Greening of Flying Hat and The Grand Inquisitor

Spring Afternoon, Poprock Hill Looking South, March 31, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Flying Hat Ranchito bursts with grass and flowers this late afternoon in March.  With snowfall this winter, greater amounts of nutrients lobbed onto tiny snowflakes already formed around dust particles, so that natural fertilizer fell from the sky — snow and sleet, not Monsanto.  The grass appears greener, more vibrant.  Certainly, an abundance of flowers bloom that we’ve not seen since homesteading in 2003.

The springing to life, lately dormant, continues in The Grove, and I want to go down there and take photographs — mine are more documentary than artful, but so? — for you and my record. There are willow trees and wild Mustang grapes in The Grove.  A large oak tree that we have dubbed The Council Tree will surely have shade so that we can spread a red-checkered tablecloth on the tailgate of the pickup and have a sandwich and wine or beer.  Definitely, spring in Texas.

Desdemona Windfarm in Distance, March 31, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Desdemona Windfarm in Distance, March 31, 2010 (click to enlarge)

In this second photograph, you see the greening of the trees to the southwest.  If you enlarge the photograph, you can see the Desdemona windfarm of British Petroleum beyond the ridgeline in the distance.  Those windmills are approximately twenty (20) miles or more from us.  I have yet to look upon the windmills and be calmed.  Not that technology should be calming, but the monumental size of these windmills evokes a slight fear, a fever, as it were.   I am glad, however, that the wind is collected and that diminishes our dependence on finite resources.  In a sense, there is a greening in our region along with the greening Flying Hat.

Then comes “The Grand Inquisitor,” chapter five of Book Five: Pro and Contra, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Shortly before turning out the light to go to sleep two nights ago, I mentioned to Brenda that I was going to read one more chapter of The Brothers Karamazov.  The book is not light reading, I knew that.  But, I wasn’t prepared for “The Grand Inquisitor,” for god’s sake, and I’m not trying to be punny.  The sheer length of paragraphs in that chapter overwhelmed me, not to mention the nuances of religion so stretched out that I thought, You can’t wring anymore out of “bread” than what you have already done, Fyodor!  But he did.   My bed lamp did not go out as quickly as I had hoped.  I finished the chapter and have reread it.  Why, you may ask, am I reading The Brothers Karamazov?  First, I want to read the 100 best pieces of literature ever written.  That’s why.  (There are several lists of the “best and greatest.”  I’ll post the lists eventually.)  The Brothers Karamazov is considered one of the greatest compositions.  The second reason is that I am curious about what makes great literature, the writing of a person that brings you into their inner world of comprehension.

There is a lot of idiocy and mindless rant on television, the internet and in the newspapers.  So, in order to bring a sensibility of order and art to my world out here in west Texas, along with my horses and land, I read good things and I think about those things — even the Grand Inquisitor — as I work with horses, unload hay and plant native grass seed in the soil.  I intend to wear out, not rust out, in this great land of ours, the idiocies of the day notwithstanding.  We all need to continue to green in some way, even if it means reading “The Grand Inquisitor” before turning out the lamp.  Do choose another chapter, however.


Filed under Recollections 1990-

8 responses to “Greening of Flying Hat and The Grand Inquisitor

  1. Kittie Howard

    Jack, I loved how you tied all this together. From the fields with fresh spring grasses to the windmills to tested literature, the old and the new working together. Not rusting out, just getting greener, yes, yes! As an honest compliment to you, though, there is a Jewish proverb, that I paraphrase, that says learning for the sake of learning is the sign of a really smart person. And so you are! (About the windmills being scary, they are, but, your observation that it’s scarier without them is true wisdom.) And Happy Easter to you and Brenda!

    • Thanks, Kittie. I really enjoyed your post about the tea party as a child. I elaborated on your blog. Happy Easter to you, Kittie! Hope all will be well for you this weekend.

  2. From your Council Tree to The Brothers Karamazov. Great post. Love your photographs which record the simple things of a beautiful life.

  3. “Intending to wear out, rather than rust out” is a true and good intention Jack. I’m with you. Terrific post. Even at twenty miles out those windmill blades look big and bold. The windmill flocks I’ve driven by in WA and CA have given me the creeps when close. Love the magic they make for the grid, but they are imposing looking as they rise out of blank canvas with sweeping wings.

    I suspect there are many books on that list of 100 that I have not read, but should. Artistry, the writing of great compositions. Not sure how to get there, but after reading one, the place it occupies is forever bettered.

    We have been having wacky weather in our neck of the woods this past week. While driving home from work Thursday evening the car was blanketed with half and inch of hail. As I marveled at it’s sticking power it came to me that I needed to get to some deserving location quickly to off load my fertilizer. You teach, I learn.

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