Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ellie Reading and Rearranging

Earlier this month, Ellie came up with her own plan
of removing a shelf - length of books & stacking them
all as high as she could reach on top of Gerry's desk.
My friend Len wrote:
"Wonderful photograph capturing the concentration and joy of rearranging books (with the hint of dangerous adventure!). I remember when Leah was first able to crawl around and reach for items on the shelves. We had to keep the bottom shelves tightly packed or she pulled them down on her head. But perhaps this was an early forecast of the great pleasure she has still rearranging books and shelves."

For her project, Ellie picked the section of cookbooks that overlap with autobiography. Here she is, placing Michael Pollan's Food Rules on top of Nora Ephron's Heartburn.

When she picked up Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a copy of this poem fell out. I forgot that I had stuck it in there -- no doubt, "for future reference" -- several years ago. Unfortunately, many of the things I store away "for future reference" end up lost forever; but luckily, this one has made its way back to me.

Hope; An Owner's Manual

Look, you might as well know, this thing
is going to take endless repair: rubber bands,
crazy glue, tapioca, the square of the hypotenuse.
Nineteenth century novels. Heartstrings, sunrise:
all of these are useful. Also, feathers.

To keep it humming, sometimes you have to stand
on an incline, where everything looks possible;
on the line you drew yourself. Or in
the grocery line, making faces at a toddler
secretly, over his mother's shoulder.
You might have to pop the clutch and run
past all the evidence. Past everyone who is
laughing or praying for you. Definitely you don't
want to go directly to jail, but still, here you go,
passing time, passing strange. Don't pass this up.

In the worst of times, you will have to pass it off.
Park it and fly by the seat of your pants. With nothing
in the bank, you'll still want to take the express.
Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse that are sleeping
in the shade of your future. Pay at the window.
Pass your hope like a bad check.
You might still have just enough time. To make a deposit.

Taken from Kingsolver's commencement address
at Duke University, Durham, NC, May 11, 2008.


See also:

Leonard Orr's poem: "Desperate Times."
Risk and hope are so much alike, after all.


A Year of Ellie Reading
@Kitti's Book List
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows
she can read printed words. . . . From that time on,
the world was hers for the reading”!

from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith



Reading Charm
@Kitti's Book List
"What an astonishing thing a book is. . . .
proof that humans are capable of working magic"!

from Cosmos
by Carl Sagan

Monday, March 28, 2022


"Limelight: Leaves in the Leaping Sun"
Acrylic on canvas, by Leonard Orr

For more paintings by Leonard Orr
plus poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins,
Matt O'Neill, and Leonard Orr

See my recent post
"All Felled"

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


In the meantime, a beautiful plaintive
song by The Alan Parsons Project
to go with the painting above:

I can see the glow of a distant sun
I can feel it inside
Maybe this day could be the one

I can hear the roar of a distant crowd
They are waiting for me
Calling my name
Shouting out loud

Holding on isn't always easy
I ain't gonna change my mind
Limelight you were all I ever wanted
Since it all began
Limelight shining on me
Telling the world who I am

Limelight don't let me slip right through your fingers
There's a long way to fall
After the years of waiting
I'm gonna show them all

I can see the world in a different light
Now it's easy to say
Where I went wrong
What I did right

I can hear the beat of a different drum
Take it all in my stride
Hold my head high
Second to none

Holding on wasn't always easy
Nothing can change my mind

Limelight you were all I ever wanted since it all began
Limelight shining on me telling the world who I am
Limelight don't let me slip right through your fingers
There's a long way to fall
After the years of waiting I'm gonna show them all

Maybe the role's not easy, maybe the prize is small
Ater the years of waiting I'm gonna show them all

~ Alan Parsons (b 1948)

Friday, March 25, 2022

March Fools

You thought Spring had Sprung? Think again!
What can you do when it's the 4th week of March
& you have below freezing temperatures,
5 nights in a row (including snow flurries)?
~ Just don't! ~ That's what!
It may be too soon to plant, but feel free to
tidy up the rusted chairs and broken glass!

"Now say to yourself five times, and believe it:
This is March. The main thing to do in March is to don't.
I don't dare do much in my garden because I know
this old fellow March; he fools me everytime

quotation found in
Better Homes and Gardens Magazine ~ March 1933

Alfred Carl Hottes (1891-1955)
Garden Editor, 1933
See earlier this month:
The Crocuses Were First - and Last

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

All Things Being Equal

Photography by Thomas Oord
"The regularity of the seasons and the provisions God offers creatures are additional examples of God's lovingly faithful covenant (Gen 8: 22; Ps 104). God's steadfast love faithfully supports and necessarily maintains a measure of order in the universe while also empowering the freedom, self-organization and spontaneity necessary for novelty. Chance and random events in the universe are possible because God provides free will, agency, self - organization, spontaneity and the generative power to be." (187)

from The Uncontrolling Love of God:
An Open and Relational Account of Providence

by Thomas Jay Oord (b 1965)
Thanks to Thomas Oord for sharing his photographs
at the end of the year for future use. I chose these two
that I knew would be perfect for the Vernal Equinox!

"As an expression of my gratitude and in keeping with the generosity of the season, I'm sending this gift. Well, there are actually four gifts.

Below are four photos I made during 2021. Feel free to download any or all. They're my Christmas gifts to you.

Maybe you'd like to print one or more and hang them in your office or home. Maybe they'll work as screensaver images or computer backdrops. Whatever works. Do with them as you wish.

Thanks for your support and friendship in 2021!


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Vernal Hourglass

Hourglass: All Things New
by Jamin Still

My friend Mumbi always picks
the perfect present for the Vernal Equinox.
Thanks to Mumbi for this magical Hourglass!
{And so much more!}

Thanks ~ Nikki
Reminds me of the Solstice

"first day of spring
I keep thinking about
the end of autumn

Haiku by Matsuo Bashō (1644 - 94)
Translated by Robert Hass (b 1941)

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Green Eyes for St. Patrick's Day

Thanks Curtis

Green Eyes
Every night we light the candle
That stands beside our bed
But sometimes the flame's too much to handle
That's what you said
That's what you said

And you should know
Because you built a fire in me and you made it burn
You followed me watching every move
Matching every turn

Your green eyes, they don't miss a thing
They hold me like the sun going down
Warm me like a fire in the night
Without a sound

You were waiting till I heard
Just as patient as that love light in your eyes
You never threw away a word
Or ever talked in a disguise

I ought to know
You were a beacon to a sailor lost at sea
I saw it in your eyes when you looked at me
So openly

Your green eyes, they don't miss a thing
They hold me like the sun going down
Warm me like a fire in the night
Without a sound

The first time I ever saw your laughter
Break loose inside and tumble out to me
My heart knew it had found what it was after
And it came so easily

We should know
After all the years of the hard and heavy times
Now, our days go by like best friends' story lines
Yours and mine

Your green eyes, they don't miss a thing
They hold me like the sun going down
Warm me like a fire in the night
Without a sound
Without a sound

Kate Wolf (1942 - 1986)

St. Patrick’s Candle & Tree

Not exactly the same as a four - leaf clover,
but the parsley was so lovely and robust this year,
lasting well into the winter, beyond the first frost!
~ Previous St. Patrick's Day Posts ~

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Groundscape & Skyscape

Of all the vacation landscapes and skyscapes
that we admired in Arizona,
my favorite might be this groundscape:
two abandoned wine glasses a few doors
down from us at the hotel.

Knight Rise ~ 2001
at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
by Installation Artist James Turrell (b 1943)

For more about Turrell's Skyspaces
plus poetry by Alberto Rios
& prose by Truman Capote

See my recent post
Rios and Capote in Scottsdale

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


Friday, March 11, 2022

An Horizon Near You

Pre - Vernal
Indiana Sunrise ~ March 10, 2022

"The sun was starting to come up.
We were both aware of it.
Some things just couldn't be stopped."

~ from the novel High Maintenance ~
~ by Jennifer Belle (p 250) ~

As I've quoted
upon ~ several ~ previous ~ occasions:

"The supper dishes are over and the sun
unaccustomed to anything else
goes all the way down

~ from Anne Sexton's poem "Lament" ~

And the same is true of sunrise. So far, the poets and novelists have always been able to trust the sun to rise and set, rise and set. Night after night. Day after day. Season after season. With a little variation here and there for Dalyight Saving Time -- coming soon to an horizon near you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Crocuses Were First - and Last

"For, lo, the winter is past . . . "
I spied these sweet crocuses a few days in ago
in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Spring has
arrived a bit earlier than back here in Indiana.

The first of the season . . .

The Crocuses

They heard the South wind sighing
A murmur of the rain;
And they knew that Earth was longing
To see them all again.

While the snow-drops still were sleeping
Beneath the silent sod;
They felt their new life pulsing
Within the dark, cold clod.

Not a daffodil nor daisy Had dared to raise its head; Not a fairhaired dandelion Peeped timid from its bed;

Though a tremor of the winter
Did shivering through them run;
Yet they lifted up their foreheads
To greet the vernal sun.

And the sunbeams gave them welcome,
As did the morning air —
And scattered o’er their simple robes
Rich tints of beauty rare.

Soon a host of lovely flowers
From vales and woodland burst;
But in all that fair procession
The crocuses were first.

First to weave for Earth a chaplet
To crown her dear old head;
And to beauty the pathway
Where winter still did tread.

And their loved and white haired mother
Smiled sweetly ’neath the touch,
When she knew her faithful children
Were loving her so much.

by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911)
American abolitionist, author,
public speaker, suffragist, teacher
One of the first published African-American women
(novels, poetry, short fiction)

Read more about this brave citizen who, back in 1858,
"refused to give up her seat or ride in the 'colored'
section of a segregated trolley car in Philadelphia
(97 years before Rosa Parks)."


October 20, 2021
A surprising autumnal appearance . . .

October 28, 2021
Just resting . . .

November 4, 2021
A final flurry . . .

Friday, March 4, 2022

Old - Time Valentines

For additional antique Valentines,
see my recent posts:

Valentines of Yore


More Vintage Valentines

@The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony
My Uncle Earl was born in 1935, so I'm guessing that this sweet
Valentine from his second cousin "Lois Josephine" (b 1929)
was sent sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Earl's full name was "Earl James Lindsey."
I never knew anyone to call him "James" or "Jimmie."
And as far as I know, Lois was always called "Josie."

I guess the moral to this story is:
feel free to address and sign
your Valentines however you want!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

March Begins: The Heart's Desire

Some poems for a new month & earliest hints of Spring . . .
Jenny Kiss'd Me

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add
Jenny kiss'd me.

Leigh Hunt (1784 - 1859)
from A Shropshire Lad, #X

The Sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.

So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.

Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted wand.

In farm and field through all the shire
The eye beholds the heart’s desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.

A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

P.S. Happy Mardi Gras!
Click here for a chart showing how rarely
Mardi Gras falls on March 1st,
coinciding with Martisor

"Mardi Gras. The farewell to flesh.
I dressed in feathers.
Pointed beak and glitter.
How we danced, through lights and confetti.
The good-bye to the body.
Not forever, but for now.

~ Carol Maso ~