Thursday, July 27, 2023

Webb's First Anniversary

Webb is a General Observatory, meaning that competitively selected proposals from around the world are used to develop the observing plans. These proposals are judged by a peer review system, in which teams of independent scientists rank the observing proposals according to scientific merit, and the highest ranked proposals are selected.
Webb FAQ

For Art Thursday, celebrating the Webb Space Telescope's first year of exploring the universe and information gathering:

Rho Ophiuchi

Orion Bar

Cassiopeia A

WR 124

Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud

Monday, July 24, 2023

Maybe it was my imagination

I was 11 and living in Kosovo. I knew I wanted to perform but didn't feel like I could do it there. So I moved back to London on my own at 15, carried on going to school, and started posting cover songs online.
~Dua Lipa

The other day when I was listening to the news on NPR, I thought I heard a little of "Don't Start Now" being played as the instrumental music between segments. Not sure if that is really what it was, but it made me feel like hearing the song again. For Music Monday, "Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa:

Thursday, July 20, 2023

A deluge of greenness

You never know when you need to pull out your pen and stop being silent.
~Julia Hartwig

Happy Poetry Friday! Does it feel like this summer is going by quickly to you? Here is a poem by Polish poet Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) that perfectly encapsulates the rush of time:

Tell Me Why This Hurry
by Julia Hartwig
translated by John Carpenter and Bogdana Carpenter

The lindens are blossoming the lindens have lost their blossoms
and this flowery procession moves without any restraint
Where are you hurrying lilies of the valley jasmines
petunias lilacs irises roses and peonies
Mondays and Tuesdays Wednesdays and Fridays
nasturtiums and gladioli zinnias and lobelias
yarrow dill goldenrod and grasses
flowery Mays and Junes and Julys and Augusts
lakes of flowers seas of flowers meadows...

read the rest here

Izabela Barry interviewing Julia Hartwig:

And can poetry – I ask naively – save the world?
This is not a naive question. Miłosz talked about it in [his 1945 volume] Ocalenie. I, too, have tried to ask myself what poetry is worth if it cannot save anything. But … we don’t know whether or not it can. Joseph Brodsky believed that it could. He was so convinced that I could only admire his faith. After all, he saw, perhaps even more deeply than others, what was happening and what the modern world is like. He was not a naive man, he closely watched the present day, yet he believed that poetry had a great task ahead of it. He even said such things that if a nation does not read poetry, it is in danger of totalitarianism. These are very harsh words, and vague of course, but you’d have to dig into what it really means. And it means that if humanistic values cease to be important to us, the future of the world is fragile.


Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!


What do you hang on the walls of your mind?
~Eve Arnold

For Art Thursday, wallpaper. You can really put an amazing variety of colors and shapes on your walls! Even leather.

Biedermeier Salon
Otto Erdmann

Ivan Tavcar
Jurij Šubic

Large-scale sunflowers and rose, with a bunch of grapes. Gilded and embossed leather
Unknown artist

Leather, trellis pattern, enclosing floral bouquets, Rococo style
Unknown artist

Under Prince Victor Otto II of Schönburg-Waldenburg, the castle was built between 1909 and 1912 according to plans by the Dresden court architect Gustav Frölich
Jörg Blobelt

Illuminated pattern wallpaper, cinema entrance in the Sprengel
photo by Bernd Schwabe in Hannover

Digitally printed LED wallpaper with crystals Germanium

Monday, July 17, 2023

Do It Again

Wake up!
This is the start of it.
~Do It Again

Am I excited that the 2023 Women's World Cup is starting soon? Yesssssssss!

For Music Monday, the official song of the Women's World Cup 2023 by Benee feat. Mallrat:

(I'm a World Cup fan, but not a FIFA fan.)

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Broadcasting the starry echoes of the wave

something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire
~Pablo Neruda

For Poetry Friday, we consider the responsibility of poetry, the obligation of poets:

The Poet's Obligation
by Pablo Neruda

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell:
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea's lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn's castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying, "How can I reach the sea?"
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and of quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

translated by Alastair Reid


A Word Edgewise has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Gottfried Mind

While he sat painting, a cat might generally be seen sitting on his back or on his shoulder; many times he kept, for hours, the most awkward postures, that he might not disturb it.
~Thomas Byerley and John Timbs, writing about Gottfried Mind

For Art Thursday, the art of Gottfried Mind. Mind, who was born in Switzerland in 1768, had difficulties mentally and physically. His principle devotion was to art, particularly drawing cats.

Another quote from Byerley and Timbs: "On Sundays and winter nights, Mind, by way of pastime, used, out of dried, wild chestnuts, to carve little cats, bears, and other beasts, and this with so much art that these little dainty toys were shortly in no less request than his drawings. It is a pity that insects, such as frequently exist in the interior of chestnuts, have already destroyed so many of these carvings."

Cat on a stool and three playful kittens
by Gottfried Mind
Original from Library of Congress. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Cat and three playful kittens
by Gottfried Mind (1768-1814).
Original from Library of Congress. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Cat grasping a mouse
by Gottfried Mind

Farmer, domestic activities
Gottfried Mind

Gottfried Mind

Monday, July 10, 2023

I Can't Stand Up Alone

He sang me a few songs and I knew immediately he was the real thing.
~Robbie Robertson about Jesse Winchester

For Music Monday, I Can't Stand Up Alone which might have been written by Martha Carson. First, Jesse Winchester with Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt:

Clyde McPhatter:

Addendum: Jesse Winchester and Clyde McPhatter both have engrossing life stories. (Clyde McPhatter's is tragically short.)

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Taking entire the season’s dole

The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn...Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem...And so it goes.
~Helen Bevington
Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Guess what I did today? Got my ears pierced! I felt like a kid again, haha. (They'd been pierced before but I let them close years ago because they kept getting infected.) Hoping to have better luck with them this time.

Today's poem is Laurie Lee's tasty "Apples." Ms. Lee said, "I was walking down a backstreet in Stroud and I was stopped by a schoolgirl and she said "You're Laurie Lee ain't ya?", and I said, "Yes". She said, "Did you write a poem called 'Apples'?". I said, "Yes, why?" and she said, "Our teacher made us learn it!" I had to bribe her with a Mars Bar before she'd let me go." The girl might have been crabby about it, but what a beautiful poem to learn by heart! I'll bet she appreciated it later.

by Laurie Lee

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers,
the rind mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,

read the rest here


Marcie Flinchum Atkins has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Marcie!

Fancy Turning

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.

For Art Thursday, works shared by The Public Domain Review from Specimens of Fancy Turning, 1869 by Edward J. Woolsey. These were created using geometric, oval, and eccentric chucks (attachments for holding a tool in a machine, such as a drill or lathe) and an elliptical cutting frame. (They are like Spirographs. I have a very old one. I just checked to see if they are still being made, and they are.)

Monday, July 3, 2023

Seven Story Mountain

It's a seven-story mountain.
It's a long, long life ahead.
Got to find a voice and fill my throat again.
~Railroad Earth

For Music Monday, "Seven Story Mountain" by Railroad Earth.

Seven Story Mountain is the title of the 1948 autobiography of American Trappist monk and priest Thomas Merton, who named his autobiography after the mountain of purgatory from Dante's Purgatorio. A quote from The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton:
Indeed, the truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering comes to him from things so little and so trivial that one can say that it is no longer objective at all. It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and the source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture.

Thomas Merton again, from a letter to Dorothy Day:
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.