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Jan 1, 2019

We made it this far.

The last week of 2018 was puzzling to me. New Years greetings began to drift in with the fog on Boxing Day, causing me to think more than a few times that I had ripvanwinkled my distracted way into 2019 out here on the quinta, failing to notice much of anything more than my concern for getting the last late invoices out, finishing a course plan and hauling - wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow full - a tractor load of horse manure that some idiot dumped at the bottom of the hill rather than at the top, next to the garden where it is needed.

Whew. No new wars in 2018, and though the fascist stones continue to strike the crumbling bastions of democracy, these are in part being used to rebuild those walls or to whet the knives for the fights ahead. However these turn out, at least some will achieve a better understanding of the world shared by their grandparents or a generation or two before that.

Translation continues as before, seeming dull in its routine upon superficial inspection, but revealing unexpected and pleasurable textures as they eyes focus or the hand is laid on the work. Emily Wilson's Odyssey translation was among the better works which graced the past year for me, and it prepared me well for the imaginative inspirations of Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles and Circe, which told so well the subtext lost in too many heroic tales, that the real heroism of humanity is more often and better found in the hearts of its minor characters. Never did I expect to hear my thoughts in the mouth of Telemachus.

So. Here we are in 2019. Those good wishes for a bom ano novo won't seem so out of place now. Well aged, the flavors of good are complex, with bitter notes or a touch of vinegar sometimes, like the mead I forgot so long in its oxidative fermentation vessel and bottled a year late. But we can taste it, and sometimes that is enough.

Making limoncello from life.



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