8 April 99

If you've been listening to the news about Kosovo, as I have, you can't help but worry a bit about the world... and think of Will Rogers who asked, "If stupidity got us into this, why can't stupidity get us out?" We'd be golden if that were the case! The big issues are worrisome, and sad, but there are small pleasures to be enjoyed, cherished...

25 years ago today, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's lifetime homerun record by hitting his 715th homerun. (Who do you think will break Hank's record of 755 homeruns? Have you kept your own lifetime stats? I didn't. But I'm thinking I will from now on. Just for the heck of it.)

Today I attended to the rooting of new African violets and geraniums. For some reason, the violets didn't do well over the winter. Many of them seem to have just decided to shrivel up and die of dehydration in spite of proper watering. I don't know why. I haven't done anything differently. Perhaps it was too cold on the window sill; perhaps it was something else...

The geraniums wintered in the kitchen and are now quite rangy. I'm told I should have cut them back last fall, but I always have bad luck doing that, so I wait until spring. I put three of the cuttings in sand to root-- they tell me I can't do that, but it seems to work. I find that I can do many things that "can't be done." Probably because I don't know I can't.

Walking around the neighborhood tonight I could smell wood smoke, and daffodils, and hyacinths. The forsythia will be in full bloom tomorrow. The rhododendron will follow soon... then there will be roses...

We've had a lot of wind the past few days, but the weather has been mild. Tonight the backdoor stands open, and it's calm and fragrant and dark-- the old moon won't be up until near dawn. The sky is a bit hazy, but if you look up as you come up the front walk, now, just before midnight, you'll see the constellation Leo lying just above my roof. Look to the west and you will see Gemini (Pollux on the left, Castor on the right) and Auriga , the Charioteer, standing on the horizon. Turn north and crane your neck and you'll see the Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, upside down. You can just make out The Horse and Rider, the "double star" Mizar and Alcor, in the dipper's handle. They say the Roman Legion used these stars to test the eyesight of prospective legionnaires, a tradition borrowed from earlier empires, no doubt.

"We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
--Oscar Wilde

It's supposed to rain tomorrow-- but that's what April is all about.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
      --T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


The Star Hustler, Jack Horkheimer, can be found at:
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