Friday, 14 October 2011

What's Past and What's to Come

I'm at my annual writer's retreat and am getting a lot done, so I don't have much in the way of photos this year. I want to dedicate this blog to one of my teachers, Kenneth O. Hanson, whom I learned last night had died in 2003. When I was a young and evidently very impressionable first year student, I saw him out walking on our wooded campus. He looked preoccupied and so I didn't rush over to greet him in characteristic style. I was however perplexed by his activities so the next time I saw him in class, I asked what he had been doing walking out in the campus wilds. His reply was simple and perhaps even obvious enough and yet it was one of those things that overpowered me with its implications. Like Bernstein's story in Citizen Kane about the woman with the white parasol*, I have thought about this moment from my college years frequently and as a reminder of what it means to be a poet, a scholar and a mindful human being. I was saddened to learn that you had died, Professor Hanson and appreciate what you have taught me about what is valuable in life. Here are two images from my walk. I have only two, because I spent the rest of the time in thought and the thoughts were the more valuable of the experience.

* The comment in Citizen Kane is as follows:

"A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl." Cited from Wikipedia I bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought about this comment!

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