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· On Figuring Tropical Turns ·

Today I mowed my lawn for the first time this spring. The day was apt since, though not the vernal equinox exactly, it was yet near enough to count for it. February 29th has thrown me off some, making my own turns on my lawn here, if not literally representative of a first rite of spring, then figuratively of a deferred attempt to get at one. So it goes with my verbal stylings generally.

I say this since my own traipsings — back and forth on my lawn prompted by our rising sun — do seem themselves like the sun's turnings back and forth between the fabled Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Reflecting mediately on the matter, but not quite exactly, inclines me like the old sun today — really from a precession of our orbiting earth — to take account of where I am.

And where is that, pray tell? Well, mostly traipsing back and forth and forth and back in recurring patterns known, quite rightly in our langauge, by one of three common phrases from Greek, Latin, and English,

  • Tropics of Discourse
  • Figures of Speech
  • Turns of Phrase

The only trouble I'm having — besides the literal fact that my machine gave up the ghost today — is what to do with the residual matter of compos(t)ing my grass clippings.


Wonderful metaphor! That "residual matter," though, is not waste — it's the stuff of memory, the still remembered past, quite useful for both composting and composing.

Posted by loretta markle on March 24, 2004 06:35 AM
Posted by Styles on March 24, 2004 12:54 PM


Posted by loretta markle on March 24, 2004 02:42 PM

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