Calamondins, epigraphs, and Destiny

My neighbor has a tree of tiny, seedless, tangerine-like fruit, called Calamondins. Another neighbor had a grandmother who supported their family through the Great Depression by selling Calamondin Marmalade, so that’s what I’ve been making today–a wonderful fall treat.  You could probably use the same recipe for kumquats or key limes. Let me know if you want a copy–it’s really delicious, and I don’t even like marmalade as a rule.

Larry’s contribution was to read to me while I sliced. My favorite was an article on epigraphs, and my favorite epipgrah was one from Vladmir Nabokov’s The Gift, taken from a Russian grammar book: “An oak is a tree. A rose is a flower. A deer is an animal. A sparrow is a bird. Russia is our fatherland. Death is inevitable.” 

In other news, Destiny, Malawi’s only surviving chick, is a rooster after all.  This means his line can continue, which makes me very happy. Although her, pardon me, his comb still looks unimpressive, his tail feathers are unmistakably rooster-like, and yesterday he was practicing his adolescent crow.

So while death is inevitable, the life force has its day. And the epigraph I chose for my book, Jade Suit, is from E. M. Forster: “…the world had been built slapdash and the beauty of mountain and river and sunset may be but the varnish with which the unskilled artificer hides his joins.”


6 thoughts on “Calamondins, epigraphs, and Destiny

  1. To define the beautiful is to misunderstand it.
    — Charles Robert Anon (Fernando Pessoa)

    Marmalade, sweet and tart
    chewy rinds of orange
    a grandmother’s kitchen
    way downtown
    currant biscuits fresh from the oven
    black tea, and cream with the radio on
    the rosary’s murmured chant
    one afternoon
    quite awhile ago, sweet and tart
    chewy rinds of orange

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