Sunday, January 22, 2017

Roe v. Wade

Thanks to Deanna Burns for posting this
and to Cindy Wright Goldberg for commenting:
"They don't care --
they probably think they should die if they have one."

To go along with Deanna's post and Cindy's response, I coincidentally came across a surprisingly generous comment in an article about rural America: "Do you know what does change the beliefs of fundamentalists, sometimes? When something becomes personal. Many fundamentalists have changed their minds about the LGBT community once their loved ones started coming out of the closet. Many have not. But, those that have did so because their personal experience came in direct conflict with what they believe."

However, when it comes to abortion, I'm not sure if this approach works or if, indeed, any compassion is called forth. As Cindy points out, I'm afraid it just makes them hate you more.

My friend Rebecca Saulsbury Bravard and I heard Anita Hill speak on similar issues / attitudes when she visited Purdue back in 1992. She said, "Before you judge and make rules, consider if you would like these rules and judgments applied -- not just to your enemies or to the general population but -- to your loved ones, because surely among your loved ones are some who are in the same boat (whatever that might be -- being LGBT, needing an abortion, getting divorced, you name it)."

Sadly, even at the time, the thought crossed my mind that, no, in fact I knew plenty of people who would still be prepared to -- in fact feel entitled to -- judge their loved ones very harshly. Sad but true.

And similarly, for those still insisting that Hillary Clinton encourages delayed, discretionary abortions:

Please. Hillary Clinton did not say this, and this is not what she advocates. She wants safe medical care for everyone, including those with extremely delicate pregnancies that cannot be carried to term. Not everyone is blessed with a healthy pregnancy. Distressed parents whose babies are severely ill with rare complications and life - threatening conditions need our compassion, not condemnation.

Once again, as Anita Hill so kindly suggested, and on today's 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision -- think of your loved ones and forbear.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hillary! Green Tara!

"Homage! Tara, swift, heroic!
With a glance like flashing lightning,
born from a blooming lotus
sprung from the tears on
the face of the Lord of the World!"

Chapter III, Tara Tantra

After the election, I was telling my friend Cate what you're supposed to do every time you go into Starbucks, as explained to me by my friends Bill and Tanuja. When they ask your name for your order: Say "Hillary." Then they write "Hillary" on your coffee cup and call out "Hillary" when your beverage is ready! You just have to remember that they mean you! If several friends do it at once, then you hear "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!" Fun? I haven't done it yet but I really want to. I need some friends to go with. Actually I would also do it alone, but I haven't even been by myself lately.

Cate had another idea: "I would probably do Green Tara. 'Green Tara, Green Tara, Green Tara' ~ now that would be real fun!"

Thanks Cate for teaching me about Green Tara and for sharing this Prayer on the Eve of the Inauguation.

Come to think of it, the Green Tara and the Starbucks Siren share similar features, both physically and spiritually.
Steve from Starbucks writes that the Siren "is a storyteller, carrying the lore of Starbucks ahead, and remembering our past. In a lot of ways, she’s a muse –always there, inspiring us and pushing us ahead.

"And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.
Starbucks Cups: 1971, 1987, 1992, 2011

Kitti & Meg, at the
Women's March ~ Lafayette, Indiana ~ 21 January 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dark Days

Geisha, Nutcracker, Court Jester, Mary Queen of Scots

So who out there has untrimmed the tree and put all the decorations away? ​I still haven't started -- I need all the Christmas lights I can get on these dark days and have sworn not to put one thing away until the end of January (as recommended, even in non - inaugural years, by Stephen Fry)!

This month has just been too dark in every way -- weather, politics, all the griefs of the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. is dead; the arc of history does not tend toward justice; Jesus is never coming back; there will never be peace on earth. While we, personally, may not be skewered, greed takes the day, and our happiness is forever tainted by the dark undertoad of the haves vs the have nots and the few hurting the many.

If this isn't the bleak mid - winter, then I don't know what is!

I still see so much normalizing going on, even among staunch Trump Objectors. How do they do it? I'm pretty sure that disgust has been written all over my face during some uncomfortable conversations where I was trying my best to maintain a "no comment" stance. But the dismay just leaks out. Disgust, dismay, despair, hate, sadness -- all the aforementioned emotions combined. Thus, Let the Record Show. All the cynical cartoons speak to my heart. I know it seems wrong to hate, but even worse is the sadness. Every day feels like somebody's funeral. A dreadful week.

Thanks to comedian Lily Tomlin, I haven't completely lost my sense of humor. I had to laugh when I heard her parting words to President Obama: "Too bad aliens didn't come during your Presidency. We would have been so proud to take them to our leader!"

But then I almost cried.

Thanks to my friend Katie
for offering this antidote to despair:
A Brief For The Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come

by Jack Gilbert, American poet (1925 - 2012)
And thanks to friends Cate & Nancy
for reminding me that we are Women Warriors

Cate: I can only recommend that you back off from your emotional state in reference to the inauguration , etc. You are forcing yourself to carry a hot coal that is only hurting you. Be a warrior. Be of good cheer. Keep on doing what needs to be done. Don't watch TV. Unplug it. Study Dharma. Sweetie, do not look or listen to any news today. Stay off Facebook. Be kind to your self: go shopping, have lunch, get a manicure, dye part of your hair pink! Sending you much love! Peace and love, Cate

Nancy: It has helped me a lot to find a group of like - minded women. My advice is to go to Washington and join the women's March. There is still time. In any case, find something that speaks to your most important issues and volunteer. No time to despair. We must be strong: Warrior Women! Get out of your head and emotions and Act! Righteousness and love have kissed. Hugs from Nancy

P.S. ~ Friday ~ January 20th 2017
"Even the heavens wept." Jesus wept. I wept.

The winner of our election,
standing between two former Presidents.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

"The wishes are old, old . . . "

Vintage Poem & Calligraphy by Gerry's Great Aunt Pol

Great Auntie Pol's beautiful card reminds us nostalgically that everything old is new again, and everything new is old. For this and some additional aphorisms to guide you in the formulation of your Resolutions for 2017, check out my current post

~~ "The wishes are old, old . . . " ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

And some book blogs


World War II


@ Kitti's Book List

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Full Moon Night ~ Full Moon Year

Burnetta: What causes such emotions
to bubble up when I look at the moon?
Kitti: If we only knew!

2017 ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR! ~ 2017













Moons of Wintertime and Beyond ~ 2013
Never Quite the Same ~ 2014
Time for a Moondance ~ 2015

Van Morrison's "Moondance"
Michael Buble's Rendition

"It's a marvelous night for a moondance!"

Monday, January 9, 2017

Too Soon to Undecorate!

Cat Under Tree ~ Roger Duvoisin (1904 – 1980)

Last month, I sent this one to my friend
and fellow cat lover Cate as a Solstice Card.
See the tiny Christmas tree outside, in the distance?
At the Window (1927-28) ~ Marc Chagall (1897 - 1985)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Epiphany: Poverty, Jeopardy, Obscurity

Nativity with Midwife ~ 1913
Woodblock by Eric Gill (1882-1940)
Matrum Noctem ~ Mother's Night ~ Mōdraniht
The Mystery of Birth

Carol of the Epiphany

I sought him dressed in finest clothes,
where money talks and status grows;
but power and wealth he never chose:
it seemed he lived in poverty.

I sought him in the safest place,
remote from crime or cheap disgrace;
but safety never knew his face:
it seemed he lived in jeopardy.

I sought him where the spotlights glare,
where crowds collect and critics stare;
but no one knew his presence there:
it seemed he lived in obscurity.

Then, in the streets, we heard the word
which seemed, for all the world, absurd:
that those who could no gifts afford
were entertaining Christ the Lord.

And so, distinct from all we'd planned,
among the poorest of the land,
we did what few might understand:
we touched God in a baby's hand.

John L. Bell (b 1949)

Shared from
Come to the Table

Adoration of the Magi
Tapestry by Sir Edward Burne - Jones (1833 - 98)

The Epiphany
Stained Glass by Burne - Jones
Epiphany Chapel ~ Winchester Cathedral

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Village

Usually the holidays don't slow me down, but somehow this year I had to slacken my pace, even though I love nothing better than writing about Christmas traditions.

While the Quotidian posts for December have been few and far between, never fear, there are still the Fortnightlies to peruse:

~~ Irish Village Christmas ~~
~~ Cool Girl ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony


My Miniature Village Scene (click to enlarge!)

Village Detail

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Don't Look Up My Dress!

“Los derechos de la mujer" / "The Rights of Women"
two verions, by Debora Arango
Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin, Colombia

Last month, I had the good fortune to visit Medellin and view the dramatic, larger - than - life work of Debora Arango. Her paintings capture many harsh and conflicted aspects of religion, politics, urban poverty, and gender.

For example, the above postcards above, make the point that the women are trapped between men either tyrannizing them or looking up their dresses or both. My friend Jan concurs: "Yes -- that's my read, too! I just read your Fortnightly about Raunch Culture and watching a British 'comedy' with your sons and husband. I often find myself in the same role you found yourself. I wish more men would try harder to imagine themselves in a woman's place. Really enjoyed reading this."

I was concerned about going out on a prudish limb, but wanted to look at the troubling concepts of "Cool Girl" and "sweet - assed gal" and felt that Arango's paintings made a fitting connection. To be screamed at from above or stared at from below is not really what women want.

More about these problematic gender issues on my current post

~~ Cool Girl ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hip, Hip Hooray, for
Christmas Vacation!

"Stockings Were Hung"
I love these urban Christmas cards!
By New Yorker artist Witold Gordon (1885 – 1968)

Sorry I can't promise many posts this month . . .
because -- Hip, hip, hooray --
Christmastime is Here!

Christmas Vacation

It's that time, Christmas time is here
Everybody knows, there's not a better time of year
Hear that sleigh, Santa's on his way
Hip, hip hooray, for Christmas vacation

Gotta a ton of stuff to celebrate
Now it's getting closer, I can't wait
Gonna make this holiday as perfect as can be
Just wait and see this Christmas vacation

This old house, sure is looking good
Got ourselves the finest snowman in the neighborhood
Ain't it fun, always on the run
That's how it's done on Christmas vacation

Let's all deck the halls and light the lights
Get a toasty fire buring bright
Give St. Nick the warmest welcome that he's every had
We're so glad it Christmas vacation

And when the nights are peaceful and serene
We can cuddle up and do our Christmas dreaming


Christmas vacation
Christmas vacation

We're so glad it's Christmas vacation

Peace and joy and love are everywhere
You can feel the magic in the air
Let the spirit of the season carry us away
Hip, hip, hooray for Christmas Vacation

Fa, la, la, la, la and ho, ho, ho
Jingle, jangle, jingle as we go

~ Mavis Staples

Friday, December 2, 2016

Not There Yet

1980s Virginia Slims
April Fools Day Magazine Ad

Of course, there is the irony, unintended at the time, of equating cigarettes with liberation! I happened to think of this vintage advertisement (yes, I saved a paper copy in my Women's Studies Notebook) in conjunction with a recent discussion of both smoking and feminism, though not combined Virginia Slims - style, but as two separate topics.

Here's an excerpt (click for more):

~~ Carriker Barrel ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

Concerning gender issues, you ask, "What's left? Aren't we pretty much there? What do women want / expect? What are the limitations?"

First, I worry about the role of women in a country soon to be led by a man who feels entitled to leer sexually, even at his own daughters. Despite all the men in America and in my family who love and respect the women in their lives, the acceptance of such lascivious public discourse defies belief and damages the position of all women. Until this kind of callous objectification is eliminated, we are not "there" yet.

Second, we are not "there" yet, as long as I can still attend a formal event and hear a speaker (male) begin his keynote address with a tired old sexist cliche --
“A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough
to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

-- that relies solely on the assumption that women are for gawking at. I don't care if it is attributed to Winston Churchill, it is not funny; it's embarrassing. And I'm not talking decades ago at a bachelor party but recently at a holiday dinner on a university campus, where half of the guests were women.

This kind of so - called humor gives women in the audience three choices:
1. be one of the guys, guffaw guffaw

2. assume that you too are a sex object, valued for your legs, for your skirt, and for being stared at

3. know that you are in a some other sub - category of women who are no longer -- or have never been -- considered sexually desirable -- so no worries, right?
For any self - respecting woman in the audience these are three equally uncomfortable and insulting options.

Third, religion, has a long way to go before it is part of the solution rather than part of the problem. My son Ben has predicted the demise of religion (see below), but lets say that it stays around, then one of my required targets for gender equity would be to see the Catholic Church relinquish its opposition to female priests. I rank this as important whether or not I'm a Catholic because the Catholic Church has over a billion adherents worldwide and a great sphere of influence. Why not use that massive influence in the interest of including women rather than excluding?

Here's Jimmy Carter's opinion on how the role of women in the church informs their role in society at large:

Thank you President Jimmy Carter!
Jimmy Carter: "At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities. . . .
The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."

Take Back the Day!
As I've mentioned elsewhere & many times before,
Take Back the Night is a noble sentiment . . .
but first things first! Let's begin by making
it safe to walk around in broad daylight!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Oh To Be Jo March

Happy 184th Birthday to
"The Most Beloved American Writer"
By Norman Rockwell

Today's Google Doodle in honor of Louisa May Alcott
More in the Telegraph and on youtube

I intend to get back around to writing more about beloved author Louisa May Alcott and her beloved heroine Jo March; but until such time, there is this great Alcott Blog to look at, with lots of illustrations!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Like a Planet

"End of Season" ~ Photo by Cate

The Gathering

Outside, the scene was right for the season,
Heavy gray clouds and just enough wind
To blow down the last of the yellow leaves.

But the house was different that day,
So distant from the other houses,
Like a planet inhabited by only a dozen people

With the same last name and the same nose
Rotating slowly on its invisible axis.
Too bad you couldn't be there.

But you were flying through space on your own asteroid
With you arm around an uncle.
You would have unwrapped your scarf

And thrown your coat on top of the pile
Then lifted a glass of wine
As a tiny man ran across the screen with a ball.

You would have heard me
Saying grace with my elbows on the tablecloth
As one of the twins threw a dinner roll
Across the room at the other.

by Billy Collins

Thanksgiving at the Little Planets' Table
~ Cartoon by Steve Breen ~

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Getting Ready

The week before Thanksgiving, Unlce Al sent us
an update from the Garden of Paradise:
"Lovely autumnal day.
Apple tree is a bit pitiful though."

The pumpkin, however, is brilliant!
Welcome Autumn! Welcome Guests!

The Guest House ~ Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2 (KJV)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Hollow Hawk

Red - tailed hawk on Robinson Street

Earlier today, this pre - Thanksgiving visitor was strolling down the sidewalk near my house -- not at all rare perhaps but unusual for me to see at ground - level! My kids tell me that our nearby middle school teams are known as the Happy Hollow Hawks because the adjacent park is full of hawks. Oh, that explains it! By the time I got outdoors with the camera he (she?) was high up in the tree.

Dan: You're going to fix him a plate, yes/yes?

Me: I was just hoping that he wouldn't swoop down and punish me for taking his photograph!

Dan: Nah, he looks mellow.

Peg: So handsome and regal.

Additional Visitors

Every season, a few of these little guys make their way
into our attic and have to be repatriated to the woods

Stopping by the back deck just to say "Hey"

Foraging Friends by Delilah Pierce

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Here's Some Nature"

Earlier today, my friend Andrea shared this poster
from Janis Ian and Dean Jackson.

So true! Many years ago, when my little friend Natasha was about five, she gave me a rock that was special because it had a hole in it. Handing it to me, she said, "Here's some nature." How could I ever forget that? I still have it in my key - chain drawer.

More recently, young Liam gave me a marble as a souvenir of my visit to Bainbridge Island, and I still have it in my counter - top water fountain (that the cats drink from).

Thanks, Little Ones, for these treasures!

Here's Fuqua drinking from the fountain!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

How the Light Gets In

~~ 12 November 2016 ~~

A week after the U.S. Presidential Election, my friend Burnetta* and I were exchanging photographs of the full moon: "I know you will post one of your own," she wrote. "All of my friends are so down, Kitti. We must figure out what to do, how to act, and take back the best aspects of our democracy. Of course, we practice those every day. I hope they are enough. Everyone I know feels the same. Peace, love and hope for the coming days, weeks. May we find the high ground and work from there."

Mourning not only Hillary Clinton's lost chance at running our country, but also the death of Leonard Cohen, Burnetta posted this song as the pefect tribute to a timeless songwriter and a fitting response to our post - election trepidation:

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Words and music by musical genius, poet, and man of vision Leonard Cohen
(September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)
~~ 13 November 2016 ~~

Another favorite of mine is the "Song for Bernadette":
So many hearts I find, broke like yours and mine
Torn by what we've done and can't undo
I just want to hold you, won't let me hold you
Like Bernadette would do . . .
And every now and then we try
To mend the damage that we've done . . .

By Leonard Cohen, Bill Elliott, Jennifer Warnes
The Jennifer Warnes rendition is popular,
but I prefer Anne Murray or Judy Collins.

~~ 14 November 2016 ~~

*Previous Burnetta Posts:

Dawn of Doom (Dark Vapors) ~ 10/7/16

Roots of Kindness ~ 4/29/16

Your Poem, My Poem ~ 2/23/16

May Day Birthday ~ 5/1/14

The Wire Brush of Doubt ~ 3/16/14

The Fish Hatchery, Neosho ~ 2/8/14

Never Quite the Same ~ 1/9/14

Moons of Wintertime and Beyond ~ 12/28/12

Whatnots ~ 12/1/13

City Wonderland ~ 12/3/12

Come Back to the Present! ~ 10/22/12

Autumn Days ~ 10/17/12

Chrysanthemums ~ 10/9/11

Huckleberry ~ 7/21/11

All Souls: Never Alone ~ 11/2/10

Fair ~ 7/2/10

Opinions & Facts ~ 4/20/10

April Leaf ~ 4/8/10