Monday, May 30, 2022

The Wide World and Real War

Illustration by GĂ©rard DuBois
for "The Cost of Sentimentalizing War" *

Jim Barnes: " . . . I began to reshape a world
I hardly knew: the crumbly terrain became
theaters of the war. I was barely ten.

What I knew of the wide world and real war
came down the valley's road or flew over
the mountains I was caught between. . . .

All daylight long I imitated what I
thought I heard, molding sawdust into hills,
roads, rivers, displacing troops of toys,
claiming ground by avalanche and mortar . . ."

"Sawdust or Stardust"
@Kitti's Book List

Ernest Hemingway: "I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. . . . Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates.”


*From the article:
“We search for a redemptive ending to every tragedy.

"The terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001, supposedly launched a new kind of American war, with unfamiliar foes, unlikely alliances, and unthinkable tactics. But the language deployed to interpret this conflict was decidedly old-school, the comfort food of martial rhetoric. With the Axis of Evil, the menace of Fascism (remixed as “Islamofascism”), and the Pearl Harbor references, the Second World War hovered over what would become known as the global war on terror, infusing it with righteousness. This latest war, President George W. Bush said, would have a scope and a stature evoking the American response to that other attack on the U.S. “one Sunday in 1941.” It wouldn’t be like Desert Storm, a conflict tightly bounded in time and space; instead, it was a call to global engagement and even to national greatness. “This generation will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future,” Bush avowed.

"Elizabeth D. Samet finds such familiarity endlessly familiar. “Every American exercise of military force since World War II, at least in the eyes of its architects, has inherited that war’s moral justification and been understood as its offspring: motivated by its memory, prosecuted in its shadow, inevitably measured against it,” she writes in “Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). A professor of English at West Point and the author of works on literature, leadership, and the military, Samet offers a cultural and literary counterpoint to the Ambrose-Brokaw-Spielberg industrial complex of Second World War remembrance, and something of a meditation on memory itself. It’s not simply that subsequent fights didn’t resemble the Second World War, she contends; it’s that the war itself does not resemble our manufactured memories of it, particularly the gushing accounts that enveloped its fiftieth anniversary. “The so-called greatness of the Greatest Generation is a fiction,” she argues, “suffused with nostalgia and with a need to return to some finest hour.” Those who forget the past may be condemned to repeat it, but those who sentimentalize the past are rewarded with best-seller status."


Wishing you an introspective Memorial Day
and a long, thoughtful summertime.
See you in October!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Garage Windows

Topping Family Photos
Ice Storm ~ 1930s

Frosted Windowpanes
~ January 2014 ~
What was the Topping Family's new garage
is now our old garage
-- or as we call it the Little Garage.
As you can see from these comparative photographs,
the windows are exactly the same today
as they were in 90 years ago!

Read more about the garage

on my recent post
"The Conscious Being of the House"

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Peonies Have Their Day

" . . . and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities
. . ."

from "The Peonies"
by Mary Oliver


What I admire most about days
Is their immaculate sense of timing.

They appear
at first light

themselves out slowly
over noon

Then edge surefootedly
toward evening

To bow out
at the very soupcon
of darkness.

Spot on cue, every time.

by Liverpool Poet, Roger McGough (b. 1937)
(More McGough, for all seasons . . . )


And for good measure, the Rare Treat Iris

Monday, May 23, 2022

443 Robinson Photo Album

A Tour of 443
With Photos by Ian Green

Walking up the front steps

Entering the front door

Looking out the front door to the east

Looking to the south

Looking north into the living room

In the living room looking east out the bay window

In the dining room, looking east into the living room

The library, off the dining room, to the northeast

In the dining room, looking west into the family room

The family room, looking into the dining room

The family room, looking west

Next comes the kitchen

Stairs to basement in northeast corner;
stairs to second floor in southwest corner

Doorways to family room and dining room on north wall

Looking west toward the sunroom and the back door

The study, a south side addition to the kitchen

Looking west from the study onto the deck

The sunroom, west of the kitchen

First floor powder room

Master bed & bath

North bedroom

South / West bedroom

Veranda room

Second floor hall bathroom

Third floor bed & bath



Big garage & little garage

Finished Room Over big Garage (FROG)

Finished room over little garage (Tadpole ~ haha!)

Little garage, house, big garage -- looking east

Back door


Click here for Historic House Photos


"Over a Hundred Years of Living"

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