Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. And they will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months to come.
We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready or that we shouldn't try or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation: Yes, we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights: Yes, we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness: Yes, we can.
It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the moon as our new frontier, and a king who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the promised land: Yes, we can, to justice and equality.
Yes, we can, to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can.
Listen to the song.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
There's something metaphoric about driftwood, I think. But if parsing out all of the ways in which driftwood mirrors your life seems too tedious, you can still enjoy looking at it. Or searching for it on a beach somewhere.
My friend's dad is an artist who makes (or maybe liberates?) wonderful driftwood creations. Have a look at http://www.brianpardiniart.com/.
Friday, January 25, 2008
It turns out that we are not alone in this. Nor, to read this essay, should we be ashamed. Procrastination is something you can be good at-- a hidden talent of sorts. As a matter of fact, other people (unaware of our lengthening list of undone projects) may marvel at our ability to get things done, our efficiency.
So today I have a stack of articles to read, a reflection to write, a summary to post, a dissertation to skim, an apartment to clean, groceries to pick up, and bills to pay, and I know I'll get to all of it...eventually. But first, let me finish this post.
First we saw a snapping turtle hanging out in a shady pool. Michael caught him by the tail and let us inspect him at close (but not too close) range. Next we came to a place on the bank littered with the shells of smaller turtles, and I chose one to bring home and admire. But the best thing was finding out that for years I've been tromping along and splashing right by tiny minnow sized tropical-looking fish. Who would have guessed it? The little guys that look brown or silvery through the water have brilliant reds and blues on them that you can only see at close range. Really. Crazy what you see if you only stop to look.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Growing up, we called these delicate flowers (?) Japanese Lanterns.
And, if you hadn't guessed by now, the gorgeous photos of my treasures are all taken by sad moose. If you haven't looked at his blog yet, wander on over and check it out.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
if i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
it's not the same thing
but it's the best i can
if i can't have
what i want then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more
since i can't go
where i need
to go then i must go
where the signs point
though always understanding
when i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
but that's why mankind
alone among the mammals
learns to cry
from Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day
by Nikki Giovanni
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
But it was one of the best places I've ever lived. Maybe the best. Here are the good things I remember about living there: our crazy neighbor who kept a sawed-off shotgun nearby to fend off an old boyfriend but who also lent us a t.v., conversations over the fence, and unlimited kindness; a big old tarantula who emerged from his hole like clockwork every evening at dusk and who we named "Tio Pepe"; a collection of old country records which we played on a huge record player; a yard big enough to accommodate all of our crazy pursuits- shooting the b.b. gun Jason gave me for Christmas, riding the adult sized tricycle we found in an antique shop, playing horseshoes and soccer and dodging cactus spines; and best of all, the shed.
The shed in the back yard was a treasure trove filled with years of junk and dust and black widow spiders. And after we cleaned it up, it was a workshop and a dark room and a place for puttering and creating and imagining...
This hammer head was one of the treasures we found in the shed. I think it would look great as part of a mobile. Something so simple, so everyday, and so full of memories.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I think the adult cicada, with its brilliant jewel-like green, is strangely beautiful. Even more, I love the casings that they leave behind in their transition from nymph to grown. While the dog day cicada is shy and hard to spot (although certainly not hard to hear), their outgrown shells are easy to find if you know where to look.
The photo here shows a jumble of shells, kept in a jar on my shelf.
Friday, December 21, 2007
February 2, 1968
In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter,
war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I know that lobsters are related to insects in some way, and when they are lying on the plate in all of their entirety I definitely see the resemblance. This solitary claw, though, looks more related to a bird than an insect. Doesn't it look like a beak?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Once, in Missouri, I was attacked by a small horde as I attempted to take down my shutters. After I realized that the shelter created by space between the shutter and the house was a perfect home for wasps, I devised a system to avoid being attacked. Loosen screws, drop shutter, run like hell. I think Jason has a picture somewhere that shows what happens when you disregard the system- multiple stings left the side of my head swollen and misshapen for some days. Not funny.
Chloe found this particular nest outside our apartment here in Buffalo. I guess she was smart enough to make sure it was empty before picking it up.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The British call the wishbone a "merrythought." That seems right to me. You see, a wishbone's power is released only when it's broken. Until then it is just a delicate bone holding a promise. I'm saving this one for the unknown future. Until then it sits on the shelf in the living room- a merrythought just for me.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
She still loves the boots, and I do too. They remind me of that time in our lives when we were sort of drifting along in a surreal haze, when anything was possible and there were so many choices still to make.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Later, walking to the lighthouse, we came upon them at the side of the road. The wrappings were cast aside now to reveal smooth, darkly colored wood. They were carefully arranging the wood pieces in the grass- an art installation. What did we see, they asked. What came to mind? The skeleton of old farm equipment, springs and coils, rusting gently in a field, I said. Well, what is it supposed to be, someone else said, frustrated at this game of make believe. Anything, they said, use your imagination. And Jason's dad, hesitant to play along at first, said I know, it's Ogopogo. Ogopogo the legendary immortal lake monster- like the Lochness of Canada. With its curvy back rising and falling in the water, showing just enough to imagine its great length.
When Jason gave me this seed pod it reminded me of that art installation. Smooth brown curves. Ogopogo.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Some of the work in Sally Mann’s photographic sequence What Remains speaks to this sensibility. Have a look.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I have lucky stones in all shapes and sizes. One is small enough to wear on a silk thread around my neck. Another is so big I can stand on it. With both feet. Some are smooth and rounded. Others ugly and rough. But no matter what else they look like, the hole straight through is the special part, the lucky part, filled with nothing but the wishes and possibilities of the person who finds them.