1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sylvan Settings and Golden Aurelia--Liminal Secrets to Good Health

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
"This is no flattery; these are counselors
That feelingly persuade me what I am..."
--from As You Like It by William Shakespeare, Act 2, Scene 1--

I hope that my brothers and sisters in exile--holed up indoors while winter rages on outside--find some warm, Southern comfort in this post and the words of Duke Senior. On the last day of January, my Secret Aging Man and I walked some trails in the woods at UWF.

Peanut the Younger often takes chances by leaping onto favorite trees. She really seems to favor this Loropetalum. I'm thinking it must have an extra helping of prana--the life force or energy that is supposed to be holding this old world together. Our massage therapist daughter has taken a class in pranic healing and sometimes practices what she has learned on us.

The Secret Aging Man (aka Hubby) takes his pruning seriously and recommends a session for the crepe myrtle in the backyard. Lately, I have seen these trees around here, severely trimmed and making it look like a mad barber has been turned loose on the town. I agreed with the recommendation, but I'm afraid to show you the results of the session. Maybe I'll wait until there is some new growth sprouting in the spring.

At this time of year, when the evening comes early and the frosty air chases us indoors as soon as the sun sets, silly things like lava lamps take us back in time for a laugh or two.

The simplest things keep us satisfied these days, which is a good thing, because they are relatively cheap but oh-so-valuable for nutrition. Gold standards may change with time, but excellence in nutrition and health never goes out of style. Thomas More's Utopia (first published in 1516) found interesting solutions to the problem of maintaining a high standard of living in a world even then obsessed with possessions:
Now if in their society [Utopia] these metals [gold and silver] were put away in
some tower, the ruler and the senate might be suspected of deceiving the people
by some trick and getting some good from it for themselves--such is the foolish
anxiety of the mob. And then if they made platters out of them or other vessels
made by goldsmiths, if ever the occasion arose to melt them down and use them to
pay mercenaries, they realize that once people had begun to delight in them they
would be reluctant to give them up. To obviate these difficulties they have
thought up a method quite compatible with the rest of their arrangements but
very far removed from ours (for we value gold very highly and hide it away quite
carefully), a method which is therefore hard to believe unless you have
experienced it. Whereas they eat and drink from vessels of earthenware and
glass, beautifully crafted but inexpensive, they use gold and silver, not only
in the common halls but also in private houses, to make all the chamberpots and
lowliest containers.

I hope I am correct in identifying this jellyfish as Aurelia aurita, a moon jellyfish. It does not look exactly like the photos I have found online but close enough by description of size and color. Notably missing are the reproductive organs clearly evident in the other photos I have seen. It was not moving like the Portugese man o' war I saw on Pensacola Beach last month. Maybe its reproductive days are over, which would be a crying shame. It might be one of those valuable jellyfish deemed edible by discriminating palates in some Asian countries. Sushi, anyone?
...Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
--from As You Like It, 2.1.12-17--


  1. You don't need a daily post as you do such an amazing job. I am sad to see that you don't have any snow to walk through and I can send plenty.

  2. Hi W2W, ....good in everything and gold for chamberpots, hear hear! Thanks for the warm walk. It was fun to see the younger up in the tree, loropetalums are tiny shrubs here, if they even survive. Nature with prana to spare, I needed that. Thanks.

  3. Michelle, thanks. I'm not sure I could post every day. Though it might be a good diet plan for me. Writing this blog has become a wee bit cathartic, and I might just waste away to nothing if I were to post on it all the time. Reading and commenting on other blogs like yours is much more enjoyable, and I get to enjoy the snow from a distance, thanks!

  4. Ah, yes, thank you, W2W for the glimpse of sunshine and walking through warm greenery. We have had worse winters than this, but this year it seems to be dragging on so long... I have spent far too much time inside and seem to want to hibernate.

    Using gold for chamberpots--I like that! Wonder how this might translate today; what could we do to keep Wall Street and the big bankers from lusting after their own gold? I see that Obama is proposing a maximum wage for big execs; interesting concept.

  5. Those utopians had a good sense of humor and kept priorities in the proper perspective. A little bass-ackward, so to speak, but quite effective for keeping peace in a society. If only it were really so! I had heard of gold faucets before but never chamberpots. I'm glad you liked the post, Frances!

    Rose, I for one would not have any problem with a maximum wage of $400,000 a year. Bring it on, Mr. O! I still say distribute the bailout to the people instead of the corporations. Things would really start to turn around in this country then, and everyone would be a lot less fearful. "Nothing to fear but fear itself"--bah humbug, FDR!

  6. I enjoy taking strolls with you through the woods and on the beach. I see such interesting things through your eyes! But I would have been a bit unnerved if my fur baby were up on the tree. I would have been such an overprotected mommy to a human. Good thing I only have cats! lol... Ah, the lava lamp takes me back to a more simple time in life. Is gold a warm substance for my butt to sit on during those cold winter nights? I need a “seat warmer” so badly as my butterball stays way to cold after a quick tinkle. tee hee, pun intended here as I am feeling frisky today. Ah, please tell me you did not Murder your Myrtle. :-) Am sure hubby knows best so go with it and let us see Miss Myrtle with her clothes on…. Money, ha, if you bail one out, you better be ready to bail them all out!

    Post when you can, enjoy life other wise. My arrangement with Tina is great. Twice a week for me and life is good!

  7. Skeeter, I'm glad to be of service! Don't worry about Peanut. The branch of the "tree" she was sitting on is actually only about six feet off the ground. We should have called her monkey instead. Sometimes we catch her on top of the kitchen cabinets or fridge, which is no small feat. To get to either of those points, she has to balance herself on top of the coffee maker! Sometimes I wonder if she is trying to administer the white-glove test to my housekeeping ability. I must be failing miserably because she is covered with cobwebs and dust when retrieved from her perch. Blame the blog! You know, "Murder of the Myrtle" sounds like a good future title, although I hope I don't have to use it.

  8. Ha! Well Bill, you can take all these cold white "counselors" away from here! I need not be "feelingly" persuaded in these my senior years!

    I did indeed, find a measure of warmth, dear friend; thank you so very much for that transcendental trip along the banks of that creek. Or would you call it a stream? (Surely it's no river.) "Secret Aging Man" should've taken a photo of you on that tree trunk; it would've been lovely I'm sure. I would also be inclined to believe there'd be a dose of prana wafting around there. * Please don't tell us "Secret Aging Man" mutilated the crepe myrtle. If so, how could you allow it?? I've heard Lagerstroemia indica usually recover nicely from hard prunings, I'm sure you're aware of that also. I've often thought of trying one of the hardier varieties here, I think there's one hardy to zone 6. And even then, growin it in a zone 5 garden would produce nothin more than a crepe myrtle shrub I reckon. * Did I just hear you say "frosty air" chasing y'all indoors? What air temperature are you referring to as being chilly? If your answer is not at least 40 degrees or lower, I'm boycotting your blog (for five minutes). I had a lava lamp till curiosity got the better of me and my brother * And I thought Sir Isaac Newton was only responsible for discovering gravity, and that Thomas More was more famous for being the patron saint of politicians. * Jellyfish don't deserve their name, they should be called mucusfish instead.

  9. TC, I'm so glad you warmed up for a minute or two. Frosty? Yes, it's supposed to get down to 20 degrees F tonight. I've got my baby plants in the garden (broccoli, cabbage, lettuce) covered with pine straw so I hope they will be all right. The myrtle had been looking a little puny this past year, not blooming much and straggly, so we both thought a good haircut was in order. I've been reading conflicting opinions on hard pruning, so only time will tell if this experiment will work. Speaking of experiments, Sir Isaac was quite the alchemist and chance-taker himself and not at all inclined to go along with conventional wisdom:

    It does seem kind of odd to think of him as the Master of the Mint. I guess success in academics pretty much guaranteed political appointments in his day. More was quite the scholar himself, but I think he eventually regretted his political appointment. His "inertia" in the face of Henry VIII's wish to "move forward" proved to be a fatal error in judgment. Geez! You would think Henry could have just laid him off and sent him packing. So you don't think jellyfish would be okay poached like the eggs? Oh, and I'm not much of a tree climber anymore (if I ever was). Especially not on a limb over cold, running water.

  10. Hi W2W, just passing through once again to take another lovely walk with you through the woods, or the beach, or wherever your thoughts lead you in poetry or verse. It's always nice to stop by. Your kitty is sweet and such a monkey, as you say!

  11. I don't know how I keep missing your posts. I must clean up my blog list I am thinking. First of all Secret Aging Man is looking younger and younger each time you post him. He must be loving it back in Florida. I do love that jellyfish. The Jimster got a lava lamp for Christmas and loves his blue/green one. They are heartwarming on cold evenings.

  12. HI there,
    We visited each other a while back. When I returned to blogging, I forgot to bookmark many interesting blogs I found and "duh", I just realized I could find people again by clicking on the comment link you left on my blog. I have to keep track of the other green-eyed gals in our blogosphere. :)

    Enjoyed these green photos of the woods(It's ice and snow here) and oh, that is one slippery slimy closeup of a jellyfish! Also smiled at your nickname for hubby b/c mine used to play "Secret Agent Man" on road trips...

  13. Gold or silver for the lowliest containers?! Any contact with verse for me is your excellent choice(s) for your post. Enjoyed the view of the woods and the rest of the photos.Would love to see your crepe myrtles at bloom-time.

  14. Jan, I'm glad you could make it over for a while. I hope your problems with Blotanical have been resolved. The picture of the sick birds on your site was really sad. I've never seen birds afflicted with mites before. One can only hope for their recovery too.

    Tina, Secret Aging Man says "Bless you!" I tell him the same thing, but he doesn't believe me for some reason. Maybe it's the expression on my face or the tone of my voice. I didn't know lava lamps were still such a hit with the younger crowd. Tell the Jimster he has great taste in decor.

    GEL, I'm guilty of the same absentmindedness. I will be adding you to my Bloglist. Thanks for the return visit! Regarding the SAM, are you referring to playing the song or some kind of game on road trips?

    Kanak, thank you! If (when!) the myrtle blooms, I will post about it for sure.

  15. I liked the sylvan settings. And quotes were just right!

  16. Shakespeare, nature photos and a lava lamp – what more could I ask for? I'm smiling and feeling warmer, thanks.

  17. Troutbirder, thank you. You're also quite the explorer of sylvan settings. This is the best time of year to explore them here in FL.

    Sarah, I wish I could offer you an interesting local brew, but you would have to come away from the fire and join me at the local Irish pub. No pinching of the butt there, but if you stay late enough to get good and rowdy, you have to kiss the Moose. Or so my daughter tells me...:)

  18. Many thanks for the Shakespeare. Lovely to read it on a rainy day like this.

    Greetings from London.

  19. Wow! That Shakespeare is heavy. I wonder if he would have been a blogger? For as famous as he is, there are so many questions about who he (she) was.

  20. I love your meditation on enjoying the simple things, even if (or especially if) such things aren't golden chamber pots. Family and good home-cooking are much more rewarding, especially in this winter season when so many of our blogging friends are huddled by their fires.
    BTW, I can't wait to see the "after" picture of the pruned crepe myrtle.

  21. Lets experiment: send me one of the suckers "Secret Aging Man" pruned from your crepe myrtle and I'll see if I can get it goin up here in the almost Great White North.

  22. ACIL, well, you're probably enjoying some sunshine on your vacation right about now, according to your latest post. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm guessing we must have crossed paths on Sarah Laurence's blog. I'm glad I was able to brighten your day.

    Mr. S, you've touched on a sensitive (soft?) spot in my mind. I'm working on a list of Top Ten Time Travel Destinations, and Shakespeare's study/library is in the top five. I would love to see the Bard hard at work, whoever he/she really was.

  23. Weeping Sore, you have hit the nail on the head about the meditation. I'm so glad you enjoyed my offering of intersections. You shall see the "after" picture of the crepe myrtle, guaranteed.

    TC, the crepe myrtle trimmings have joined snippings from the rose bushes on the compost pile, and if you think I'm going to untangle those suckers, you've got another think coming. You will have to put in a request ahead of time for next year. And I hope you have a hot-box/greenhouse for anything to come of it, oh Nanook of the North!

  24. How special you've made me feel by referring to me as "Nanook of the North," you Glowing Goddess of Southern Warmth. ;~)

  25. TC, I couldn't help myself. I like the euphony of the term. It's catchy, you know. And I prefer the whole concept to something like The Iceman Cometh. Your term for me isn't too bad either. I might just have to start another blog with that name when this one runs its course.

  26. Hey w2w, it's so nice to see the scenes you've posted here, why it almost reminds me of home! %~)

    A couple of thoughts:

    Who is your daughter taking Pranic Healing lessons from? If it's the Williams', he's my chiropractor.

    I don't like seeing crape myrtles polled, I think it looks awful and I think it should be illegal. On the other paw, the wood is rock hard and can be used for rustic furniture building and other crafty things.

    I had a love/hate relationship with jelly fish. I hate going to the beach and slowly being stung everywhere either by them or parts of them. I guess I need to remember to bring meat tenderizer with me along with the sunblock.

    I'm glad we don't have snow. That's why God created blogging, so we can all share without the actual experience.

  27. Hi, PJ. You asked about the pranic healing class. Daughter took a class for continuing ed (CEUs required for licensure) purposes but also because she was intrigued by what she had heard about the method. Here is a link to the company's website:

    I think the class was team-taught by two women, one of them being a psychologist in Pensacola. I'm looking for a new chiropractor since we have moved back to the area. I will check with you later by e-mail about the specifics of your doc's practice. Thanks for the visit!

  28. one can make a very cool analogy between a lava lamp and plate tectonics. I should know I stole the idea and used it in my classroom.

  29. Wayne, you are one smart guy. Hubby says the lamps are "useful in terms of the buoyancy effect produced by the deep-seated magma cooling as it rises." He thinks this too might be a cool analogy for your class: "The overall density of the magma is less than the parent rock around it, causing the magma to rise. As the mineral composition of the magma melt changes as it cools, a static equilibrium is established." And as we all know by now, the earth's surface and subsurface is dynamic and eventually overcomes the static quality of equilibrium. History repeats itself, so to speak, in geologic as well as economic terms.