Relation of Vase to Book
Organization of the Book

The three sections of the book do not have the same placement as their tutelary dieties; rather, the order is stories, poems, essays (i.e. Dionysus, Apollo, Athena). The reason for this order instead of that on the Putnam Amphora is that the book is somewhat like a graded reader, progressing from the most accessible and easiest to assimilate to the more difficult material, somewhat like the stages of life. Indeed, the stories are mostly about youth, while the poems span the period from maturity to retirement, and the essays are based on a lifetime of reflection. The more accessible essays probably are the last three; the first may be the most technical.

The hope is that there is a progression in genre (as in the historical progression from narrative epic to lyric poetry to analytic prose) and with that an increasingly sharp focus on the underlying thoughts that start out as somewhat scattered and shadowy notions, and progressively become clearer-cut and more structured comments, until they ultimately become a closely knit context of clearly chiseled concepts, metaphorically metamorphosing from Aristophanes' diaphanous shape-shifting clouds (in his Clouds) to the celestial clarity and permanence of Plato's Ideas, a goal that is obviously not reached in actuality.

The title may need some comment. It was inspired by Ecclesiastes 11:1 "Cast your bread upon (the face of) the waters for you shall find it after many days." The usual interpretation is that of casting wheat or rye seed on the water from the Nile covering the riverside soil or of casting rice in an irrigated field that is under water, but broadly casting or broadcasting it without knowing where each seed goes nor how many will ever germinate, but having faith in a future harvest. I suppose that is the hope of every author.

The book is available both in hard copy and in digital form as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iUniverse.com, or from the author (for autographed hard copy: $20.00 covers postage too. Allan Wooley, 675 Hatton Hts., Morgan, VT 05853).

Meaning of the Vase Painting