Showing posts from June, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Helluva Town


My World Tuesday: The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, New York

Visiting The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in New York City last weekend was a gas. Part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters are made of bits and pieces from five medieval French cloisters. The site showcases the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Wending our way in and out of the buildings and around the gardens, I couldn't help thinking the security guards were actually medieval knights who have traveled through time to keep an eye on stuff that really has no place in Manhattan. Someone used a flash (oops--me), someone touched a stone, someone stood just a tad too close to the unicorn tapestries, and out these guys popped from--I don't know. They just appeared and scolded and disappeared.
Still, to be so close to times and places so far aways was dreamy.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: White Iris


One Single Impression: Ochre

Watching Mr. Rogers
One soft summer afternoon
Years ago
While my daughter
Nodded off in my arms

I watched an Indian woman
The making of a vessel
By reaching into the earth
For bits of ochre
That she rolled under
Her slender fingers
Into a thin strand
And then spun
Round and round
Spiraling up
Wider and wider
And then in again

And then a pinch and pull
To create a spout

And she was done.

Thank you,

Mr. Rogers said,
And the show was over.

As I nodded off then,
My mind rolled back
To college--
Those literature courses
Full of symbols
That loaded simple things
With too much meaning:

We murder to dissect,
As the man said,
And when that fails
We cram our subjects full
That we might find something
When we dissect.

Vessels were feminine symbols,
The professor said,
And suddenly literature class
Was a mixture of biology, sex ed, porn.

A vessel,
I learned from Mr. Rogers,
Is what you can make If you touch the earth
In the right place
Warm it in your hand
And turn, turn, turn
With it
Keep going until you're

A vesse…

Skywatch Friday: Proud as One of these Guys

This fellow was roosting on building right alongside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Saturday morning. There were a bunch of us taking in the splendor of his all-white feathers when he decided to show off and give us the full view. There are some pheasants, quail, and chickens at the live poultry place a few blocks down the hill who probably wish they had his life with security guards, fawning humans, and food without any strings attached.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Shatterproof

The water bottle is a flask for this solitary man on the steps of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine early Saturday morning.
Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Summer Solstice at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

There are some things for which it is worth getting out of bed at 2 a.m. ThePaul Winter Consort's Summer Solstice celebration is one of them. My daughter and her best friend got out of the sack and into the car in time to enjoy the whole event. Adella's friend said to me, "I didn't sleep through it, but I rested through the quieter parts, and it was soothing." From a sixth grader. I love it. When it stopped being soothing, it was downright exciting. Sample the music here.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Lotus in Bloom


One Single Impression: Dawn

As with night
So with dawn:

The yawning
And reaching

But now

With music

There is the opening
To light

Slowly, quietly

Like the turtle
That carries the weight
Of the world
Across the damp grass
To the deep pond

To slip in and be clean
To rise just enough
To bathe in the light
And to eat

Whatever the air offers

And call it good

Because it is enough.

The quiet stillness
Of the turtle

Tells you it is so.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Adam the Air Traffic Controller

My eight-year-old nephew Adam landed his paper airplanes on the blades of the ceiling fan in my parents' family room last week. Dad said it took him a couple days to get one on every blade, but he did. Mom and dad left them there until everybody got to see.
This remarkable feat is the result of months of practice. Adam and dad have been flying them through the family room window that opens onto the sun porch. They have also aimed for a big heavy lamp. The fan represents the biggest challenge of all, though.
It isn't possible to be cooler than Adam. No sirree.

Skywatch Friday: Dreaming of the Beach

Thinking of when I will next be on Topsail Island, I found myself looking back at the photos I took in April. These folks create an illusion of August in their swimsuits!

It seems to me black and white photography intensifies the heat and light of beach photos. It also makes the sky disappear. This flat and easy dream world of summer appeals to me.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Oh, Just Leave it There

A Prudential real estate sign that blew into the swamp several months ago is just lying there being ugly.

Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Lawn Art in Woodbury

These are two sculptures on Main Street in Woodbury. The silver fish keeled over sometime during the weekend, sadly. Maybe he just had a little meltdown or discovered he really can't walk. Don't know. The friendly dude with the Saab cap greets me ever morning on my way to work. A smile I can count on!

My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Farewell

Playing with the new camera at the old cemetery, I came across these lovely, sunny irises.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Oubliette

Just under the roots of the tall grass
Along this part of the road
That need never be mowed

If you reach down with your bare hands
You will feel the jagged remains
Of a beer can
A broken milk bottle
A clay dishA buckle
More (there is always more)

There are stories
In the cast off,
Forgotten bits
Fallen from trucks
Wagons, carts
Hands that

Want emptiness

Over time.

Dig deep

With your bare hands.

You will find story.

An oubliette is a dungeon; the word comes from the French for "forgotten place." While considering this prompt, I got to thinking that forgotten places begin at the surface of who we are and can be infinitely deep. What the bits and pieces we try to forget tell us about ourselves can be startling.
One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Nighty Night Blues

Here's my lovely little swamp settling in for the night. The geese were in bed. The muskrat was still. The blackbirds and robins were quiet. No other animals presented themselves, and all was peaceful. It was nice.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Backlit Babies


My World Tuesday: Sorrow, Grief, Belief

This sculpture adorning a grave site at Riverside Cemetery in Waterbury, Connecticut, is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. There is so much heart and life in this figure. She is so young, yet so sad. She writes, "He shall live" on the smooth and shiny granite. I swear she really wants to believe it.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: I Like Butter...

...and roses

Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Icarus

No shame
No loss
No failure

In flying so close
To the sun

That you melt like honey
And slip down the throat
Of morning

The liquid perfume of magic light
That becomes the breath of earth
And rises in the shy mist of dawn
Like a secret.

No shame
No loss
No failure

In flying so close
That you return to earth

As a dream
And a story

The truth in the soul
Of day:Life is beautiful.

So fly.
You can't go wrong.

One Single Impression

Graphic Violence at the Swamp

Memorial Day weekend was quiet and it got me thinking last year it wasn't that way at all. The rains were torrential and they seemed to wash turtles into the road left and right. I remember heading out to see a friend and getting caught in a heavy downpour that would bring Southbury to its knees under the weight of fallen ancient trees and runoff. On the way out, I saw a painted turtle making its way across the road, so I stopped and finished the crossing for him or her and got back in my car, soaked.
There was a lot of that last year: the weird little school teacher stopping the VW to jump out and scoot the turtle out of harm's way. Stopping for turtles was a given.
But this year: Where are the turtles? I have been waiting for them.
Earlier on this spring, I had seen them sunbathing on tufts of grass in the swamp. Turtle tai chi was fun to watch, and it was lovely and easy because they were safe from autos deep in the swamp.
That was three months ago. But now?
Out for a walk th…

Skywatch Friday: Through a Glass Darkly


Wordless Wednesday: My Best Friend