Archive for April, 2012

Transience

The print that hangs on my study wall is old now, as I am. When I look at it I remember seeing the original painting, Georges Rouault’s “The Old King,” in London in the early 1960s. It was on loan from the Carnegie Museum of Art, part of some big exhibition. The Tate or the National Gallery, I don’t remember which. A crowd of viewers. The friends I was with moved on to other rooms in the gallery. I stood rooted in front of the picture, tears streaming down my face. Read the rest of this entry »

Requiem for a Great Horned Owl

A warm late summer afternoon at Stanford University. I’d found a shady grove to sit and eat my lunchtime sandwich. As I strolled back to my office in Encina Hall, the administration building, I noticed several co-workers clustered under the huge live oak in front of the building, hugging each other and gazing at something on the ground. Uneasy, I hurried to join them. The looks on my friends’ faces confirmed my fears. ”Our” Great Horned Owl, who regularly roosted in the oak, lay crumpled on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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