Friday, December 9, 2016

Double Standards

Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart's content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence.
~Christine de Pizan

Hades2k CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Creative Commons Senryu
poem by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

I've been thinking about double standards lately, principally because people often don't even notice them. They hold people they like (or agree with) to a different standard than people they don't like. They can even be righteous about it. This is commonplace enough that people on all sides of the political spectrum do it. It's natural to cut people you like some slack, but nobody likes to be treated unfairly. Maybe we could consider, "Can I switch it around and see if it's still equitable?" (Unfortunately, I think a lot of people feel disrespectful enough about folks they disagree with that they don't care about being fair. Sigh.)

I looked for poems about double standards and found one by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. You should read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

A Double Standard
By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1825–1911

...Crime has no sex and yet to-day
I wear the brand of shame;
Whilst he amid the gay and proud
Still bears an honored name.

Can you blame me if I’ve learned to think
Your hate of vice a sham,
When you so coldly crushed me down
And then excused the man?


A quote that made me laugh:

A man once asked me ... how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.
~Dorothy L. Sayers


Check It Out has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jone!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dressed up

I find myself wondering about their lives...When you buy a piece of vintage clothing you're not just buying the fabric and thread - you're buying a piece of someone's past.
~Isabel Wolff

Karen Peacock's art today. The vintage dresses she includes in her mixed media pieces caught my eye. I'm also including two paintings at the bottom. (I think Karen will make custom art with your vintage clothes on commission.) Thanks, Karen, for giving me permission to share your work!

by Karen Peacock

by Karen Peacock

by Karen Peacock

by Karen Peacock

Parts Unknown
by Karen Peacock

An Idea of Progress
by Karen Peacock

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Do the stuff that only you can do

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before.
~Neil Gaiman

For Wellness Wednesday, we have Neil Gaiman and Zen Pencils:

Monday, December 5, 2016


Running, the music flew into him, became the wind that pushed back his hair and the slap of his own feet on the pavement.
~Ann Patchett

Okay, time to wake up, everybody! City of the Sun:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

20 Things We Should Say More Often

Never decide to do nothing just because you can only do little.
~Steve Maraboli

Friday, December 2, 2016


The beauty is in the walking ― we are betrayed by destinations.
~Gwyn Thomas

Announcing the winner of my Kitty Hawk giveaway:

Our esteemed Poetry Friday host, Bridget Magee! Congrats, Bridget!

Two poems intended to soothe the spirit today.

Walking Blessing
by Jan L. Richardson

That each step
may be a shedding.
That you will let yourself
become lost.
That when it looks
like you’re going backwards
you may be making progress.
That progress is not the goal anyway,
but presence
to the feel of the path on your skin,
to the way it reshapes you
in each place it makes contact,
to the way you cannot see it
until the moment you have stepped out.


photo by Erin English

A Milkweed
by Richard Wilbur

What power had I
Before I learned to yield?
Shatter me, great wind:
I shall possess the field.


Wee Words for Wee Ones has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Bridget!

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Who knows but this chance wild fruit, planted by a cow or a bird on some remote and rocky hill-side, where it is as yet unobserved by man, may be the choicest of all its kind, and foreign potentates shall hear of it, and royal societies seek to propagate it, though the virtues of the perhaps truly crabbed owner of the soil may never be heard of, -- at least, beyond the limits of his village?

...Every wild-apple shrub excites our expectation thus, somewhat as every wild child. It is, perhaps, a prince in disguise. What a lesson to man! So are human beings, referred to the highest standard, the celestial fruit which they suggest and aspire to bear, browsed on by fate; and only the most persistent and strongest genius defends itself and prevails, sends a tender scion upward at last, and drops its perfect fruit on the ungrateful earth.
~Henry David Thoreau

When I look at these pomological images (pomology -- the branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruit), I am delighted by the care that Amanda Almira Newton has given to the details. It reminds me of the way a poet notices the natural world.

I'm also a bit dismayed that the grand variety displayed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection is nowhere to be found in our grocery stores.

Golden Ball apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Black Ben apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Roman Stem apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Spitz apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Red Astrachan apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Pumpkin Sweet
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Goodwin apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD