Thursday, September 29, 2016

Michaelmas

Bringing in the Harvest ~ ca 1890
by Hendrik Pieter Koekkoek (1843 – 1927)

Michaelmas -- I have always loved the sound of that word and always intended to learn more about this festival -- the Feast of St. Michael -- a celebration of harvest, shortening days, and end - of - the - summer fruits and flowers, hence Michaelmas Daisies and blackberry pies.


I never cease to be intrigued by all the folklore associated with this season and the cluster of celebrations that crowd the calendar, ranging from the Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice. I am so excited for every single one of these beautiful days and the way that everything fits together, leading up to my favorite time of year.

I read a good little quotation awhile back but didn't copy it down, something along the lines of: "life belongs to God." That observation appeals to me during such a splendid autumn, with each afternoon entirely gorgeous enough to break your heart and all the holidays packed with so much meaning. Just glancing out the window is enough to fill me with the sensation that, yes, surely, "life belongs to God."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What a Wonderful World

Night Light Globe & Baby Hugg-A-Planet
"I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world"


Sung so beautifully by
Louis Armstrong ~ Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole

My inspiring millennial son Ben McCartney,
featured here in 1991, shortly before his first birthday,
trying to figure out how to make the world a better place!

Insightful Family Discussion about How to Fix the Planet
on my current post

~ What A Wonderful World ~

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

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Garden of Paradise

Uncle Al & Auntie Tee's Apple Tree
Early September & Late October ~ 2015

"The end of summer or start of autumn?
Your favourite apple tree is getting rosier by the day."


The Singing Ringing Tree
Mid - September ~ 2015
"Apples are still going strong,
but autumn is here now for sure."
Thanks to my brother - in - law Alastair for keeping me updated on this mythic apple tree, growing in the center of paradise, over in sunny England! This autumn, Al writes:
"Doing OK, but not as good as last year . . .

Tina's yellow raspberries are doing well though."

Remember Thomas Carlyle's absolutely
perfect quotation for anyone who just
hates to be told "No" -- and who doesn't?
“Let me have my own way in exactly everything
and a sunnier and pleasanter creature does not exist.”

And what better location for perfect happiness and soulful communion than in the heart of my sister - in - law's perfectly sunny and pleasant garden! Not long now, and that's where I shall be! I hear the tidings already!
“Does it ever give thee pause that men used to have a soul? Not by hearsay alone, or as a figure of speech, but as a truth that they knew and acted upon. Verily it was another world then, but yet it is a pity we have lost the tidings of our souls. We shall have to go in search of them again or worse in all ways shall befall us."

Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881)
Scottish philosopher and social commentator
~ Click for more British Garden Pics ~

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Equinox Harvest

Such an ingathering of yellow squash this time of year!
Vegetables Cultivated by Gerry
Succulent Cutting Shared by Beata


Beata also provided these last day of summer
photos and captions of her
colorful garden, ever - flourishing, regardless of the season:

Summer Twining

Summer Delight

Summer Way

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jeopardy!

Just hanging out, eating dinner in front of the television and watching our favorite show, when what to our wondering eyes should appear but a few answers to which Gerry and I definitely knew the questions!

We love it when that happens! Once back in November 2015, again in mid - July 2016, and, most recently, tonight:

Q: Who is John Purdue?


Q: What is Purdue?


Q: What is Computer Science?

***********

And yet again! ~ January 12, 2017

Q: What is Purdue?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Portal to the Divine

"I want to touch water and wood,
other’s hands--everything alive,
so steeped in summer sunshine
and the glory of rebirth."


~ Sister Celine Carrigan, O.S.B. ~

From the Wilds of News Mexico ~ Photo by Joni Menard

My dear friend Joni (since junior high days) shared this perfect photograph and the following kind and inspiring comment in response to my recent tribute to my dear departed friend Celine (since grad school days):

"So when you posted this, Curt and I were on our way to the wilds of New Mexico. I carried Celine's poem, your thoughts, the story with me as we hiked around this beautiful place. I never knew her, but all of this was so strongly on my heart and in my head. I am so grateful Kit. All the gifts. Miss Bell [our favorite 8th grade English teacher; if only we could find her on facebook!], you, and your drawing me in to poetry as a portal to the Divine. You have lost too many dear dear friends to cancer. I look forward to meeting Celine. I really do. Thank you for this. I hiked like I wanted to live. Really live. Like this is the moment to really live.

"My hiking mantra was "I want to touch water and wood" it was so wonderful. It changed everything. I touched them and they touched me. Again so grateful."


A couple of facebook friends referred to this as
Joni's Sound of Music photo.
I was also thinking "Salutation to the Sun"
or maybe Ralph Waldo Emerson!

Let me also take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday to Joni [and her twin brother Terry] who each and every single day lives out the true meaning of worship and adore -- not to mention adorable! Thanks, dear Joni for locating the beauty in every hour and passing that knowledge on to the rest of us who might miss it otherwise. You are a blessing! Best Friends For Life!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To the read the posts referred to by Joni,
including the rest of Celine's poem,
please click on the following posts:

August 29th ~ All Roots and Reasons

September 14th ~ Ever the Best of Friends

Friday, September 16, 2016

Moonrise


Waiting for the Harvest Moon
to Rise Above the Treeline



Under the Harvest Moon

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.



Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.


by Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967
beloved American writer, editor, poet
winner of three Pulitzer Prizes

Thanks Carl Sandburg for reminding us that
Summer and Autumn are both full of memories.
Summer whispers to us of Love, Autumn of Death.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ever the Best and More

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884 - 86)
Georges Seurat, French Post-Impressionist Painter (1859 – 91)
@ Art Institute of Chicago

Les Poseuses (The Models)
(1888)
Seurat's Companion Painting
@ Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
I never tire of admiring these
two companion paintings side by side!


[As well as any number of clever parodies,
such as this one by Matt Wuerker @ Politico]

******************************

~ Kitti & Celine ~ Labor Day Weekend 1987 ~
In Chicago to see Sunday in the Park with George
"Ever the best of friends; ain't us, Pip?"


More about Celine & Sunday in the Park With George
Recently Posted @ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker


September 14th ~ Ever the Best of Friends

August 29th ~ All Roots and Reasons

******************************

More Summer Reading
Recently Posted @Kitti's Book List


September ~ Religion and Politics

August ~ Politics and Religion

July ~ 443 Robinson

June ~ "Sometimes a girl just needs to read a good book!"

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Twain


Twin Towers Medallion & Titanic Medallion

The Convergence of the Twain
by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

(Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")

I
In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

II
Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

III
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls—grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

IV
Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

V
Dim moon-eyed fishes near
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?". . .

VI
Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

VII
Prepared a sinister mate
For her—so gaily great—
A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.

VIII
And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

IX
Alien they seemed to be:
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.

X
Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event,

XI
Till the Spinner of the Years
Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.


. . . compare to . . .

The Convergence of the Twain
by Simon Armitage (b 26 May 1963)

[about the tragic events of September 11th]

I
Here is an architecture of air.
Where dust has cleared,
nothing stands but free sky, unlimited and sheer.

II
Smoke's dark bruise
has paled, soothed
by wind, dabbed at and eased by rain, exposing the wound.

III
Over the spoil of junk,
rescuers prod and pick,
shout into tangled holes. What answers back is aftershock.

IV
All land lines are down.
Reports of mobile phones
are false. One half-excoriated Apple Mac still quotes the Dow Jones.

V
Shop windows are papered
with faces of the disappeared.
As if they might walk from the ruins - chosen, spared.

VI
With hindsight now we track
the vapour-trail of each flight-path
arcing through blue morning, like a curved thought.

VII
And in retrospect plot
the weird prospect
of a passenger plane beading an office-block.

VIII
But long before that dawn,
with those towers drawing
in worth and name to their full height, an opposite was forming,

IX
a force
still years and miles off,
yet moving headlong forwards, locked on a collision course.

X
Then time and space
contracted, so whatever distance
held those worlds apart thinned to an instant.

XI
During which, cameras framed
moments of grace
before the furious contact wherein earth and heaven fused.


~ Click for More Similarities between these Twin Disasters ~

*****************
Previous 9 / 11 Posts


2009: Not a Normal Day

2010: Poem for Today and Tomorrow

2010: 9 / 11 Retrospective (Fortnightly)

2011: Alabaster Cities

2012: My Country's Heart

2013: On the Eve of that Other Perfect Day

2014: Back Before 9 / 11

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Paleontology


In Charley Henley's short story "Cerrito Blanco," two very earnest little kids who live out in New Mexico have been exploring the bluffs behind their houses, digging in the sand for dragon bones and dinosaur bones. Innocent, yet world weary and even a little war - torn, Tessa and Hector remind me of Suzy and Sam from Moonrise Kingdom -- watch this movie if you haven't yet! -- and of Pee Wee Herman when he discovers that there's no basement in the Alamo: "It's not something they teach you in school. It's one of those things you have to find out for yourself."
Tessa: "I should probably get home. Can we come up here again tomorrow? And dig more?"

Hector: "Whenever you want," he said. He patted her knee with his small dirty fingers. "I don't have a lot of friends who are interested in Paleontology. Most everyone I know are assholes."

Tessa: "That's true all over," she said. "Most everybody you meet, they're going to be an asshole" (165).

Hector told her about the dinosaurs and the great sweep of time that could still be read in the rocks of that land. . . . She could see all around her the whole myth of Earth itself, the whole history of the world, written in siltstone and shale. . . . a hundred million years ago tiny creatures had lived out the sum total of their tiny lives. . . . it was all a jungle here then. But look at it now. You know what's weird, though? It's all still here, all the plants and the trees and the ferns and the the cypresses and all those climbing vines and all that swampy ground. Those triceratops. Those T - Rexes. All those allosauruses and pterodactyls. All the monsters of the Earth's long childhood (164 - 65, 173).
from The Deep Code ~ by Charley Henley

***********************

More favorite passages from The Deep Code
on my August 14 ~ Fortnightly Post:

~ Because It Is My Heart ~
@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker


Additional Summer Posts
that you may have missed over the break:

July 28 ~ Rubato ~ Heartbeat, Heartbeat

July 14 ~ Eagles is Freedom ~ Eagles, Hawks, Bastille Day

June 28 ~ The Shadowiness of the Still House ~ Childhood Painting
& Poetry

June 14 ~ In a Museum! ~ Lots of Museums!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Brand New Brother

Happy Birthday to My Amazing Son Sam!

With thanks to the Seattle Art Museum
for providing the perfect acronym!

As the boys were growing up, summer vacation always began with a Memorial Day beach trip to celebrate Ben's birthday (June 2nd) and concluded with a Labor Day beach trip to celebrate Sam's (September 7th). These trips to Ocean City formed the perfect parentheses to our Philadelphia summers.

Fittingly, my Quotidian sabbatical kicked in after a couple of birthday posts for Ben and Cathleen. And now, as the summer draws to a close, I resume just in time to honor Sam.

Welcome Home Nest, under the dining table,
made by Big Brother Ben (age 3 yrs, 3 mos)
for New Baby Sam (age 2 days)

Happy Birthday Sam McCartney!
23 years ago today: "This is your brand new brother . . . "

The Greatest Discovery

Peering out of tiny eyes
The grubby hands that gripped the rail
Wiped the window clean of frost
As the morning air laid on the latch

A whistle awakened someone there
Next door to the nursery, just down the hall
A strange new sound you never heard before
A strange new sound that makes boys explore

Tread neat so small those little feet
Amid the morning his small heart beats
So much excitement yesterday
That must be rewarded, must be displayed

Large hands lift him through the air
Excited eyes contain him there
The eyes of those he loves and knows
But what's this extra bed just here

His puzzled head tipped to one side
Amazement swims in those bright green eyes
Glancing down upon this thing
That make strange sounds, strange sounds that sing

In those silent happy seconds
That surround the sound of this event
A parent smile is made in moments
They have made for you a friend

And all you ever learned from them
Until you grew much older
Did not compare with when they said
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother


lyrics by Bernie Taupin
sung by Elton John ~ Live in 1970 at BBC studios
Also in 1986 With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
and in 1999 As a beautiful piano solo ~ Pontevedra, Spain

Previous Birthday Posts & Other Favorites

Vicarious ~ All Hail ~ Washington Monument ~ Earing

2010 ~ 2011 ~ 2012

2013 Fierce Red ~ 2013 The Point About the Daub

2014 ~ 2015

Highschool Gradution ~ College Graduation ~ And Ben

Reader / Writer ~ Mother's Day ~ New York City

Mother's Day 2003 ~ Sam Perfects His Interview Skills!

Ten Years Later ~ Christmas 2013