". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mapping the Nation + Christmas Season

      . . . . "How Maps Became Modern" is a map lovers' website.

 It has been created as a companion to the book by Susan Schulten, Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America  (2016) published by the University of Chicago Press

     . . . This is the time of year when I love the grey and overcast, damp and thus foggy.  I  especially appriciate then, when a bit of sun filters through the massed nebbia*. This light is magical and makes the bits of natural beauty of branch and stem and withered flower just glow. This is true even when the temperatures are well below freezing as they were this last week.

Lately those big grasses that we tend to refer to as wild oats or foxtail weeds have become popular as window box ornamental botanicals. After the freezes and then the snow plus ice, they have slumped over, with bits of snow or ice still clinging to them, and the very delicate pink at the base where the stem begins -- breathtakingly lovely.

I had to stop yesterday and just look at them for a while ranged in a long stretch of planter boxes on West Village sidewalk wrought iron fence. The sun barely shafting through the then breaking cloud cover got caught in the bits of snow and ice and rain, refracting like prisims, tiny elfin rainbows

     . . . .Currently the temperature is up to 57° and it is raining, washing away all that ice and slop the snow turned into yesterday as it crawled above freezing.

My Childhood Hero!  I adored Roy Rogers.

I am listening to a Country and Western Christmas music.  At this moment it is Roy Rogers and Dale Evans brought to my own hovel via the magic of that supposedly out-moded retro technology, the radio!

Oops, now we've progressed to Elvis singing Christmas music.  Yah, Elvis is still King.


*   In the Venetian language the word for winter is nebbia, which means fog. As the Eskimos supposedly have many words for snow, the Venetians have many words for fog. Another is caligo, a light mist.

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