Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mistakes? I've made a few

...To know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Welcome to the Poetry Friday round-up!

This week, I ran across a poem I shared in March 2015, and I wanted to bring it back for a reprise. I hope that's not a mistake!


photo by Paula Bailey

I can't remember the context, but I heard a while ago that everybody makes a mistake every hour. This idea intrigued me, so I think about it sometimes. They can't all be significant mistakes, you know? There must be a big variety. Pondering that inspired today's poem:

What Goes Wrong?
by Tabatha Yeatts

Mistakes flower
Every hour.

Ice cream, dropped.
Joke, flopped.

Tire, flatted.
Jump, splatted.

Directions, lost.
Guidance, tossed.

Trousers, muddied.
Quiz, unstudied.

Pencil, broken.
Care, unspoken.

Team, beaten.
Homework, eaten.

Laundry, pink.
Armor, chink.


Garip Ay

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
~Camille Pissarro

Today, we have the Turkish art of ebru (applying paint to water, then transferring it to paper) as created by Garip Ay:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


John Dickerson in The Case for Restraint in All Things says:
I am a fan of restraint. I think we've lost the ability to restrain ourselves and that leads to boorish behavior, bad outcomes, cruelty, and the forfeit of reason...

Restraint allows conversation between different kinds of people...

Sometimes stopping and engaging your opponent in conversation makes for a more effective debate. It certainly makes the exchange more illuminating. That requires restraint. I tend to think that most of our public debates would benefit if everyone didn't motive-judge from the outset.

I feel that way. What if, when we ran across someone who disagreed with us on a social issue, we practiced restraint? What if we assumed that people who want to vote for someone we dislike are not our enemies?

When I hear about people "fighting" against hate, it gives me pause because you are still fighting. Is there another term that we could use?

I'll use a poem to illustrate how I feel:

by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shady Grove

Peaches in the summertime
Apples in the fall
If I can't have the girl I love
I don't want none at all

A traditional Appalachian folk song today, performed by Takénobu:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Classical I & II

...Music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
~T.S. Eliot

Two things about classical music. If you don't think you like classical music, please hang around anyway. They are short!

First, have you heard about the recent study that found listening to Mozart and Strauss can help lower your blood pressure?

Secondly, I'm sharing a quote from Tokyo’s Thriving Classical Music Culture, Part 1 by Josephine Yang. Apparently, if you have really good music education in your schools, your orchestras will thrive:
Tokyo is saturated with classical music. In just this city, there are EIGHT professional, full-time orchestras that total over 1,200 concerts a year: NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Tokyo Symphony. Though the names are amusingly similar, each organization is separate and unique. In all of Japan, there are 1,600 orchestras (professional and amateur) — all in a country with a land area that’s smaller than the state of California but holds a population that’s about 40% of the United States! To put things into perspective, the United States would need about 38,000 orchestras to equal that percentage.
The last part of this piece is pretty exciting so I don't know whether it would lower your blood pressure, but here's a terrific performance by the top Japanese youth orchestra:

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Open Air of Redemption

There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored.
~Flannery O'Connor

Want a little magic with your reality? Coming right up...

After the Disaster
By Abigail Deutsch

New York City, 2001

One night, not long after the disaster,
as our train was passing Astor,
the car door opened with a shudder
and a girl came flying down the aisle,
hair that looked to be all feathers
and a half-moon smile
making open air of our small car.

The crowd ignored her or they muttered
“Hey, excuse me” as they passed her
when the train had paused at Rector.

read the rest here


The Poetry Friday round-up is at Random Noodling. Thanks, Diane!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diego Rivera

I knew how one climbing the mountain of worldly success can slip down into the river below without being conscious of the descent till he is already drowning.
~Diego Rivera

I thought I wasn't going to be able to get it together enough to post anything this week, but I had last-minute inspiration. Works by Mexican artist Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez, better known as Diego Rivera:

Self-portrait with Broad-Brimmed Hat, 1907
by Diego Rivera

The House on the Bridge, 1909
by Diego Rivera

Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard, 1913
by Diego Rivera

Two Women (Portrait of Angelina Beloff and Maria Dolores Bastian), 1914
by Diego Rivera

Mural showing Aztec production of gold, Palacio Nacional, Mexico City
by Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera with his wife Frida Kahlo in 1932
photo by Carl Van Vechten