January 30, 2011

Sunday Quote

Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.

- Gertrude Stein

January 27, 2011

The eerie quality of snow at night

Snow when it first falls, peth peth peth, is so magical and snow in the daytime, especially the early morning or at dusk can be stunningly beautiful, peaceful even, but sometimes for me, snow is just creepy. Otherworldly, eerie, mountains of heavy cold stuff looming, the same snowstorm that seemed so magical and peaceful in the morning and hot chocolate wonderful in the afternoon feels foreboding and strange. Not a little dusting of snow that makes me feel cozy and grateful to be indoors, it is the kind we are having lately - boatloads of snow - that gives me that trapped in the avalanche or here comes the Yeti kind of creeped out vibe. My daughter shoveling snow predawn a few weeks back commented that the deep otherworldly hush of snow and then the wind coming up low in the dark of early morning really wigged her out.
I think if I was in a small mountain cabin somewhere, logs burning steadily in the fireplace, no one around for miles, I would have come up with some version of Sasquatch to fret about.
Never thought of snowglobes as creepy however until I came across this site. (note - some of these are really dark although the imagination behind them is very creative). Years ago someone (probably one of my Sims loving children) did send me this site - just found it again, so I guess there is a little something off about some snowglobes...

January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom

One of my favorite pictures of my Mom - it is in a frame propped up on my dresser (and if you saw my dresser, you would understand that it sometimes gets lost in the mix) and I think it's a stand-out photo. For one, she looks relaxed and carefree and very cool Mama in the spiffy glasses - and while that was not an alien vibe, she did not love having a camera aimed at her for the most part. She has been gone since 2005 and not a week goes by where I don't think to call her about something. I read an interview somewhere where the person was asked if they could have an hour of anything, no matter how wild or fantastic, what they would choose - and they answered - one more hour with my mother. I think that's just about right.

January 24, 2011

yes, sonny, way back when I was a lass...

In one of those one topic leads to another discussions, I find myself chatting with the youngest, veering from the topic that dancing, even around the house, is good exercise to a cha cha down memory lane where I share how when his father, always a good cook, would make me dinner (yes, ladies). My husband, then beau, was, as he is now, a cook who did not like to be interrupted when calling up his culinary muse - so to amuse myself, I would dance around the living room to whatever records were playing - good exercise and fun. "Because we had no computers to fool around on back then" chimes in the husband. The 11 year old looks stunned. "Yeah, no cds, we played records," I add, "or ipods, or game things like xbox or any of that stuff, can you imagine?" The boy looks ill. We then start to reminisce how we got our first VHS player a year or so after we got married and how stunning it was to watch a movie in your very own house (!) and I recall that the first movie we got was "Starman" the great sci fi love movie where the fabulous Karen Allen drives across western states with the very cute if robot-y Jeff Bridges alien and introduces him to the charms of diners, pie (lots of pie - so you know it was a decent movie). Now we really are into it - fondly recalling how much more fun the world was then when you could get really excited about stuff that is all so everyday now...at this point the 11 year old looks rather stunned that his parents are truly THIS OLD since clearly this is stone-age stuff... well then this must be our theme song (a big fave at the library with the kidlets, too!)

January 23, 2011

Sunday Quote

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

- Picasso

January 20, 2011

The New Scots Makar

Scotland has introduced their new Makar to the world - the poet and playwright, Liz Lochhead, will serve the position similar to our American Poet Laureate. She comes across as an appealing person, warm and witty, in the youtube vid and this bit of background information makes me want to find more out about her work, her interest in feminism and gothic-tinted literature and theatre as writer and performer only adds to that. Finding it difficult to find any complete poems of hers online - and too tired to do a more thorough search as it's getting late...but this only sends me off into more yearning - I want to go back to Scotland - and I wish I had gone sooner. Ah well...now I will just have to make sure I don't wait until far later for a return trip.

January 18, 2011

a morning stroll ends with royalty

the other morning I got to work earlier than I needed to be, at the little library (I work at two libraries, one quite large and one quite small) and thought I would take a stroll. The frozen lake looked so tempting with all that expanse of untouched fluff that I was amazed no foolhardy teen attempted to cross it all day. The way the library looks through the pines makes me feel I am in Maine, not some urban/suburban library (small city so we are both). And the sign made me pause for a moment until I realized some clever vandal had blotted out the "no". Back inside, I opened up the library and realized the day before had ended with some sort of horrific battle at the castle. I greeted the last princess standing with all the respect due such a warrior queen...and then took off my snow boots and got to work :)

January 16, 2011

Sunday Quote

God puts you where God needs you. You are where you are supposed to be. The job you are doing may not be any easier on account of this, indeed it may be harder, even more urgent, but now you are centered, focused, clear. So this is where I am supposed to be. I always thought I was supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else, being someone else. But I realize now that I was mistaken. This does not mean that I can't or will not be doing something else. Just right now, I am where God wants me.

- Lawrence Kushner, The Book of Words

January 11, 2011

Goodbye to a best dog, a dearest friend

Emily Pajamas passed away today at the age of 17. She was so very much.

Here's a poem I wrote for her a number of years ago.

Birthday Poem for Emily Pajamas

A golden lab with a regal fine boned head
and wise amber eyes; I’d name her Elsa
after the lioness of my childhood adoration.
We’d walk the Connecticut shoreline, sun glinting

off two golden heads. My daughter screamed
with terror when the big dogs loped towards her
at the breeders. She hid her face in my legs
as her baby brother, seeing her fear, shinnied

with monkey agility from my arm’s cradle
to my neck seeking higher ground. Then, here’s
what gets frowned at, the story of you, huddled
in your cage, retreating from the mall’s din.

You should never buy from pet stores, people chide.
I went for shoes, just tipped my head in for a peek
at the puppies, in need of cheer that evening.
All the others barked and wriggled for attention

but you, a silly clump of white fuzz, looked away
with sad, spent eyes. My thought was to play
with you a bit to cheer us both, only that. I never
got the shoes. Almost eight, you shadow my every move

until I change my mind and direction, turn and fall
over the small knotty house of your body, and stand
up again, annoyed at your reproachful look as you skulk
away. That you would complain in the way dogs do,

the doleful eyes, the curving spine when you creep away
to tuck into your bed. Are you not the one who yaps
without ceasing, obsessed with squirrels? The poultry
crazed banshee howling at the kitchen door? Guilty

of the chewed up purses and briefcases, the contents
of the trash bin strewn over the carpet? Who tolerates
the small tortures of young children with better temper
than I could manage? Who hurls all seventeen pounds

of herself against the door in an amusing ferocity? There
have been times when only the heated curl of you in my lap,
snoring dog scented dreams, could comfort. When we walk
down the road past the grander dogs, I follow dutifully

behind your tug at the leash, thinking how I seem
to always end up with the unexpected
that I love all the more.

- Susan Moorhead

January 9, 2011

Sunday Quote

To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.

- Jean-Paul Sartre

January 6, 2011


are never easy for me, I am a ditherer par excellence. Weighing all the options, talking about them endlessly, making lists. Overthinking. And my Emily Pajamas is 17 and in acute renal failure...we have seen this coming for a long time - two years ago they said she could maybe last three months. She had been on meds and a special diet and she also has a great tenacious will but she is doing very poorly now - except she still enjoys us, staggering around, wagging her tail, even when she is most confused she seems to find comfort still...and yet we are supposed to be weighing euthanasia because as the vet said, she is not going to die peacefully in her sleep, it is going to only get much worse. I just cannot seem to find peace in the idea of saying okay to what is most certainly not okay. And yet, she is obviously doing poorly. So, since it comes down to me since she is my dog, I will try to give it another little stretch of time if we can...judging it day by day. For now, I am trying to find my own solace...this song has always been very special to me as I fell in love with Elsa the lioness in grade school and have remained in love. It's a beautiful video to boot.

January 2, 2011

Sunday Quote

Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life.

- Natalie Goldberg