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


In a democracy everyone is a leader.
~Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Thursday, November 18, 2021


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, is so fun. Maybe you've seen the table before, but her haiku bear revisiting. A sample:


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

Suzanne Valadon

I found myself, I made myself, and I said what I had to say.
~Suzanne Valadon

Art by Suzanne Valadon (1865–1938) today. Some information about her from the National Museum of Women in the Arts:
Born Marie-Clémentine, Valadon was the daughter of an unmarried domestic worker. She grew up in Montmartre, the bohemian quarter of Paris, supporting herself from the age of ten with odd jobs: waitress, nanny, and circus performer. A fall from a trapeze led her in a new direction.

From 1880 to 1893, Valadon modeled for several of the most important painters of her day, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Although she could not afford formal art classes, Valadon learned readily from the painters around her. Close friend and mentor Edgar Degas also taught her drawing and etching techniques. Valadon soon transitioned from an artist’s model into a successful artist.

Valadon also had a complicated personal life. By 1909, she had given birth out of wedlock to Maurice Utrillo (who later became an artist), married, and divorced. That same year, Valadon, 44, started painting full time. A mere two years later, she attracted critical acclaim with her first solo exhibition.

View from My Window in Genets (Brittany)
by Suzanne Valadon

Raminou sitting on a cloth
by Suzanne Valadon

Woman with a Double Bass
by Suzanne Valadon

Monday, November 15, 2021

Kathleen MacInnes

The place was getting very full, and people who were arriving at the front door ended up having to go round through the back door into the kitchen. There were tunes of course, loads of reels… and the next thing Kathleen MacInnes was standing in my kitchen. She sang, and I honestly have never seen anything like it… the whole place fell silent…
~Brian Finnegan

For Music Monday, Kathleen MacInnes (a.k.a. Caitlin NicAonghais) singing in Scottish Gaelic:

Thursday, November 11, 2021

A faith

Now I as a painter shall never stand for anything of importance.
~Vincent Van Gogh

A poem for artists, teachers, parents, mentors, inventors, gift-givers of every kind:

What Vincent Couldn't See
by Tabatha Yeatts

If I could journey back a hundred and thirty years
to visit Vincent, interrupt him as he sat

composing a letter to Theo or gazing at the sky
and seeing brush strokes there,

if I could speak the truth of the iris shirts
and sunflower posters, the ginger-haired actors

with starring roles, the admiration glimmering
like moonlight in a rainy street, the applause

that travels through the ages steady as a
steam engine driving past a field of grain,

could he believe in a love that never
touched him at all?

Vincent could witness many worlds
others did not see, but not that.

Can a person approach this world
with a faith in love unfelt, unknown?

Not faith that entire museums
will be devoted to their work,

but confidence in an unknown person
for whom your efforts will be a spark,

someone whose light will catch
by the gentle curve of your flame

leaning across time and space
to ignite.


Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Matt!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021


...With watercolor you are in a dialogue with the paint, it responds to you and you respond to it in turn.
~Alan Lee
For Wellness Wednesday, a melange of contemplation and laughter.

* A useful metaphor from Molly Hogan in her post What do you remember about watercolor water? :
I still remember swishing my brush in the water, and watching the swirls of color leave the bristles in curling ribbons and gradually infuse the water. How the water turned a beautiful shade of blue or purple or maybe red. Sometimes instead of focusing on the paper and my watercolor creation, I’d turn my attention fully to the water. I’d dip my brush into those dented colored ovals and add a bit more of this hue or that, then watch the change. Inevitably, I’d end up with a murky glass of water and no matter what bright color I added next, the end result was…murky water.

I’ve been feeling like my life is a bit that way lately. No matter how much I try to focus on the joyful moments, of which there are many, I can’t change the overall tone.

read the rest here

* Relax with Rocks: a rock-stacking simulator by Neal Agarwal (my rock stacking abilities are subpar)

* I use a different password for every account so I really never know what my password is. I loved the "five asterisk" idea, haha. Stevie Martin:

Saturday, November 6, 2021

delightfully mundane

It’s the simple things in your life that make up the bulk of it. The mundane is where we live
~Eric Overby

I love these very much.
(Hat tip, once again, to Ariana)

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Seen how it ends

"I honestly think what we do musically is just a result of our friendship, and not the other way around."
~Tim Hanseroth, guitarist for Brandi Carlisle

Doing things all out of order! Music for Art Thursday?

Ariana shared Brandi Carlisle knocking it out of the park on SNL and from there I heard Carlislie's beautiful The Joke:

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Dissident

When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I’m from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised?
~Jamal Khashoggi

Ruth Hersey has a perseverance-honoring post today as part of her thirty-days-of-gratitude, worth a read.

Today's main event:

I received an invitation from the international literature festival berlin [ilb] that I wanted to share with you. (I did a post three years ago in response to another invitation by ilb regarding Jamal Khashoggi and the UDHR.)

Worldwide Screening of »The Dissident« by Bryan Fogel

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] invites individuals, schools, universities, the media, and cultural institutions to participate in a Worldwide Screening of »The Dissident« by Bryan Fogel on December 10, 2021, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in Paris in 1948. The documentary reconstructs the background of the murder of the Saudi Washington Post journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and illuminates the geopolitical and power-strategic context of the case.

»The Dissident«: American documentary filmmaker and Academy Award winner Bryan Fogel spent two years researching for the film. The two-hour documentary analyses the course of events at the consulate in Istanbul and also sheds light on how those in power in Saudi Arabia suppress freedom of the press and manipulate public opinion with trolls and bots. Turkish investigators, journalists and opposition members in exile, Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz and the former CIA director John Brennan have their say.

Institutions and individuals who would like to participate with a screening on December 10, 2021 are asked to send us the following information by 15 November 2021: Organisers, venue, time, participating actors, event language, link to your website if applicable. The email address is: The ilb will announce the events on the website and on social media.


You can find The Dissident on Amazon, Vudu, Redbox, and Apple TV.