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Showing posts from March, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Remembered

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This is one of the metal tags on a flag at a veteran's grave marker in Roxbury, Connecticut. There were different tags for the Revolutionary, Civil and First World wars. (There is a different one in the post below.)

Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Roxbury Boneyard

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I'm one of those creepy people who likes cemeteries but would like not to go alone, thanks. Here are some images of a little cemetery in Roxbury, Connecticut, where folks were buried from 1769 to 1966 and where the Daughters of the American Revolution remember all the soldiers with flags. The lock on the rusted gate closing the fence around a certain set of dead people amused me greatly. Gaining admission was not a problem. My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: It's Alive!

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The swamp down the road is alive and well--teeming with life, that is. Yesterday I saw the skunk cabbage coming up for air when I went out for an early walk. It seemed vibrant on an overcast day.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Smoke

This is not a fire
Said the sign
At the sugar house.
We are working,
The sign said.
Wood smoke billowed
For days and days
As the sap that had risen
From the earth to feed the tree
And was siphoned from the veins
Of the long and elegant arms of spring
Yielded the clean water
Of countless snows
Reluctantly
To the heat of the flame.

Reluctantly.

The fire burned for days.

There was no fight or surrender--

Only time and work.

Remember this.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is this week's blessing. I used the text of the movie's website as reading material in my classes, and there were miracles to spare as a result. Kids were talking about the text, the movie, other movies in that genre, other stories about hauntings. We talked about folk tales and how they emerge from real experiences and become something else again in the process of story telling, and this could have happened in this story about a house in Southington where a family is said to have had paranormal experiences.

This led to a discussion of fact versus opinion, the difference between fact and truth, the nature of bias in text and how to identify it lest a reader be misled by a story.

And then the local paper ran a story about the family who live in the house now. They are being tortured by nosy people who are looking forward to the movie. In my haste, I had brought only one section of the paper to school to show the kids. I told them there was more to the …

Skywatch Friday: Stairway to Heaven

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I met this tree along a walk in Litchfield a couple Sundays ago. The shape and brightness of the trunk made me think of a church steeple. The branches brought to mind the spiral stairs of my own church; the complicated, somewhat erratic shape of these branches made me think life is no simple walk along the road even at the best of times--and the times are always at their best, somehow.

Skywatch Friday

What Happens When It's All Over

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A fearsome lock
On a broken gate:
The last word
On what happens
When it's all over:
The sun shines equally
On your back and mine
The breeze sifts through
The pine boughs
The apples braid their way
Out of the graveyard
And into the wilderness.
Deer graze. Hawks glide.
The sun rises, rises, rises.
And we are here
Where the sun will continue to rise.
We will continue to be here.
All is well.

Wordless Wednesday: The Shepaug River

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My World Tuesday: A Walk in the Connecticut Woods

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Litchfield, Connecticut, has many a beautiful acre of land set aside for conservation. I took these photos along a walk through some of them on a bright March Sunday. I love the way March sunshine finds its way into everything. In the top photo, leaves and pine needs were actually bursting the skin of a fallen tree. It was strange and beautiful.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: Fallen (and Crumpled) Angel

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I forgot to bring in this terra cotta angel last fall. A winter's worth of snow corroded her face but left her wings intact for the most part. I wonder what it's like to be a set of wings with no angel to call your own. (The fallen angel poem is here.)

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Equals

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Some see the glass half empty;
Others, half full.

I see the glass

Which will be equally itself
After I have taken my pleasure
Drained it dry
Put it back for another round

On maybe another day.

I will call the pleasure complete
And completely my own.
I will make it mine
As I claim the very last drop

That is sharper
Than it is sweet
And always just enough

Because there is no need for too much
Of anything

So long as there is a glass
When I am ready for more.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Spring and My Girl

Midweek, I went for an evening walk for the first time in ages. I looked up at 7 p.m. to enjoy the lingering evening light, and I saw the buds on the maples in silhouette against the darkening sky. I could hear the peepers and the Canada geese closing the show on winter. I could smell the cool damp of early spring. That was a blessing.

Early this morning, I tip-toed into my daughter's room to fix her covers. She had the blanket on her face, and she didn't stir, so I leaned in closer to listen to her breathing and make sure she was OK. Just then, her eyes opened, and she gave me a big smile, hugged her baby blanket, and went back to sleep. The love and the sense of security in her smile were a blessing.

Driving in, I passed a meadow filled with grazing deer who were as silent and still as statues. Their shadowy bodies gave texture and life to the landscape. That was a blessing.

As I type, I await my daughter's return from school after my own long and interesting day at a schoo…

Skywatch Friday: Keeping Time in Waterbury

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This is the clock tower above the Republican-American newspaper building in Waterbury, Connecticut. The building was once the Union Street Railroad Station. The tower has the same design as the Pilgrim Monumentin Provincetown, Massachusetts and is modeled after the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy.

(I swear one of my legs is longer than the other and that is why my tower and other tall thing shots always lean slightly. I decided to live with it this time rather than edit. I will get it right one of these days.)

Skywatch Friday

Hang with me in the Dark for Earth Hour on March 28

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There's nothing like a power outage around here. It's the warm weather equivalent of a snow day--complete and unequivocal permission to do nothing because there's nothing you can do because--well, that's all you need to know to enjoy yourself even if the power outage is voluntary.

The times we have lost power around here have been been remarkable for their physical effect. There is complete silence. There is no tension. There is a very natural peace. The air quite definitely is not charged. With anything. So there's nothing like choosing to unplug, to not be charged, to quite naturally walk away from the glow of the computer or TV screen. Nothing like climbing into bed and being at peace with the simple fact that in bed and asleep is the ultimate state of being after a day that is too long anyway.

Earth Hour is the opportunity to have that thrill and do right by good ol' Mother Earth on March 28 from 8:30 TO 9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 m…

Wordless Wednesday: Open? Coffee? Please....

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This is the window of the John Bale bookstore in Waterbury, Connecticut. In the reflection you can see the image of the City Hall, which was designed by architect Cass Gilbert back in the day. The sign is tantalizing--and mean when the neon is off and this girl wants a hot cuppa.

Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Downtown Waterbury, Connecticut

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Here are a few views of downtown Waterbury from a few Sundays ago. It really is a beautiful old industrial city whose wealthy benefactors made some beautiful things possible. On a Sunday when the streets are quiet, it's easy to see beyond the ugly street signs and traffic lights to a really splendid little post-industrial hole called home.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: Bring Me Some Water

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This is a macro shot of my daughter's mangled water bottle that she held at the end of the game her team won last week. They defeated a team that had gotten into the habit of defeating them, and it was loads of fun. I took a second look at the water bottle; from this angle I saw the back of a pair of legs. (I get up at 4 a.m.; everything looks different at that hour--different and somehow alive. The bottle might have told me a different story if I had taken the shot at a normal hour.)

Not only does the kiddo mangle water bottles (there's not much plastic in them these days, anyway) but also she sings like a sweet little angel at church. Last week she received this medal for passing a second music test in which she demonstrated knowledge of music as well as of church music.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Farewell

Farewell
As in fare thee well
As in kiss me good-bye, my love,
As in I wish you didn't have to go.

I think farewell
Is better as two words
With thee in between
Encased, embraced, ensconced--

Thee, thou, thee.

These words shimmer in the mouth
In fricative warmth and vibrancy
Stimulating thoughts of thee--
Come hither, hear me

As I whisper in your ear
Everything I know of love

Before you go.

Fare thee well.
May your journey be good.
Thou art my love
And I wish thee well

As I keep thee in my heart
Thou art the timbre of my soul
The pulse of my dreams.

Go if you must
And if you must,
Be good, or should I say
What I feel,

Which is fare thee well,
My love.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Yes, Adella, Your Team Can Win a Game

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In the world of little-kid sports, "playing your best game" is the only mantra chanted by parents en route to the court or field, right?

Right.

It's not if you win or lose--but, then, why are we keeping score?

Because if you play your best and your best is better than the other team's best, you should win. It's that' simple. The world of sports is the one place where the relationship between cause and effect has not been disfigured by psychology, social work, and other forms of do-gooder confusion. You play well, you win. You do your best but lose and you have the comfort of knowing you tried hard--and the discomfort of knowing someone else's best effort produced better results. So you have to try harder.

I don't get sports, but I do get that, and I like it. Good kids can lose and it's okay. Good kids can lose but try harder and make a come back and win. And it's okay.

In fact, it's wonderful.

And that, finally, is what happened for my daughter&…

Skywatch Friday: St. John's, Sunday Morning

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Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Candles

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My World Tuesday: US Post Office, Waterbury, Connecticut

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These are some of the limestone panels that adorn the exterior of the USPS building on Grand Street in Waterbury, Connecticut. I didn't have my wide-angle lens with me when I took these on Sunday morning, so I had to settle for close-ups of the detail rather than frames capturing complete panels.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: A Little Green

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We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars. (Alan Chadwick)

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Fork in the Road

Here is a fork in the road
And I am looking
Down both paths at once

And I realize
There is a fork
very likely because
Two people simply got to this point
And felt like going different ways.

There is nothing cosmic about this;
It is about the lust we call hunger.

Make a choice and move on;
Be like that hungry squirrel
There at the fork in this road.
Be like that fat, hungry, healthy squirrel
Who very likely sleeps through the night
Without the slightest thought
Of this way or that.

Dig a little, move on, dig a little, move on
Because you are hungry,
And being fed is everything.
You will find it, by god you will find it;
It is there to be found.

Just dig a little.

This is the faith of a squirrel.

Have that faith and move on.

You will be fed.
You will find it, by god you will find it;
It is there to be found.

Just go.
You don't have a choice;
You have a hunger.

So go.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: The Book and the Baby

Saturday morning is sacred. There is no place to be except inside your pajamas and to be as idle as possible.

It's called relaxation. I am learning about this fine art from my daughter, who excels at it. There is no selling her on the idea that anything or anybody needs her attention on a Saturday morning. On that day, she is even slow to reach for a book.

Like last Saturday. After I tore myself from the warmth of my blankets and flannel sheets to put on the coffee, I stepped into the hall and noticed her light was on. I tiptoed in (Why? The light was on....) and gave her a kiss and a cuddle. She was just lying there enjoying her blankets and flannel sheets. I asked her if she wanted her book. "Okay. It's down on the heart; they one on the top of the pile."

The dutiful mommy retrieved the book. When I brought it back up, I noticed her lounging posture in bed as a 10-year-old is very like the posture she would adopt as a sleeping baby in her crib.She looked comfortable a…

Skywatch Friday: Sherwood Isle, Westport

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There were plenty of poodles and terriers taking their constitutionals around Sherwood Isle State Park in Westport, Connecticut, on Sunday before the storm. The sun shone through the clouds--weakly--while promised snowstorms loomed on the horizon.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Lonely Clarinet

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My World Tuesday: The Pilgrim Monument, Waterbury, Connecticut

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Here are details of the Pilgrim Monument in Waterbury, Connecticut. I posted an image of the frieze yesterday.









My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: One Determined Dude

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This is a monument to "Pilgrim Fathers" that was erected in Waterbury in 1930. I am struck by the contrast between the face of William Bradford, center, and the young man to his left, whose face is full of tenderness as he gazes on the woman and child. Bradford's Bible, his fist, his vision, and his proximity to the other figures convey to me a sense of fatherly confidence and courage. Like the sign said.Weekend Snapshot