Thursday, February 26, 2015

Go, Little Book

Thanks Megan!*

Go, little book, thy destined course pursue,
Collect memorials of the just and true,
And beg of every friend so near
Some token of remembrance dear.

Let not our friendship be like the rose, to sever;
But, like the evergreen, may it last forever.

Accept my friend these lines from me,
They show that I remember thee,
And hope some thought they will retain
Till you and I shall meet again.

~ J. S. (John Stuart) Ogilvie, 1843-1910
from The Album Writer's Friend, 1891
found in Pat Ross's With Love and Affection

*To see more from Megan:
~ Books from a Friend ~
@Kitti's Book List
Thanks to Katy Bunder for the Kitten Book End!

Monday, February 23, 2015


Rough ~ Sanded ~ Polished
Floor Refinishing Project ~ Philadelphia ~ 2001


My belly is an acorn
Of round, sweet meat

Smooth, silky
A heart carved into fur

I can feed the squirrels
Which feed the hawks
Which oversee--
Floating their mighty feathers
Down to earth
As a reminder,
As a sign:

Do not give up
Someone cares

I can lie still
Full of promise
In the dirt

I can sprout
And grow
Reach heights and girth
And nobility
Beyond my now,
Beyond yours

I can be
Someone you walk on
Her satin-grained,
Her oaky flavor
Her gold

What was the floor before she was underfoot?

Hostess to the owls?

Mistress to moss?

Does she miss that life?

Does she warm instinctively, simply yearning for your sole?

~ by Tammy Sandel

"satin - grained, Robust . . . gold . . . underfoot"

For more poetry from Tammy,
check out my current Fortnightly post
~ "Heart of Hearts" ~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To Track the Quotidian

The little things? The little moments?
They aren't little.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Large Interior
Jean Brusselmans, 1884 - 1953

Of the many paintings that Gerry and I saw in various museums about Bruges, here is one of my favorites. I was torn whether to post it here on my Quotidian page or save it for my Fortnightly page, where I always try to feature, in one way or another, "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." Indeed, Brusselmans has depicted just such a house, filled with order and harmony; yet he also captures the dailyness of the woman's routine, her collections and her knick - knacks -- not to mention the book in her lap -- perfect for my book blog!

Also by Brusselmans: Village Scene

Over the weekend, Gerry and I watched the 2014 film Boyhood. We viewed it somewhat less generously than the critics, placing it, after some consideration, in the "good not great" category. What we did find fascinating, however, was Mary Jo Murphy's review, comparing Boyhood to the British Up Series, of which we are great fans! As I read Murphy's comparison, the word quotidian jumped off the page at me. How accurate and applicable her description is to my Quotidian Kit:
Both skip life’s “big moments” to track the quotidian, on the understanding that this is where life unspools, where the particular translates so nearly to the universal, which is the irresistible appeal of such living documents. So no births, deaths, first kisses, exams, graduations,* illnesses or accidents. Just human beings forming inexorably before our eyes on screen. [emphasis added]
The "Up" Documentaries as Precursors to "Boyhood"
NY Times ~ 6 Feb 2015
Mary Jo Murphy
Or, as we find in the poetry of Rilke:" . . . the delight that grips us when our awareness of ordinary things seems to be raised to a higher intensity of awareness." ~Mark S. Burrows

*Actually, in Boyhood, there is a graduation.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Take Me to the Mardi Gras

Illustrations from Carl's Masquerade by Alexandra Day

"Mardi Gras. The farewell to flesh. I dressed in feathers. Pointed beak and glitter. How we danced, through lights and confetti. The good-bye to the body.

Not forever, but for now"

from Carole Maso's novel AVA


Take Me To The Mardi Gras

C'mon take me to the Mardi Gras
Where the people sing and play
Where the dancing is elite
And there's music in the street
Both night and day

Hurry take me to the Mardi Gras
In the city of my dreams
You can legalize your lows
You can wear your summer clothes
In the New Orleans

And I will lay my burden down
Rest my head upon that shore
And when I wear that starry crown
I won't be wanting anymore

Take your burdens to the Mardi Gras
Let the music wash your soul
You can mingle in the street
You can jingle to the beat
Of Jelly Roll

Music and lyrics by Paul Simon

Saturday, February 14, 2015


In observation of Valentine's day, I am posting some excerpts from the heartfelt poetry of my multi-talented friend Tammy Sandel. These two poems are filled with visceral images of pumping, bleeding hearts at work. In the first poem, the vivid -- i.e., filled with life! -- motif of red thread, red note and red word connects the reader to the poet's creative energy. The opening lines run like this [emphasis added]:
Red Note*
A blood red thread runs through the chapters of my life, stitching them together, feeding the future from the past like an artery.
Some of my chapter titles are the names of men. Of boys. Of my boys. Of animal friends. Some are titled with women's names, those women who invited me into the intimacy of birthing their child.
And some chapters are simply Moments. . . .

Zoom Hover Reverse.**
(tlks 12/12/14)
Alternate realities put me in the center of a Venn diagram. The intersecting circles pen me in with iridescent wings.
Living labile demands strength. Trying to notice and feel and say every thing to every one you love? Zoom.
Wishing, dreaming, imagining is exhilarating. And time consuming. Hover.
Second guessing, guilt, and regrets exhaust. Reverse.
Do you see that I feed you with the meat of my racing heart?
It's the only way I know how to be. . . .
Tammy, thanks for sharing your poems!

To read these poems by Tammy and more,
check out my current post

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

Present from my sister- in- law Tina a couple of years ago:
Miniature Heart - Shaped Le Creuset!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pre - Valentine Message

" . . . carved on a tree . . . "
Beautiful Koningin Astrid Park ~ Bruges, Belgium
. . . the moment we are born appears to be the very same moment we forget we are loved. Now isn't that awkward? Shouldn't the two things dovetail, love and memory? Shouldn't a feeling that powerful be carved on a tree so no one can ignore its message? To come so far to be in this world only to forget something all - important -- what kind of journey is that? I'll bet that 90 percent of the love that surrounds us is dismissed or discounted -- the cup of tea a friend makes, the letter from a faraway auntie. The fact that no one feels loved enough merely proves my point" (43).
from The Lost Girls
by Laurie Fox

Mysterious Hanging Moss ~ Sonoma, California

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guilt Trip

Speaking of travels . . .


The gang wanted to give Oedipus Rex a going away present.
He had been a good hard-working father and king.
And besides it is the custom in this country
To give gifts on departure.

But we didn't know what to give Oedipus; he had everything.
Even in his loss, he had more than average.
So we gave him a traveling case, fitted, which we personally
Should have liked to receive.

Josephine Miles (1911 - 1985)
American poet and professor
the first woman to be tenured in the English Department, U Cal, Berkeley

Hey -- sounds like that traveling case
would be just the thing for our next guilt trip!

As long as it's not too heavy . . .

Friday, February 6, 2015

Less or More

Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges

When checking into our hotel, we were helped by a sweet and friendly receptionist who gave us a warm welcome, asked where we were from, and gave us helpful tourist tips. In turn, we asked if she was from Bruges but found ourselves uncertain of her answer.

I heard "Lismore" and imagined a town in Ireland or Scotland, but this seemed unlikely, as she was clearly not a native speaker of English (though she was extremely proficient). Gerry heard "Les Amours" and thought that perhaps she was expressing affection for her home town. We tried to smile and agree, but she perceived our fleeting puzzlement and asked, "Is this not how you say it? Less or more?"

Ah ha! More or Less! She was more or less from Bruges. Maybe she lived nearby, or perhaps had lived here most of her life. While we still weren't precisely sure of her meaning, at least we had the correct phrase. Idiomatic expressions can be so tricky! She went on to share with us similar mix - ups that she had experienced in the past, providing one of the most charming examples ever: should she say Coffee Pot or Coffee Pat?!

Surely these little gems of diction are one of the best souvenirs of any trip!

Looking down to the lobby from the 5th floor


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Both to Us!

Incognito ~ In Bruges

Kitti & Gerry ~ 25 / 26 Years

Gerry and I had to complicate things, having our civil wedding on 3 February 1989, and our religious ceremony seven months later on 2 September 1989 [and just for a touch of symmetry, Ben was born precisley nine months later, on 2 June 1990]. We try to celebrate both wedding dates in some small way each year, usually tying Anniversary #1 in with Valentine's Day and Anniversary #2 in with Labor Day. Coincidentally, our belated 25th Anniversary #2 trip to Bruges, that we started planning in September 2014, fell on the eve of our 26th Anniversary #1 in February. So Happy Both to Us!

Happily Ever After
Souvenirs from Gerry's Parents: British Cottage Toast Rack and Tea Pot
White Roses from Amy & Matt's Wedding Day