Showing posts from July, 2008

Away for a Few Days

We're in North Carolina for the next few days, so I'll be online from time to time though not as regularly as usual. I look forward to visiting again soon!

Skywatch Friday: Purple Daze

As Blake had his grain of sand, so I have my thistle on the pier.

Skywatch Friday

Thursday Thirteen 44: Graffiti

As graffiti has gained credibility in the mainstream (click here for more on that), I have enjoyed thinking of the time when my interest in graffiti marked me as somehow dark and deviant among the more conservative of my beloveds, who challenged me often and much about the nature of this art. Their challenges made me think hard and long about what I liked and why. I have loved graffiti all my life for many reasons even if it is obnoxious and unacceptable by definition. It is as beautiful as it is gritty and raw--which features are also beautiful to me. The other day I had the opportunity to spend some time with a friend who was willing to have a look at this stuff that I love. Our time together got me thinking again about some of the reasons I love graffiti:

1. The writing on the wall--the lines, colors, shapes, and textures--is an urban calligraphy that I find exciting and beautiful.

2. The other day I found myself talking with some old friends and a new one about graffiti. This person…

Wordless Wednesday: Intersections


Weekend Snapshot: Strange Attractions in New Haven

This week a friend and I took a ride to New Haven, Connecticut, to check out the graffiti on Water Street. These walls always amaze me.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Faces

Daylight enters your eyes,
Radiates around your face,
Around your smile,
Down your throat like honey,
Enters your soul,
Becomes the laughter,
The joy, and the peace
In just a moment.

Such is the heart through which you see.

I see every wonder of the world
In the lines of your face.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Old Friendships Made New

This week's blessing is the gift of old friendships made new.

Reunions with old friends can take place in the strangest of ways. Recently, I have experienced a few right here in my basement. The first occurred when I opened my email and received a message from one of the most delightful people I have ever known who was a very good friend in high school. We had lost all contact since then. Though he had been trying to find me via email addresses that no longer worked and sites where my accounts no longer existed, Google eventually brought him to my blog and my current email address. That happy reunion led to another with another friend--one with whom he was close but with whom I had lost all contact.

As we've had the opportunity to reconnect online and in person after 25 years, I have rediscovered the joys of the old and familiar and discovered anew the lives of some wonderful people and the equally wonderful people they hold dear. It has been incredibly nice to step into the pas…

Skywatch Friday: Tail of a Whale

This is the tail end of chimes hung in the shape of a sperm whale. He makes his music outside the Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury, Connecticut.

The Skywatch Friday blogroll is here.

Thursday Thirteen No. 43: There Is No Garbage

I think it's true that when the student is ready the teacher arrives. One of the best teachers to arrive on my scene an almost daily basis is Ted the Recycling Guy. From a distance early this morning, I watched him hoke recycling bins, give dog biscuits to even the friendly dogs, and talk to anyone who passed by. On his way down the hill, he slowed down long enough to ask me, "How are ya, sweetheart," and he waited for my answer. This one's for Ted.

1. Ted introduced himself to me a few springs ago when I was making my way up our hill early one bright morning. He had stopped his truck in the middle of the road, hopped down, and said, "Sweetheart, you gotta smile. You just gotta smile. Look in the mirror and smile. Whatever it is, it'll get better." Ted stopped my sleepwalking.

2. Shortly thereafter, he stopped the truck and hopped down to hand me some discarded flower pots. Easter had just passed. "Plant these in your garden, kid, and next year you&#…

Wordless Wednesday: Come Hither


Weekend Snapshot: Going Home

My daughter and I have had the great opportunity this month to visit my parents a couple of times a week and to swim after I work. Dad says the door is always open; it always is. I love to swim laps while Della plays hard with my folks in the water. It doesn't get better than that for me and my gal. He and I take turns forgetting the name of this flower in his garden. Before I forget again: it's a clematis!

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon...
the two most beautiful words in the English language.
(Henry James)

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Rest

I am ready to rest,
To lie down with my
Eyes wide open
And let the beautiful world
And all its glorious light
Into the cool and dark,
The deep and empty spaces,
Until I am full and complete
No longer the clay of this earth
But the song.

One Single Impression is a weekly poetry prompt. Join us anytime here.

Blog Your Blessings: The Eagles in the Summertime (Good Old)

This week's blessing is a Parks & Recreation concert at Hollow Park in Woodbury, Connecticut, that featured a local group called E-2 who performed The Eagles' best known songs. The atmosphere was great and the music was good. It was very nice to be among so many families and kids just having a good time. Listening took me back to a time and place when all things were possible and new. It was good to go there. After "Hotel California" came the finale, "Desperado":

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don't your feet g…

The Sunflower: A Response

Annie has made a contribution to a conversation on Simon Wiesenthal's book The Sunflower. Her post looks at the role of time and grace in forgiveness. Visit her blog In My Dreams to read it and visit the blog The Sunflower for the rest of the conversation.

Skywatch Friday: Sunburst from the Ground Up

This sunburst sculpture points to the heavens from outside the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. The fountain on the other side mimics the shape of it. The pigeons enjoy the shade it offers.

Note: Below Anonymous points out it's a Calder entitled Stegosaurus. But I see a sunburst....)

Click this link for the new Skywatch site.

Thursday Thirteen 42: @TEOTD WUWHIMA

The other day a friend from long ago sent me a text message, and I did what I do when I get those things: I panicked. I don't speak this language. I am without a single clue about what to do. Nevertheless, for the sake of an old friend, I tried.

I was literally all thumbs as I stepped into that strange world where words aren't what I think they are but what they look like, which is pretty much nothing.

I was a texting failure, I admit. I wrote in complete, punctuated sentences. I gasped my last after two terse sentences, and died a humble death with: "Text is nuts."

I suppose smoke signals, one-if-by-land-two-if-by-sea were, and Morse Code were nuts in their day, too. So I figured I might as well stretch a bit and learn something. Here's the total of my knowledge of text:

1., translates a message from text to plain English.
2. is an extensive list of text terms. Netlingo brought me the following.
3. Who know this @TEOTD could be as poetic…

Wordless Wednesday: What's He Thinking?


Weekend Snapshot: Walkabout in Hartford

I was summoned for jury duty in Hartford, Connecticut, on Thursday. This was a beautiful, clear, bright day, so I brought my camera along for the ride. This city is beautiful.

I didn't wander off Main Street during our lunch recess, but it didn't matter. There was enough to see right where I stood outside the court house. The solemn fellow below adorns the outside of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

More at Weekend Snapshot

What Do I Say?

What do you say after 24 years of not seeing somebody who was a friend? Times, people, places--everything--changes. There is much to say. But what?

You ask me how I am after 24 years, and this is what I want to say:

This morning I saw a frog at the edge of the pond. I crouched down and watched him. He watched me. Time passed. It was all we had.I watched the flies flit around the green muck that would have disguised his life from me if it weren't for those eyes and the smile. I think he smiled. And time passed. I thought I'd leave him be after a little while. I moved on and there was a muskrat making his steady and straight way through a couple of Canada geese. And on up the hill. There were so many cigarette butts. I picked them up. There were 30 today. If I don't pick them up, they wind up in the water, in the animals, in the corpses of the animals in the water. So I pick them up.

I don't know where to begin to tell you why it is important to me to notice everything, to…

One Single Impression: Myth

What is myth
But Truth in her best clothes
Her jewels and eyes full of
Morning and moon
All at once
Stars dripping
From her fingers
Into your eyes
As she opens
Her arms wide
Pulls you close to her heart
Where her
Story lives.
Be embraced
Feel the beat of her heart.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Jury Duty

I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic about showing up for jury selection with 70 others on Thursday, but the day in the courthouse left me with plenty of time to rethink my attitude. I left with tremendous respect for the people who make the judicial system work. Watching the process unfold, I saw the trouble and expense to which the federal government goes to uphold the integrity of our Constitution, the Sixth Amendment of which provides for trial by a jury of one's peers to prevent the court's abusing its power.

We represented less than half of the 180 individuals who received a summons to show up on this date. We left behind home, family, and perhaps a day's wages to respond so the court could choose from among us 14 persons who together would decide the fate of a New London man accused of possessing cocaine and firearms with the intent to sell both.

As the hours rolled by, I took in the grandeur of the Kennedy-era courtroom, the vast and gold leaf panel on the wall beh…

You Are My Sunshine

Perhaps it will seem to you that the sunshine is brighter and that everything has a new charm. At least, I believe this is always the result of a deep love, and it is a beautiful thing. And I believe people who think love prevents one from thinking clearly are wrong; for then one thinks very clearly and is more active than before. And love is something eternal--the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and in that way, one is more fit for one's work. (Vincent van Gogh)

Skywatch Friday: Aloft

“I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.”
(E.B. White)

Skywatch Friday at Wigger's World

Thursday Thirteen 41: Summer

When a friend mentioned going for an evening bike ride along some old familiar roads, he got me to thinking about the things I must enjoy about this sultry time of year:

1. Bees drunk on the perfume of
2. wide-open blossoms,
3. Clouds that accumulate into gigantic sailing ships
4. That capsize and pour relief onto the still afternoon heat
5. And the dripping from one leaf to the next of those lingering drops
6. That evaporate after the last fall from the last leaf,
7. The sounds through open windows of tables being set
8. And ice dropped into tumblers full of cold tea,
9. The smell of boxwood from the front porch
10. And slow walks along shady paths,
11. The sounds of insects wakening to night,
12. The smack on the water of the beaver's tail--
13. Hello? Beware? We know you are here.
I love these things.

More at Thursday Thirteen

Wordless Wednesday: Sovereignty, Royalty....

deity and divine authority--and you thought it was just another a fiberglass cobra!

Wordless Wednesday

Weekend Snapshot: The Art of the Carny

My daughter and her cousins made the round at the annual church carnival in Newtown last weekend. They had a great time; they are good at that.

Walking around, I couldn't help smiling at the irony of all the grotesque images used to entice kids to come and play for the benefit of a church. Still, it's all full of life and good in my book.

So much color, so much imagination, so many good people showing their kids a good time.

More at Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Through a Window

Beyond the shuttered window
The arms of the world
Opened for you--
The light, the song--
One saturates the other
In invisible waves that wash
The night away.

Beyond the shuttered window
Breaking day on the
Light edge of your dreams
Lithe and light as clouds
Bathed in song and light.

Imagine everything.

Then fly.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Light

After a long, steady spring of blue skies and gentle blossoms, we've had tumultuous rainstorms and clouds tumbling everywhere. I love it. Each afternoon storm takes down the day's heat and liquefies light that paints the air itself with gold.

It's a beautiful sight. Sometimes my daughter calls me up to her room to see the clouds through her window, which faces west. Even when she was a new baby, she would watch the clouds while she lay in my arms at her meal times and wave her little arms to try to catch the dancing limbs. As she grew, we'd rearrange the furniture and sit in different places to find the just-right places to take in the light. She has a poet's soul.

Though she's a busy girl now, she's taught me well to take a look around. Most often, I'm on my own doing it though. When I do, I recall the baby who used to wave at the trees and made me look.

More at Blog Your Blessings

Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor

The Fourth of July is for me a holiday about family and friends as much as about where we are. All the cultural, political, and historical events that have combined to create this time and place are a part of each of us; our greatest shared inheritance is a spirit of generous optimism. May it always be so. Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor--one is as indistinguishable from the other as yours is from mine. It's good to be here and it's good to know you.

Viola Jaynes captures the spirit of today here. I hope you'll read this beautiful post.

Skywatch Friday: I Have No Other Star

I love the handful of the earth you are.
Because of its meadows, vast as a planet,
I have no other star. You are my replica
of the multiplying universe.
(Pablo Neruda)

(Thanks to Rich for putting me on to Neruda recently.)

More Skywatchers are at Wigger's World

Thursday Thirteen 40: Revolutionary Ideas

When I've been asked in passing what I'll be doing for the Fourth of July, I have answered that I don't know. That's not true, though. I know exactly what I'll be doing:

1. I'll be reflecting on the sheer audacity of the extraordinary ordinary folks who cooked up the idea of independence.
2. This revolutionary idea represented a complete turning over, around, and inside out of power at every level and in every facet of life--education, commerce, government, religion.
3. The authors of our independence dared to invoke the Creator, ascribing to this being credit for endowing each of us equally with the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness....
4. Each of us is therefore blessed with the right and responsibility to work hard to live well.
5. The very idea of human rights emerged from the scrawl of a learned man drew his wisdom from his peers and from the ancients.
6. One argumentative essay written to perfection left a king with no place to hide.
7. Reason and…

Wordless Wednesday: Why on Earth....

...would anyone have these guys on a fountain? Anybody know?

Wordless Wednesday