Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spontaneous Jams

Real laughter is spontaneous. Like water from the spring it bubbles forth a creation of mingled action and spontaneity - two magic potions in themselves - the very essence of laughter - the unrestrained emotion within us!
~Douglas Fairbanks

Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.
~Oscar Wilde

Yes, two quotes! I vacillated about what to talk about this Wellness Wednesday. So many people are ill that I considered doing something about the flu, but I also thought about addressing the stress of the political atmosphere. What to do? Then I saw this fella...spontaneous jam sessions with strangers -- how awesome is that?

Seeking out things that bring you joy

Monday, January 29, 2018

There's no scream in it, actually

All that I know is
I'm falling, falling, falling, falling.
Might as well fall in.
~James Blake

I like the original and this cover, but I can imagine that some folks might prefer one over the other. Maybe I just figure the fuzzy video will drive some of you nuts? I don't watch it, to be honest. I just listen.

P.S. From Wikipedia: "The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect of a man screaming that has been used in 372 movies and countless television series, beginning in 1951 for the film Distant Drums. The scream is often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion, and is most commonly used in films and television."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Weave in

I situate myself, and seat myself,
And where you recline I shall recline,
For every armchair belonging to you as good as belongs to me.
~Henry N. Beard, from Leaves of Catnip

photo by akari.eiri

Turning to Uncle Walt today:

Weave in, My Hardy Life
by Walt Whitman

Weave in, weave in, my hardy life,
Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come,
Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in,
Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave, tire not,
(We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end, nor really aught we know,
But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the death-envelop’d march of peace as well as war goes on,)
For great campaigns of peace the same the wiry threads to weave,
We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.


Plus one by Jennifer Chang:

by Jennifer Chang

Something in the field is
working away. Root-noise.
Twig-noise. Plant
of weak chlorophyll, no
name for it. Something
in the field has mastered
distance by living too close

read the rest here


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


You see, unlike most writers today, I do not use a computer. I write the old-fashioned way: on the walls of caves.
~Cuthbert Soup

So today, we're hiding in the caves and not coming out until it's safe out there. What do you say? There's room.

A Grotto in the Gulf of Salerno, Sunset
by Joseph Wright of Derby

Cavern, near Naples
by Joseph Wright of Derby

Die blaue Grotte von Capri
by Heinrich Jakob Fried

The Grotto of Neptune in Tivoli (1812)
by Johann Martin von Rohden

The Grotto of Yursuf
by Carlo Bossoli

Blue grotto, Capri Island, Italy
Photochrom print no. "1871," Title from the Detroit Publishing Co.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In Your Boat

“Now then, Pooh," said Christopher Robin, "where's your boat?"
"I ought to say," explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, "that it isn't just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it's a Boat, and sometimes it's more of an Accident. It all depends."
"Depends on what?"
"On whether I'm on the top of it or underneath it.”
~A.A. Milne

Something to think about by Omid Safi for Wellness Wednesday:
When my life was going through a ton of upheaval, there was a conversation that [a friend] and I shared. It was a sweet, simple conversation, one that has stayed with me over the years.

It was one of those times that I was in my lowest of the low moments: unsure, vulnerable, and shaky. It is in these moments when our hearts are breaking that they, sometimes, break open. In the middle of a tear-filled conversation, she leaned in, looked me assuringly in my eyes, and said, “I am in your boat.”

Sometimes your life feels like you are cruising on an ocean liner, everything is going smoothly. Other times, like that time, it felt like I was in a tiny boat, going up and down on turbulent waves that were crashing all around me, cresting over me.

“I am in your boat.”

How lovely to know that I was not alone in that boat. How lovely to have family and friends, people who assure you, “You don’t even need to turn around to check to see if I am here. I don’t care how small your boat is. I am in your boat.”

...Sometimes it takes all that we have to breathe, to row, to stay afloat. And we don’t have the mental energy to check to see who, if anyone, is in our boat. Blessed are those friends who reach forward, gently placing their hands on our shoulder, around our waist, to let us know that they are with us.

Is there anyone who we need to let know that we are in their boat? Omid Safi also posted How To Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling.

Something really relaxing (sleep-inducing, even) to listen to in your boat:

Monday, January 22, 2018

SG Lewis

There is no such thing as magic. It is a word. A silly, foolish, overused word. There is only your aura...or the Chinese have a better word for it: qi. A life force. An energy. This is the energy that flows within you. It can be shaped, molded, directed.
~Michael Scott

How about a little Monday morning dancing? SG Lewis today:

Thursday, January 18, 2018


As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.
~A.A. Milne

Feeling hands-on today, thinking about making bookish things!

Diamante poems in an accordion fold book
from Making Books with Children

* How to Make an Accordion Fold Book
* How to Make Duck Tape Tassel Bookmarks
* Make Your Own Small Pocket Notebooks
* Make a No Sew Book Bag
* See some inspiring, exceptionally artistic blackout poems at SuZen Art
* Homemade valentines (not book-related, but timely)


A Journey Through The Pages has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kay!

Addendum: I didn't make the accordion book above! It's a Pinterest image that tracks back to a site that isn't working right now (so I can't find out who made it).

Panel Pulp

Comics don’t offer much in terms of fortune and glory, but comics will give you complete freedom to tell the stories you want to tell, in ways unlike any other medium. Comics will pick you up after it knocks you down. Comics will dust you off and tell you it loves you. And you will look into it’s eyes and know it’s true, that you love comics back.
~Becky Cloonan

I joined Twitter one year ago so I could keep up with the (generally depressing) news. Over the course of the year, I've found that some of my favorite Twitter accounts are art-related, such as WomensArt, Biodiversity Heritage Library, and The Van Gogh Museum. I also have gotten a kick out of Panel Pulp, who shares vintage comic panels. Here are some of their finds:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ingeniously Silly

Wickedness is always wickedness, but folly is not always folly.
~Jane Austen

When is folly not folly? When it's a good idea. For this Wellness Wednesday, we have fun and nonsense. Might as well do something out of the ordinary, right?

For Christmas, one of my daughters arranged for us to do a Great Microwave Bake-Off (after the Great British Bake-Off). There were four of us using one microwave to make things like potato chips (for the technical) and mug cakes (for the showstopper). My other daughter was the judge. We laughed, we ate, we ate some more. Ugh, too much eating. Anyway, for ideas or just amusement, here are BoxWars and floating sculptures:

The 20th Annual Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race will be Saturday, May 5, 2018 and the theme will be Mysteries & Tall Tales.

I don't know if they'll be having it this year, but last year, April 1st was Pillow Fight Day.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tash Sultana

It was as if she had been made afresh out of new elements, and must perforce be permitted to live her own life and be a law unto herself.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Australian musician Tash Sultana today:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wandering spirit

I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.
~spoken by Catherine Earnshaw, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë's diary paper for June 26, 1837,
showing herself and Anne working at the dining room table

In this poem, is Brontë talking about the creative act? Prayer? Meditation? Dreams? It reminds me a bit of Emily Dickinson. I get the urge to capitalize the last two words.

I'm Happiest When Most Away
by Emily Brontë

I'm happiest when most away
I can bear my soul from its home of clay
On a windy night when the moon is bright
And the eye can wander through worlds of light—

When I am not and none beside—
Nor earth nor sea nor cloudless sky—
But only spirit wandering wide
Through infinite immensity.


Bookseed Studio has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jan!

Reading by Candlelight with The Magpie

“A painter is someone who wipes the windowpane between the world and us with light, with a rag made of light, soaked in silence.”
― Christian Bobin

Light and dark (and light in the dark) today for Art Thursday.

The Magpie
by Claude Monet

Reading by Candlelight
attributed to Petrus van Schendel

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Start with Hello

You've probably noticed how when someone says hello or smiles at you, your automatic reaction is to say hello or smile back.
~Shawn Achor

Start With Hello Week: February 5–9
During the week of February 5–9, 2018, hundreds of schools and youth organizations across the United States will participate in Start With Hello Week and teach students, grades 2–12, the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness. Start With Hello Week raises awareness and educates students and the community through Start With Hello trainings, advertising, activities, public proclamations, media events, student contests and school awards. Start With Hello Week is FREE and easy to implement.
You can find links to the planning guide and FAQ here.

A few videos for shy folks, introverts, and people looking to make friends:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Forty nights to sit and listen

If you love life, then you love the hurt come along wit' it. Now, if that ain't the blues, I don't know what is.
~Walter Mosley

I'm trying to get stuff done, but instead I just keep getting side-tracked with music. So...time for Music Monday!

As long as we're having Violence Day for Music Monday, here's Gunpowder and Lead (although this one is self-defense):

The Steeldrivers
Chris Stapleton
Miranda Lambert
Organizations working to stop domestic violence

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Treasure poem

“Oh, tell me wise sir, Where are the treasures?"
And the wise man replied, “Wherever you find them”
~Forrest Fenn

For Poetry Friday, we have a poem that contains clues to a chest of gold treasure that an eccentric man buried out West. Forrest Fenn buried the chest and released the clues back in 2010, but he claims that the treasure is still there (unless someone found it and didn't let anyone know). He says he will dig it up himself once it is worth $10 million.

The poem:

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired, and now I'm weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

There's another treasure hunt poem in The Secret.

Scavenger hunt clue ideas (for planning your own).

Reading to the Core has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Catherine!

Repeat as Needed

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.'
'That's why animals are so soft and huggy.”
~Bill Watterson

Reposting this from a couple of years ago...let's keep warm (in spirit as well as body), y'all!

Group Hug
photo by Peter Harrison

by Twice25 & Rinina25

Senior Chief Construction Mechanic Renato Hidalgo hugs his son before departing for an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume

Free hugs
photo by Matthew G

Douglas Gets Hugged
by Marji Beach

by popofatticus

Self-Portrait with Her Daughter
by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

Free Face Hugs
by Nathan Rupert

Free Hugs shirt
You can also get a "Free Hugs for Cats" shirt, but I'm a little iffy on how (some) cats would feel about it...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Going to the Center

The labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space.
~Rebecca Solnit

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

True confession: I forgot about my blog until this morning. When I remembered, I wondered whether I should just skip Wellness Wednesday, but then I thought about how much I like our New Year's tradition of visiting a labyrinth (in between reading the "good things" jar and hearing the top song of the year).

I didn't make this image

Walking the labyrinth is something we all enjoy. I'm not sure how the rest of my family thinks about it, but I consider it a chance to find out what I'm thinking. Other people may be meditative while they are walking and just let their thoughts go. Do what you like.

Here is a site with virtual labyrinths you can "walk" around (and a poem from a previous post).

One last quote:

There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one.
~Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, January 1, 2018

American Flowers

I sometimes think that the saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities- a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Looking forward to the flowers blooming again!