Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In My Next Lifetime

Cartoon by Roz Chast

Maxine by John Wagner

Time to reassess those resolutions!
Now that January has come to close
and we're one full month into the New Year,
let's be realistic about our "to do" lists!

I also have an additional category:
"Perhaps In My Next Lifetime"

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Once A Time Before

"A Childhood Revisited"
In the process of de - decorating her Christmas tree,
my friend Meg took this captivating "I Spy" photograph
of her beautiful collection of ornaments.
Talk about accustomed, ceremonious!

Meg's magical photograph fits right in with a post - holiday sentiment from Barbara G. Walker that I was jotting down on my book blog a few days ago:
"Children really are delighted by their gifts. Grown - ups really do enjoy watching their pleasure. The decorations really are pleasant to contemplate. The family feasts really are fun. The warmth of friends and relatives reaching out to one another really exists."
And on my Fortnightly Blog:
Some mystical lyrics for the New Year:
"Aquarius: It's A Sign!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Don't Shoot My Pig!

My 6th Grade Art Exhibit Yarn Pig
Gerry often tells a parable from his sociology days about the Citizen who complains to the Commandant that his neighbor has a pig and he does not.

Commandant: "Oh, Comrade Citizen, would you like me to get you a pig such as your neighbor has?"

Citizen: "Oh, no thank you, Sir. I ask only that you shoot my neighbor's pig, to insure that he has no more than I do."

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. So many people seem to base their politics on the firm belief that they will never make a mistake. Wow -- where do they get that certainty? As for me, I'll go ahead and take the life filled with uncertainty and contradiction since that's the one I was granted -- and I will count my blessings!

My friend Rebecca Saulsbury Bravard and I heard Anita Hill speak on similar issues / attitudes when she visited Purdue back in 1992. Hill 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 midwinter, 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.


Too many things that used to be funny just seem sad now, but 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

October ~ Coordinates

World War II ~ Narratives of Resistance

Christmas ~ Harry Leslie Smith & Ruth Wolff

Christmas, continued ~ Barbara G. Walker

@ Kitti's Book List


I love the way these old calling / Christmas cards
appear so Dickinsian, though they are actually
from the 1920s.

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
A Perfect Ecclesiastical / Paschal Moon

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

FULL MOON CALENDERS
FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
Moons of Wintertime and Beyond ~ 2013
Never Quite the Same ~ 2014
Time for a Moondance ~ 2015

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

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

P.S.

Q.
My friend Megan inquired, "What's the scoop on the moon calendar? Were they taken throughout the year or on a special day? Clearly there were different days, but are they governed by a theme?"

A. If I stop and think about it, I think I can answer this question. The last moon calendar I made was for the year 2015, using moons from 2014. Last year, I got distracted by other themes and didn't make a 2016 moon calendar. So for the current 2017 calendar, I had many moons from which to choose, for I had been saving all my moon photos from 2015 and 2016. A few of the choices match up with the corresponding month, but others I picked randomly or transported in from the "wrong" time of year because they seemed like a good fit (e.g., the big yellow February moon used in October).

The very top Paschal Moon was photographed in April 2016, Amelia Island, Florida

January ~ taken in January 2016 ~ Early Morning Moonset from my backyard, Indiana

February ~ early April 2015 in my front yard

March ~ a year later in the same spot ~ April 2016 in my front yard

April ~ June 2016 from my driveway, tropical Indiana

May ~ May 2016 ~ taken through the pines, while visiting Ben in Durham, North Carolina

June ~ June 2016 ~ Summer Solstice Moon, Indiana

July ~ July 2016 ~ Another Driveway View

August ~ September 28, 2015 ~ The Super Blood Moon, an hour before the total lunar eclipse

September ~ September 2016 ~ Waiting for the Harvest Moon to Rise Above the Treeline

October ~ February 2016 ~ The Last Full Moon of Winter

November ~ November 2015 ~ Thanksgiving Eve, taken through my bedroom window

December ~ November 2015 ~ A Ghostly Moon Pre - Winter Moon

The concluding Moondance Moon was taken in June 2016, through the oak leaves in my front yard.

I try to photograph the full moon every month if possible, running out with my camera when the time is right. When I complained that the highly acclaimed movie Moonlight didn't seem to feature much actual moonlight, my son Sam made me laugh by asking, "Did Mom sit through the entire movie with her camera ready, hoping to get a picture of the moon?" Haha! he knows me well!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Too Soon to Undecorate!

Cat Under Tree ~ Roger Duvoisin (1904 – 1980)
When you're finally read to face the task,
here's some music by Mannheim Steamroller
to make it more bearable:
"Traditions of Christmas" & "Christmas Lullaby"

Last month, I sent this card to my friend
and fellow cat lover Cate as a Solstice Greeting.
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