Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Virtual Visit to Paris

It's been many years since I've been there and it's not likely I'll get back, so the next best thing is armchair reminiscing, with some black and white photos, shared here with the kind permission of Luis L. Tijerina. 

Photos by Luis L. Tijerina, November 2016

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Gee, Thanks, Stella

We got a visit this past week from a blizzard they named "Stella".  All hope is now gone that our accumulated snow will be melted anytime soon.

Am adding some new, updated photos to the ones I  posted a month ago. That peaked snowdrift in the back yard--were I in its middle--would be up past my shoulders.

A friend in Los Angeles reports hundreds of Canadian geese hunkered down in a nearby soccer field, and that they are on their way north.  Yay. Meanwhile, indoor seed planting starts tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Diggin' on Out

So, we've been getting a bit more snow the past several days



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Me, I Tell Stories

Fred Pellerin, from a town not far from here. While at university here, he developed a thirst for stories, nostalgic for a time he did not know. Lulled by the stories of his grandmother, his neighbor Eugene, and his father, Pellerin has been recounting these older generations' memories and anecdotes, gossip and rumors of his village, Saint-Élie-de-Caxton.

The stories passed down to us tickle our curiosity about the past, resurrect early memories, make us think, make us laugh--stories we can still relate to--reminding us of who we are and where we came from, of those who preceded us, and the interest in hearing their stories retold.  I'd like to think that  those who follow us will pass our stories on as well.

"I am the son of a thousand fathers.
I did not come into the world.
It is the world that came to me.
And I was born yesterday."

*Quebec license plates say  Je me souviens ("I remember"), the official motto of the province.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Remembering the Dead Journalists

To all those writers imprisoned, kidnapped and permanently "disappeared", ordered assassinated and  brutally murdered, or slain in the field, for reporting the truth, from whichever country and whichever time, thank you for your courage and commitment.  Thank you for your stories and research and photos, and for your example.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Angels, make room

In his tree, a fish,
a bird,
a rocking horse,
a mini red/white balalaika,
a duck,
the Eiffel Tower!

At its top, a miniature
soccer ball.

Star of wonder,  star of light
Bless us heathens
this cold night.

Wine & cookies on the table
for 'ol St. Nick.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Secular Inclusion


At the Basilica religious gift shoppe,
ceramic females -
glassed in, shelved.
Yours for a price.


These are decorative pieces, a celebration of ordinary women, as women, or mothers.
There's a whole section of Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and Baby Jesus statues in traditional pose,
adjacent to the rosary, crucifix and religious medal display cases. But these ceramic ladies caught my attention.

Mothers and babies, a child releasing a peace dove - or is she trying to capture it?  (Can one hold on to Peace?)


Two quick snapshots taken during a visit to the Sanctuary with a friend recently.  'Tis the season -- Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men, and so forth.  Dove as the symbol of peace.  At what price, peace?  Can peace be bought?   I love the image, even without the symbolism - a child reaching towards (or releasing?)  a bird.  A reaching toward, and at the same time, a letting go. Metaphor for too many parallels.

And . . .

the need to . . . interpret what's seen.  Is that a choice, like holding onto, or letting go, of something? That you can see a thing (object, event, image) from different perspectives and attach (or dismiss) its perceived meaning.  Meanings are assigned (or taught); accepted or rejected.  If factory-produced, the packer just sees a fake-girl-with-bird statue, breakable.

I just really liked the image, regardless of what it may, or may not, mean.  If only I could figure out how to remove that price sign from the photograph. It protrudes, as a jarring distraction.

I re-looked at the photos and it occurred to me the figures might appreciate not being seen as a group, but individually. Ways of looking, where what initially draws is the whole picture (the group), but then you notice the details.  (Or it sometimes goes the other way, where you obsess over the details but fail to see the larger picture.  Both are ways of seeing, and not seeing; each enlightens in its own way.

Or not.  Sometimes an image is . . . just an image.   Girl. Bird. Price tag.

Interesting that the figures' faces are a blur, their individuality wiped out.  Commercialized art, portraying "types".  None had a mouth, yet they spoke to me, as being worthy of a second look.  (This propensity to anthropomorphize, another quirkery.)

My favorite remains the girl with the bird.