Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Special; remembering my trip to the Lotus Garden

For Ann Bendixen
This was in the early summer of 2006, and I was so lucky when Ann arranged for me to go along on a trip to The Lotus Garden with the Chinese Painting Class from the Pacific Art League. We went in a hired bus. I took my good camera and my favorite 100mm macro lens and took hundreds of photos. There was a bright noonday sun, but also lots of trees,so the light was not too harsh. And lotus of many different  colors were in full bloom. Here are more pictures from that day.  I will always be thankful to Ann for that deep experience of such beauty. I knew I would go back whenever I could. The sad part is that after one more year, the family closed the garden and stopped the necessary irrigation and other work to keep it thriving. I've searched the Web for further information and cannot find any. My understanding was that the grandfather who built the garden was gone and the heirs were  not willing to bear the expense of keeping it up. Perhaps they hoped to develop it into a subdivision or something else, but 2008 was not the right time for dreams like that, as we all remember. I haven't been able to find out anything else. I suppose that many dream places are abandoned when the dreamer dies. So that when something does manage to be preserved they cover it in the newspaper.
I still remember the shock as I approached and saw the sunlight lotus pool framed between two dark trees. I moved closer until I got this frame. Perhaps it is not the most classically beautiful photo I took that day, but it is the one which brings back to me  the delight of first seeing it in the strongest way.

Here is another poem from Bei Dao's book. page 103 (also see yesterday's post)


in the prayer ceremony of ocean
a storm bows down

stone watches over May in vain
guarding against the green contagion

as the four seasons take turns axing huge trees
stars try to recognize the road

a drunk using that talent for balance
breaks out from the time-siege

a bullet soars through the apple
life's on loan

--Bei Dao

We are entering that time of green contagion. Catkins, or whatever they are, drop in multitudes from the black cottonwood tree. Welcome, delightful SPRING!
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Writing on the Sand; Bei Dao's BOAT TICKET

Quarreling with my electronics tonight, so I won't be able to write what I had planned. And writing on sand strikes me as a good metaphor for much of this blogging anyway. But what fun to send it out there!

Carolyn, here's another Bei Dao poem for you. It's from The Rose of Time; new and selected poems, by Bei Dao, edited by Eliot Weinberger, on pages 14-17. Since this particular book brings together the work of different translators, it gives the reader a sense of Bei Dao's world of poetry. I always think it useful to read translations of a poet's work by different writers. Then we can perhaps strain out one translator's idiosyncrasies and get more of a feeling for the poet's true spirit as expressed in his own language.
I will never forget the way Beo Dao stood to one side of the group of Misty Poets on the stage at San Jose State College. I think it was in the mid-1980s. Carolyn Kizer was introducing them in her magisterial manner.  Bei Dao (his writing name) was a little taller than the others and seemed more mature. He had a look that seemed to me lightly sardonic and faintly removed from the proceedings. He also had a heavy hank of dark hair that fell toward his face. I felt the limits of my one language. I still do, were I to try to talk about this poem. Here it is:


He doesn't have a boat ticket
how can he go on board
the clanking of the anchor chain
disturbs the night here

the sea, the sea
the island that rises from the ebbing tide
as lonely as a heart
lacks the soft shadows of bushes
and chimney smoke
the mast that flashes lightning
is struck into fragments by lightning
innumerable storms
have left behind fixed patterns
on rigid scales and shells
and the small umbrellas of jellyfish
an ancient tale
is handed on by the ocean spray from wave to wave

he doesn't have a boat ticket

the sea, the sea
the lichen tightly massed on the reef
spreads toward the naked midnight
along the seagull's feathers gleaming in the dark
and clings to the surface of the moon
the tide has fallen silent
conch and mermaid begin to sing

he doesn't have a boat ticket

time hasn't come to a stop
in the sunken boat the fire is being stoked
rekindling red coral flames
when the eaves tower up
glittering indeterminately, the eyes of the dead
float up from the ocean depths

he doesn't have a boat ticket

yes, it makes you dizzy
the sunlight drying out on the beach
makes you so terribly dizzy

he doesn't have a boat ticket

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Idaho State Capitol, a Clearer View

Again, traffic stopped ahead of me. Tomorrow, I promise a more conventionally beautiful picture. And soon, some more poetry. I'm liking these modified pix a lot, but don't think they will draw much custom, or wind up on Pinterest, where people can certainly waste a huge amount of time. I finally figured out how to use Pinterest by getting a little Kindle book of instructions. I am afraid P has the capacity to generate WAY too much email, but there must be a way to block that (she said hopefully.) It's frightening to watch the stats rise on readership of the blog, as I post consistently. I can't really explain that, but I really want to lift the quality and may start to write earlier in the day, giving myself time to revise.
Some good news is that while Google Reader will self-destruct on July 1st upcoming, I have just found a replacement that seems to work quite well. It imported my list of blogs (even the favorite ones that mostly seem to have stopped posting) very easily and smoothly. So goodbye Google Reader, and good riddance! I am now using Feedly (such a name, from RSS feeds!) which is an iPad app. Turns out to be something an iPad is good for; I may now get more use from that costly device.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Missed the Sunset Again; there it goes!

I frequently think I will go to someplace (not on our block) where I can see the twilight sky. Then I notice that I've just missed it again. But these clouds! This Treasure Valley has the most spectacular skies of any place I've lived. I don't remember looking at the sky in Scotia, or in Grooms Corners, or in Provo. I guess I learned to really love the sky in Michigan, near the Tip of the Mitt. But these are even a little bit better, especially at this time of year.
Remember Sylvia Plath? How I promised to tell you about Mad Girl's Love Song? I'm doing a little Kindle cleanup and I finished the book last night, Suddenly it came to an end--bonk!--with her marriage to Ted Hughes. About the last 35 percent was notes and bibliography. It also had a section of photos, which I appreciated as many of the biographies omitted the illustrations in the published book. Some of them even left in the LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS when there were none. This biography was quite thorough, you couldn't have asked for more. I must say that I would not have liked to have such a book written about me if I had had such frequent headaches, menstrual cramps, sweating, frequent sinus infections, a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt and so many sexual encounters with so many different guys. It was all rather messy and depressing. I could not but be impressed by the amount of hard work she did with her studies and her writing. She really got a lot of recognition, too, for her work and her abilities. This was true at school and contests and also in the publishing world. But she worried constantly about her looks, her clothing. She made a much greater attempt to be "well-dressed" according to the standards of the time. (I always felt that I could find a sort of "equivalent" or uniform that would sort of pass. Not be too stick-outy. That's what my blazers and silk blouses were about. In style for years but never really stylish.) It is interesting that she was graduating from Smith about the time I got married, since she was just three years older. And I am still alive, and she's been dead since 1963! And since you are reading this, you are still alive, too!
Hooray for us! Good night!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Part and the Whole

When posting things on the Web, I always think about time. Should I put OLD stuff on Facebook, which seems more suited to contemporary doings? Should I confine silly stuff to Twitter?  I almost never repost anything because it seems so impersonal, already has 52,000 likes and if my friends don't know I'm a liberal, why enlighten them now? But I do some little re-Tweeting in what seems to me a very judicious manner.

These shells are like an illustration of things that happen that take time. Some of them have holes because they were eaten by something that could bore a hole; some because they were worn away in the pounding surf, which has smoothed all the rough edges. Because they are broken, you can see inner surfaces and outer ones. They are pleasing to hold and to touch. I often plan to try to turn them into some sort of necklace, except that I really think they look great in this Pismo Clam shell, which I actually picked up on Pismo Beach long ago, in practically another lifetime.

I always plan to talk about thinking, but mostly I talk about what I did today and why I like my own pictures (because I was there when I took them?) and what I might write about later. Still I am patting my own back over blogging every day this whole year! Also, I miss Joann, who I knew only through her sweet comments on my writing, and who died last year after a long struggle with leukemia.

Here's something delightful from early in George Eliot's Middlemarch
"What elegant historian would neglect a striking opportunity for pointing out that his heroes did not foresee the history of the world, or even their own actions?-- for example, the Henry of Navarre, when a Protestant baby, little thought of being a Catholic monarch; or that Alfred the Great when he measured his laborious nights with burning candles, had no idea of future gentlemen measuring their days with watches."
Kindle page 69.
Think about that! The baby monarch is my favorite part! Good night!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

View of Capitol Building, Boise,Idaho

This time I was driving (but I was stopped at a light) and I could put down the window with the buttons at my elbow. Then I gave it a quick run through TangledFX on my iPhone. I have to say there are many things about this that please me. I love the shape of the tree, and the frame of the car window, seat back and mirror. I love the color, muted, almost black and white. I also love the two newspaper stands, which look like a pair of toy soldiers. And you CAN see the Capitol, you just have to look harder. I like all the windowed buildings and the contrast between the form of the tree and architecture. Naturally I immediately began trying out similar things. but this remains my favorite.

In George Eliot's biography, Marian Evans is just about to run away to the continent with Mr. Lewes and become an official Scarlet Woman. This was a tougher role that it later became. They spent the rest of their lives together (he died first) and in Europe she will meet George Sand and become George Eliot, I think. This biography, by Frederick Karl, continues to seem a solid piece of work. Good quotes from sources, good evaluations of actions and motives. And of course it was a very interesting life and well documented with those Victorian letters and diaries.
I finished Middlemarch last night and it was satisfying all the way! She even did us the favor, near the end, of outlining what happens to many of the characters after the novel ends.Now I have to make another big decision: read another of Eliot's novels right away, or let some time lapse?? Oh, these choices!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Behind the mystery . . .

One usually doesn't meet these two in the broad light of day. They were outdoors in the daytime as a special treat for cherry blossom visitors at Matsuyama castle. See yesterday's post for the portrait of the Bunraku lady only. In the only performance I have seen (and it was only part of a smorgasbord of Japanese arts for tourists) you couldn't see the the lesser two puppetmasters at all. This video might give you some idea
of what it looks like on the stage, except that I don't think the manipulators (usually three, the least experienced for the feet, the longer apprenticed for the left arm and the senior puppetmaster for the right arm, head and face) are usually illuminated in this way.  I imagine they filmed it in this way to give an understanding of the process. The puppeteers dress in black, with faces (except for the chief) covered as in the photo above, and are hardly noticeable. The puppet's movements are very stylized and may be quite subtle and small in size, or, as I the video linked to above, the puppet may throw itself about the demonstrate strong emotion, In the performance I saw the lady was reading a letter with sad news. Her subtle movements clearly showed how unhappy she was and I got tears in my eyes. (Even though I am not usually an overly sympathetic person.) It was very moving.

On the English Lit front: In the biography,  I am now up to the part of Eliot's life where she is still known as Marian Evans, and is working as a co-editor of a prestigious periodical in London. As for Middlemarch, I only have the final 10 percent to read and am rushing along because the plot has thickened and I wonder what will happen to some of my favorites. I might read Daniel Deronda next, and will doubtless report on it here. And now back to Middlemarch, a very conservative town. Sleep tight!
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ceremonies: Cherry Blossom Time in Japan

This is cherry blossom finery as worn by the bunraku lady who was there to greet us at Matsuyama Castle way back in 2007. I have been reminded of this because Jenn, David and boys are now living in Japan. How can it have been that long since I was there watching the petals fall? (Speaking of the fall of every petal--I have been shocked to see how the statistics for this blog have gone up and up since I decided to write every day, whether I felt like it or not. It's a little terrifying: I set it to not count the times I log in to fix a typo or clarify something. And the thought that OTHER PEOPLE are actually looking at it (even if that IS the idea of blogs) makes he think I should get more intelligent FAST! 
Or not.
And what  is it about the cultures we belong to? That makes them so compelling? I am now three quarters through Middlemarch (bout of middle-of-night reading last night) and continue to marvel at the richness of the prose and the variety and interestingness of the insights. Besides George Eliot is one of those figures that a woman who has led a conventional life wonders about: Could I have done that???? So today I read about 1/6th of the humonguous book:
Geroge Eliot: Voice of a Century; a biography. by Frederick R. Karl.

Also fabulous! There is a lot known about Eliot's life, partly because she wrote letters to so many people and there is so much documentation of all kinds. She was almost the exact contemporary of Queen Victoria, but did not live as long as the monarch, To be continued, as I find out more of this fascinating story. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Like a bad dream

Grab shot from the car, treated with two iOS apps. Makes me giggle just to look at it. But it seems to be an image about 70 years old. Apocalyptic, sort of. I am being forced to recognize that my art consists mainly of fiddling with photographs. And I live in a pretty good time for that!
It's been a chllly day, with very bright sunlight. I just remembered that I forgot to take my walk. I've been continuing with Middlemarch, partly because if I read it in the daytime, I can read lots of delicious bits aloud. The George Eliot biography I ordered from Amazon came today. It's a 700 page small print serious and interesting work. The biographer's wife is credited in the preface with re-reading all of Eliot's novels so they could discuss them. Now that's a serious marriage! I might be reading a newer work that has gotten excellent reviews, except that a used copy costs $60 and new ones are more. This one was a library discard that looks unused with a mylar cover. There is a tiny bit of dirt on the forward bottom edges, as if from pushing it into the shelf. The book seems to be very well written in the little bit I have read. It cost 20 cents, plus $3.98 for shipping. Way less than a penny a page. I love a bargain!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tonight's Evening Light along Eagle Road, looking west

We are on our way out for a bite to eat; I see this. And then miraculously there is an open field so I can see the whole sky! I had to open the car window to get this, and got pretty cold, but it was worth it!
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Oh, Just one more! Along the Lincoln Highway, Route 80

I've been promising myself that I will quit with the fromthecars (although what other use do I have for them and I have so many!) I was going to start on duck photos tonight,  or grandchildren, or ?
But here we are. So pleased the Derby Dam sign is reflected in the Toyota's shiny hood. And I love the colors of the turning desert trees: are they small cottonwoods, willows, short aspens? I keep meaning to find out, and this is another unfinished plan. Speaking of plans (the mind working, endlessly changing focus) I have almost decided tonight to plan on going on three trips before the end of the year. I'll sleep on it first. Two are haiku conferences in the US, another is a trip with friends to Europe. Spoiler alert: this means I probably won't make it to Salt Lake to edit family videos with my brother. 
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Purple Lens Flare in Jordan Valley

I remember people complaining about this problem with recent iPhone cameras. I didn't understand what they were talking about. I guess this is it. I suppose I wasn't shooting into the afternoon sun often enough. This is a great roadside spot in Jordan Valley, Oregon. They have good soup and bread and coffee and ceramic-decorated restrooms, plus friendly people. It always makes me feel good to stop here. And this is the view looking away from the sun on the same day!
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Memories of Snow and my four brothers

Here in the Treasure Valley, all the snow has melted. We can still see some on the tops of the Boise mountains. These are my four brothers, born mid-1941 to November, 1945. Up until then I was an only child (4 years) and then a child with a baby sister (2 years).
My father, Jack Hicks Hopper is holding Robert, who looks very cold. The other three (l to r, John, David, Richard) are wearing skates and have been skating on the Lake in Collins Park in Scotia, New York, across the Mohawk River from Schenectady. I'm guessing that this is the winter of 1947. World War II is over and Truman is President. I was probably in the Sixth Grade, and with the help of my PTA mother, I have broken the no-girls barrier on the Crossing Guard Patrol. I have a badge and have to get to school early.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Idaho Oregon Nevada Highway 95 -- through the windshield

The long straight highway into the future is also the road into the past. 

We just finished watching a 2000 documentary on Edward S. Curtis and his gorgeous 20 volume The North American Indian. He really spent his life doing what he wanted to do! And in a strange way, from the time he made his boyhood camera from a lens his father had salvaged, to his patent for a gold mining device, he was always becoming more modern, adding first wax cylinder sound recording, and then moving pictures as they became available, He planned extravaganzas like colored slide shows with live orchestras. He published the books from 1907 to 1930. And of course the Depression had already begun, completely ruining the slights chance that someone might realize what an accomplishment it was.

Looking for something else I just found another photo of this same road that I used in the blog right after I took it last year, Not the same photo, because the telephone pole is in a different place and there is no greening clump in the lower right, I guess I like the blueness of the sky. Here's a tip for iPhoneographers. From the moving car, shoot straight ahead, but put your phone very close to the glass.
Important note: you should be in the passenger seat 
and someone else should be driving.
Then move the phone slightly and take several shots--this is to avoid having the same bug-guts-smear in every shot and also gives you some shots to pick from. It's all digital, you're only limited by battery life.

I have been thinking for several days about accomplishment and about making things in general. And hope to talk about that tomorrow. (I had planned to talk about it tonight.) Middlemarch continues to be utterly  delightful. What a sharp woman George Eliot must have been! Insight after insight about human beings--you want to read every sentence aloud to someone. I went to Amazon to order the best book about her life, which seems to be a new one that costs $79 (list price: $95. Kindle version is $60. YIKES!) I ordered an older one, used, that looks pretty good and is in my price range. But I am going to explore interlibrary loan on the costly one.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013


Perhaps erosion is a metaphor for everything. This is another fromthecar in my beloved expanses of the American West. Although I grew up in The Mohawk Valley in New York State.I love these lands, unplowed, unfenced and pretty much left alone unless someone wants to blast metals out of the earth S. is reading a book about Henry VII of England, and the importance of an alum deposit in Italy to his reign.
Alum was used in industrial processes and was a real big deal around the time the Fifteenth century turned into the Sixteenth, The book is called The Winter King and I will read it, too. but now on with Middlemarch,
Back to erosion, look at this: just gorgeous. 
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Waiting to cross the river

This is one of the pictures that I call fromthecar.
I don't bother to put spaces because Flickr doesn't use those in its tagging system.They don't want capital letters, either. As we travel, I shoot, either through the closed window, or an open one. In this case we had to wait for some road work at the Owyhee River on the way to Idaho from Winnemucca, that classic midway point in many Western journeys.This is not the river itself, but rather a sort of lagoon near the river. Some sort of waterfowl were in the water, but too far away to be certain what they were.

Speaking of waiting to cross, we decided to watch the British TV series Middlemarch on Netflix last night. Then, after watching the first segment, we decided to stop and read the book first. And then watch the series. Middlemarch is one of those terrifying books that you don't really have to read (they assign shorter ones, mostly)  or that you don't really want to read. (perhaps put off by the grim visage of the author, or her stern persona.) But the greatness of the thing makes you feel you must sometime read it, just maybe not now. What a surprise to find how funny it is! I keep reading bits out loud, which S. has already heard, because he was listening to it as an Audible book--which is what started this whole thing. Such marvelous language, such acrid and funny and freshly expressed observations. What a delight to encounter prose like this!
And FREE on Kindle!

There aren't very many passages that have been highlighted by other Kindlers,
but here is one that has 176 hjghlighters. It is certainly wise, but not as funny (except perhaps for the 'pale about the lips' part) as sharp or clever as many other passages. And I am only getting started.

"We mortals, men and women devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, "Oh, nothing!"
Pride helps us and  pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts-not to hurt others."
(Middlemarch, at end of Chapter VI)

Good Night! And don't be TOO proud. . .

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Friday, March 15, 2013

That Evening Sun Go Down

There is something very beautiful about the pattern (regular yet irregular) that branches trace against the sky. I prefer to sketch trees and other plants the best of all. I would like to think this is not just because it is easier to draw a tree than it is to draw a person who does not look odd. but that is so, too.
The sun goes down every night, and every night I think I will try to accomplish something different tomorrow. And then I run the dishwasher, or the washing machine, or take out the trash and bring in the mail,
and here it is after dark.
I just looked up the title phrase above, which came to my mind from the photograph. Lately when I have been looking through my photos for pictures to post in my Daily Duck series on Facebook, the expressions of certain ducks have suggested bits of text, poems or songs to me. I suppose this has something to do with storage of bits of thisandthat in the brain, but I really enjoy it.

late sun
through bare branches
faraway friends        

Good night. . .
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still Life with Shells and Key

When I think about color, it is often colors like these: violets, pale ambers, diluted blues. I made this through gradual additions in my bathroom in California and kept it where I could look at it every morning as the daylight came through the window.
I have just almost finished the book I mentioned yesterday, A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki.
The part I have left to read is a scant half hour of appendices. I will read them, but it is now time to blog and choose my Daily Duck for Facebook. I don't think I will have enough ducks to carry on past the end of the month, maybe not even until then. About the book, it is a substantial achievement weaving together more than 50 years of history of Japan and America with life on a Canadian Island outpost, and all sorts of short travels into natural science, philosophy and mathematics. Have I left something out??
In case I was being too enthusiastic I just went to Amazon, where the book has earned a solid five stars! and
reviews from readers and critics alike more glowing than I could have imagined. I wold hope that this is pleasing Ms. Ozeki, although I know from her tales of writing in this story, that everything is not easy.

I am thinking tonight of my friend of many years (the on who introduced me to haiku) who had a sudden setback after a recent 6-hour lung operation and now is back in the hospital in an isolation room while they try to identify the pathogen that made her sick. Yikes! I am hoping that her progress will be all forward and upward from now on. Sleep well!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The day I met Einstein, face to face

It's all about time: the big clock, the calendar, and Albert E!

A couple of years ago. I'd come here to pick up a part for my hearing aids. I was the only person here in the late afternoon. The desk attendant went into the back room to search out the part, and I was left alone with Einstein. Note the little drawn head next to him, with the wild hair. I know there is a story here--I just do not know what that story is. But I was very pleased by the personalization of this workplace; I wished I had been in a better position to photograph it--the counter somewhat limited my range.

Last night I got a sample of Ruth Ozeki's new book on my Midnight Kindle. (I seem to have less thrift at that hour, who knows why?) I bought it before even finishing the sample, and will be reading into the dark midnight hours tonight. And then probably recommending it to Jennifer--who is on a tour of duty in Japan with her family and plenty of time to cruise the culture. The book  is called A Tale for the Time Being. I like it a lot, although I am not sure I will by the end; I'll probably get mad at what happens, we shall see. And a "time being" might be some sort of being outside/inside of time. I find the author very simpatico, and all the little bits of information, speculation, labor issue awareness, ecological awareness, locality awareness and so much else is very winning to me. I love the cultural stuff about Japan and the use of so many Japanese slang terms. I'm not all that into Buddhism, but so far it is OK, just as I gave Gary Snider and Joanne Kyger a pass on all that, when they went to India, and afterwards, too. I don't get it, but . . .

For tonight, I will close with Onitsura (1660-1738) probably not untainted by Buddhist thought himself.

Here is one of his best-known haiku:

the bell from far away
how it moves along in its coming
through the spring haze

Can you hear that sound, coming and changing? Also spring is coming! Good Night!
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Will Come, I'm sure of it, somehow . . .

I know, I know, a knot of dry parchment leaves against a common black cottonwood trunk in early February. The air was clear, the sun so bright. I used to have a shirt this color blue; I wore it out. Watercolor class today was great; only one more session. I finished the poppies; I should be able to scan them for tomorrow. The teacher's name is Terra Feast. I have been wondering how it would be to carry that name, For several weeks I heard "Tara" like Scarlett O'Hara's place. but then I looked at her name tag. I am still trying to decide whether to buy a watercolor block. ..
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Monday, March 11, 2013

The donkey's name was Jerry

For such a little guy, his bray was very powerful. We could hear it a our place, one third of a mile away. I have always thought the tomatoes made this picture with that punch of red. Funny day today, the first day after Springing Back. I never liked Daylight Savings much, but now it really seems silly. Most of the reasons for it have been discredited. Somebody should JUST SAY NO!
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tonight's Memory Thread; the eyes of my grandson in the late Twentieth Century

About ten years ago, I am guessing. I loved this trusting, alert gaze. Tonight we all went to the Cheesecake Factory for his slightly older sister's birthday. I am still working on assembling the bits and pieces to send to our tax man for Income Taxes. The whole thing is so Byzantine and weird. Income taxes, but not for this and you can deduct that. I think that, for instance, the mortgage deduction is a major cause of the fact that houses are now so much bigger than they ought to be for the future of the earth.
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Saturday, March 09, 2013

By the sea, by the beautiful sea

This is a memory thread about Asilomar, and about all the Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreats I have beene to there. And again, here are these soft blues and the goldy browns that show up so often on this blog. Good night. I am in my third month of every day blogging, and beginning to feel the strain,Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 08, 2013

Surf and Sanderlings, Monterey Bay

Now that we are in Idaho, I miss the ocean--a lot--even though I didn't go there often. Still, it was there, and I knew it was there and I could go. Silly, am I not?? This photo is something I had scanned recently; sent big boxes of slides, photos and negatives to Scancafe--they did nice work on them. They often have special prices, watch for them!--it takes a couple of months, but every image is right side up, and clean. I don't know how they do it this cheaply. Living here I luckily have a stream, with three kinds of ducks, and greedy red-winged blackbirds that fight over the feeder and spill tremendous amounts of seed, making the ducks very happy. Yesterday, I had SEVEN pairs of wood ducks eating my cracked corn in the late afternoon, along with many mallards. This is more wood ducks than I have ever had; last year topped out at four pairs. Pretty soon they should be making an effort to find cavities or nest boxes to lay eggs in. I cannot put up nest boxes here because of the neighborhood killer cat.

This is the memory thread on sanderlings; how they run along the surf's edge, poking into the sand for goodies. How they take flight (as in the photo above) and the flock wheels together in great swooping turns. How, once, I told a veteran birder that they were sanderlings (where he usally saw similar sandpipers) and I was right! That was fun. A Very Good Night to you!

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ducks in the Snow: how I wish I could draw!

This was made by the iOS app TangledFX. I am crazy about the weeds in the upper right corner. These are Mostly Mallards,with one American Wigeon in the background. I haven't seen any Wigeons now for a week, so they must be on the way north to the breeding grounds. Glad I didn't have to do that. To move where the insects (great protein source!) were to feed my children. Although, moving for a better job is often what people must do.  Good night!
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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Blue Vehicles of Memory to take us far away

Having been reduced to only decorative usefulness, these vehicles form a blue still life outside the barbecue restaurant (in Plumas County) that has wooden paneling and red bandanna curtains. In a blog about memory, I have forgotten this restaurant's name. We take our grandchildren there for chicken strips and french fries.
I like to think about such a tractor when it was new--how it represented getting ahead to the new owner. Where, when? And whatever did she carry in that wicker bicycle basket?
Posted by Picasa"...Shri Krishnagi, who was giving his last words and then retiring into a vow of lifelong silence. Shri Krishnagi who was of the long-haired, long-bearded variety, spoke for almost an hour on "Silence" and then the musicians serenaded him 
(he actually entered the vow at 5 a.m. the following morning.)"
from Gary Snyder's Passage to India, page 102.

I suppose I should/could take this more seriously: a lifelong vow of silence is certainly a tough one! But the thought of someone speaking for an hour on "Silence" (and then having music!) strikes me as terribly (cough, choke!) funny. I am enjoying Joanne Kyger's book on this trip, but I am still in the first half, when they were in Japan and haven't gotten to India yet. They had to get married right off the boat due to the rules of the place where Gary went to study Zen. It was a rushed affair, which made her nervous. So far, the book is larded with little feminist gems that I adore! I'll try to mark some to give you tomorrow. More and more I almost feel that I AM a library! This rummaging about and following whimsical (and not so whimsical) connections is what I must have been born for! Good night!