Thursday, June 16, 2011

Joseph, c'etait le pigeon!

By way of light relief from the last drama filled posts, this is a reminder to us all that it is Bloomsday! Remember, the day on which the events and multiple-part jokes and allusions and general stratospheric intelligence masked as confusion that is James Joyce's Ulysses took place.

And my blogpost title is one of the funniest damn jokes in literature, very irreverent, very funny, involving the virgin birth, the depiction of the Holy Spirit as a dove, and a peasant girl who thinks what the heck, dove, pigeon, and explaining how this came about, and Joseph understandably puzzled and wondering what his next move should be now that his young bride turns out to be pregnant with no apparent effort on his part...this is so typical of the entire wonderful novel, which is packed, pressed down, and running over, with allusions that once you start to unpack you'll be at it forever. My picture is of the baby mourning doves who were born on our front porch a couple of years ago, playing their part in history...

So this is my personal Bloomsday Tribute. You'll be relieved to know that it won't be as opaque as Ulysses. Though I expect you've found a few allusions and wonder what they are about, or if you know, are figuring out how to retaliate, I mean reciprocate..

And my horoscope for today, I always read that no matter what is going down, among other gems, states: "Applying greater force will not get you farther toward your goals today." Well, dammit, when my main life policy is that, when all else fails, get a bigger hammer!

So I'll have to be content with sharply pointed allusions, I guess.

The homefront continues to be dodgy, but no worse crises have erupted, but I'm juggling all kinds of possible helpful things, which is wearing me out totally.

We had a very nice occupational therapist out today to see what can be done to help HP stay upright in his chair, since he has now lost all ability on his left side to keep the vertical. She had all kinds of good ideas and will follow up on some of them, and gave me many pieces of advice, mostly stuff I've been doing for years already! but very nice, very conscientious.

And I'm working on getting home aides to help out a couple of times a week with the personal care, too expensive to have them more often than that, Medicare not covering this. So I'm hopeful that just a bit of relief will be helpful.

But there's a mass of PTSD, terrible flashbacks to the nightmares of a couple of years ago, which come up with all these people, not them, the situation. But I live in hopes that it will pass.

So that's us! Happy Bloomsday, all. And please post your favorite bit from Joyce. Can be from Dubliners, since that's a favorite of a lot of people, and more accessible.


  1. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.

    There you go: my favorite Joyce. :)

    Loved this post, Liz. My dear friend Nancy is an OT and they do wonderful work. I'm glad HP's had useful input.

    Love youse!

  2. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read the book. Something I will rectify, I think, after I read this Miss Read series you've talked about.

  3. Literary pleb that I am, I must confess to never having read Joyce. Not on the curriculum when I was at school. I think the nuns had enough trouble getting us to read Othello. So, unfortunately I can't quote anything. You will have to be satisfied and amused I hope, with knowing that I have dropped by and you initally had me totally confused with your post until I read a bit further. Enjoy your Bloomsday.

  4. I'm another slothful one. I've never been able to plow through any of his writing. But enjoy Bloomsday, nonetheless.

    I'm glad you are getting some extra help.

  5. I have, truly, read 'Ulysses' - tried as a teen, managed it when domestic trials were extreme, but don't have a copy. However, I looked up some quotes from that book, and decided that as you enjoy cooking (and I would enjoy your meals), here's Joyce's comment on Mr Bloom's supper:

    "Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine." Goes along so nicely till that last sentence which totally cracks me up.

    love, annie

    (I can't open my Google account, so have to use the anonymous button!)


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