O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,–
Nature’s observatory–whence the dell,
In flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
‘Mongst boughs pavilion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
—-John Keats

Digitalis (Foxglove) Dallas Arboretum

A Fellow of Infinite Jest

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?
—-Shakespeare, Hamlet, V.i


Shakespeare Sculpture, Dallas Arboretum

The Effort of the Frogs

We may know that the work we continue to put off doing will be bad. Worse, however, is the work we never do. A work that’s finished is at least finished. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the lone flowerpot of my neighbour who’s crippled. That plant is her happiness, and sometimes it’s even mine. What I write, bad as it is, may provide some hurt or sad soul a few moments of distraction from something worse. That’s enough for me, or it isn’t enough, but it serves some purpose, and so it is with all of life.
—-Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Frog Fountain, Dallas Arboretum

Day after day, the frogs threw out the water, tirelessly. Mostly for the amusement of children on hot summer days, the water still flowed on overcast afternoons when nobody was there to see it. Only on the rare forecast of freezing did the caretaker turn the brass valve that stopped the arching torrent. On those days, the frogs rested.