Saturday, March 31, 2018

Steeple Bells

Can you see the twinkle lights twisted
around the upper & lower porch railings?
I was planning all along to photograph the railing lights
-- which have been up since Christmas --
and then the Easter snowfall was an added bonus!
A Surprising Easter Evening Snowfall!
(Photos added April 1st ~
Nature's idea of an April Fools prank?)
"Shall we be a people who live in the darkness of denial and / or impotent rage? Or are we willing to step out and take the risk of believing, however humbly and lowly, in Christmas [and Easter] and that the little twinkling lights we see everywhere represent a great light?"
The Rev. Nancy C. Tiederman,
friend, teacher, priest & spiritual advisor

A couple of years ago, I was regretting the misplacement of some long forgotten Easter poems (something about a steeple against an April sky "and I grew small again"; and another one about hearing church bells and the voice of God). Would I ever remember where I had filed them?

Amazingly yes! All three losses were restored to me, along with a bit of hope.

"When I heard
the church bells ring
I thought I heard
the voice of God."

Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)
French-German Theologian & Renaissance Man
quotation found in
Quiet Thoughts: Reflections on the Meaning of Life
by Weaver & Whitley

"He was a rationalist,
but he had to confess that
he liked the ringing of
church bells."

Anton Chekhov (1860 – 1904)
Russian playwright and short-story writer
quotation found in
Women, Heroes, and a Frog
by Nina Leen (1909 - 1995)

St. John's Church ~ Lafayette Square ~ Washington DC
Photo from my visit ~ October 2017

No Greater Heights

I scanned the canvasses
of ancient masters -- drew forth
each hidden secret of their craft,
each principle of line, and form, and hue.

And I grew wise in Art.

I studied works
of great composers -- delved deep in melody
and mood, probed structure and technique.

And I grew wise in Music.

I thumbed through yellowed
manuscripts -- through ragged volumes, thick
with dust, and plied my mind with formulas
and rules.

And I grew wise in Science.

Philosophers and men of wit, I read --
plundered every single source
of knowledge, made captive all the learning
of all time until, I though
I towered in Wisdom over all.

And then I saw a steeple,
against an Easter dawn.

And I was small again.

Bernard S. Patrick (Copyright, 1954, John Deere)
poem found in Easter Ideals, 1964 (Vol 21, No 2)

Steeple of St. Peter's Church ~ Philadelphia
Photograph taken by Ben McCartney ~ February 2018

Cathedral Cherry Blossoms ~ Washington, DC
Photograph taken by Ben McCartney ~ March 2004

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rest in Peace Virginia Woolf

"Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully
in what is commonly thought big than
in what is commonly thought small. . . .
Down, down into the midst of ordinary things."

1902 & 1927
George Charles Beresford - Virginia Woolf in 1902 - RestorationVirginia Woolf 1927

Rest in Peace Virginia Woolf:
25 January 1882 ~ 28 March 1941

See more on facebook
and more on my Fortnightly Post:
~ March 28 ~ Who's Afraid? Fear Not! ~

Google Doodle Celebration on YouTube

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Walkway to the Sun

Equinox Sunset by Beata ~ 22 March 2018
Beata: Such a beautiful day. Coming back from my meeting at the library, I experienced the most spectacular sunset. At the stop sign, I paused to enjoy the sun going down. I literally spent ten minutes waiting for it in the middle of the road.

Kitti: It was worth the wait! In the first picture, I really like the included reflection on the hood of the car!

Ha ha, in the second picture I wanted to avoid that!

Kitti: I know! And I saw you got rid of the wires, which I am also always trying to avoid. On the other hand, sometimes those little unwanted details add an interesting touch.

Beata: You got it right! I love your photo, especially pretty because the winding walkway leads toward raising sun and the branches mirror the movement of the walkway.
Sunrise the Next Morning

Sky Full of Wires

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Equinox in Our Bones

"Early this morning, there was fog & as the sun rose around us, everything began to glow & it made me wonder what this world will become for us when we remember in our bones that even the darkness is just another shape of light."
~ Brian Andreas ~ StoryPeople ~
Or, as Gerry was wondering this very morning, only moments before I opened up my mail to find that my friend Diane had sent me the above Story of the Day: "Why do you think it is that human beings, in all epochs and seasons, are universally drawn to the rising and setting of the sun? Do we learn that the sunrise and the sunset are beautiful to behold, or are we born feeling it in our bones?

Additional Vernal Equinox Posts

2010: Garden & Fig

2011: Super Moon

2012: First Day of Spring

2013: Bursting Into Light

2014: The Wire Brush of Doubt, Spring Hopes Eternal

2015: Prevernal, Vernal

2016: Why the World Wags

2017: Light Spectrum, My Own Little Stonehenge

2018: Tuesday Afternoon

2019:Daylight Loses

2020: Last Sunset of Winter

2021:The Pause Between Seasons

2022: An Horizon Near You


Sunrise Reflected in the Front Window

Sunrise Through the Wires

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Afternoon

Photography by Jay Beets
"The trees are drawing me near
I've got to find out why . . . "

A song for the Vernal Equinox ~ when it falls on a Tuesday:

Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)
Tuesday afternoon
I'm just beginning to see
Now I'm on my way
It doesn't matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

I'm looking at myself reflections of my mind
It's just the kind of day to leave myself behind
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love
If you'll just come with me you'll see the beauty of
Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday afternoon
I'm just beginning to see
Now I'm on my way
It doesn't matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

~ by Justin Hayward (b. 1946)
British musician, lead singer and guitarist for The Moody Blues

[*Could this be why: "If trees could build houses
they would build them out of our bones." ~ Michael Lipsey

Whenever I hear anything from Days of Future Passed (1967), I always remember writing a letter to my friend and pen pal Jill in 1976. We had been in grade school together but gone to different highs schools and colleges. During the spring semester of our freshman year, no sooner had I written to tell her that I had just bought a copy of this album, than she wrote to me with the same news. It was such an odd coincidence, because it wasn't even a new album at the time, and we hadn't discussed it or anything. Just one of those funny synchronicities.

Although it took place on a Sunday not a Tuesday,
I also have to point out that
today is the wedding anniversary
of my maternal grandparents
Paul & Rovilla,
married 91 years ago today.

They were married 39 years.
Rovilla died in 1966; Paul in 1983.

Here they are in 1965

Friday, March 16, 2018

Women's History Month

"An Indian artist gives final touches
to a painting on street walls
on International Women's Day in Hyderabad, India,
Friday, March 8, 2013."

Read More About
International Women's Day


Women's History Month
~ Special Events
“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well."
~ President Jimmy Carter, 1980 ~

And see my related post:
~ "Not to be Devoured" ~
@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Saving the River Babies

The Carry (2003)
by American Artist ~ Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009)

This is the kind of river I imagine
whenever I read "The Parable of the River Babies"

Slightly differing versions can be found

in Why Did The Policeman Cross the Road?
by Stevyn Colgan

and on the website of the
Unitarian Universalist Association

You can click on the links for detailed narratives, but, to explain briefly, a group of concerned bystanders or campers on the riverbank quickly come to the rescue when they see a baby floating by unattended. No sooner have they saved the little one from drowning, when along comes another baby, and then another. After numerous rescues, it occurs to the well - meaning life - savers that they are dealing with a much larger problem that must originate somewhere upstream. Perhaps the true dilemma is not drawing the babies out of the water but figuring out who -- or what force of nature -- is putting them in the river in the first place.

Similar to "The Drawbridge Problem," "Saving the River Babies" can be used as a collaborative learning exercise. After reading and discussing the parable, the problem - solving goal is to determine whether or nor there is a way to prevent the babies from being tossed into the river.

George Lakoff's distinction between Direct & Systemic Causation provides a helpful discussion aid:
"Direct causation is dealing with a problem via direct action. Systemic causation recognizes that many problems arise from the system they are in and must be dealt with via systemic causation. Systemic causation has four versions: A chain of direct causes. Interacting direct causes (or chains of direct causes). Feedback loops. And probabilistic causes. Systemic causation in global warming explains why global warming over the Pacific can produce huge snowstorms in Washington DC: masses of highly energized water molecules evaporate over the Pacific, blow to the Northeast and over the North Pole and come down in winter over the East coast and parts of the Midwest as masses of snow. Systemic causation has chains of direct causes, interacting causes, feedback loops, and probabilistic causes — often combined.

Direct causation is easy to understand, and appears to be represented in the grammars of all languages around the world. Systemic causation is more complex and is not represented in the grammar of any language. It just has to be learned."

[More from George Lakoff on the topic of "Moral Politics"]

USPS Andrew Wyeth Postage Stamps

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Like a Tame Lion

When You Lie on Your Resume
But Get the Job, Anyway!

The month of March is pretending to be a lion,
including actual snow, everywhere we turn . . .

Our own front yard . . .

side yard . . .

. . . and back yard.

Grim & Gram's backyard . . .
Sam was visiting for Spring Break
and witnessed this amazing sight,
something I myself have never seen
on any of my trips to England!
It caused much consternation . . .
but only for a few hours.

And from Ben: "First England, now North Carolina?!?!?!"

In Like a Lion ~ Out Like a Lamb

It could go either way!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Celebrity Look Alike

Way back in 1981, my dear friend Marilyn sent me the above clipping and told me that I looked just like Meryl Streep. I know, I know, she was being over - complimentary, but, I loved her for it (that's what friends are for!) and ever since that day I became a Meryl fan!

A highlight of this year's Oscar Celebration was Frances McDormand's brilliant gesture of inviting all the female nominees in every category stand with her. My favorite part was when she urged Streep, " . . . Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will, c'mon . . . ."

What an honor!

American historian and social observer Sarah Vowell also pays tribute to Streep when explaining the topic and title of her latest (2015) book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States:

"The thing that drew me to [the Marquis de] Lafayette as a subject -- that he was that rare object of agreement in the ironically named United States -- kept me coming back to why that made him unique. Namely, that we the people have never agreed upon much of anything. Other than a bipartisan consensus on barbeque and Meryl Streep" (25, emphasis added).

Surprisingly, even in the Meryl Streep department, I could name a few dissenters! Even so, what a perfect coincidence that I started reading Vowell's book and came across her reference to Streep on the same day that I wrote this post!
"Inclusion Rider"
Streep & MacDormand

Best Actress Nominees
Academy Awards ~ March 4, 2018

Celebrating Together
Golden Globes ~ January 7, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

Toxic Movies

Click for hundreds more.

Is this really necessary?
A gun in your face, just to advertise a movie?

Who will join me in spurning
this kind of so - called entertainment?

Continued connections
from previous post
Not Cool, Not Funny


How to change the world:
The Low Road

What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.

But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organisation. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.

by Marge Piercy (b. 1936)
American poet, novelist, social activist
(Copyright 2006, Middlemarsh, Inc.)

You can hear this and many of Piercy's political poems
in her own voice on her CD:
Louder: We Can't Hear You (Yet!)

or find it in her famous collection
The Moon Is Always Female
(Copyright by Marge Piercy; published by Alfred A. Knopf)

[on facebook 07/22/2011]

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Sweetheart Tree

In Moldova and Romania, the First of March, known as Martisor, is a holiday similar to Valentine's Day, celebrated with sweets and trinkets and tokens of friendship.

Remember this Golden Oldie?
If only it said "blossoms of yellow" instead of "white,"
it could be about the Yellow Gold Guayacan Tree:

The Sweetheart Tree

They say there's a tree in the forest
A tree that will give you a sign
Come along with me to the Sweetheart Tree
Come and carve your name next to mine

They say if you kiss the right sweetheart
The one you've been waiting for
Big blossoms of white will burst into sight
And your love will be true evermore

Songwriters: Johnny Mercer / Henry N. Mancini
Sung by Natalie Wood / Johnny Mathis / Bobby Darin / many others

Here & Above: Some Vintage Sweetheart Trees

More on facebook
and on my Fortnightly Blog Post

Once & Future March First Posts

2010: Kiss Me & Kiss Today & Dear March

2011: My Vegetable Love

2012: Love However Brief

2013: Beyond Ideas

2014: The First [Mild] Day of March

2015: Wind from a Leaf

2016: Reading the Obituaries

2017: Piano Bar

2018: The Sweetheart Tree

2019: Flora or Fish?

2020: The Once and Future Guenever

2021: Felix Anno Novo

2022: March Begins: The Heart's Desire

2023: Happy Martisor Day!