November 19, 2007

Gloomy November.

The photographs from yesterday's walk in the park are so somber. It's almost frightening.



But hold on. There are days like this. It's not every day. And there is beauty in the darkness...


... is there not?



Maxine Weiss said...

"Somber" "Darkness"


Are you that disconnected from nature?

Zeb Quinn said...

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

--Herman Melville, Moby Dick
(from the opening paragraph)

Ann Althouse said...

Hypos, eh? That's an eerie passage for a law professor to read.

Ann Althouse said...

" methodically knocking people's hats off ..."

I'm just irked about the shorts. You can leave your hat on.

ricpic said...

As leave the leaves
The trees the trees the trees
Come in their own.

Above our heads defined
In stark outlines:
A grid of wintry bones.

ricpic said...

As leave the leaves
The trees the trees the trees
Come in their own.

Above our heads defined
In stark outline
A grid of wintry bones.


MadisonMan said...

It is unnatural for leaves still to be green as Thanksgiving is near. Go knock the trees off that (Linden?) tree in the last photo.

George said...

Looks like scenes from the creepy Kubrickesque Nicole Kidman movie Birth

Trooper York said...

I thought I saw Maxine pushing Rosemary's baby in a stroller in one of the photos?

reader_iam said...

Mid-October is one of my favorite times of year....oh, wait.

Ron said...

Wow, I thought the same thing George did about the pics...again, very beautiful stuff.

Richard Dolan said...

Zeb and Ann are riffing about Moby D's famous opening. Melville invites a comparison with the Biblical original of Ishmael's story, and so we may as well follow along with the riff and take a look at that too.

Ishmael's name is derived from a Hebrew root meaning "he hears." The ending "-el" refers generally to the divine; it was derived from the Canaanite name for various gods, and was used to avoid the sacred name. Perhaps the Biblical author wanted to suggest some connection to a Canaanite god. I suppose Melville was more interested in Ishmael's status as an exile, rejected by his father (at the command of the father's wife) but still beloved by Abraham and protected by God's promises to him. Melville's Ishmael is an exile, too, and is also the beneficiary of divine protection (whether of the Biblical God or the pagan god of the intended occupant of the coffin that ultimately saves Ishmael is less clear). Ishmael is contrasted with his half-brother and Abraham's legitimate son, Isaac, whose name means "he laughs." Both Abraham and Sarah laughed when told that she would bear a son (at age 90; Abraham was about 100). The name reminds them of their lack of trust, a standing rebuke in its way.

Both names relate to the sense of hearing rather than sight. But I guess they'll do as a stand-in for visual gloominess. As it happens, the story of Ishmael (both the Biblical original and Melville's retelling) is pretty gloomy -- much more than these otherwise very pretty pix of NY's parks on an overcast day.

Palladian said...

Reminds me of Blow-Up...