Monday, April 27, 2009
A recent visit from my Idaho grandchildren--here's the youngest after a trip to the mall. He stuck to this until it was completely finished. It came out GREAT! It made me think about the inventors of Lego and the people who design these sets. Way cool.
I have been reading Idaho pioneer memoirs from my husband's family. I think I'll have to type some of them and get them up here. It's a long way from Lego--they pretty much made everything for themselves!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It's a hybrid between a cactus and an epiphyllum. An odd color, I think, but I am always happy when it blooms. From a distance it seems like an off, or pallid orange, but when I get close I am always surprised by the pinky lavendar of the edges of each petal. The plant requires very little care. It needs a haiku, but I am too tired to write one. . .
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I have been thinking a lot about memory and about possessions, which are related for me, since my "things" often function as memory triggers. But they also function as clogging up the space you need to breathe and do other things except organizing possessions. Many years ago I read a book about people and their collections and personal museums. I have to say that my favorite was the woman who ran the Nut Museum (things made of nuts and nutshells) which showed her coming down a staircase in a long gown. I don't really want to open for business, but I am very glad that some of my favorite books are out of boxes.
For many years, Adam Zagajewski has been in the top handful of my favorite poets. I cannot read him in the original Polish, but only in the lovely English translations of Clare Cavanaugh. This is from his book, Mysticism for Beginners.
Those were the long afternoons when poetry left me.
The river flowed patiently, nudging lazy boats to sea.
Long afternoons, the coast of ivory.
Shadows lounged in the streets, haughty manikins in shopfronts
stared at me with bold and hostile eyes.
Professors left their schools with vacant faces,
as if the Iliad had finally done them in.
Evening papers brought disturbing news,
but nothing happened, no one hurried.
There was no one in the windows, you weren’t there;
even nuns seemed ashamed of their lives.
Those were the long afternoons when poetry vanished
and I was left with the city’s opaque demon,
like a poor traveler stranded outside the Gare du Nord
with his bulging suitcase wrapped in twine
and September’s black rain falling.
Oh, tell me how to cure myself of irony, the gaze
that sees but doesn’t penetrate; tell me how to cure myself
This is a poem that works on several levels and repays re-reading. Good night,
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I have seen a photo that was taken on the same day, but I had never seen this one. I booted up my laptop, hitched up the scanner and scanned all afternoon, as they reminisced and identified things for me. I got TONS of great stuff including a pioneer memoir by the sister of my husband's grandmother. I'll be posting many of the photos on Flickr and here over the next month or so, with complete names so other descendents can find them if they do a google search. This is just the beginning!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Went on a wonderful spring walk with haiku friends this afternoon! Met this fellow near the end and he posed sweetly. Look at the varied grays in this picture. We walked so long that we didn't get any time to sit and write haiku. but I've got some good starts. And it is SPRING, SPRING, SPRING in California!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tonight I am down among the ballast.
I am one of the silent weights
which prevent the vessel overturning!
Obscure faces in the darkenss like stones.
They can only hiss: 'don't touch me.'
Other voices throng, the listener
glides like a lean shadow over the radio's
luminous band of stations.
The language marches with the executioners.
Therefor we must get a new language.
The wolf is here, friend for every hour
touching the windows with his tongue.
The valley is full of crawling axe-handles.
The night-flyer's din overruns the sky
sluggishly, like a wheelchair with iron rims.
They are digging up the town. But it is silent now.
Under the elms in the churchyard:
an empty excavator. The scoop against the earth--
the gesture of a man who has fallen asleep at table
with his fist in front of him. ---Bell ringing.
from Selected Poems, Tomas Transtromer, p93.
Translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton.
More about this and about the reading soon.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
In the photo, my grandson who is just finishing college is reading a book to his younger brother who is now a missionary. So, here's another old slice of Only Yesterday, and Long Ago.
Tonight I went to a poetry reading celebrating National Poetry Month. (All month, every April.)
For two hours, more than 30 people each read a poem by a favorite poet, and a poem of their own composition. Six of the seven women in my poetry writing circle came and we went for coffee afterwards in a very noisy hard-surface cafe with echoes. My new hearing aids made it worse. Tomorrow, I'll post the poem I read by my favorite, Tomas Transtromer.
As for me and pie baking, MY mother-in-law taught me how to make pie-crust with lard, and now that lard has turned out to be one of the Five Dangerous Substances, plus my husband stopped eating red meat, the lard days are over.
These children are the ones who just visited--enjoying the un-Idaho-like warmth of California. Since they left five more types of blossoming have started in our yard, they could have been even more impressed. Lovely soft rain making all the new leaves happy over the past couple of days.
Today I got together with one of the people from the painting trip to Greece I took last summer. We had a great time in her studio and looking at the art work in the Gallery of which she is a member! It's in the same bookstore where I used to meet my best friend, Paul, in the late 1970's. Now, the bookstore, like so many of the independent ones, has closed. And my friend was one of the first people I knew with AIDS; he died at age 40 in 1990. All of these parts of life were long ago, and just yesterday, too. I was happy to be reminded of Paul.
Monday, April 06, 2009
The Latin name is: Claytonia perfoliata; there's a good article in Wikipedia. It always has this deep green look, and look completely different from other plants that grow around here. I love the way the flower seems to grow through the center of the leaf, which is actually a pair of leaves arranged to look like one. I also like the glossy look of the leaf.