October Images
Advance and Retreat

That Here We Pace


Jim was not due home till 8pm again on Wednesday and I anticipated a more nervous than on Tuesday Charlie, his pattern being (exemplified by the results of my three successive trips to Greece) to be less able to deal with things (well, some things, like Mom In a Foreign Country Time Zones Away) over time. But Wednesday afternoon passed indeed without incident and without extra just-in-case security measures involving pharmaceuticals.

For the better part of two hours, Charlie and I (said meds in pocket) walked in circles on our front lawn with a long sing-songy chant of 'Daddy Daddy Daddy' / 'Daddy coming' at the end (on Tuesday, we had started the Daddy-kenning just around 6pm). Various individuals, dogs, bike riders and cars passed us by.

Next Wednesday is due to be more challenging as, while Jim will only be working late one night (the usual Wednesday) -- he can't change his teaching schedule till next year; scheduling at universities is like that, a bit 'set in stone' and thou shalt not ask Registrar nor the Deanery to change nary a thing within the academic year -- it will not be until 10.30pm and there will not be a night ride as Charlie and Jim enjoyed very much last night.

I had memorized Simonides' epitaph for the 300 Spartans who died at Thermopylae -- I read it first the year I learned Ancient Greek when I was 14 (it's at Herodotus 7.28) -- and it has echoed in my head ever since.

ὦ ξεῖν᾽, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε / o stranger, tell the Lakedaimonians that here

κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι. / we lie, their orders obeying.

('The Charge of the Light Brigade' about the 600 started to seep into my thinking too.)

Elegiac couplets are well to recite as one goes through one's paces.



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