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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Welcome and Thanks, Dmitri

I have two things to do, the first to welcome two new friends, then to thank the President of Russia for actually considering - and hopefully effecting - the demise of Daylight Savings Time.

First, I noticed  onny969      and   sa girl  .
I noticed  onny969  seems to be based in Malaysia, which is one of my favorite spots on earth, ever since I read Anthony Burgess' Malaysian Trilogy.  Then there's  sagirl, and I am glad you're both here. I actually invite criticisms of the poems. Tell me what you think, how you would change it, what you'd like to hear. Remember, I write them like one per week, so it's not as if I had years and years invested in them.
If you stand back about twenty feet and look at the poems, they look a lot like Jackson Pollock paintings, with words spattered instead of paint. 
I hope your lives are filled with joys.

Now, I wish to thank Mr. Medvedev for considering a ban on Daylight Savings. Statistics have shown that people undergo more stress at the time of the change. Lord knows, I certainly undergo a lot of stress. I'm going to tell my yearly story about Daylight Savings... (I hear undisguised groans throughout the audience).
Simply stated, I could not remember the direction of the change. Did I set the clock one hour ahead in the Fall, or one hour behind? And what did I do in the Spring, tra-la? So my wife had a little ditty: Spring forward, Fall back. This helped one remember that in the Spring, one set the clock forward one hour, and did the reverse in the Fall.
That would be the end of it for most people. They would go about their business, messing with their clocks, and all the clocks would run on time, except the clocks in their cars, of course. Those would be left unadjusted for another five months.

I, however, immediately faced the quandary whether the ditty was Spring forward, Fall back; or Spring back, Fall forward. I could equally envisage springing forward, like a lion, or springing back, like myself confronted by a spider. And I could easily see teams and armies fall back, but also I could imagine the same teams or armies standing at attention in the hot, hot sun until they fell forward on their faces from exhaustion. As a result, I immediately mixed up the little song that was supposed to help me with my clocks, and I was even worse off than before, because I had an extra worry - the stupid ditty itself.
 This whole process reached its climax when one fall I set the clock one hour forward instead of one hour back, resulting in the clocks being a full two hours forward. When I went out to jog in the morning at a sprightly 6:00 AM, I was surprised how little traffic the was on the streets and how few were the signs of life in the neighborhoods I ran through. It took me about three months to sort things out. I left the clocks in the automobiles on DST and their were my only source of chronometric solace until Spring.

So, in honor of Russia - another country I love and had long predicted would get over its troubles and re-emerge to leadership in the 21st century - I reprint the poem below:

To Russia
In Vladivostok once
in the eastern light
we bent our heads into a wint'ry day
and we all did strain mightily
to raise structures
sturdy and strong for Mother Russia.

If Time were as infinite
as it is in Mother Russia,
theotokos, iconic eye of God,
then all the lost would find their way:
the sick would dance
and the mourners rejoice!

To my oil cloth dacha
of the ashen windows
came a brown haired girl so calmly
beautiful; she warmed the day;
she took my eye;
we never returned to the wasteland.


Ruth said...

The extra worry of the song!

Oh that is so rich, and I needed rich in the middle of 59 student emails . . . .

And did you get it right this time?

Montag said...

Yes, but it won't be long before it happens again. If I don't hear someone on TV or radio tell me what to do, I have to rely on the ditty. I don't think I can ever get it right, because both ways make too much sense.

What a bit of deviltry!