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

Flotsam and Jetsam

I find it a part of aging –
what I’ve thrown to lighten the load
and keep myself afloat and on course.
This center of gravity, balance in storms,
leaving minimal wreckage floating at the end.

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

On another site, I have written about the origin and meaning of the terms “flotsam and jetsam” which are usually heard together but have different meanings. See whynameitthat.blogspot.com…flotsam-and-jetsam

Rings and Whorls

Around the redwood, a fairy ring emerges – 
children of the parent tree, now scorched
to two-hundred feet and still showing sprouts.
Its growth rings will show damaged days.
Like the whorls of my aging fingerprints.

I wrote elsewhere about the similarity of fingerprints and tree rings. They are not really as similar as they might appear. Fingerprints stay very much the same, while trees create a new ring each year and they vary quite a bit, showing fire, drought, competition for sunlight or nutrients, and damage by natural or human causes. But still, looking at them side by side they do seem to have some connection.

I do like the word “whorls” which means a pattern of spirals or concentric circles and is used in describing and identifying fingerprints – and seems like a good word to describe tree rings too.

tree rings — fingerprint