The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell

Dante shown holding a copy of the Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory, and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Domenico di Michelino’s 1465 fresco

Exiled from the living, on a sea,
uncharted, three island realms of the dead.
Even without a companion, no fear here.
Our fate cannot be taken from us.
This journey a Comedy. A happy ending.

In 1302, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri was exiled from Florence for his political sympathies. His only solace during his exile was writing. It was during this time that he wrote The Divine Comedy, an epic poem about a journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.

Italy marked the 700th anniversary of the death of the medieval poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri in 2021. He is also known as the Father of the Italian language.

Dante’s Divine Comedy mined for 21st-century meaning – listen to this BBC program

The Fall To-Do List

Plant bulbs and hope you’ll see spring.
Watch celestial showers – Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids.
Observe wildlife change habits as the trees
change colors. Practice being an evergreen.
Feel the equinox and balance straight up.

Photo by Artem Saranin on

I do make many (too many) lists of things to do. I have written about this addiction. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it hurts. I even have seasonal lists of things I need to do in the garden or around the house. A season changes and I change the filters in my furnace and air-conditioning system. Frost comes and I dig up the dead and dying annuals, rake leaves, and add them to the compost.

A group emailed me a list of things to do in autumn. It has lots of the usual things: leaf peeping, apple picking, making and eating fall comfort foods, carving pumpkins, and jumping in leaf piles. But some things on my fall list don’t appear there.

How the Earth’s tilt creates the seasons

She Is Sleeping

She is sleeping now and has been
sleeping for so long in a time
when she is not in love with
me or the world. I want to
shake her, awaken her from this slumber.

My touch only annoys her, she turns
away from me and towards the window
back to another world only she inhabits.
Places here, now, past and places unknown
where I can’t live or even visit.