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Saturday, May 19, 2001

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Rain and Kipling

When I woke up this morning it was wet outside and was still misting. It felt so nice and cool. I decided to walk up to the mall and it was great walking weather so I kept going along the riverwalk. I walked out to La Cholla on the south side and met hardly anyone. It's not paved and isn't suppose to have bikes on it though you always see some tire tracks but even the walkers don't use it much.

Ants were everywhere, lizards darted in front of me as I walked and quail sprinted along. They all liked the rain also, I guess. I noticed at La Cholla that it continued on paved which is new since the last time I walked on the south side. I usually bike on the north side to La Cholla. I'll have to come out and see how far it goes.

It was getting warm by now so I walked across the bridge and came back on the north side which was busy, busy. The Children's Memorial Park had several birthday parties going and children swarmed everywhere. I refilled my water bottle and emptied it while standing there. It still wasn't too warm but it felt like a sauna.

I walked on back to the mall and the airconditioning felt so good. I stopped to pick up a couple things and just missed the bus so I walked on home. It was over 8 1/2 miles and I can feel it. My legs are tired and slightly achy but it's a good ache.

I finished reading "The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling" by Angus Wilson. It's an interesting glimpse at someone who was torn between so many contradictory ideas. He wrote the wonderful Kim with it's hero who roamed free through India, enchanting everyone who met him. Kim did become part of the "Game" but it was still a game. Against this he was the far right wing imperialist who truly believed that the British empire was the salvation of the world. Who truly believed that the order that the empire imposed on other countries was all for the good.

He showed a deep appreciation and love of native people in his stories and poems yet wrote "The White Man's Burden" that still infuriates people today. I loved Kim above all, but I also liked the Jungle Books and so many of his poems. One of my favorites is "If". I have "The Land" linked to my page on environmental thoughts. I think the passage in "Captains Courageous" where the parents are racing across the country by train to see their son again is marvelous and I hated the movie where the Captain's son died.

I have the Rudyard Kiplings Verse, Inclusive Edition 1885-1918 and I browse through it. It has on the cover a swastika, but to him it was a ganesh sign from his beloved India and he took it off all his books when Germany, who he bitterly hated, started using it. Wilson shows how he used his right wing views in an effort to impose order on society just as he tried to impose order on his ownself when he never understood himself. He loved children and was wonderful with them. He loved the people who lived on the land and were part of the land as much as he disliked the intellectuals and elites who he felt were fake. Many of his writings were flawed because of the paradoxes within but his best are still wonderful and Angus Wilson gives a good view of Kipling's flaws and strength.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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