Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fruit in Season

A Comical Prayer for the Season
from the movie that we watch every Thanksgiving:
Home for the Holidays
Henry / Dad / Charles Durning: "Dear Lord, We realize just that lately everything is changing too damn fast. And all sorts of things are always the same, even things we hated like shoveling the turkey and stuffing the snow, and going through the same crap year in and year out -- "

Adele / Mom / Anne Bancroft: "Come on, your food is getting cold."

Henry: "As I was saying Dear Lord before my wife interrupted me, even those old - fashioned pain - in - the - ass traditions, like Thanksgiving, which really mean something to us, even though, god - damn - it, we couldn't tell you what it is, are starting to stop; and thousand - year - old trees are falling over dead, and they shouldn't. That's all from this end. Amen"

For more Thanksgiving Bounty
see my recent post

Laden With Fruit

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony

Sunday, November 25, 2018

November Sun

Mike Love: "The Warmth of the Sun was a very beautiful song that Brian [Wilson] and I wrote in the time period associated with President Kennedy's assassination. We didn't write words about that, but it was around that time we recorded that song, and there's a lot of emotion involved there."

Mike Love: "The Warmth of the Sun was started in the early morning hours of the same morning that President Kennedy was killed in Dallas. The melody was so haunting, sad, melancholy, that the only thing that I could think of lyrically was the loss of love, when interest slips and feelings aren't reciprocated…though I wanted to have a silver lining on that cumulus nimbus cloud so I wrote the lyrics from the perspective of, 'Yes, things have changed and love is no longer there, but the memory of it lingers like the warmth of the sun.' I think it's really impactful and memorable…one of my favorite songs from an emotional and personal point of view."

Brian Wilson: "When the shooting happened, everyone knew instantly. It was all over the TV and on every kind of news. I called Mike and he asked me if I wanted to write a song about it. I said sure. It seemed like something we had to think about, and songs were the way I thought about things. We drove over to my office and in a half hour we had The Warmth of the Sun. We didn't think of it as a big song. It was a personal response. But it got bigger over time because of the history linked to it."
The Warmth of the Sun

What good is the dawn
That grows into day
The sunset at night
Or living this way

For I have the warmth of the sun
(Warmth of the sun)
Within me at night
(Within me at night)

The love of my life
She left me one day
I cried when she said
"I don't feel the same way"

Still I have the warmth of the sun
(Warmth of the sun)
Within me tonight
(Within me tonight)

I'll dreams of her arms
And though they're not real
Just like she's still there
The way that I feel

My love's like the warmth of the sun
(Warmth of the sun)
It won't ever die
(It won't ever die)

Songwriters: Michael Love / Brian Wilson
Sung by the Beach Boys
"The Warmth of the Sun" lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Moment of Silence

Back in 1963, November 22nd fell on a Friday;
Thanksgiving fell six days later on Thursday, the 28th.
This year, Thanksgiving coincides with the 55th anniversary
of JFK's tragic, untimely death on November 22, 1963,
as recorded on this very sad page
from the back of my grandmother's date book:

My Grandmother
Rovilla Heidemann Lindsey
October 8, 1891 - June 14, 1966
a few years after she wrote the above note
Studio portrait taken in 1965,
a year before she died from breast cancer

Monday, November 19, 2018

RED: Dress, Lipstick, Fingernails

Flower Painting Red (1964)
Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987)
Scroll Down or Click for "Ask Elaine"
“What Do Women Want?”
I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

by American poet ~ Kim Addonizio, b. 1954
See also QK & FN (October 2014)
Just Red
I stand in Walgreens while my mother sleeps.
The store is fluorescent and almost empty.
My father is ailing in a nursing home,
my friend is dying in the hospital.
What I want tonight is lipstick.
As pure a red as I can find—no coral
undertones, no rust or fawn. Just red.
Ignoring the salespeople, I untwist tubes
and scrawl each color on my wrist,
till the blue veins beneath my skin
disappear behind smeared bars. I select one.
Back in my mother's apartment, silence.
I limn my lips back out of my wan face.
There they are again: smacky and wanting.

Red Never Lasts
There’s no doubt it’s the most glamorous,
the one you reach for first — its luscious gloss.
Russian Roulette, First Dance, Apéritif, Cherry Pop.
For three days, your nails are a Ferris wheel,
a field of roses, a flashing neon Open sign.
Whatever you’re wearing feels like a tight dress
and your hair tousles like Marilyn’s on the beach.
But soon, after dishwashing, typing, mopping,
the chips begin, first at the very tips and edges
where you hardly notice, then whole shards.
Eventually, the fuss is too much to maintain.
Time to settle in to the neutral tones.
Baby’s Breath, Curtain Call, Bone.

both by American Poet ~ Anya Krugovoy Silver, 1968 - 2018
in her book From Nothing

For more on the poetic possibilities
of nail polish names
see my recent post

A Title Like a Book

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony


see also "An Ersatz for Happiness"

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Russian Straw Dolls

Russian Straw Dolls from the former East Berlin,
a Christmas present from my sister Peggy, over 30 years ago

I've written a lot about interiority and dolls, but never about straw dolls. I've been thinking about the above family of straw dolls today because it is my sister Peg's birthday, and these dolls came into my life by way of her 1984 visit to Soviet controlled East Berlin.

Reading John O'Donohue's Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, I have encountered many of the same concepts and juxtapositions that first intrigued me about The Body of the Doll as Subject and Object. Writing of the soul and "the desire to bring subject and object together," O'Donohue touches on large vs small, outside vs inside; inanimate, seamless and contained vs animate, messy and unpredictable; the miniature vs the gigantic:
"The Infinity of Your Interiority. The human person is a threshold where many infinities meet. There is the infinity of space that reaches out into the depths of the cosmos; the infinity of time reaching back over billions of years. There is the infinity of the microcosm: one little speck on the top of your thumb contains a whole inner cosmos, but it is so tiny that it is not visible to the human eye. The infinity in the microscopic is as dazzling as that of the cosmos. However, the infinity which haunts everyone and which no-one can finally quell, is the infinity of their own interiority. A world lies hidden behind each human face. . . .

Another infinity, as yet unborn, is dimly present. . . . It is such a privilege to be embodied. You have a relationship to place through the body, it is no wonder that humans have always been fascinated by place. Place offers us a home here; without place we would literally have no where. Landscape is the ultimate where; and in landscape the house that we call home is our intimate place. The home is decorated and personalized; it takes on the soul of the person who lives there and becomes the mirror of the spirit
" (41 - 44).
~ from Anam Cara, by John O'Donohue ~



Decorating, Personalizing, Giving Soul, Mirroring Spirit

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Before Winter

Red Maple by Night
In front of Town & Gown Bistro
"Before Winter or never. There are some things in this life which will never get done if they are not done before Winter. Certain doors are now open that Winter will close for ever; certain voices to which we can now respond which Winter may silence for ever.

For instance, there is the voice of friendship and affection. . . . It is this certainty that Winter will come which injects urgency into our human relationships. . . . Whenever for our peace of mind or our conscience's sake there is something to be said or done for another human being and we decide we will get around to it tomorrow or next week or next month -- better think again do it now, before Winter.

. . . if you are going to make a fresh start, do it now -- before Winter" -- intervenes
from the essay "Do It Now!"
found in What the Papers Didn't Say
by Colin Morris, 1929 - 2018
Essayist, broadcaster, minister
Methodist Church of Great Britain


Town & Gown Maples ~ North River Road
West Lafayette, Indiana

Trees Next Door to Town & Gown
I took these pictures a year ago for
The Last Nice Day of 2017

"Even as it envelops me
it is not mine, this autumn:
that wind blowing through the pines,
I regret how it makes them fall --
the leaves, the scarlet leaves of ivy." ~ Anon.


And for
The Last Nice Day of 2018
The Last Roses of Autumn
at Town & Gown Bistro

P.S. And 2019

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

No Neutrality

Window Sculptures
Chinese Garden of Friendship
Darling Harbour ~ Sydney, Australia
"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence . . .

"It is not only the leader of men, statesman, philosopher, or poet, that owes this duty to mankind. Every rustic who delivers in the village ale-house his slow, infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race. Every hard-worked wife of an artisan may transmit to her children beliefs which shall knit society together, or rend it in pieces. No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe."
William Kingdon Clifford
(May 4, 1845 – March 3, 1879)

from his essay The Ethics of Belief

Thanks to my son Sam McCartney
for this enlightening reference.
Posted previously on Guy Fawkes Day, 2010


"Moral means that everything can be used for someone's good or for someone's ill, to bring about life or to cause death, to help or to hurt. Moral means that nothing is neutral. Moral means that nothing exists apart from its purpose, apart from the will that participates in it. All actions, feelings, and thoughts become creative or destructive when combined with our intentions, shaped by love or hatred. All power is moral; all conversation is moral; all work is moral. Everything either builds up or tears down. As human beings we can choose love or hatred. We can choose building up or tearing down. As Christians we cannot choose to be neutral."
The Rev. Eugene Hoiland Peterson
(November 6, 1932 – October 22, 2018)

from his book As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Quoted by The Rev. John Denson, D.Min
Rector St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Indianpolis


Chinese Garden of Friendship ~ Sydney

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Dawn To Doom

Each year Dawn or Doom seems to generate some of its own vocabulary. Three years ago, the takeaway was Wisdoom. Two years ago, we were entertained by the speaker who inadvertently changed the conference name to The Dawn of Doom. Last year there was the registrant who wrote to confirm the exact dates of "The Doom and Gloom Event." And this year, we were charmed by the participant eagerly anticipating her presentation at "Dawn to Doom"!

To help set the tone . . .

1. Two poems:

The Poem of the Future

The poem of the future will be smaller.
It will fit in the palm of your hand,
on your wrist, in your ear.

The poem of the future will not need
bulky batteries or cumbersome wires.
It will be powered by moonlight and weed.

The poem of the future will be automatic.
It will go for months without routine maintenance.
It will be faster, smoother, with a digital tick.

The poem of the future will be lighter.
It will be made of plastics and exotic metals.
It will be available in hundreds of shapes and colors.

The poem of the future will make our lives true.
It will perform in a second what it takes
the poem of the present a day to do.

The poem of the future will talk to us.
It will say things like “Buy IBM,” and ” Friend me,”
and “Pulvis et umbra sumus.”

["We are but dust and shadows." ~ Horace]

~~ by J.R. Solonche ~~

Only This Morning

In a hundred trillion years --
an actual number
though we can't begin
to grasp it -- the last traces
of our universe will be not
even a memory
with no memory to lament it.

The last dust of the last star
will not drift in the great nothing
out of which everything we love
or imagine eventually comes.

Yet every day, every four hours
around the clock, Debbie prepares
her goat’s-milk mix
for the orphaned filly
who sucks down all three liters of it,
gratefully, it seems,
as if it matters more
than anything in the universe—
and it does—at this moment
while the sun is still
four hours from rising
on the only day that matters.

~~ by Dan Gerber ~~

2. A song:

In The Year 2525

In the year 2525, if man is still alive

If woman can survive, they may find
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545
You ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you

In the year 5555
Your arms hangin' limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin' to do
Some machine's doin' that for you

In the year 6565
Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

In the year 7510
If God's a-coming, He oughta make it by then
Maybe He'll look around Himself and say
"Guess it's time for the Judgement Day"

In the year 8510
God is gonna shake His mighty head
He'll either say, "I'm pleased where man has been"
Or tear it down, and start again

In the year 9595
I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing

Now it's been ten thousand years, man has cried a billion tears
For what, he never knew, now man's reign is through
But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight
So very far away, maybe it's only yesterday

~~ Zager and Evans ~~

3. An animation:

"Why Alien Life Would be our Doom: The Great Filter"
"We humans feel very smart and sophisticated
with our crossword puzzles and romantic novels."

4. Becoming Wise from Krista Tippett:

"I’m not surprised by the fact that inexplicable and terrible things happen in a cosmos as complicated as ours, with sentient beings like us running the show. But I am emboldened by the fact that surprise is the only constant. We are never really running the show, never really in control, and nothing will go quite as we imagined it. Our highest ambitions will be off, but so will our worst prognostications. I am emboldened by the puzzling, redemptive truth to which each and every one of my conversations has added nuance, that we are made by what would break us . . .

And what is true for individuals is true for peoples. Our problems are not more harrowing than the ravaging depressions and wars of a century ago. But our economic, demographic, and ecological challenges are in fact existential. I think we sense this in our bones, though it’s not a story with commonly agreed-upon contours. Our global crises, the magnitude of the stakes for which we are playing, could signal the end of civilization as we’ve known it. Or they might be precisely the impetus human beings perversely need to do the real work at hand: to directly and wisely address the human condition and begin to grow it up."

5. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:

"During the past three wars, the right of technology to increase in power and scope was unquestionably, in point of national survival, almost a divine right. Americans owe their lives to superior machines, techniques, organization, and managers and engineers. For these means of surviving the wars . . . I thank God. But we cannot win good lives for ourselves in peacetime by the same methods we used to win battles in wartime. The problems of peace are altogether more subtle" (p 301; more on my book blog).

6. Previous Dawn or Doom Posts:

A Dawn or Doom Valentine! ~ Really Thumb - Thing

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 . . .


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Return to Standard Time

Time Began in a Garden

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Eternal Light,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow nor turning."
~ James 1:17 (KJV, mostly) ~