Monday, May 30, 2016
























Thursday, May 26, 2016

Instant Improvement: Just Add Suit.


Dear Quadruple Threats,

Isn't it time we studied one of the greats?  As I often tell myself regarding great paintings, we must be encouraged and inspired by demonstrations of outrageous skill (will you look at his outside edges!).  We must not turn our backs in sad dismay, give away our skates (or paintbrushes) muttering: "ain't no way I'm ever going to be that smooth."

Gene Kelly would be very sad to hear that his exhibition of skating made us want to give up our own puny gliding and pushing, and so I intend to watch this repeatedly, until I can feel it in my feet, and to acquire, by osmosis, a teensy bit of Gene Kelly's mad rolling genius, and then manifest it in my own ploddingly joyful skating. 
One thing that might instantly improve my skating is the addition of a fedora hat- although, I believe what is worn in this clip is more properly called a trilby- or maybe I will try a tailored jacket.  The Goodwill store is full of wonderful menswear blazers and they will probably even fit over my elbow pads.  There is a fellow, in fact, that I have seen skating at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, on Tuesday organ nights, with outside edges such as Gene's, and he wears a suit when he skates, too.  Want to read more on this 66 year old treasure of a skating rink?  I'll bet Gene Kelly skated there, and your Mom, or even your Mom's Mother!
Your suit won't be limited to roller skating, you can skateboard in it, too.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saline Valley













Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Way Now Sounds.

Dear Listener,
Remember that little waltz* that I look forward to playing in the future?  This is another song to play for today; and then, when it is tomorrow, we can say, Yes, 2016 sounded just like That.  I figure Chasing Shadows sounds like 2016, just like 1958 must have sounded like Well, All Right
*  In case you don't recall it, you can hear it here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Another Bridge.


Dear Pensive,

Are you still considering what is the most meaningful aspect of the bridge as metaphor?  Even if you have moved on to pondering other ideas, like why the plural of spouse is not spice,  I hope you will take a few minutes to look at this beautiful bridge of grass:

Until we meet again.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

So Much.

Dear Bustling,
I have so much to tell you, and so little time to do it in.  For example, I want to tell you about the journals I am transmuting into these little sculptures, and I want to try to explain why we have come to have a couch on our front porch, and I want to give a little pep talk on facing the long summer of sunshiny days ahead of us, and then there are the new fawns with their dappled coats, and I want to make a plan with you for plotting a map of the times, dates and places that strangers speak to us.  We will need to determine some guidelines for our map- should we note the weather?  The gender of the speaker?  Age?  General description?  The sense of awareness just prior to the encounter?  The density of people in the immediate area?
So much to do and tell.  It has taken three readings and two hearings* of this poem before I was absolutely convinced of this poem's worthiness to be presented to you-  I hope you enjoy getting to know it as much as I have.
Aimless Love 
This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door—
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor—
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.
"Aimless Love" by Billy Collins, from Aimless Love. © Random House, 2013.
 *  Hear it here, read by the author.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Giant Stitches.


Dear Stitchers,
Oh!  Will you look at the beauty of these constructions by artist Sarah Amos?  I am going to go and thread my needle, print my felt and start drawing right now....