lumber yard where we used to get cloth caps advertising De Laval Cream Separators; two or three hardware stores (a prairie wheat town specializes in hardware stores), though each one now has a lot full of farm machinery next to it; the hotel, just as it was rebuilt after the fire; the bank, now remodeled into the post office; the Presbyterian church, now United, and the Leader office, and the square brick prison of the school, now with three smaller prisons added to it.

      The authors town is severely different and he's trying to remember it how it was. I sympathize with this. I remember an old coolycats toy store my parents took me to when I was a kid. The toys were always super cool and interesting to look at and play with. It sucks they retired a few years ago but that was a great move considering COVID.

    3. The drama of this landscape is in the sky, pouring with light and always moving. The earth is passive. And yet the beauty I am struck by, both as present fact and as revived memory, is a fusion: this sky would not be so spectacular without this earth to change and glow and darken under it. And whatever the sky may do, however the earth is shaken or darkened, the Euclidean perfection abides. The very scale, the hugeness of simple forms, emphasizes stability. It is not hills and mountains which we should call eternal. Nature abhors an elevation as much as it abhors a vacuum; a hill is no sooner elevated than the forces of erosion begin tearing it down. These prairies are quiescent, close to static; looked at for any length of time, they begin to impose their awful perfection on the observer’s mind. Eternity is a peneplain.

      The author is explaining why he loves the land. I have to say they are convincing points.

    4. If I say to the owl, “Your great-grandfather lived in my house, and could turn his head clear around and look out between his shoulder blades,” I know he will bow, being polite, and then turn his head clear around and look out between his shoulder blades, and seeing only unbroken grass, will cough and say, “What house? Whose?” I know the very way the wind will ruffle his feathers as he turns; I can hear the dry silence that will resume as soon as he stops speaking. With the clarity of hallucination I can see my mother’s weathered, rueful, half-laughing face, and hear the exact tone, between regretful and indomitable, in which she says the words with which she always met misfortune or failure: “Well,” she will say, “better luck next timel”

      The author is reminiscing about the land. Thinking about his old home and his family. Definitely very deep and thoughtful and I like that.