Monday, November 30, 2020

A waiting room's worth

I am afraid there are moments in life when even Beethoven has nothing to say to us. We must admit, however, that they are our worst moments.
~Henry James

You know how when you get an allergy shot, you have to wait in the office for half an hour (to make sure you aren't going to have a reaction)? This wonderful piece was playing in the waiting room during a recent trip with Ariana:

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dolly and Carol

When music was played, you had a sparkle in your life.
~Carol Kaye

People have been talking about Dolly a lot lately because she donated a million dollars for the development of a successful vaccine. Here is one of my favorite Dolly songs, plus a fascinating video about bassist Carol Kaye:

A poem about Dolly from a 2019 post.

Thursday, November 19, 2020


He knew by heart every last minute crack on its surface. He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it. He hated the sight of it.
~Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time

Hi y'all, it's Poetry Friday! I am having a hard time writing because my mind keeps skittering around all over the place. It's easier to make things with my hands these days. I did manage to get a poem written (for Bridget's group) in the middle of the night :-) The pandemic-inspired prompt I used was to write about a period of time when you were alone or with just one other person. I thought it was apropos that mine was about a nurse:

by Tabatha Yeatts

After the diagnosis, I couldn't leave,
so I sat in the college infirmary, making phone calls.
I twisted the cord and cried as I called my boyfriend
to say that I couldn't drive down to see him
because I had chicken pox. He laughed-

he'd been worried, but I had a child's illness.
I was glad he couldn't see me like this, covered in ugly red dots
that I'd discovered in the shower that morning.
What's this? I cried to my surprised suitemate,
What is this? Did she laugh? I can't remember,

but I remember the nurse, a nice jailer,
who was my only company for the next week,
a woman who brought my institutional meals,
regular as clockwork, while I stayed in bed and read.
The nurse, who tried to get me to stop scratching

while I bargained...just a little! please! just a scratch!
and she would ask me not to, again. If you do,
you'll have scars
, she said. I lay in those crisp
white sheets, nothing to do but think about the itch,
with only her patient voice between me and future remorse.

Since she won our argument almost entirely,
this lady whose face I can only almost remember,
today I run my finger across my forehead and touch
the sole scar, a reminder of how hard it is to believe
the future will come, but it always does.


TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Compass roses

You don't throw a compass overboard because the ocean is calm.
~Matshona Dhliwayo

Finding your way? Compass roses today!

What is a compass rose? It's a "figure on a compass, map, nautical chart, or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions" (north, south, east, west). In French, it's a "rose des vents" (wind-rose).

Replica of the main compass rose of the Cantino planisphere, 1502
by Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Replica of compass rose in Pedro Reinel's nautical chart of 1504. It is the first known wind-rose to clearly represent the fleur-de-lys. The practise was adopted in other nautical charts and continues through today.
by Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Portolan Atlas and Nautical Almanac, 1543
by Guillaume Brouscon

Rose des Vents
Georges Clerc-Rampal, 1913

Compass rose with 128 points
by Xovimat

Compass Card
by Denelson83

Last quote:
We are asleep with compasses in our hands.
~W. S. Merwin

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Little billows

The language you speak determines how you think. Yes, it affects how you see everything...

Have you seen the movie "Arrival"? It's time for me to see it again.

On Watching "Arrival" During Quarantine
by Natalia Conte

Like all dark moments, their entrance
begins with cello, a low grating C
like the bow of a ship digging into ice.

I know there’s danger in the rippling
of sound, the way the air seems to boil
with urgency. Of course, this signals

their arrival, the aliens, their bodies like hands
reaching from halted wrists.
Dr. Banks keeps her hands close

to her body to stop them from shaking.
She scrawls the word human
on a small whiteboard, points inward.

Drawn in dense billows of ink,
their language chases its own tail
does not distinguish between beginnings...

read the rest here


Life on the Deckle Edge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!

Adriaen Coorte

For those dependent on their gardens for fresh food, it was often a case of feast or famine... (One settler wrote), "Strawberries were now so plentiful that... I made 287 lbs of jam..."
~Bee Dawson

Paintings by Adriaen Coorte (1665-1707), the Netherlands. I like that he includes butterflies and moths in his still lifes.

Three peaches on a stone ledge with a Painted Lady butterfly
by Adriaen Coorte

Still life with hanging bunch of grapes, two medlars and a butterfly
by Adriaen Coorte

Still life with peach and two apricots
by Adriaen Coorte

Strawberries (1696)
by Adriaen Coorte

by Adriaen Coorte

Sunday, November 8, 2020


The arrangement [of Amazing Grace] was written specially by composer and music therapist Steve Dunachie, to allow participation by all members of Soundabout Inclusive Choir, and to reflect the spirit of collaboration and partnership that is so important to the world today.
~The King's Singers

My word!! So happy. Thank you to everyone who made the rejuvenation of our country possible, and to everyone around the world who is celebrating with us.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Inexhaustible Light

Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves.
~Laura Esquivel

The votes are still being counted as I write this, and the race hasn't been called. I found this VP cookout for the troops yesterday for celebration dinner ideas; I am trying to make the most of the wait.

For the last few years, we've been going through a dark time, and the people who encouraged and enabled that dark time are still with us. We have to celebrate and rest so we can return to our vigilance again.

A Coal Fire In Winter
by Thomas McGrath

Something old and tyrannical burning there.
(Not like a wood fire which is only
The end of summer, or a life)
But something of darkness: heat
From the time before there was fire.
And I have come here
To warm that blackness into forms of light,
To set free a captive prince
From the sunken kingdom of the father coal.

A warming company of the cold-blooded-
These carbon serpents of bituminous gardens,
These inflammable tunnels of dead song from the black pit,
This sparkling end of the great beasts, these blazing...

read the rest here


Soul Blossom Living has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Susan!

A Sweet Treat

Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.
~Charles M. Schulz

A beloved sweet treat for Art Thursday. We were out of ice cream yesterday so my daughter Elena took a fudgesicle and broke it up in a bowl with whipped cream and toppings (how else was she going to get to have the whipped cream and toppings?). I took an ice cream cone and filled it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips and put it in the microwave briefly. So good.

Die Skulptur Dropped Cone in Köln
Frank Schwichtenberg

Crumbly with Gourmand the Sparrow (Kruszek z wróbelkiem Łakomczuszkiem)
photo by Pnapora

Ice Cream Cone, 1922
Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle

Pflastermosaik vor einer Eisdiele in Freiburg im Breisgau
Andreas Schwarzkopf

Ice cream shop, Burgos, Spain
Bill McLaughlin

Monkey with ice cream
Nishara Chathuranga

Ice cream display, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Centro Histórico, Quito
David Adam Kess

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Comfort music

Never underestimate the lingering effects of a dash of spontaneous comfort.
~Gina Greenlee

Watching the election results is nerve-wracking. The whole day, my stomach has been clenched. I am praying that things will turn out well.

Comfort music:

Dea Matrona:

John Holiday sings Vivaldi:

Monday, November 2, 2020

Sneezing and cackling

Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray,
With joyous music wake the dawning day.
~Alexander Pope

I am trying to learn very basic bird identification and now bird videos are popping up in my YouTube suggestions. Like these: