Excelsior! – Yeah, Right

(Excelsior: a Latin word meaning loftier,
used in English as an interjection meaning Ever upward)
***
 
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, ‘mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!
 
His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
      Excelsior!
 
“Try not the Pass!” the old man said;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,
      Excelsior!
 
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
      Excelsior!

“Oh stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast! “
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
      Excelsior!

***
A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!
 
There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell like a falling star,
      Excelsior!
 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 
***
 

IMG_2677I should have posted a list of resolutions on January 1.

I should have said, In 2014, I will write a blog post every day and write one short story a month and submit it for publication and finish my novel and query agents and sign with one and impress a publisher so much that he will offer a 6-book contract and an enormous advance to publish the novel and will pay for a coast-to-coast book tour and I will graciously accept and while waiting for the book tour I will lose 800 pounds and finish my second novel and I will reduce clutter and I will run a marathon and I will read Moby Dick and all of Henry James’ novels and I will learn to cook and will put a tasty and nutritious dinner on the table every night and I will read a book a week and will practice the piano and take voice lessons and a conversational Spanish class and I will, by January 1, 2015, be such a paragon of perfection that I will never have to make another New Year’s resolution ever again.

But all this week, I’ve been in a beastly mood, just waiting for some unsuspecting person to do something nice so I could switch on my evil eye, and that feeling was compounded when Ernest ate six inches of ribbon that was hanging from David’s birthday balloon, which we didn’t think he could reach but were we ever wrong, and then I stayed up two nights watching him for symptoms before delivering him to the emergency clinic Wednesday night and at dawn Thursday picked him up and delivered him to his regular doctor, who this afternoon said so far he seemed okay and probably just needed to come home and move around and relax because he’d been sort of frozen up, not because he was scared but because he didn’t like the people there, from which description I gather he was in a beastly mood, too.

To make a long post short, I don’t want to write about resolutions, much less make them, and even worse, I don’t want to spend 2014 striving to become a better and more productive person.

I want to recline in a vat of chocolate.

Anyway, to show I’m still a good person even though I don’t want to be, I’ll share this post from Totsymae: 9 Rules on How to Be Fabulous in 2014.

Nobody knows more about being fabulous than Totsymae, and I’m not talking everyday, garden variety fabulous. (To wit: Rule 1. Carry breath mints.)

I’ll be back in a day or two and maybe then I’ll have something more edifying to impart.

 

ROW80 1.2.12 Goals & Boiling a Frog

English: A green frog on a palm frond.
A Green Tree Frog (Not Yet Boiled) Sitting on a Palm Leaf--Image via Wikipedia

A friend says resolutions should be brief. Her resolution for 2012 is Move.

Ten years ago, when she was into metaphor, she adopted, Boil the frog slowly.

The former refers to being more physically active. The latter might be phrased, Make small, incremental changes.

I admire her artistry, but deplore her lack of clarity. They’re her resolutions, however. If they work for her, that’s all that matters.

A Round of Words in 80 Days #5 begins today. I was supposed to announce my goals January 1, but didn’t get around to it.  Whether such tardiness portends good or ill remains to be seen. I’m pretty sure I’ll accomplish more than I did during ROW80 #4, when I met about 1% of what I’d set out to do. I offer no apologies for the lapse. I remember 2011 as one long series of lapses.

A medical professional, and my hero, once told me, “You can’t tell your hypothalamus what to do.” Unfortunately, my hypothalamus has no problem at all ordering me around.

Anyway, while good old HT and I are on speaking terms, I re-enter the challenge and state my goals:

1. Write about Molly at least 5 days a week.

2. See #1.

There it is. Simple. Measurable. Doable.

Concerning goals for the non-writing part of life, I haven’t made it beyond the one that’s topped every New Year’s list since I was fifteen. I’ll come up with something else before the end of the month. The process is complicated this year because I’ve gotten so many good ideas from other bloggers:

Ariana at Pearl’s Twirl introduced me to “The Anti-bucket List.” Those resolutions are no trouble at all to keep.

Totsymae helped me with both 2012 resolutions and my anti-bucket list in “Things You Should Admit to Yourself Before You Enter the New Year (or Positively Negative).”  Totsymae knows what she’s talking about.

Kate Shrewsday, in “The Milestone Mirage,” reminded me that our small acts define us, and convinced me to write down my pebbles.

Pseu1’s Blog showed me how to record small stones and introduced me to River of Stones.

So. I’m off to tell ROW80 what I’ve decided.

And then I’ll visit Molly. She’s a delightful girl. If only she didn’t depend on me to choreograph her every move.

English: Frog
Frog (Possibly Boiled)--Image via Wikipedia

*

*

*

*

*

To see what other ROW80 participants are up to, click here.