Monday, December 6, 2021

Tall and Deep

People like bluegrass. It's had a following amongst a lot of hip and young people. A lot of college kids like bluegrass.
~Dolly Parton


I don't know if Dolly's right, but I know this unhip person likes it. For Music Monday, performances that are food for my spirit by Michael Cleveland, Tommy Emmanuel, and Jason Isbell:

Michael Cleveland:



Australian Tommy Emmanuel with Jason Isbell:



Bonus: an amazing guitar version of Somebody That I Used To Know

Thursday, December 2, 2021

In praise of being unfinished

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand?
~Wm. Shakespeare



I love Macbeth, and I love Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer...it would have been great to go with her to see the performance that inspired this poem:

Two Hours Upon the Stage
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Again tonight Macbeth kills Duncan,
stabs him in his sleep as he has done
for four hundred twenty-five years,
as he’s destined to do for how many
hundreds of years more, never able
to break from what’s been written,
ever a victim of his flaws. As I walk
away from the blood-stained stage
into the warm night, I notice how
with every step across the damp grass
my story is still being written,
notice how unfinished I am—
a flawed human yet in service
to the human I will become.
Praise the power to evolve,
the chance to choose to be flower
and not the snake beneath it. Praise
the power to walk away from the script,
to walk away from prophesy, to walk
into the next scene as it comes. Praise
the chance to change, to transform, to turn
while the candle, though brief, still burns.

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Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

A poem for our friends who have suffered a loss this year: Blue Christmas by Barbara Crooker


Thinking about coziness

The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It's a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you've got in as many supplies as you can. It's nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won't find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.
~Tove Jansson


Someone (I don't remember who) posted on Twitter recently that they were looking for ideas about how to make their apartment cozy. They got many many responses that were some variation of: have lots of soft blankets, electric candles/fairy lights, and fuzzy pets. Lights, warmth, softness. A commenter linked to an interesting article about people wanting coziness indoors because the world outside seems threatening, which has always been true (in terms of winter being dangerous and dark) but seems particularly true these days.

When I went looking for cozy art, I nearly gave up. The coziest art I found was of people reading.

Reading. Family Scene by Lamplight
by Salvador Dali


Reading A Story
by James Tissot

One more quote:

The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.
~Kenneth Grahame


Do you have favorite cozy art?

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Constructive contemplation

Did Mary Oliver know about this expression? I believe she would have liked it. This was posted by Grubbing in the Filth, a podcast about invertebrates:

If you need me, I'll be over here thinking about the immortality of the crab!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

#StandWithBelarus

In a democracy everyone is a leader.
~Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya


Monday, November 22, 2021

Morning groove

Motown wasn't just pioneering a sound but a cultural dynamic.
~Suzanne de Passe


For Music Monday, a classic by Junior Walker and the Allstars:



Is "Ghostbusters" the only Ray Parker Jr. song you've heard? I think my kids would say yes. Here's Raydio:



Thursday, November 18, 2021

Elemental

If the human condition were the periodic table, maybe love would be hydrogen at No. 1. Death would be helium at No. 2. Power, I reckon, would be where oxygen is.
~David Mitchell


We make a Thanksgiving Tree poster every year where we write things we're thankful for, like each other, our neighbors, our pets, tea, coffee, functioning kidneys, infrastructure, good pharmacists, vaccines, classes, car repair, Poetry Friday. There's a lot to be thankful for, and when it gets right down to it, the periodic table covers it all. Right?? I mean, I can't tell you how glad I am for carbon and don't get me started about oxygen.

Mary Soon Lee's Elemental haiku, a poetic periodic table on the AAAS's Science.org, is so fun. Maybe you've seen the table before, but her haiku bear revisiting. A sample:



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Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!