Showing posts from April, 2012

Our World Tuesday: Fish for Breakfast

From a distance, I saw these vultures making short work of a stingray that had washed up on the beach late yesterday afternoon.

From April 28, 2012
The fish had washed up as a cross-section of itself, its innards slipping out on one side, its flesh and bone exposed on the other. The dead fish was a sad sight to me at first. Then, it was a fact of life that made dinner possible for many a bird. There was a strange dignity about the scene on the beach this morning.

From April 28, 2012
When I got a little too close, off went the birds--beautifully.

From April 28, 2012

Lots more folks came out about this time, and the vultures who had been circling vamoosed for a while. Later in the day, I was back for another walk, and there were the remains, a strange and humble offering to the birds who would wait for the people to go away so they could dine in peace. Meanwhile, though, just about everybody who was on the beach checked out the fish and maybe paid their respects. From April 28, 20…

One Single Impression: Elusive

From August 12, 2011 Elusive white cranes and blue
 When the osprey
Glides through their silence,
The hunt, or trading
One for the other
Before returning to a hungry nest
One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Scarlet

From April 21, 2012 Lilies were in bloom at the Soundside Park in Surf City last weekend. I had never seen any in this color before. They were so vibrant.  Della and her friend took photos from just about every angle.  I caught a couple, myself.  The rest I took of the girls taking pictures.

 Today's Flowers

Skwatch Friday: Good Night

From March 24, 2012 I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me. (Simone de Beauvoir) Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Save Your Skin


Book Review: 'The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness'

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel Ben Izzy

You can’t begin to think you know a story just because you’ve heard it before. You can’t begin to think you’re done with a story, either. Stories live and move, seemingly of their own accord. They are the teachers who show up when you are ready to learn.

Stories honor life.

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy is the story of a man who learns to honor life by entering the mystery of the stories he and others live and tell.
Ben Izzy is a storyteller whose life is turned upside down when he undergoes surgery that costs him his voice. This catastrophe costs him his career and causes him to rethink not only what is important but how it came to be important.

As he attempts to make sense of his experience, he realizes that making sense of things is as pointless--sacriligeous, even--as presuming to know the point of a story just because he might have heard it before. Which is to say we mustn't pr…

Our World Tuesday: Surf City

Clyde had an intense morning of watching Adella and her friend swim on Saturday. He sat himself under a lawn chair and peered out from the cool shade to see nature-defying nonsense the girls were up to. This just about wore him out, so we took him down to Surf City in the afternoon.
The park was looking very pretty with the lilies and roses in bloom.
From April 21, 2012 While we were there, the swing bridge swung open and let the sailboats through.  It was nice to watch.
From April 21, 2012 We were hoping the pelicans would come along and fly and dive and otherwise rock our flip-flops off. Still, it was a beautiful day.

Our World Tuesday

One Single Impression: Verdant

From April 10, 2012 Daffodils:
We made it.  Again.
And the warmth feels good.  Again.
The breeze. Again.
And the light.

It's possible
You and I will push
Through mud
Sharp with the ice of memory
And heavy
To be beautiful and new.

When our roots
Take hold of the rocks
We will crush them
And feed on the nutrients
We release from them.

It's what we do,
Being flowers.

One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Living Color

From April 10, 2012 Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how…We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. (Agnes de Mille)
Today's Flowers

Just So Good

I found a point of connection with my honors students in The Piano Guys. Many of my students are also musicians who love the passion and feel the beauty of what The Piano Guys do. This point of connection is as lovely as it is unexpected. There's nothing quite like asking a group of high school sophomores to do some work only to hear them ask me to play The CD so they can think (and feel).

This one's a heart-breaker that doesn't let you forget life is a treasure. Breathe well.

Skywatch Friday: Mainland

From April 14, 2012We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.  (Marcel Proust)
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: For the Label


Our World Tuesday: The Boy is Back in Town

Clyde and Adella have come to NorthCarolina for Clyde's bimonthly vacation.  (They were here in February, too.)  Clyde is so much less the the nutcase he was two years ago.  He's not afraid to be off his leash, and he comes back when he's called, too!  There's so much to like about that.

From April 14, 2012 Clyde was wary of the boys running up and down the beach and eyeing my daughter. There's so much to like about that. (One young man who dared to look back was sorry he did. He got the evil dog eye from Clyde, and then he high-tailed it out of the danger zone.) From April 14, 2012 Clyde sat everywhere but in a chair.  He claimed most of Adella's towel before he decided we really needed to go home.   From April 14, 2012 Earlier in the day, we had walked to the pier, where we noticed a bit of erosion on one of the legs of the pier.  Scary.
From April 14, 2012
Back at the ol' homestead, Della and I played with Clyde and Super Chicken, the clucking boomerang t…

One Single Impression: Shells

Here from Earth's get-go,
Turtles get everything.

What I know of their story
Teaches me to live mine.

Tenured reptiles when the dinosaurs arrived,
They nevertheless hit the road
Rather than work with those overlarge
And possibly rambunctuous oafs,
Even if they were relatives.

They took that flying leap into the ocean,
Trading clawed toes and legs for sleek flippers,
The slow plod for the breast stroke,
The light of day for deep water,
And here they are today,
Bigger and better than our story,
Wiser in their silence
Than we are in our
Whatever you call it
That we don't know how to shut off.

On land or in the ocean,
They are at home in a shelter that
Grows from their own spine.

(Think about this:
Do you call your central nervous system home,
Or do you run for help at the slightest interruption
Of flow?)

Come out of your shell if you want
And when.
Go back in when you please
And feel completely safe
And completely yourself.

Live on.
It's good.

One Single Impr…

Today's Flowers: Periwinkle

From April 10, 2012 My daughter's truest of friends, Clyde, came looking for me last week because he wanted to go for a walk in the woods. Just the two of us. This has never happened before between me and Clyde. He usually tolerates me when I am around this young lady he loves who happens to be my one and only daughter. This time, though, he and I were the only people in the house, and he cme looing forme while I was getting dressed. He bopped right into the bedroom, lept onto the bed, and wiggled is way to the edge to watch and wait. Then he had me out in the woods and, though he gave me the "What have I gotten myself into?" look every time I stepped on a twig, he was genuinely enjoying himself. While we were out there, he took a moment to check out the periwinkle. This flower is as old as Adella. I ordered it for the garden the year she was born.
 Today's Flowers

Book Review: 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Steig Larson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, never intrigued me enough to commit to reading the story. Fortunately, I never had to actually read the Harry Potter books because my nephew Alex was always willing and able to be my dynamic, interactive Cliff Notes while I watched the movies.
He could not help me out with Larson's adult novel, so I was on my own until came to babysit me with some very fine storytelling thanks to Simon Vance. Sixteen hours, 20 minutes, and 50 seconds later, I can say with satisfaction that I have experienced this story.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--Lisbeth Salander--is my hero because she mashes her heel into the feet of mean and miserable giants in their handmade leather shoes and custom tailored suits and brings them to their knees, exposing them for what they are and quite severely—however justly--punishing them for it.  I felt exhila…

Skywatch Friday: A Daffodil's Eye View of the Sky

From April 6, 2012
This photo of my favorite flower made me think of a photographic negative.  On this day, the sun light and its warmth were not where I expected them to be.  It's always good and refreshing, if somewhat inconvenient, to remember that my expectations have nothing at all to do with--anything at all.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Busted Open


Our World Tuesday: Squirrel Hunter and his Girl

From April 6, 2012From April 6, 2012From April 6, 2012 Back in Connecticut, I had the pleasure of watching Clyde hunt and gather polyester prey until Adella was perfectly safe from attack by the squirrels, the cow, the Girl Scout bear, the black cat, and Fro, the lion whose mane melted in the dryer some time ago. He was tired in the end, but we all felt so much better after his work was done!

Our World Tuesday

Book Review: 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

When my daughter brought home Ransome Riggs's novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I took one look at the cover and thought, "Oh, no. That's creepy. That's weird. That will keep me up at night. It will have me checking the closets for ghouls before I shut the lights."
But my dad bought it for my daughter, and the little gold pretend-sticker on the cover said it was on the New York Times's best-seller list. And the freaky photos are cool. And my daughter is the very person who recommended the life-changing The Hunger Games to me just by not putting it down.
So I had to read it, and I did.
Riggs tells the story of Jacob, a loner and a bit of a misfit son of well-to-do parents whose grandfather dies a sudden and horrific death.
With the support of his oddball shrink, he convinces his parents he needs to go to Wales for a break following the death.
In fact, he goes there…

Today's Flowers: April: in the Pink

From April 6, 2012From April 6, 2012 Back in Connecticut, my daughter and I took a walk and enjoyed all that is in bloom here right now.  We had a beautiful time.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Wassail

From February 12, 2012
Dive in, drink up
The history of the world--Impassive like you--Passes through you And becomes you With equanimity. 
Lunch is a sacred rite The silence of which Is punctuated by your Full immersion And the clicks of my camera.
You eat for two.
One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Where'd March Go?


Wordless Wednesday: A Wink


Book Review: The Solitue of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano is beautiful. It is also disturbing. It is the story of Alice and Mattia, two friends who are prime numbers, misfits who are connected to each other by circumstance as well as the strangeness of their stories.
Alice's life is shaped by her early experiences skiiing, a sport she hated but her father loved and expected to her excel at as he did in his earlier years. Fed up equally with his expectations and her failure to meet them, one Saturday she skis herself right into some irreparable physical damage that keeps her off the slopes as well as out of the adolescent social loops she thinks are the mark of being normal.
Also frustrated by his parents' expectations at an early age, Mattia likewise damages his life in the hope of shaking off the relentless demands that he be caretaker to his mentally handicapped identical twin sister who is as intellectually limited as he is gifted.

Our World Tuesday: The View Out Back

When my folks are down, dad spends his time reading out front, where we can hear the surf from the porch even if we can't quite see it; and mom spends her time out back, where she takes in the comings and goings on the Intracoastal Waterway.  It's never dull back there. From March 17, 2012 From the back porch, you can watch the beach come and go on barges. Then, too, you can watch other things come and go and wonder what they were until the next thing comes along.
From March 17, 2012 Sometimes nothing's happening on the water, and that's cool, too.  Sometimes looking up is everything.
From March 25, 2012

Then there's this dude who can be seen out back and elsewhere.  When he squawks and flies off, I swear he's saying, "You can't look at me!"  Except that we can.  It's a matter of driving down to Surf City and waiting for him to show up and enjoy the joke, too. From February 12, 2012

The blue guy has family in the hood who also prefer to be left a…