August, 2009 Archives

the buried life

August 20th, 2009

I memorized (and recited aloud) a large chunk of this poem to get out of taking a final exam for an English class in college. Something about it always stuck with me.

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,
Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!
I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll.
Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,
We know, we know that we can smile!
But there’s a something in this breast,
To which thy light words bring no rest,
And thy gay smiles no anodyne.
Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,
And turn those limpid eyes on mine,                        
And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Are even lovers powerless to reveal
To one another what indeed they feel?
I knew the mass of men conceal’d
Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal’d
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;
I knew they lived and moved                                     
Trick’d in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves–and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!

But we, my love!–doth a like spell benumb
Our hearts, our voices?–must we too be dumb?

Ah! well for us, if even we,
Even for a moment, can get free
Our heart, and have our lips unchain’d;
For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain’d!

Fate, which foresaw                                                    
How frivolous a baby man would be–
By what distractions he would be possess’d,
How he would pour himself in every strife,
And well-nigh change his own identity–
That it might keep from his capricious play
His genuine self, and force him to obey
Even in his own despite his being’s law,
Bade through the deep recesses of our breast
The unregarded river of our life
Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;                        
And that we should not see
The buried stream, and seem to be
Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,
Though driving on with it eternally.

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;                        
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us–to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves–            
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress’d.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well–but ’tis not true!
And then we will no more be rack’d
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;                                                
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,
From the soul’s subterranean depth upborne
As from an infinitely distant land,
Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey
A melancholy into all our day.

Only–but this is rare–
When a beloved hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,                                               
Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
When our world-deafen’d ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d–
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life’s flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.            

And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goes.

The Buried Life

by Matthew Arnold


I found this one in Better Homes & Gardens and instantly knew we had to try it. It calls for ground chicken or turkey, but we had chicken breasts on hand so we just used those. And I couldn’t find ciabatta bread, but found some version of the rustic Italian.

In progress:

The finished product:

Yum yum yum yum yum. Five-thousand stars. This was super good. Highly recommend.

Here’s the link for the recipe, although I think you’ll have to register to view it. If you do a google search you can find the recipe other places as well.

This was a recipe from Darek’s dessert class. Can’t go wrong with sugar and cherries (well, I probably could, but darek was involved so it was fine).

First we had to get all the pits out of the cherries:

Melting sugar and butter:

I can’t even tell you how good this tasted; I didn’t want to make it into cake:

The finished product:

Darek said it didn’t come out like it did in his class; the cherries were supposed to stay at the bottom. (Or the top?) But I thought it was very tasty anyway.

july 1 – 9

August 3rd, 2009

july 1 & 2: didn’t get off to a great start in july

july 3: my parents’ cat Laser

july 4: our july 4th dessert is better than your july 4th dessert NOM NOM

july 5: velcro’s last photo session

july 6: late-night scramble shot

july 7: another one of our home-grown tomatoes

july 8: our kitchen window reflected in a photo frame. i especially like the tomato in the corner.

july 9: i thought these looked cool sitting in the light

We tried out a recipe for barbequed chicken.

The ingredients…did not look pleasant:

Some tasty-looking onions:

Now that’s just disgusting:

Looking better once it’s all mixed and cooked:

Finished product:

Despite how gross it started out, it was pretty good. Better than the Kraft barbeque sauce we usually buy. I would link to the recipe, but I have no idea where it is.