Saturday, June 30, 2018

us, them, I, we: Becoming the Other





we all wake as each other
 
we all wake as each other
i, particularly
pick you up when you die in air and auto crashes: in a dream
i am you, and then
all memory is gone, nothing but a sensation of relief at living on
i felt the flame
touch my skin
i have been a rainbow coloured woman in a sinking bus, i have been a
passenger on many
ferries, i have swum
down, to a door, white metal in blackness, gone through,
and drowned
sleep apnea be damned
i am you and you are me and we are all
reflections of the larger eye that we
are building

~ ~ Peter Greene




©Peter A. Greene 2014

[Thanks, Peter, for permission to share your poem here.]


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Favorite songs that keep being sung




Local singer from our town, in a summer concert awhile back.  I love her interpretation of Piaf.

Fabiola Toupin et l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec interprètent Non, je ne regrette rien, d'Édith Piaf, sous la direction de Gilles Bellemare, lors du concert "Piaf en symphonie", le 6 août 2015 au Domaine Maizerets à Québec.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Old Finds



In my library awhile back I found my old green Gregg Shorthand book from high school.  On a whim I decided to write my sister a postcard in shorthand, to see if she could read it.  (She was a year behind me and had taken shorthand as well.)  I was astounded at how much I'd forgotten.  In elementary school we'd learned the Palmer method of cursive, another ancient practice that appears headed for obsolescence.  Anyway . . .  my sister called to say she received it and, amazingly, was able to read all but three words without consulting her own kept copy of the green Gregg book.

So we've been sending postcards back and forth in scribbled forms that nobody else can read, to keep our aging brains from calcifying.  

I'm intrigued by language in general, and certain ones in particular, though I've never learned to speak them.  What cryptographers and stenographers have in common is an ability to code (and decode)--in the case of S/H it's phonetic: 


                         All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
                         rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one
                         another in a spirit of brotherhood.

 [Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] -- Gregg illustrations provided by Andrew Owen. 

  Practical Cryptography, if anyone's game to self-instruct.  :)


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

One Month Later


The snow has not gone yet.
I invite April to hurry up and get here.




Besides the squirrels and sparrows and the two courting bluejays, we
 now have several doves visiting.  They usually all eat at different times -- the squirrels
come first, then the sparrows.  The doves wait till afternoon.  Sometimes they
all arrive together and pretty much ignore one another.  

What I loved about this particular scene was the juxtaposition of accidental symmetry in
the pecking order of the calm, polite doves with the quirky, jerky back-to-backness of
the ever-jumpy squirrels--who abruptly stopped eating to go chase a fellow squirrel
that was thinking of approaching the feeding spot.

I'm sooooooo ready for Spring!  This winter has been a disaster as far as
finishing long overdue projects was concerned.  Some actually never even got tackled.
Maybe like the squirrels, I'm too easily distracted.  ("Look! There's a squirrel!")  

Watching birds and squirrels when you should be doing  ... [insert whatever].





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

Fun with Homemade Bookmarkies


I sometimes hand-paint leftover scraps of watercolor paper to use as bookmarks.  
The hat on the one below was a bit too puffy, 
so I cut off the excess.



Since it still looked like a pile of white dough on top, 
in attempting to render her hatless, I ended up flattening her head:

In a sudden attack of a "What if?" moment, I cut her out completely, to make a
 kind of paper-doll bookmark, whose arms could attach to the top of the page.

On a roll, as they say, then did another one, soccer-related:




But bookmarks are not supposed to be so tall that
they get bent when the book gets shelved.

Back to the drawing board.



Gingerbread Man's more practical,
but too generic.




Let's personalize the figure, and experiment with placing the arms
behind the page this time.  But because the figure here lacked a torso,
it could easily get dislodged.  Rethink the pattern.



What about doing them as pairs?
Propped up, they could hold both pages open for the reader
(say if the reader were taking notes).




As in real life, some characters just like 
being on the same page together.



Inspired by the character with the glasses,
this one now preferred that his arms hang behind,
placing himself "out front" more. (I forgot to give him feet.)




The lady in blue trends along, wanting to show off her rhinestoney dress.
(Accessorizing a bookmark, because, why not?).
Her mate, more of an introvert, remains hesitant.



 
Okay, enough playing with the paperdoll bookmarkies. 


So the idea is to create cut-out-type bookmarks that appear to be peeking over from behind, OR dangling onto the page in full form, so to speak, to mark the place you stopped reading.

Although functional (as bookmarks), these cut-out types are neither as sturdy nor as practical as their more traditional (evenly proportioned) counterparts.

Fun to make and play with, though.  If you wrote a book of fiction, you could include individual bookmarkies depicting characters in the story so readers could mark the chapters in which they appear (assuming a potential reader might be inclined to want to do so).

(Or not.  :)    File that under the "What if?" section.)

Fun imagining, anyway.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Imagine Something Other


(1923-2018)


"I think that hard times are coming, when we will be wanting to hear the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.

We will need writers who can remember freedom; poets; visionaries; the realists of a larger reality.

Right now I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a commodity and the practice of an art."

                                             [Excerpted from an event, November 19, 2014.]



Le Guin's words challenge and inspire us to be more mindful of the way we practice our art--and its potential role in suggesting the possibility of something more, something better than the reality one is presented with.  John Lennon is an example of a voice that asked us to imagine a world without war.  (He also asked us to imagine a world without religion, borders, or greed.  Then, as now, however, not everyone wants to change, or to be one with the "Other" in today's or tomorrow's reality.)

Still, I like her conviction that writers, poets and artists offering creative alternatives to the status quo need to have their voices heard.  Writers can create stories that transcend the reality we're given, to imagine a different, better one.  Poets could give us words that profoundly resonate, leading to life-changing insights.  And artists can make us see, instantly, what words often struggle to say, and can't. 

In all this, it seems to me, it's less important whose voice is doing the voicing than the meaning of the message conveyed. That messages can be misinterpreted (or go unheard) does not mean that some aren't or that their impact is unfelt.  Grounds for hope.

Thank you, Ursula Le Guin, for your words and the reflections that resulted. R.I.P.

______________________________

Click here for Ursula K. Le Guin website.





Thursday, January 4, 2018

Window Woodhawk


awynfoto



No Possum, No Sop, No Taters

He is not here, the old sun,
As absent as if we were asleep.

The field is frozen. The leaves are dry.
Bad is final in this light.

In this bleak air the broken stalks
Have arms without hands. They have trunks

Without legs or, for that, without heads.
They have heads in which a captive cry

Is merely the moving of a tongue.
Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,

Like seeing fallen brightly away.
The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.

It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.

It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,

Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter sound.

It is here, in this bad, that we reach
The last purity of the knowledge of good.

The crow looks rusty as he rises up.
Bright is the malice in his eye . . .

He joins him there for company,
But at a distance, in another tree.

         ~~ Wallace Stevens 




What struck me about this Wallace Stevens poem is the way certain words leap out as
metaphors for the new now, in this age of excessive lack, "here, in this bad" , where an emperor's utterings erupt as hollow savageness inspiring horror, or "gawky flitterings" intoning emptiness. 

Like silent sentinels we watch, and wait, for the light to shine again.