There’s always more to learn, and I want to be a life-long learner. Today, it’s history, science, art and poetry!
In History, my big assignment is to learn about 19th century life in Wisconsin. That’s right, friends; we got the job! Steve and I will be working at Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum in the town of Eagle. We will be costumed interpreter/educators. Steve will be in the Wagon Shop on Tues/Wed/Sat, and I will be in the 1870s German Schottler homestead on Tues/Thurs and in the 1870s St. Peter’s Church on Sat/Sun. Training starts on April 16. I’m sure I’ll be posting more details and photos on that subject in the coming weeks. The season runs through October. Thanks for all your encouragement!
We went on a Science field trip yesterday. My birthday girl, Becca, and the birthday boy, Josh, requested a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago as their gift. I haven’t taken them there since they were quite little, and now, they are in their 20s. My oldest, who is on Spring Break from grad school, jumped at the chance to tag along. I remember visiting with my family as a child in the 70s. It has changed a lot in some ways, not at all in others. My perception has probably changed the most. As a child, I didn’t have any ethical questions about industry. I certainly do now. Like, why is it so great to be able to genetically manipulate corn plants so that they have pesticides in their DNA? Does that make them tastier or healthier? Why is it so great to be using larger and larger tracts of land to grow only one crop to primarily feed one type of animal that only some humans eat? Things like that. After seeing the John Deere side of farming, I’m all the more eager to learn about pioneer models. On the fun side, how many short Italian Galasso kids will fit in the wheel of a tractor? I counted three:
Two old favorites in the museum harken back to the days I remember: the chick hatchery and the human body models.
I’m counting the photos as Art, so now it’s on to Poetry. It’s day #4 of the NaPoWriMo, and the challenge is to write an epithalamium. Yup, I had to look it up. It’s a poem celebrating a wedding, basically. It’s traditionally written for the bride as she goes to her wedding chamber. It can even be sung…think small cherubic boys and girls throwing rose petals and singing about love, happiness, fertility and all that. I actually envisioned writing to my 21-year old self and came up with this:
Epithalamium: To Have and To Hold
What will you have, young bride? And what will you hold?
That which spreads before you on the long damask board
Goes beyond the pretty souvenirs, traditional and fecund.
Ecru or ivory, embossed or engraved – this is the chaff.
The seeds in the wind are the weightier fare.
The blossoms tossed up are the days of your youth.
They fall to grasping hands, twist apart and scatter,
And what will you hold?
Planting your preference in calendar rows,
There grow the roots of a living, a life
With offshoots and upsprouts, the tender
Begging for tending, pulling on your exhalations,
Fastening to your breast, having as you give
A tug-of-love like war.
And what will you hold?
In the night beneath dark sheets,
In the crowded arena,
In the frightful, bright hallway,
In hushed canyons of stone,
In the places of secret or public adventure,
This man. Until you are parted by death.
Then what will you hold?
An open space, the shape of him,
The great restraint that won’t cave in…
Until you are parted as well.