Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Fare Thee Well Awhile

Be the things you loved most
about the people who are gone
~ Anonymous ~
Rest in Peace
Rosanne Bristow McCartney
29 May 1933 ~ 9 November 2021
To see her is to love her,
And love her forever.
For nature made her what she is,
And never made another

~ Robert Burns ~


Read Rosanne's Eulogy ~ "Mystical Rose"

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


See also:

Grandma's Favorite Poem

A Walk With G'Poppa

Wishing You Were Here

Designs by Rosanne

A Day in the Garden

There Will Your Heart Be Also

Birnam Wood

Autumn Days

Lughnasa Moon

Grim & Gram

Wartime Soldier, Wartime Child


Say Moon

American / British / Indiana Gothic

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving with Holly & Nora

Holly Hobbie

" . . . life's great conversation:
what we ate yesterday,
what we plan to eat today,
what we're eating right this minute,
and what we're going to eat tomorrow.”

~ Nora Ephron ~

Denise Holly Ulinskas Hobbie

Seems like I must have posted this before --
but just can't remember where:
Can also be seen at
Town & Gown Bistro

Monday, November 22, 2021

Prayers for a Troubled Year

"a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious"
~ Yeats

"Uncle B. recited grace.
Head bowed, eyes shut,
calloused hands prayerfully placed,
he intoned:

'Bless You, O Lord, for the bounty of our table,
the varied fruits we can be thankful for on this
Thanksgiving Day of a troubled year'

– his voice, so infrequently heard,
croaked with the hollow imperfections
of an old organ in an abandoned church –


~ Truman Capote ~
~ The Thanksgiving Visitor ~

Table Grace

Here we sit as evening falls
Like old horses in their stalls
Thank you Father that you bless
Us with food and an address
And the comfort of your hand
In this great and blessed land.
Look around at each dear face,
And keep each one in your good grace.

We think of those who went before,
And wish we could have loved them more.*
Grant to us a cheerful heart,
Knowing we must soon depart
To that far land to be with them.
And now let’s eat. Praise God. Amen.

Gary Johnson

*I admire the subtle options suggested here: Perhaps we wish they had been more lovable, or that we ourselves could have been more loving; that we had loved them better than we did, or longer; that we had been granted more time. All valid.

The Frost Moon of Falling Leaves

Friday, November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Moon

Dress appropriately!
"As usual, the wearing
of suitably celebratory
celestial attire is encouraged
in honor of the full Moon.

And that's not just my advice!
That comes straight from NASA!

"It is Taqountikeeswush,
the Moon of the Falling Leaves."
Nickommoh! A Thanksgiving Celebration
Author: Jackie French Koller (b 1948)
Illustrator: Marcia Sewall (b 1935)
Additional reading:
The Moon of Falling Leaves:
The Great Buffalo

by Cary B. Ziter

Following September's Harvest Moon and October's Hunter's Moon, the chilly of month November (as with other months) offers a number of enchanting seasonal names: The Full Frost, Snow, Beaver, or Mourning Moon; and plenty of lunar celebrations and ancient customs.

Back in the day when Thanksgiving in North America was observed in October (still the case in Canada), it coincided with The Moon of Falling Leaves. This lovely, lyrical name for the autumn moon was used by the Narragansett, Cree, Ojibway, Lakota (Sioux), Chippewa, and Arapaho.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, gardening, and tree lore -- this is the moon for you!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Falling From Far Up

translation by Robert Bly

The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no."

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We're all falling. . . .

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
On our walk today, Ellie and I encountered a sea of yellow - green leaves surrounding the majestic ginkgo that we always admire along our route. Sure we've seen it happen -- all the ginkgo leaves falling in one night, or one day, or one hour, in one consent. But aren't they usually bright gold when that happens? Not still half green, as these are:
Then we went a little further down the block and saw a curb covered with wholly green leaves. Summer one day, winter the next. Falling leaves, but no fall, and only the tiniest tinge of yellow - gold. This particular ginkgo is young and small, so you can count what's left. Not many!
Previously ~ The Gingko Light

Thursday, November 11, 2021

An Undying Hate of War

Greenwich Village, 1920s

In honor of Veterans Day & the Armistice,
Please listen to Eleanor Roosevelt:

"I have sketched briefly the short trip to Europe after World War I, and yet I think that trip had far - reaching consequences for me. I had known Europe and particularly France, with its neat and patterned countryside, fairly well. The picture of desolation fostered in me an undying hate of war which was not definitely formulated before that time. The conviction of the uselessness of war as a means of finding any final solution to international difficulties grew stronger and stronger as I listened to people talk. I said little about it at the time but the impression was so strong that instead of fading out of my memory it has become more deeply etched upon it year by year." ~ from her Autobiography

~ And ~
Please click to read my Fortnightly Blog Post
[a few days early for Veterans Day]:

"Angel of the Hills"
featuring the last couple of letters that
my Great Uncle Samuel Gordon Lindsey
wrote home from France before
losing his life in World War I ~ July 31, 1918
at the Battle of the Ourqc River at Sergy,
part of the Aisne - Marne Offensive

Previous & Additional & Related
Veterans Day posts:

Armistice Day

Wartime Soldier, Wartime Child

"The same war continues . . . "

94 Years Ago Today

Flanders Fields ~ What Have We Learned?

War Horse

Point of Balance


Instead of Poppies

Veterans Eve


Pale Battalions

A Form of Madness

An Undying Hate of War

Angel of the Hills


Day of the Dead ~ 2009

Uncle Samuel

Too Soon For Snow

JSL's Side of the Story

Sunday, November 7, 2021

All Souls Observed

What better way to observe All Souls Day than with a Baptism, to honor the dearly departed with a celebration of the newly arrived.

For the past year, I have been filling notebook after notebook with letters, photographs, receipts, and certificates from parents, grands, greats, and beyond. Between these clear protector sheets reside The Dead. Over a century ago, poet Edith M. Thomas (1854 - 1925) asked the haunting question:

"Heart throb, heart throb, wonder past knowing,
Where did you come from, where are you going?"

The following poem answers solemnly that the dead have gone nowhere, "They are about us always . . . ":

Nothing is Lost

Nothing is lost.
We are too sad to know that, or too blind;
Only in visited moments do we understand:
It is not that the dead return ---
They are about us always, though unguessed.

This penciled Latin verse
You dying wrote me, ten years past and more,
Brings you as much alive to me as the self you wrote it for,
Dear father, as I read your words
With no word but Alas.

Lines in a letter, lines in a face
Are the faithful currents of life: the boy has written
His parents across his forehead, and as we burn
Our bodies up each seven years,
His own past self has left no plainer trace.

Nothing dies.
The cells pass on their secrets, we betray them
Unknowingly: in a freckle, in the way
We walk, recall some ancestor,
And Adam in the color of our eyes.

Yes, on the face of the new born,
Before the soul has taken full possession,
There pass, as over a screen, in succession
The images of other beings:
Face after face looks out, and then is gone.

Nothing is lost, for all in love survive.
I lay my cheek against his sleeping limbs
To feel if he is warm, and touch in him
Those children whom no shawl could warm,
No arms, no grief, no longing could revive.

Thus what we see, or know,
Is only a tiny portion, at the best,
Of the life in which we share; an iceberg’s crest
Our sunlit present, our partial sense,
With deep supporting multitudes below.

Anne Barbara Ridler (1912 - 2001)
Iceberg: Above & Below

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Readings for a Soulful Day

"Our effort, I suggest, can be dedicated to this: to assume the unity of Life and Death and let it be progressively demonstrated to us. So long as we stand in opposition to Death we will disfigure it. Believe me, my dear Countess, Death is our Friend, our closest friend, perhaps the only friend who can never be misled by our ploys and vacillations. And I do not mean that in the sentimental, romantic sense of distrusting or renouncing life. Death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love. . . . Life always says Yes and No simultaneously. Death (I implore you to believe) is the true Yea-sayer. It stands before eternity and says only: Yes."

from Rainer Maria Rilke's (1875 - 1926)
"Letter to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouy"
Epiphany, 1923

Portion of this yew
Is a man my grandsire knew,
Bosomed here at its foot:
This branch may be his wife,
A ruddy human life
Now turned to a green shoot.

These grasses must be made
Of her who often prayed,
Last century, for repose;

And the fair girl long ago
Whom I often tried to know
May be entering this rose.

So, they are not underground,
But as nerves and veins abound
In the growths of upper air,
And they feel the sun and rain,
And the energy again
That made them what they were!

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

~ See also Edna St. Vincent Millay ~
Cemetery Photos ~ Charleston, South Carolina

Thanks to my friends
Ruth for sharing Rilke's letter
& Claude for sharing the Hardy poem.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Readings for a Hallowed Day

The Night Before: All Hallows' Eve
Thanks to Cathy Lindsay & Karen's Halloween
Trick or Treating In New England ~ by Raney White

The Morning After: All Hallows' Day
Illustration from Cat Cafe

James Baldwin: “Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return” (91). ~ from The Fire Next Time

John Green: "There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does" (12 - 13).

Our fearlessness, shall be our secret weapon, the tales of our exploits will survive as long as the human voice itself, and even after that, when the robots recall the human absurdities of sacrifice and compassion, they will remember us. They will robot-laugh at our courageous folly, but something in their iron robot hearts will yearn to have lived and died as we did: on the hero's errand” (202). ~ from The Fault in Our Stars

Aldous Huxley: “The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which he tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” (79). ~ from The Doors of Perception

Tennessee Williams: "We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it" (107). ~ from The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

"The world is violent and mercurial - it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love - love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love." ~ Tennessee Williams

~ See also November 2016 & November 2017 ~

Thanks to Cathy Lindsay & Boo Crew