Getting close to the New Year. Tonight's sky reminds me that perhaps tomorrow will be better and next year I can reward the readers of this blog with actual posting. May all your clouds be pink at the end of the day!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Cornell and Dickenson are both in the end unknowable. They live within the riddle, as Dickenson would say. Their biographies explain nothing. They are without precedent, eccentric, original, and thoroughly American. If her poems are like his boxes, a place where secrets are kept, his boxes are like her poems, the place of unlikely things coming together.
They both worry about their soul's salvation. Voyagers and explorers of their own solitudes, they make them vast, make them cosmic. They are religious artists in a world in which old metaphysics and aesthetic ideas were eclipsed. To read her poems, to look at his boxes, is to begin to think in a new way about American literature and art.
from Dime-Store Alchemy; the art of Joseph Cornell by Charles Simic, NYRB, 1992.
This adorable book is a pleasure to hold in the hand! 7.25" x 5" and bound in midnight blue cloth lettered in silver and with a Cornell image applied to the front cover it the perfect size and shape for this group of appreciations and quotations from Joseph Cornell's notes by the poet Charles Simic. I'm in love! But it is only fair to admit that I was a beeg fan of the work of both men before I ever saw this volume. It would be the perfect gift for that quirky, discerning friend.
at 12:49 PM
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Tonight to an excellent reading by the poet and writer Thomas Lynch, a merry fellow. He read from his new book Working Papers and from a book of his short fiction. Quite a few people bought the book so they could read the rest of the story. I met a very nice woman who introduced me to the wife of the doctor we saw today and who will be managing our next try at Coumadin. That's the kind of thing that can happen in a place like this. A huge center of population is not an unmixed blessing. The reading was sponsored by the fine independant bookstore, McLean and Eakin and held at North Michigan Community College. I am feeling quite poetic!
at 7:01 PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The whole assembly didn't last more than 15 minutes. More and more came as they moved across the lawn; then they all took flight toward the blue patch of sky in this photo. Horizontal lines on far trees are reflections caused by photographing through windows. If I had opened the door, or gone out on the porch, they would have flown at once. I've only seen this once before. That time, instead of moving beside the house, they came in a flood over it and headed south, not west.
at 6:52 PM
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I found this bag of micellaneous buttons at the Flea Market at the Alanson Riverfest. I love thinking about where they have been and how they got to me. Some have little bits of thread and fabric on them and the grooves of the large button at the top look dirty. They are not part of my own past, but they speak another language. A big part of my memory thread is attached to objects that remind me of times gone past. I am reading (part of my Russian summer) a two volume biography of Nabokov by Brian Boyd. It is long and crammed with detail and very, very interesting. Here is a taste of VN.
“The horse-drawn tram has vanished, and so will the trolley, and some eccentric Berlin writer in the twenties of the twenty-first century, wishing to portray our time, will go to a museum of technological history and locate a hundred-year old streetcar, yellow, uncouth, with old-fashioned curved seats, and in a museum of old costumes dig up a black, shiny-buttoned conductor's uniform. Then he will go home and compile a description of Berlin streets of bygone days. Everything, every trifle, will be valuable and meaningful: the conductor's purse, the advertisement over the window, that peculiar jolting motion which our great-grandchildren will perhaps imagine—everything will be ennobled and justified by its age.
I think that here lies the sense of literary creation: to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in the far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and functional in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade.”
Vladimir Nabokov, translation from A Guide to Berlin as quoted in Brian Boyd, Vladimir Nabokov: the Russian Years, pp 250-251.
at 5:57 PM
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
The four whitetail deer have been here every day this week, most usually in the morning and evening. Thus they are sidelit from one side or the other, making for beautiful effects. There are two mothers and two fawns. What I have noticed about the chance to watch deer this way is their alertness, their fine-boned delicacy and their grace. It makes me wish that hunting season would never come. . .
They have been here every morning this week, when I was getting ready to go to Senior Citizen exercise swim. But this morning they are not there. It's an overcast day, not the sort of day you would want to swim outdoors, but the boring motel pool isn't a European vacation delight, either. I've been nominated to suggest they clean and refill the pool--let's see if I manage it. I wrote a long post last night: "We are sorry, but your message wasn't sent. Arghhhh
Don't you think the deer has dainty legs? Even her tongue is dainty.
at 6:55 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010
at 10:00 PM
For the past week, I have seen two or three monarch butterflies every day. They are definitely on the move! If you want to follow their adventures, read the book Chasing Monarchs; Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage by Robert Michael Pyle! And if you want them to come to your yard, plant phlox like my daughter did!
Friday, August 27, 2010
They pause and look back before they move into the trees. I'm looking back often, now. This week I took a watercolor journal class in the mornings with one other student. We painted and wrote a few short childhood memories. We had a fine time. Today, after the last class, I came home and S. turned to the satellite radio opera channel for me. Sirius has the Metropolitan Opera station, which is much inferior to the Vox channel on the subsumed XM Radio. Still, it has its moments, and today's recording of Die Valkyre as performed on December 6, 1941 has to count as one of them. Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchior in full monaural sound, including a little tape or disc hiss! For the memory thread, look at the date, a Saturday in late 1941. Sunday, December 7, 1941 is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was six years old then, and I remember the adults were paying unusual, focused attention to the radio. I knew something was up, but I didn't really get it at all.
When my son called me early on September 11, 2001 and told me to turn on the the television, I did so and watched the Towers fall, and fall and fall . . . I knew then that my world had changed forever, once again. I think about Traubel and Melchior going to bed that Saturday night and waking up to a day when everything would be forever changed in a short space of time. It was a long time ago, and really not so long at all.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Along the Crooked River, boats could stop for ice cream. We used to bring our grandsons here, mostly by land. I favored the black cherry, which I suppose is a classic Michigan flavor. That was before they painted the building yellow and green, creating these superb reflection possibilities. The building has been vacant now for a couple of years; the dock we used to feed swans and mallards is beginning to crumble. We had lovely, lovely times here!
at 7:44 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I was noodling along coming home from my watercolor journaling class, and enjoying the woodsy beauty; a truck was coughing up my exhaust, so I turned into Amon Meadows, a partly developed group of housing estates on the shores of Crooked Lake. And coasted slowly to a stop and opened the car window and took some pictures of a Mama browsing with this fawn. In this one, the fawn is attractively framed by grasses and Queen Anne's Lace, with color splashes from Canada Goldenrod. I couldn't have staged it any better myself. The fawn's ears were rimmed by backlight, which also pinkened the ears, showing the blood inside. It pretty much made my day!
at 6:55 PM
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
At the Alanson Riverfest Storytelling Contest last Saturday, this lovely person told a tall tale about a swan and fishing with her grandfather. I love the way the green of her shirt blends with the lit green foliage behind her. At the Riverfest Flea Market, I bought not one, but two, sewing machines--a non-working treadle and a Kenmore from about 1970. It's a nice machine, and as soon as I buy some pins, I will make myself a shift from some fabric I have had a long time. More later. Good night!
at 7:56 PM
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Photoshop CS5: content aware fill. My first try, using panorama from 20 vertical shots taken in mid-July at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. Only the topmost cloud in the upper right is completely fake; I was not able to discourage it.
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
For larger view, double-click this photo to go to Flickr, where the original ragged panorama is also displayed.
at 5:43 PM
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I was playing with the functions of the DMC-ZS7, when I grabbed this sepia test. I think this is the answer to photographing the brown dachshund, which doesn't show that well in regular color. All that undifferentiated brown! This shows the texture of the fur, and the modeling of the form. And means we will have to have a portrait shoot of all of them. Window light helps, too!
Monday, August 02, 2010
When our daughter was left a widow with two young boys, she found a place to raise them in the country and called it Goatsbeard Farm, after this plant and in recognition of the goats she kept for milk. We bought some acreage adjacent to her place and built what I often call Goatsbeard Manor, because the farm has a hundred year old house on it, and the manor was new fifteen years ago.
Last night, those boys, now 22 and 24, were home for a visit and we were taking them out to dinner at the Northwood, which is decorated with wooden wall sculptures theit father made. But first, I had to have S. stop the car when I saw the late afternoon light on this perfectly symmetrical seedhead. This was taken with my new favorite camera, the Panasonic Lumix ZS7, using the zoom and the automatic program. It's all about light . . .
at 8:37 PM
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
The sun was leaving as my daughter put the harvest meal on her table. New potatoes with chopped parsley, beets, beans, chard, purple cauliflower from the garden with baked chicken. Everything so fresh and delicious. And beautiful clouds above the trees.
at 9:46 PM