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Snowshoe and Haiku

May 2, 2011

Friday, we took a little snowshoe up toward Waterdog Lakes, although we didn’t go all the way. The trail was mostly obliterated, drifted in with crusty snow, which made for uncertain side-hill footing. It ceased to be fun.

But that was perfect, since we’d just finished watching “The Last Place on Earth,” a 7-part mini-series about the Amundsen-Scott race for the South Pole. It’s a gem of series.

Watch it with a blanket. You will feel cold. The library has the 3-dvd set as well as the book on which it was based. The book has the same title now, but originally it was simply titled “Scott and Amundsen.”

The Englishman Scott died and was lionized. The Norwegian Amundsen survived and was forgotten, despite the consummate skill with which he reached the pole.

I didn’t give anything away. It’s not as if there’s a surprise ending. But what is fascinating is the in-depth look at two different cultural and professional approaches to the task. Thinking of Amundsen and his men, I thought of Wallace Stevens’ poem:

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind …

Perhaps this poem will give you an idea, if you haven’t already made your piece for the library’s challenge art show, “Haiku: Capturing the Essence.” The drop-off date is Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and noon.

Remember: If your haiku is not incorporated into the work but needs to be displayed beside it, you must email the text to Sally Mather by May 4th. See the instructions at the library.

This Saturday also happens to be our Spring book sale. So, if you’re dropping off work for the art show, don’t be dismayed. Drop off work in the library meeting room, part of which will also be the Free Room for the book sale. Just push on through.

You still have time to weed your book shelves at home. You can donate the books to our sale and make room for more at the same time.

The sale will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The prices are the usual and the media will be the usual (hardbacks, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, etc.), although I’m not sure there are any LPs for this sale.

Some time around 2:00 p.m., prices are slashed as we enter the home stretch and try to move books out the door. The question is always asked, “What do you do with all the remainders?”

The answer used to be: “Landfill.” Really. Reactions range from horror to depression. However, realize that there have been times when we found someone to take all the remainders. And many of the books do find homes, regardless.

A church mission takes paperbacks to put in care packages for soldiers overseas. Children’s books have gone to a Head Start program or to grade schools in need. Inmates from the county jail often help us box up remainders and at the same time they replenish the jail’s library. Many books go to the state correctional facilities.

Last fall, instead of using the landfill, we were able to recycle the leftovers through Angel of Shavano recycling … a bit like shopping locally. See you Saturday.

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