Saturday, May 30, 2020

Oh So Smoothie

And don't forget the ice cream!

Who can always make us laugh?
Roz Chast, that's who!
Check out my recent book blog:
Books to Make You Laugh

Speaking of Smoothies . . .

Ultra - Healthy

Pistachio Fluff
Happy St. Valentine's / Patrick's Day 2017

Root Beer Floats

All Jello, All the Time

Half Orange Juice - Half Guinness*

Coffee Break*

*Last two pics courtesy of Town & Gown Bistro
Thanks Magan, Matt & Regen!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Truth & Falsehood Have No Fear

As truth and falsehood have no fear

For more insights on truth & falsehood
see my current post:

"The Essential Sincerity of Falsehood"

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


A Charm Against Fear

As heaven and earth are not afraid,
and never suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As day and night are not afraid,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As sun and moon are not afraid,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so my spirit, be not afraid.

As truth and falsehood have no fear,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As what has been and what shall be fear not,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

Book 2, Hymn XV, from the Atharva Veda
composed 1200 BC ~ 1000 BC


For there is no lie that contains no part of truth.
~ both paintings by Leonard Orr ~
The Summer Belvedere

Such icy wounds the city people bear
beneath brown coats enveloping withered members!
I don't want to know of mutilations

nor witness the long-drawn evening debarkation
of warm and liquid cargoes in torn wrappings
the ships of mercy carry back from war.

We live on cliffs above such moaning waters!

Our eyeballs are starred by the vision of burning cities,
our eardrums shattered by cannon.
A blast of the dying,
a thunder of people who cannot catch their breath

is caught in the mortar and molded into the walls.

And I, obsessed with a dread of things corroded,
of rasping faucets, of channels that labor to flow
have no desire to know of morbid tissues,
of cells that begin prodigiously to flower.

There is an hour in which disease will be known
as more than occasion for some dim relative's sorrow.
But still the watcher within my soundless country
assures the pendulum duties of the heart
and asks no reason but keeps a faithful watch

as I keep mine from the height of the belvedere!

And though no eyrie is sacred to wind entirely,
a wall of twigs can build a kind of summer.

I asked my kindest friend to guard my sleep.

I said to him, Give me the motionless thicket of summer,
the velvety cul-de-sac, and quiet the drummer.

I said to him, Brush my forehead with a feather,
not with an eagle's feather, nor with a sparrow's,
but with the shadowy feather of an owl.

I said to him, Come to me dressed in a cloak and a cowl,
and bearing a candle whose flame is very still.

Our belvedere looks over a bramble hill.

I said to him, Give me the cool white kernel of summer,
the windless terminal of it, and calm the drummer!

I said to him, Tell the drummer
the rebels have crossed the river and no one is here
but John with the broken drumstick and half-wit Peg
who shot spitballs at the moon from the belvedere.

Tell the feverish drummer no man is here.
But what if he doesn't believe me?
Give him proof!
For there is no lie that contains no part of truth.

And then, with the sort of courage that comes with fever,
the body becoming sticks that blossom with flame,
the flame for a while obscuring what it consumes,
I twisted and craned to peer in the loftier room--

I saw the visitor there, and him I knew
as my waiting ghost.

The belvedere was blue.

I said to my kindest friend, The time has come
to hold what is agitated and make it still.

I said to him, Fold your hands upon the drum.

Permit no kind of sudden or sharp disturbance
but move about you constantly, keeping the guard
with fingers whose touch is narcotic, brushing the walls
to quiet the shuddering in them,
drawing your sleeves across the hostile mirrors
and cupping your palms to breathe upon the glass.

After a while anxiety will pass.

The time has come, I said, for purification.

Rub out the lewd inscriptions on the walls,
remove the prisoners' names and maledictions,
for lack of faith has left impurities here,

and whisper faith to the summer belvedere.

Draw back the kites of hysteria from the sky,
those struggling fish draw back from their breathless pool,
and whisper assurances cool
to the watchful corners, and whisper sleep and sleep
along the treads of the stairs, and up the stairwell,

clear to the belvedere, yes, clear up there, where giggling John
stood up in his onionskin of adolescence
to shoot spitballs at the moon from the captain's walk.

And then, at the last, he said, What shall I do?
The sweetest of treasons, I told him. Lean toward my listening ear
and whisper the long word to me,
the longest of all words to me,
the word that divides the sky from the belvedere.

by Tennessee Williams (1911 - 1983)
American Playwright
Twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Twice awarded the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Merry Bike Month of May

Thanks to the Bike League,
the calendar abounds with special occasions for
celebrating the joy and efficiency of bicycle riding:

World Bicycle Day: April 19th & / or June 3

Bike to Work Week: September 21-27, 2020

National Bike Month: May

Looking over all these options, I am more than happy
to celebrate my birthday and my bicycle
on the same day ~ May 24 ~

Any Bike Day, Week, or Month is also a good time to reread The Third Policeman, a fantastical murder mystery by Flann O'Brien which revolves around the "Atomic Theory" of the bicycle and concludes with the question repeated throughout the novel: "Is it about a bicycle?" (54, 112, 199).
"It seemed to be impossible to make the Sergeant take cognisance of anything in the world except bicycles. (62)

"Would it astonish you to hear that he is nearly half bicycle?
It would surprise me unconditionally, I said. (83)

"The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who nearly are half people and half bicycles."
All paintings by Rosina Wachtmeister
Bicycle Gallery

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Black Catscapes

Black Cat by Owen Gent

Black Cat by Rainer Maria Rilke

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

The Two James

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.
Read more by Rilke on:
The Fortnightly KC ~ The Quotidian Kit ~ Kitti's List

Catscapes by Lim Heng Swee

Monday, May 18, 2020

Frosting ~and~ Fruit!

Ask your British husband what kind of birthday cake he wants,
and he might just answer: Christmas Cake! Thinking maybe chocolate bundt cake or black currant crumble, I called out, "Do you want frosting or fruit?" But upon hearing those words, Gerry immediately envisioned candied cherries, marzipan, and royal icing, and answered, "I want frosting and fruit!"

You know, Christmas Cake! Well, what the heck! We decided that 2020 is the year for mixing up the holidays and seasonal celebrations however we feel like! So for the next few days, it was Christmas Cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As everyone keeps reminding us:
Life is short! Eat dessert first!

If you care for a slice of cheese on the side,
how about this cute little guy?!

More cute foods: I picked these novelty cookies
up for a few pennies in the January sales and
put them away for next year (long shelf life).
On the other hand, with the coronavirus cramping
our style in so many other frustrating ways,
maybe we should just go ahead and enjoy them now.

No point waiting for the holidays! Right?
Thanks Clare!


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mother's Day Cards

Sorting through a stack of old Mother's Day cards, saved by my grandmother, I came across this one -- kind of unusual for our family, because we never referred to any of our grandmothers as "Nana." I bet my mom chose it anyway for the winsome little puppy, and then helped my little brother sign his name.

No date given, but probably 1965 or 1966.

Here's another one that stood out
from the other more delicate designs.
What a surprise to look inside and discover a rarely
seen aspect of my grandfather's sense of humor!

For more Mother's Day Cards
from my grandmother's collection
see my current post:

"Window With a Mother's Face"

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


And on my book blog
one of my mother's childhood essays

On the topic of greeting cards:

My friend Mumbi paid me the dearest compliment
last month when she wrote:
"Thank you for the Easter card.
The cards you send to me and others
are like a diary of your love to us."

This kind sentiment seems especially true, looking at
all of these heartfelt inscriptions from decades gone by.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Secrets in the Skirt Hems

I found another batch of my mom's old paper dolls!

Plus this little girl --
part Kewpie, part Betty Boop:

Thanks to my niece Amy for sharing this
existential children's book, celebrating
the enduring charm of childhood paper dolls:
About Donaldson & Cobb ~ Storytime Read Aloud

"We're not gone. Oh no no no!
We're holding hands and we won't let go. . . .
and the paper dolls flew
into the little girl's memory
where they found white mice and fireworks
and a starfish soap,
and a kind granny . . .
and more and more lovely things each day
and each year."


Not just for little ones, teens and even grown ups
love paper dolls too! As my friend Meg asks:
"What is it about them that draws me in?"

paper dolls (for darnell arnoult)

it is the joy of tomato sandwiches
the smell of jergens and jean nate
at thirteen
or our love still for grandmothers aunts
who enter rooms
largely sideways
hips broad enough
to use as sideboards
maybe it is the value
we place on duke’s mayonnaise
the sandwich spread for queens…

whatever wherever and for ever more
we are little girls
revisiting space
rebuilding houses
renaming mothers…

perhaps it is the secret
knotted inside the pleats of skirt hems

sewn along scarf edges
fringed secret whispers
that whisper a familiar smell…

whatever we become
stealing a moment
to cast word spells
undress our mothers
repaint their lips with anything red anything Italian
drench their heads with ancient clairol wisdom
anoint their hands with herstorical bronze
queen of the nile henna…

we reembrace
full petticoats
white linen skirts
sailor dresses
patent leather

for the pretty pirates
we will become…

perfumed necks
wrists adorned
in vintage memory
cut carefully
along the edges
of this madness
this magic…

we lie down
and wait for the moon
to trace us.
[emphasis added; ellipses in original]

by Jaki Shelton Green
from Breath of the Song: New and Selected Poems

My Mom's Glamour Dolls ~ 1930s

One of my favorites from the 1960s
A Birthday Present from My Sister Peg

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Reach Out and Touch the Hem

Childhood dress from my Grandmother Rovilla Lindsey
and handmade lace apron from her grandmother.


A Hymn For Mother's Day
In Boldness

In boldness, look to God for help,
like women folk who dared:
To ask that Jesus heal a child,
that crumbs of grace be shared,
that outcast ones be welcomed
to the feast that God has prepared.

In boldness, lean on God for strength,
and healing from disease,
of mind and body, hard and ill
whose bondage Jesus frees.
Reach out and touch the hem of Christ,
and gather spirit's ease.

In boldness, learn of God the truth
of Mary's better part:
by fear and censure undeterred,
determined in her heart
to kneel at Jesus' feet and learn
the wisdom he imparts.

In boldness, love, nor count the cost.
Confront the world's harsh stare:
like one who washed the feet of Christ,
and wiped them with her hair,
poured perfume to anoint her Lord,
and left love's fragrance there.

by Mary Louise Bringle
from Joy and Wonder, Love and Longing


A Song For the Weekend
Don't Think Twice It's All Right

Well, it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If'n you don't know by now
And it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter anyhow

When the rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window, and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm a-traveling on
But don't think twice, it's all right

Well it ain't no use in turning on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
No it ain't no use in turning on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road

Still I wish there was somethin' you could do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talking anyway
don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in calling out my name, gal
Like you never did  before
And it ain't no use in calling out my name, gal
I can't hear you any more

I'm a-thinking and a-wonderin' walking down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
don't think twice, it's all right

So long honey, baby
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But Goodbye is too good a word, babe
So I'll just say fare thee well

I ain't a-saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just sorted wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

Music & lyrics by Bob Dylan

I've been singing this song for a few decades now without ever really thinking about the message of forgiveness in the lyrics. The forgiveness, without blame, isn't for not turning on the light, not talking, not calling out my name, always wanting more. It's for wasting my time.

I forgive. Can I say it and mean it?


Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Light Up the Night

Neighborly advice: "Despair and move on!"

One of my favorite evening views:
looking out my kitchen window,
admiring my red deck lights
and, across the way,
my neighbors' little tree.
We made a pact to keep the lights
up until the coronavirus subsides.
We need all the brightness we can get!

"They will come again, the leaf and the flower . . .
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring. "

from "The Burning of the Leaves"
by Laurence Binyon ( 1869 - 1943)

Last inside tree of the season:
I took this one down on Palm Sunday.
See Fuqua under the tree?

We welcomed these tiny newcomers
to our garden this year:
Pheasant's Eye Daffodils

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

JSL's Side of the Story

James Sankey Lindsey

On the back of the
above photograph is written:

Born on this day ~ May 5, 1846 ~ 164 years ago
~ Happy 164th Birthday Great Grandfather ~
After a turbulent life, may you
Rest In Peace ~ April 10, 1921

Dayton National Cemetery


From The Guest Book
By Sarah Blake
Below the pattern, the great sweeping pages, the wars drummed out and fought, are the questions: What if? What happened? How? Beware the vast magisterial history unrolling a carpet across time: this followed by this, leading inevitably to that. The march of history, the teleology. Nothing is inevitable; everything is tangential, particular -- human.

. . . History is in us. Our history lives in us. Lean low and listen, that's your job. Not that they had lived . . . But how. . . .

History is sometimes made by heroes, but is also always made by us. We, the people, who stumble around, who block or help the hero out of loyalty, stubbornness, faith, or fear. . . . The people at the edge of the photographs. The people watching. The crowd. You. . . .

So know yourselves first . . . Then look back and account. (44)

. . . What the study of history had taught her, clearly, after years and years, was that she might pull up the single moments from the darkness where they lay centuries old, she might point to a spot in time, a line in a diary, the particular shredding of a blue ribbon used to tie a shoe, she might string these together and say, Here is what happened.

And history would sit back on her heels and laugh and laugh.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Mayday Mayday

In times of international distress . . .

"Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break, and all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you."

~ L.R. Knost ~

For more on May Day
see my current post:
Mayday Mayday

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

As well as all previous
May Day Posts

Things break; things can be mended:
Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi