Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Open Your Mind!

Thanks to Matt & Regen,
Town & Gown Bistro
is a great place to sit & read a book,
any time of year . . .

June ~ Freedom's Just Another Word

SeptemberAt the Library: It's Different in There!

Friday, September 25, 2020

I Can Bear Anything

"I've got this little thing I've learned to do just lately . . . When it's so hard I think I shan't go on. I try to make it worse. I make myself think about Berkeley [a friend who died]. Our camp on the river. How good it was. When I'm certain I won't stand it, I go a moment more. Then I know I can bear anything." [ellipses in original]

Karen Blixen ~ from the screenplay ~ Out of Africa


"Stand on the edge of the abyss of despair and
when you feel that it is beyond your strength,
break off and have a cup of tea.

Sophrony (Sakharov)


See also: Lost & Found


Mocha ~ Flake

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

From the Grade School Archives

Eugene Field Elementary, Neosho, Missouri (ca 1964) 

As Bruce's simple essay clearly illustrates,   
even schoolchildren understand that


 Mrs. Halloween, with bats for hands and owls for feet! 
One of my mother's grade school art projects, late 1930s.


it rained in my sleep
and in the morning the fields were wet

I dreamed of artillery
of the thunder of horses

in the morning the fields were strewn
with twigs and leaves

as if after a battle
or a sudden journey

I went to sleep in summer
I dreamed of rain

in the morning the fields were wet
and it was autumn

by Linda Pastan

Monday, September 21, 2020

Goodbye Summer Sun

Thanks Amy  & Liz

it was the most beautiful of words, 
 he’d always felt, evoking 
 orange-flowers, swallows, and regret." 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Older With the Years, Or Not

When I shared this photo of my tablecloth and centerpiece,
my observant friend -- and excellent photographer* Julie Windhorst
responded with the following decorative cabbages:

Nature Imitates Art

Time & Chance Happeneth to Them All

from the letters of
Emily Dickinson:

"Affection is like bread,
unnoticed till we starve, and then we dream of it,
and sing of it, and paint it, when every urchin
in the street has more than he can eat.
We turn not older with years,
but newer every day."


"As I grow older
I'm growing younger
every day
To my surprise, when I ordered Atul Gawande's book used from amazon, it arrived with this note tucked inside the pages, written in a shaky hand and uncannily echoing the words of Emily Dickinson.

Gerry and I both used this prophetic scrap of paper for a bookmark as we read this highly and often recommended commentary on how to deal with / avoid unnecessary end - of - life medical intervention, sometimes thoughtlessly suggested, if not forced upon us, by health care professionals.


For more on aging and mortality and
our connective, collective life on earth, see
my Fortnightly Posts from Summer 2020


We Hardly Knew Ye



An Inheritance of Ephemera

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

Also by Julie ~ this luminous morning glory!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Twin Cousins

Kitti with Eleanor Rose McCartney
b. August 16, 2020

The undisputed highlight of the summer was the arrival of these two little second cousins! My twin brother and I have reached another simultaneous milestone: becoming grandparents within weeks of each other.

Bruce with John Joseph Lesher
b. July 1, 2020

Our mother, holding her twins
b. May 24, 1957

Though neither of us had twins, we have always called our children "twin cousins" because they were the children of twins, and they were born within a few months of each other. Now Ben & Anna's firstborns will be "twin second cousins"!

The Twin Cousins
L to R: Sam & Sara, born six months apart in 1993
Anna & Ben, born three months apart in 1990

Bruce With His Girls

Me With My Boys
For their birth stories, see my recent posts:

"Just Waiting for the Day"


"Ellie's Inner Sam"

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

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Bright Posterity

Happy Grandparents’ Day!
My mother’s parents
M. Rovilla Heideman & Paul J. Lindsey
I like the way that their 1920s outfits
capture the style of Virginia Woolf & James Joyce!

In the following poem, a past poet sends a message to a future reader, who is "almost family." Yet, it seems to me that the sentiment rings just as true for actual family, who study a fleeting photograph, with perhaps an inscription on the back, hoping to "make sense . . . from a distance beyond appeal." Created in the image of our ancestors, are we, living within the limitations of the present, able to "go on listening to these syllables that" were theirs, to decipher whatever it was that they meant for us to know? One thing I know for sure, my grandparents certainly conveyed "the ancients' confidence . . . in some ultimate moment of insight."

The words of poet W. S. Merwin (1927 - 2019) are so prescient, it is almost as if he knew about the plagues and fires of 2020:

I hope I make sense to
you in the shimmer of
our days while the world we
cling to in common is

burning . . .

Yes, wise poet. Perfect sense.
Cover Note

Hypocrite reader my
variant my almost
family we are so
few now it seems as though
we knew each other as
the words between us keep
assuming that we do
I hope I make sense to
you in the shimmer of
our days while the world we
cling to in common is

burning for I have not
the ancients' confidence
in the survival of
one track of syllables
nor in some ultimate
moment of insight that
supposedly will dawn
once and for all upon
a bright posterity
making clear only to
them what passes between

us now in a silence
on this side of the flames
so that from a distance
beyond appeal only
they of the future will
behold our true meaning
which eludes us as we
breathe reader beside your
timepiece do you believe
any such thing do the
children read what you do

when they read or can you
think the words will rise from
the page saying the same
things when they speak for us
no longer and then who
in the total city
will go on listening
to these syllables that
are ours and be able
still to hear moving through
them the last rustling of

paws in high grass the one
owl hunting along this
spared valley the tongues of
the free trees our uncaught
voices reader I do
not know that anyone
else is waiting for these
that I hoped might seem
as though they had occurred
to you and you would take
them with you as your own.

~ W.S. Merwin (1927 - 2019)
Author of The Shadow of Sirius
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 2009
Poet Laureate of the United States, 2010 - 2011

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Birthday Cousins

On facebook ~ also

This post is in honor of these two Birthday Cousins:
my sister Diane & our cousin Nick,
both born on September 10th . . .
(this was Christmas Day 1966)

. . . and my Cousin Marla Christine
cool glasses, on the right ~ born on September 9th.
Both of these photos were taken in the magical backyard
of our Grandma & Grandpa Carriker, a secret garden filled
with exotic plants, novelty planters, and hideaways galore!
~ Summer 1965 ~

Some Random Wisdom
from Cousin Nick

Mickie & Nick ~ Twin Sweethearts!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Centered But Not Too Centered

Spring 1994
For Ben's birthday, back as summer began, I shared the facebook challenge (thanks Milly, Jackie, and Candy!) to post some look - alike pictures of us moms and our kids. Now, with Sam's birthday falling precisely on Labor Day, it's only fair to post a follow - up display in honor of his 27th:
Fall 1998
Parent Visiting Day at Kindergarten

Christmas 2000

Summer 2005 ~ Chester, England

September 2013

September 2020
Uncle Sam with Baby Ellie

Some random birthday thoughts for Sam

from God: A Biography
by Jack Miles
" . . . peripherally and implicitly [we] have also grown accustomed and then attached, over the centuries, to what we may call God's anxiety. God is . . . an amalgam of several personalities in one character. Tension among these personalities makes God difficult, but . . . also . . . compelling, even addictive. . . . In the end, despite the longing Westerners sometimes feel for a simpler, less anxious, more 'centered' human ideal, the only people whom we find satisfyingly real are people whose identity binds several incompatible subidentities together. As Westerners get to know one another personally, this is what we seek to learn about one another. Incongruity and inner conflict are not just permitted in Western culture; they are all but required. People who are merely clever without playing various roles fall short of this ideal. They have personality -- or a repertory of personalities -- but lack character. Uncomplicated, simple people, who know who they are without ado and embrace an assigned role without struggle, also fall short of the ideal. We may admire their inner peace, but in the West we are unlikely to imitate them. Centered and all too centered, they have character but little personality. They bore us as we would bore ourselves if we were like them. . . .

God is no saint, strange to say . . . [but] a difficult . . . dynamic secular ideal."