Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Old Khayyám and I
Wonder how he got away with it. In today's world of Islamic fundos there would be a fatwa on his head. Perhaps the fact that he was a renowned astronomer and mathematician, in the good graces of the ruler (Vizier), protected him from their wrath. Or maybe there were enlightened mullahs in Persia, if such a thing was possible.
"Alike for those who for today prepare,
And those that after some tomorrow stare,
A Muezzin from the tower of darkness cries,
'Fools! Your reward is neither here nor there'. "
--Second Version, 1868
Edward FitzGerald (31 March June 1883), the superb translator of the Rubaiyat, was reported to be a dour man who lived the life of an ascetic.
Looking west toward the coast
Time for wild flowers is past but we saw some sticky monkeys, patches of clarkias and a place where there were a few penstemmons.
©Musafir July 9, 2007
Picnic by the lake
We had penne and shrimps in a tomato, garlic, basil sauce; rosemary flavored ciabatta from Grace Bakery; large slices of tomato drizzled with olive oil, salt and julienned basil (the juice from the tomato mixes with the oil and makes a great sauce to dip the bread); and fresh figs baked with just a small amount of honey and lavender sprigs -- a little cream can be added at the end for richness (I had it for dessert somewhere in Provence and my efforts come pretty close to the taste I remember). All washed down with a sauvignon blanc, followed by JHL's strong dark roast coffee from Peets. It cannot get any better.
We then continued on down to Lambert Creek. It is a one-way trail and we had to exert ourselves to walk back up to the Ridge Trail on the return leg. Hiking poles helped.
There are times when old Khayyám reappears, and the picnic by the lake yesterday was one of those.
"Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough
A flask of wine, a book of verse--and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness
And wilderness is paradise enow."
-- First Version, 1859
Well, the birds did the singing.