Saturday, January 30, 2021

Holy Ground

"Where there is sorrow
there is holy ground."


~ Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900) ~

*************

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Psithurism

Thanks to my friend Ruth
for sharing this amazing and
mysterious "word for the day."
I swear, I heard this sound last week,
going for a walk in the neighborhood.
I actually turned around and looked over
my shoulder, thinking it was a truck,
but no! The sound came from above,
from inside the boughs of the tree!
And the thought suddenly came to me,
"What was the word that Ruth posted about?
This is it!" ~ Psithurism!


We also saw this amazing tree along the way,
a visual delight!
Look at that blue sky!
Yes, even in January ~ 50F!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Snowcat

"The little snowbird sings
the song she always sings
and speaks to me of flowers
that will bloom again in spring . . .
"


~ Anne Murray ~ Gene MacLellan ~

A Prayer for the New Year
from Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber

"Help me forgive myself
for not being the person I think I should be.

Help me forgive others
for not being who I think they should be.

Help me forgive this life
for not being what I think it should be."


*******************

And how about this rather breath - taking connection?

Nadia Bolz-Weber writing about meditation: " . . . there is no distance we must travel to get to the doors of the kingdom. The kingdom our Lord ushered in as close to us as our own breath . . . arriving with this breath and this breath." [ellipses in original; see also]

Charles Dickens writing about the Ghost of Christmas Past: "The curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow."

Thanks to my friend Katie
for this mystical passage from A Christmas Carol

and to my friend ~ Beata
for the darling little porcelain cat, imported from Poland

***************

P.S.

1. Another Snow Cat

2. Additional words of wisdom from Dickens / Katie

From Great Expectations: “That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you but for the formation of that first link on one memorable day.”

[Thinking also of another holiday classic:
It's a Wonderful Life]

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Memorable Movie Songs

"Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station
. . . "
I'm posting these haunting tunes and lyrics
here for safe - keeping so they won't get
lost in the post - holiday crush of info
crowding into my over - stuffed head!
[See also Samarra & The Bridge]
#1. Featured in Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows, 7.1

O Children
by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Pass me that lovely little gun
My dear, my darling one
The cleaners are coming, one by one
You don't even want to let them start

They are knocking now upon your door
They measure the room, they know the score
They're mopping up the butcher's floor
Of your broken little hearts

O children
Forgive us now for what we've done
It started out as a bit of fun
Here, take these before we run away
The keys to the gulag
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Here comes Frank and poor old Jim
They're gathering round with all my friends
We're older now, the light is dim
And you are only just beginning

O children
We have the answer to all your fears
It's short, it's simple, it's crystal clear
It's round about and it's somewhere here
Lost amongst our winnings
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

The cleaners have done their job on you
They're hip to it, man, they're in the groove
They've hosed you down, you're good as new
They're lining up to inspect you

O children
Poor old Jim's white as a ghost
He's found the answer that we lost
We're all weeping now, weeping because
There ain't nothing we can do to protect you
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station
Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now I see
Have you left a seat for me?
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?
Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
It's beyond my wildest expectation
Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station
#2: Featured in King of Staten Island

One Headlight
by Jakob Dylan & The Wallflowers

So long ago, I don't remember when
That's when they say I lost my only friend
Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease
As I listened through the cemetery trees

I seen the sun comin' up at the funeral at dawn
The long broken arm of human law
Now it always seemed such a waste,
she always had a pretty face
So I wondered how she hung around this place

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever

There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade
But there's got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed

And I seen the sun up ahead at the county line bridge
Sayin' all there's good and nothingness is dead
We'll run until she's out of breath
She ran until there's nothin' left
She hit the end, it's just her window ledge

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

Well this place is old
It feels just like a beat up truck
I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn
Well it smells of cheap wine, cigarettes
This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn

I'm so alone and I feel just like somebody else
Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same
But somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin' dreams
I think of death, it must be killin' me

Hey, hey hey come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight
#3: Featured in the series, The Other One

Goodbye Stranger
by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson & Supertramp

It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on
Like a king without a castle
Like a queen without a throne
I'm an early morning lover
And I must be moving on

Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth
Like a ship without an anchor
Like a slave without a chain
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye stranger it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)

So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)

Now some they do and some they don't
And some you just can't tell
And some they will and some they won't
With some it's just as well
You can laugh at my behaviour
And that'll never bother me
Say the devil is my saviour
But I don't pay no heed

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye, stranger, it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye, Mary, goodbye, Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)

So now I'm leaving (Goodbye, Mary)
Got to go (Goodbye, Jane)
Hit the road (Will we ever)
I'll say it once again (Meet again?)
Oh, yes, I'm leaving (Feel so sorrow)
Got to go (Feel no shame)
Got to go (Come tomorrow)
I'm sorry, I must dash (Feel no pain)

So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)
Oh, I'm leaving
I've got to go
P.S.
A Happy Birthday to my mom.
(21 January 1931 ~ 15 June 2020)
She might not care so much for these lyrics,
but I know she'd enjoy the nostalgic artwork!
****************
image #1 vintage
images #2 & 4 Current Catalog
image #3 Home Depot

Monday, January 18, 2021

Lingering Autumn

Lingering autumn, even on MLK Day

Emily Bronte wrote this poem for the pre - winter solstice season of longer nights and shorter days. Yet the images remain true even now, on the other side of the solstice divide, when, thankfully, the dreary January days grant us an earlier sunrise and later dusk. Lengthen day and shorten night!

Fall, Leaves, Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.


by Emily Bronte (1818–1848)

**************

Further thoughts for
Martin Luther King Jr. Day


The Zebra Question

World of Peril

International Distress

Friday, January 15, 2021

Tapestry or Travesty

This wall hanging was a gift
from Gerry's Aunt Margaret Saucell
upon the occasion of Ben's birth.
Every animal is embroidered with a different texture!


To see more crewel embroidery by Auntie Margaret
and read more poems by Hazel Hall, go to my

First Fortnightly post of 2021:
Home Is Where the Art Is

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


*************
Hours

I have known hours built like cities,
House on grey house, with streets between
That lead to straggling roads and trail off,
Forgotten in a field of green;

Hours made like mountains lifting
White crests out of the fog and rain,
And woven of forbidden music—
Hours eternal in their pain.

Life is a tapestry of hours
Forever mellowing in tone,
Where all things blend, even the longing
For hours I have never known.


~ & ~

Mending
Here are old things:
Fraying edges,
Ravelling threads;
And here are scraps of new goods,
Needles and thread,
An expectant thimble,
A pair of silver-toothed scissors.
Thimble on a finger,
New thread through an eye;
Needle, do not linger,
Hurry as you ply.
If you ever would be through
Hurry, scurry, fly!
Here are patches,
Felled edges,
Darned threads,
Strengthening old utility,
Pending the coming of the new.
Yes, I have been mending …
But also,
I have been enacting
A little travesty on life.
[emphasis added]
~ Both poems by Hazel Hall (1886 - 1924) ~

The connection that Hall makes between mending and travesty is similar to Cat Stevens' existential lyric. You may have repaired the fabric temporarily but not forever; the dearly departed loved one may have been been miraculously returned to life but not forever, for death is the certain outcome:
Oh very young,
what will you leave us this time?
You're only dancing on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dad's best jeans
Denim blue, fading up to the sky

And though you want them to last forever,
you know they never will, you know they never will
And the patches make the goodbye harder still

Oh very young,
what will you leave us this time?
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven

And though you want to last forever
You know you never will, you know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still . . .

[emphasis added]

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

First New Moon of the New Year

"New Moons signify a rebirth,
and are generally a good time to set intentions."

~ Elizabeth Gulino ~
Thanks Evelet!

The Weight of the Sleeping Moon, 1929
by Benz and Chang

Thanks Christina!

~ Centuries of Ancient Starlight! ~

Thanks Debra!

One of my favorite pieces of advice,
and a good intention for 2021,
comes from the movie Home for the Holidays,
when Claudia / Holly Hunter says to herself:
Be smart, be smart, be smart.
Don’t be stupid, don’t be stupid, don’t be stupid
.
"

Thanks Diane for your clever post,
requesting some random advice and reminding me
that it's not too late to make a New Year's resolution!
I like the idea (see Gulino above) that the old year dies out not necessarily on December 31st, but with the old moon; and with the first new moon of January (12:02 a.m. on Wednesday the 13th) the new year is truly born.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Sixteenth Day of Christmas

I'm not giving up yet!

Happy Everyday
by Benjamin Zephaniah (b 1958)

All days are created equal.
Everyday has the right to recognition
And no day should be subject to
Cruel or degrading treatment.
Everyday has the right to freedom of expression
And the right to participate
In the cultural life of the community.
Everyday has the right to belong to
The religion of its choice,
And should not suffere discrimination based on
Sunshine, rainfall, temprerature,
Or seasonal orientation.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Promise
by Jackie Kay (b 1961)

Remember, the time of year
when the future appears
like a blank sheet of paper
a clean calendar, a new chance.
On thick white snow

you vow fresh footprints
then watch them go
with the wind's hearty gust.
So fill your glass. Here's tae us. Promises
made to be broken, made to last.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

from The Christmas Life
by Wendy Cope (b 1945)

. . . Bring red and green and gold, bring things that shine,
Bring candlesticks and music, food and wine.
Bring in your memories of Chritmas past.
Bring in your tears for all that you have lost. . . .



These three poems found in
Light Unlocked: Christmas Card Poems
Edited by Kevin Crossly-Holland and Lawrence Sail

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Where Were You Born?

Blue Delft Nativity

Where Were You Born, Oh Holy Child?

Where were you born Oh Holy Child
Where were you born Oh Holy Child
Was it in Russia, Palestine, China, Egypt or here?

Where did you live Oh Holy Child
Where did you live your life
Was it in Asia, Africa
Or was it here?

Where did you die Oh Holy Child
Where did you die Oh Holy Child
Was it not every place, in every place
Or here?

Where were you born Oh Holy Child
Where were you born again?
In some land strange and far apart
Or in my heart?

Where did you live Oh Holy Child
Where did you die Oh Holy Child
Where were you born Oh Child
Where were you born again?

Where did you die Oh Holy Child
Where were you born again
In some land strange and far apart
Or in my heart
Or deep within my heart?


~ lyrics by Mary Kay Simmons
~ music by Arnold Freed

Nativity Embroidery Pattern

Born of Peace

When all the earth was cruelly held in ancient winter's grasp,
When hope was old and faded, or strewn like shattered glass,
A universe of promises stretched deep across the sky
And death began to die.


REFRAIN: Born of peace, born of forever.
Born of time, born here today.
Born of fire, born of light,
in the midst of deepest night.
Born of bread, born of people.

Restless and uncertain, we journeyed through the night,
Led by common dreaming and a single wand'ring light,
Fed upon our traveling by singing from afar.
Hidden in our stars.
(Refrain)

Through night - time's speechless carnival,
and windblown crystal sun,
We carried what we had and what we needed to become,
Our murdered dreams behind us, weathered, parched
and tossed,
Starry- eyed and lost.
(Refrain)

From foreign lands and alien gods and fixed unwav'ring skies,
Whose buried secret chaosholds all prisoner inside,
Beyond the restless longing whereour desp'rate hopes belong,
Nearer to our song.
(Refrain)

Who has cupped in hand the waters of the sea?
Who has bound the sky and weighed the mountains?
Who has opened rivers from atop the barren height?
Who has heard the crying of God's own?
Have you not seen? Have you not hear?
Stories told long before rememb'ring;
Sheltered on our way, and passed among us all,
Singing in the midst of darkling silence.

Born of peace, born of forever.
Born of time, born here today.
Born of fire, born of light,
in the midst of deepest night.
Born of bread.

Born of peace, born of forever.
Born of time, born here today.
Born of fire, born of light,
in the midst of deepest night.
Born of bread, born of people, people.


~ lyrics & music by Tom Conry

It's not easy to find a recording of this beautiful song.
The best version I've heard is by Robin Kochis
on the CD Christmas of Peace

Another lovely & unusual Christmas song.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

What Do You See?

Women of Vision:
Ellie & Cathleen: Looking Forward to 2021
Oh Little Baby, what do you see ?
Do see your mother? Do you see your father?
Do you see the future?

What Do You See

Said the shepherd boy
To the Mighty King,
"Do you see what I see?" (Do you see what I see?)

Oh, won't you tell me, little baby Jesus?
What do you see (what do you see)
When you look into the heavens?

Do see your Father?
Do you see your future?
Do you see me?

Oh, baby Jesus, what do you see?
A little baby, you're such a small child
But the whole world's waited
for you for such a long while

Do you know your destiny
And the man you're gonna be?
Oh, baby Jesus, what do you see? (what do you see?)

Oh, won't you tell me, little baby Jesus
What do you see (what do you see)
When you look into the heavens?

Do you see your Father?
Do you see your future?
Do you see me?

Oh, baby Jesus, what do you see?
Do you see the stars, now
That shine above you?

Do you know your Father made them
and the earth below too?
Do you feel your healing power?
Do you know your dying hour?
Oh, baby Jesus, what do you see? (what do you see?)

Oh, won't you tell me baby Jesus?
What do you see (what do you see)
When you look into the heavens?

Do see your Father?
Do you see your future?
Do you see me?

Oh, baby Jesus, what do you see?
Said the shepherd boy to the Mighty King,
"Do you see what I see?"


Words & music by Sonya Isaacs (b 1974)

Mixed with "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
by Gloria Shayne and Noel Regney

Sung by Sonya Isaacs
On this fun album / CD: No Wrapping Required

Two more lovely & unusual Christmas songs.

******************

A Year Later ~ Thanksgiving 2021
Oh, won't you tell me Little Baby Ellie?
What do you see
When you look into the heavens?