Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Memory is a Dodgy Business. I remembered the scene so clearly. Standing next to a fresh buffalo carcase red with blood; looking around, nervous that the lions who had obviously recently killed it might come back and be annoyed with us.

We were on a walk in the beautiful wilderness area of Mfolosi game reserve; no roads and restricted access; accompanied by our two armed rangers we weren’t in any specific danger, but the feeling of ‘we’d better be careful’ was there, and I kept scanning the area around us.

Or that’s how I remembered it over the years. An actual picture painted a different picture! Photographic evidence of how dodgy one’s memory can be and how the years can enhance it! The top picture was sort of my memory; Here’s the actual carcase: No lion would want to look at it! Nor a hyena, nor a vulture!

NOT Jonathan's picture - his was film-less

Aitch took the picture with her point-and-shoot Nikon. Our group photographer is the Tarzan-like oke on the left. He had the penis-substitute camera and bossed us around and lined us up and made us pose (poeseer, he said), and fiddled with his f-stop. A purist, he was still deeply into film and darkroom development theory. So where’s his picture?

He’d forgotten to put film in the camera. We have not let Taylor forget it.

=======ooo000ooo=======

In Memoriam A.H.H.” is a poem by the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, completed in 1849. It is a requiem for the poet’s beloved Cambridge  friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly in Vienna in 1833. It contains some of Tennyson’s most accomplished lyrical work, and is an unusually sustained exercise in lyric verse. It is widely considered to be one of the great poems of the 19th century.

The original title of the poem was “The Way of the Soul”, and this might give an idea of how the poem is an account of all Tennyson’s thoughts and emotions as he grieves over the death of a close friend. He views the cruelty of nature and mortality in light of materialist science and faith.

The most frequently quoted lines in the poem are perhaps

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

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