Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dawn or Doom Comes 'Round Once More

Designing Cities

Each year Dawn or Doom seems to generate some of its own vocabulary. A couple of years ago, the takeaway was Wisdoom. Last year, we were entertained by the speaker who inadvertently changed the conference name to The Dawn of Doom. This year there was the registrant who wrote to confirm the exact dates of "The Doom and Gloom Event."

And the night before the conference, Gerry said, in a spooky voice: "'Tis the Eve of Dawn or Doom. I guess that makes it Dawn or Doome'en!

Read more about last week's conference on my

Current Post ~ "Smart, Beautiful City"

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker


If you missed out, don't despair,
Dawn or Doom '18 will be here before you know it!
Coming this time next year to a campus / planet near you . . .
In the meantime, we can learn from the past:

Previous Posts

Smart Beautiful City

Dawn or Doom Comes 'Round Once More

AI is Easy

Dawn of Doom



Dawn or Doom2

Dawn or Doom?

Safe Home


Dawn or Doom -- Your Choice!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Kent Haruf Celebration

Kent Haruf ~ Literary Celebration
Centerpieces ~ fall flowers, pages from Haruf's novels
& cream - colored scrap paper that he used for rough drafts.

This Little Light of Mine
"If I had learned anything over those years of work and persistence, it was that you had to believe in yourself even when no one else did. And later I often said something like that to my graduate students. You have to believe in yourself despite the evidence. I felt as though I had a little flame of talent, not a big talent, but a little pilot-light-sized flame of talent, and I had to tend to it regularly, religiously, with care and discipline, like a kind of monk or acolyte, and not to ever let the little flame go out."

Kent Haruf (1943 - 2014)
From "The Making of a Writer,"
his autobiographical essay in Granta

See also "The Complete Final Interview"

Gerry had an interesting idea as we were driving back to the airport: comparing Kent's life to that of George Orwell, and then moving on to compare Kent's imaginary Holt, Colorado, to the town of Lower Binfield, near the River Thames, that Orwell creates as the setting for his novel Coming Up For Air.

What crossed my mind was the fiction of Patricia Henley (both novels and short stories) particularly the opening story "Rocky Gap," in her collection Other Heartbreaks. At a campfire ceremony, "They toss little scraps or origami wishes into the fire. June thinks she should wish for World Peace, but she doesn't. She wishes for Local Peace" (more on my book blog).

I can definitely see that "local peace" is a priority for the many of the citizens of Holt and the focal point of their choices and of their narratives.
See also:
Almost Equinox Birthday
Haruf (Rhymes with Sheriff)
Not the Husband, Not the Father
Everything by Kent Haruf

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Last Few Days of Summer

First Chinese Lantern of the Season!

No one describes the changing seasons quite like Shirley Jackson (1916 - 1965), first in Life Among the Savages (1953) and again in Raising Demons (1957), her bittersweet tributes to family life with four growing children. All the rambunctious joy is there but also an undercurrent of betrayal and sadness, especially for the reader who knows beforehand that Jackson died at age 48, barely a decade after penning these topsy - turvy homegrown reminiscences. Her youngest child (born 1951) was only 14 years old at the time of her death, approximately the age of her older son Laurence [aka Laurie, born 1943] around the time that she attends his baseball game at the local field, near their rambling -- not to say ramshackle! -- Victorian house:
"The summer was one of the hottest we had ever had, and I got sunburned sitting on the hill over third base. . . . I sat in the shade and figured out that there were only seventeen more days before school started, Sally and Jannie were going to need new winter coats; a year from now I would be getting Barry ready for kindergarten. The first winter we were in our new house, when Laurie used to go sledding on this hill, he could stand just about where I was sitting now, and see our back porch, and I used to signal him that it was time to come home by hanging a dish towel over the porch rail; I could not see the back porch now because the trees were still thick. In another few weeks, I thought, the leaves would be coming down again. School, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the long spring days, and then another summer. I could hear cheering from the ball field. The years go by so quickly, I thought, rising; he used to be so small.

"The last few days of summer go faster, though, than any other time of year. . ."
(215 - 16, Raising Demons)

See recent biographies of Jackson
by Ruth Franklin & Zoe Heller

First the flowers . . .

. . . then the squash . . .

. . . then the pumpkins!


Vernal Equinox Throwback

Stained Glass Representation of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
KEY (left to right):
Green: Radio waves; Yellow teardrops: Meteors;
Orange teardrops: Aurora;
Red: Infrared light; Rainbow colors: Visible light; Violet: Ultraviolet light;
Dark violet triangles: X-rays; Light violet triangles: Gamma rays;
Pink: Cosmic rays.

Happy Vernal Equinox
Some haiku for the
Day and Night of Equal Light:

Trying but failing
to be the voice of reason.
The spirit prevails.

Here's to equanimity
and all shall be well!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Books and Coffee and Nalewki

Nalewki i Inne
Notice the glasses are empty . . . oh, and so is the bottle . . .
somehow or other it just tends to evaporate
in the heat of a late summer afternoon!

Thanks to Beata for sharing
books, coffee, and nalewki!
"World problems? What world problems?"

[Thanks to Sir-Igor Steinman for the caption!]

Just missing the third member of our
Triumvirate: Happy Birthday Katie!

Here are a few things we've been reading lately:

September ~ Cate: Books & Cats

August ~ HBJ

July ~ Like a Sentence Deep Within a Book

June ~ The World is a Beautiful Book

Posted Over the Summer
@Kitti's Book List

Monday, September 18, 2017

Almost Equinox Birthday

Photograph by Joni Menard, Fall 2016
"It was still hot outside, though the sun had begun to lean to the west, and the first intimations of fall were in the air -- that smell of dust and dry leaves that annual lonesomeness that comes of summer closing down."
, 19

"The evening wasn't cold yet . . . But the air was turning sharp, with a feeling of loneliness coming. Something unaccountable pending in the air."
, 31
both novels by
Colorado writer Kent Haruf (1943 - 2014)




"Start Here" by Brian Andreas
The StoryPeople Story of the Day for September 18, 2017


Additional Joni Posts


Plenty to Read



Happy Snowy Valentine's Day!

Favorite Hats

Lizone's: Jewelry With An Attitude

Grown Up

Time to Talk

Palm Sunday

Our Town

To Forgive: Reprove, Restore, Reclaim

Talk to Me

The Mind of God

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Reading & Singing

Panel for Music Room, 1894
John White Alexander (1856 - 1915)
Athenaeum Gallery ~ Previously

New Posts
@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker

August 28 ~ Sing A Song About Singing ~ Abba,
Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, The Statler Brothers

September 14 ~ Read A Book About Reading
Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club
Stefan Bollmann, Women Who Read Are Dangerous

Dreams, 1896
Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1859 - 1933)

So this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love

and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to.
This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing
and no one is around and they will never know
but I will forever remember
and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have,
and this is for you who write or play or read or sing
by yourself with the light off and door closed
when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned
and maybe no one will ever hear it
or read your words
or know your thoughts
but it doesn’t make it less glorious.
It makes it ethereal. Mysterious.
For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in
and only you can decide how much it meant
and means
and will forever mean
and other people will experience it too
through you.
Through your spirit. Through the way you talk.
Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care
and I never meant to write this long
but what I want to say is:
Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself
and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.

So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain
where no one will ever hear
and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar.
Make your life be your art
and you will never be forgotten.”

~ Charlotte Eriksson, Singer, Writer, Reader

"Start Here" by Brian Andreas
The StoryPeople Story of the Day for September 18, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy Autumn, Happy Bacon

This one's for Gerry!
Maple Leaf Bacon

Such an unusual image for approaching autumn,
yet altogether fitting!

from I, Keturah ~ Ruth Wolff
"In late August you can catch summer slipping away but you can't pen it up. The locust trees turned brown from the blight that came with the hot, rainless days. A sigh of the wind, and a shower of leaves would swirl down from the locust trees, covering the grass below like so many tiny, curled bacon crisps. In the woods the leaves on a dying sugar maple were bright red, as if the tree's blood were running out. The golden glow began to bloom; farewell summer and purple ironweed. A light film of dust covered the weeds along the road, there was a faint haze in the air, and the hum of insects rose in wave upon wave of strident prediction of more dryness and heat. Everything green was dimmed."
(202, emphasis added)


Thanks to Katherine Galvin for the new
-- and surprisingly related -- fridge magnet!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Soul Searching

The Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool ~ Ken Storey

I spent several weeks over the summer composing the following unholy trinity of somewhat skeptical, somewhat irreverent, somewhat rambling religious reflections:
@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker

1. July 14 ~ Born Only Once ~ Langston Hughes
Frank O'Connor, Czeslaw Milosz

2. July 28 ~ O Ya - Ya of Little Faith ~ Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets,
Little Altars, Thirtysomething

3. August 14 ~ None Forbidden, None Compelled ~ Hector Abad

Speaking of spiritual quest and literary connections,
you may recall, if you go the right - hand column >>>
and scroll down, the following from Naomi Shihab Nye:

"Where are you on
your spiritual journey?"
you ask, your sharp eyes
thumbtacking the question
on my heart.

What can I say?
I am somewhere beyond "go"
I have not stopped.

Years have shown me
the idea of travelling
is a game we play with ourselves
to pretend we're not home.

Naomi Shihab Nye
(b 1952)
Palestinian / American Poet


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

June 14 ~ Always June ~ Australia, Autumn, George Eliot

June 28 ~ Yellow Wallpaper ~ Australia,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Terri Kapsalis

August 28 ~ Sing A Song About Singing ~ Abba,
Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, The Statler Brothers

The Musicians, 1979 ~ Ferdinand Botero

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back when Kansas was the Wild Wild West!

L to R: My Grandfather Paul Jones Lindsey (1895 - 1983)
my Great Uncle Samuel Gordon Lindsey ( 1893 - 1918)
and their friend Ira Heidleburg (1891 - 1953)

Until earlier this summer, I had never seen this mysterious photo, dating back to sometime between 1913 - 1915 in Southeast Kansas or Northeast Oklahoma. Shortly after it was taken, both Paul and Sam joined the army and went to France: Grandpa to the Argonne; and Uncle Sam to the Aisne - Marne, where he was killed in action in 1918.

Knowing how solemn the photographic expressions could be back in the day, it was hard to tell at first whether the picture was a practical joke or a formal portrait. It looks very serious but also very posed. I have to say I never saw my grandfather play poker or smoke a cigarette in his entire life! Maybe it was a set - up, perhaps at a county fair or photo studio. It certainly seems posed when you consider all the little details, such as their friend Ira's 2 fingers on the 2 coins! And the way Paul is showing his hand!

Yet another mystery -- can you see how the picture has been torn down the middle? That's how my cousin found it at the bottom of a box of photos when his dad (Paul's son, my mother's brother John) died. Was it torn accidentally or intentionally? We'll never know! My cousin Johnny thought that maybe Grandpa didn't want us to see him with a cigarette, even if it was fake. Who can tell? We're just lucky that somehow Uncle John was able to find and save both halves of the pic and that Johnny was able to gently repair the tear.

Most importantly, I love knowing that Paul, Sam, and Ira had that moment together! How remarkable that a century later, we are still able to see those sly looks that they are giving the camera! In their expressions, I see a resemblance between my older son Ben and his great - grandfather Paul, and my younger son Sam and his great - great uncle Sam -- after whom he was named.

When I showed my Sam the picture, he replied memorably: "Yes, it is a great picture and well worth saving. It's sad to think of all of the photos that have been taken that were then thrown away and no one ever got to see. (If a picture doesn't exist, did that memory really happen? -- that's why I love taking pictures!)"

P.S. Happy Birthday, Sam!
Be sure to take some pictures!

Upon another dress - up occasion ~ 1907
Samuel Gordon Lindsey (R)
with older brother ~ Wayne Wallace Lindsey (L)

Monday, September 4, 2017

All Around Me Peaceful

North Carolina Sunset ~ 4th of July
Thanks to my son Ben and his fiance Cathleen
for sharing these sunsets from their engagement weekend.

Before me peaceful

Behind me peaceful

Under me peaceful

Over me peaceful

All around me peaceful

Navajo Indian Chant

Included in The Family of Man

Later in the summer, visiting the engaged kids:


~ Previous Posts for Labor Day or Thereabouts ~
"Labor Day" ~ 2009
"A Clear Path" ~ 2010
"September Morn" ~ 2011
"DYFJ" ~ 2012
"Don't Work Too Hard" ~ 2013
"Ice Bucket Challenge" ~ 2014
"A Glad Sound with the Setting Sun" ~ 2015
"Brand New Brother" ~ 2016