Tag Archives: Byron

Trees never get lost in the woods: March notes from pocket pages

♦ Nothing in the physical world remembers! There is no material or physical past. Things are; there’s no were, no record of how things used to be. 28 Feb. & 3 March

Willow buds appear on 2 March after a couple weeks of warm weather. After a month of cool weather, the buds are still about the same.

♦ The most useful thing to keep in mind is that there’s nothing you have to keep in mind. 6 March.

♦ To will something, to mean a message, to assert a claim — these acts are abstract? Or merely private? Or are these the same thing? 6 March

It’s not every Regional Office of Education that has its own “Soiled Linen” chute as our local ROE, located in a former nunnery, does. 3 March

♦ There’s no off-switch on a person or a dog or cat (or any living thing) — we’re alive until we’re dead. Our consciousnesses are continuous, until they aren’t. 6 March

♦ I (and maybe most people) seem to play various personas or roles in various social situations. I play the responsible employee, the considerate neighbor, the respectful customer, etc. Maybe it’s only with my best friends that I can let go of playing anyone beside myself — and maybe that’s one way to define intimacy. 8 March

♦ We learn to be the right level of weird? I don’t endorse “normal” kids picking on the “weird” kids — but as a weird person myself, I feel I’ve learned, through positive (such as making others laugh) and negative (such as being ignored, being labeled “weird”) responses how to be socially appropriate. 8 March

♦ I should not value myself by the ideas I’ve already saved (by writing them down), no matter how clever. I remind myself that my ideas aren’t me. 9 March.

♦ “I love when people print stuff out — it’s just so warm,” said my printer-adjacent student. 9 March

Electricity infrastructure, downtown Byron. 30 March

♦ Each person has to learn wisdom anew. Each young person’s mind is new to the world and has to make sense of things. But with this need to learn comes an opportunity: each person might come up with new wisdom! 15 March

♦ “I really wanna see a ghost. I just don’t know where to look,” said student. 15 March.

♦ A tree becomes a what it is — its particular size and shape — in a particular context, at least partly in reaction to other trees and things around it. Of course, this could be a metaphor for how each particular person develops, too. 15 March

♦ I might get lost in a woods — “these trees all look alike,” etc. — but a tree never gets lost, and not just because it’s rooted to a place. Each tree doesn’t need to know where it is in relation to others. (This might almost be a contradiction to the previous note, but not quite.) 15 March

♦ Why did I listen to myself — have confidence in my own judgments and gut instincts — for most of my growing up? An independent streak? 16 March

♦ “I have conversations with myself all the time,” said student. “You might be having one now,” said teacher. 17 March

♦ Perhaps one could learn all about songwriting from extensive study of just one song, or learn all about writing poetry from one poem, by seeing what can be varied. 18 March

West side of city building (left) and grocery store (right), Byron, Illinois. 28 March

♦ I’m thinking lately that I’m glad I’m not a performer, like a musician, but a creative artist, who can be new, not repeating myself on stage every night. 19 March

♦ “At least he was an alcoholic who had a lot of sex,” said student of writer Ernest Hemingway. 20 March

♦ “Maybe I’ll revive her,” said student, of a character who had died in her story. 21 March

♦ Part of my maturing, of figuring out who I am, has been learning that I’m not like most of the people I have compared myself to. I don’t need to judge myself as inadequate; I’m simply different, and no comparison is needed. 21 March

♦ “I’m so confuzzled,” said student, going on to explain that she was both “confused” and “puzzled.” 23 March

♦ A word versus its absence — there’s a question attendant to each word, an asterisk on each word, perhaps, that calls each word into doubt. Why did the author use that word, and not some other? Each word is not necessary but arbitrary. 24 March

Here’s a bluntly titled book published in 1919.

The contents of “How to Do Things,” including 5 pages on “Babies and Children.”

♦ Two of my college roommates and I recently met up at a funeral — in our early 40s, we each now have our own responsibilities — our own niches of jobs, houses, families, etc. Though we didn’t have these same things when we were back in college, we did still have particular places we needed to be, plans to carry out. Our niches were never physical locations, really, so much as concepts? 27 March

♦ There’s more to being alive than words and ideas. I don’t want to be just a supplier of words to others. My life, my being alive, is more than whatever I write, of course. 27 & 29 March

♦ Nostalgia for ’80s pop songs — somehow it seems there was innocence then, which there was, among all the things that were going on. Perhaps we focus on the problems (in the world, as well as in our own own present lives) and we don’t pay attention to the innocence and goodness that’s also always there — that must be there, in order for nostalgia to be able to find it. 28 March

Buzzards on the Byron water tower. 28 March

News from the bridge today

The Rock River surface as crumpled aluminum foil. 25 Sept. 2016

The Rock River surface as crumpled aluminum foil. 25 Sept. 2016

Homecoming was a week ago. View of south end of bridge, 25 Sept.

Ribbons remain lashed to the rails, though Homecoming was a week ago. View of south end of bridge, 25 Sept.

Under the south end of bridge over Rock River at Byron, 25 Sept. 2016

The hobos’ gallery: Under the south end of bridge over Rock River at Byron, 25 Sept. 2016

The cheeriest under-bridge art ever, possibly.

The cheeriest under-bridge art ever, possibly.

Signed Gerald I'm sincere

“signed gerald I’m sincere”

Stay positive.

“Stay positive.”

Oak leaf bunch, south of bridge, 25 Sept.

Oak leaf bunch, south of bridge, 25 Sept.

My dog and "YOLO!" under bridge.

My dog and “YOLO!”
under bridge.

Oak leaf, south of bridge. 25 Sept.

Oak leaf, south of bridge. 25 Sept.


Leaves piles

Photos taken in or near Byron, Illinois, in recent days.

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015

20 October 2015, Sunshine Park

22 October 2015

22 October 2015, Heritage Farm: Rusty Pipe Camoflage

30 October 2015

30 October 2015, on driveway near Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve

Pictures I took today

Looking northward over Byron rail tracks.

Looking northward over Byron rail tracks.

Rail-tie ends.

Rail-tie ends.

Rail-tie ends.

Rail-tie ends.

Rail ties, Byron.

Rail ties, Byron.

Spike piles.

Spike piles.

Byron, Illinois. 31 January 2015. 2:30 CST

Byron, Illinois. 31 January 2015. 2:30 CST. [Update: See this in April.]


Rock River, Byron, Illinois, looking west. 31 January 2015.

Rock River, Byron, Illinois, looking west. 31 January 2015.

Cup-spellers’ fence is gone!

Friday 26 Sept. 2014: RIP, cup-holding chain links.

Friday 26 Sept. 2014: RIP, cup-holding chain links.

Ah, on the afternoon before the Byron Tigers versus Stillman Valley Cardinals game, the cup-spelling fence was defunct. Perhaps this is the end of the cup-spellers’ season? If the fence is being replaced, will it be done in time for playoffs?

Well, for just a couple days this week, the fence said “Beat the Cards,” according to my memory, because I had not yet stopped to photograph it. “Beat” was, while suggestive of savagery, not quite the imaginative “Strip” or “Slay” of recent weeks. Still, when one’s opponent’s mascot is a bird, “Pluck the Cardinals” would surely seem appropriate.

Speaking of football savagery, I had long thought that if there were an on-field death during a football game, that people in general, but particularly high schools, might reconsider participating in football. So I was surprised to read in this report recently that there have been 39 deaths of high school players caused directly by football from 2000 to 2011, and that between 1931 and 2012, “there is only one other year [besides 2012] where there were no direct fatalities in high school and college football.” This cover story in Time describes the details of one young player’s on-field death after he was hit in the head, a hit that one player said was not even a “crazy-hard hit.” But apparently football isn’t even as deadly as it used to be.

‘Defuse the Rockets’? School humility

20140916_163514So, this week, we’re apparently defusing the Rockets of Rock Falls. Do rockets even HAVE fuses? I mean, other than toy rockets. After the power-verbs “strip” and “slay” last week, “defuse” sounds pretty technical and uninspiring. Wouldn’t “Apollo 1 the Rockets” be more intimidating?

If “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” as the Good Book says, maybe we shouldn’t be demonstrating all this school pride. Let’s get out there and show some school humility!

This week’s cup-spelling: ‘Slay the Trojans’

At least it's not "Wear the Trojans."

At least it’s not “Wear the Trojans.”

This week, the Byron footballers are encouraged to re-enact “The Iliad,” minus most of killings (one hopes) but with all of the divine meddling (one dreams). I know Mendota High School students aren’t the only mascotted Trojans, but I’m struck by the fact that any teams willingly identify with the losers of a conflict. Perhaps, for old time’s sake, Mendota’s quarterback could be dragged around the stadium a few times in ritual commemoration.

This is also a good opportunity to link to a cool site of Greek comics, particularly this entry charting deaths in “The Iliad.

By the way, for bonus military references this week, the cup-spellers did this:


UPDATE: The Tigers did not defeat the Trojans, and thus Andromache did not become a slave (The Iliad, Book 6) and Priam’s genitals were not eaten by dogs (Book 22) — figuratively speaking, of course.