Friday, June 30, 2017

Another Blog.

Dear Everyone,

Once in a while I send you places that I think you might want to visit in the www.  This is one of them- this Knowledgeable & Nice Person has a very lovely blog on California's flora and fauna.  I found it in the usual way, by wandering around with a vague notion of learning something about Parry's Larkspur.  Try it, you'll like it.  In fact, when you see what a wonderful job can be done on such things as a blog, you will want to make one too!  Think of it as a kind of scrap book perhaps, or a sketchbook; not to hold every little bit and piece, not to give the whole picture, but to shine a little light here and there, on the things you love best.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cherry: jam & tart.

Dear Orchardists,

Here it is, the Montmorency cherry crop for the year!  I know you and the birds and deer have been waiting anxiously since this time last year.  It's a veritable avalanche compared to last year, and so we made jam.  Then we made a tart with the jam.



Both recipes are from David Lebovitz's excellent blog.  Here is the jam, and here is the tart.  Both were easy as pie, but I know you don't choose things based on the difficulty level or the labor-hours required to complete them.  I know that when you have cherries you let the winsome color of the fruit direct you to the appropriate use.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Oft-referenced, Much-studied Effect of The New on The Old.

Dear Bandmates,

Isn't this the bomb? 

Isn't it delightful to see someone making music with this retired technology stuffs!?  It will be our song for today, and you can hear another version here. 


You'll laugh, of course, because you are so much more mondaine and world-wise than I, but this 'novelty song' is one of my favorites from my impressionable youth, and its symphonic sound and operatic narrative always catch in my throat.  I was such a lucky one to be suckled on pop music that was so prescient and innovative! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Remember Those Days?

Dear Whoever You Are,

Pretend you just got this desperate message attached to a rock that I threw up to your window in the middle of the night.  Pretend that you don't mind and that you are happy to help me make my escape from this world where I cannot understand the words and actions of anyone.  Pretend it is okay that we are surrounded, because we have each other, and a few others now and then, to form a club or a band or a pact with, or at the absolute least, to have a few drinks with.

I am feeling so much better already- how about you?  Read this for inspiration (or instruction, if you are as youthful as that).  If the Dodo was a real thing in our culture, a thing with currency, if it was a thing that had real writers, I think this author would be one of us.

Remember, don't worry:  If you hear a thunk, it's just me with my message tied to a stone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Dear Summer,

Yesterday, driving home on the eve of your return, I thought I might have understood finally the magic of the visual effect of that hour, the after sunset time:  The light, I believe, has become equally reflected from the ground and from the sky, so the substance of the space in-between is illuminated.
It isn't very long, a matter of minutes, before the ground falls into deeper shadow, and that is another kind of time; l'heure bleue.

Until we bid farewell in September.

Friday, June 16, 2017

ghhhh, hubscam blam, fibbletak!

Dear Fixers,

You know, of course, how photography works- with chemicals for developing, and fixer, a solution to 'fix,' to hold, the silver salts in the positions recorded by the light?  So that they remain in the form of a hill with trees on it?  And if they are not properly 'fixed' they will fade; at first just a little bit, and then more and more, until the image is just a pale, ghostly pattern of smudges?

Fixing things, feeling, events, images, in my mind is of chief concern-  to be able to take these things back out and examine them, to pore over, to revisit and experience all over again; but this is so tricky, isn't it?  How do we save things, and where, and when do we get them out again to look over?  It's a pickle.

A picture of the skate park:  We went to one in a town south of here; we have gone once before, and then tried several times in between to catch it empty.  I have a great horror of looking like the elderly-you-ought-to-know-better-than-to-try-that-at-your-age roller skater that in fact, I am. 

There was only a yuppie soccer mom and her progeny present; a young boy she referred to as "Bud," but he was certainly a Forrest, Hawkins, Seamus, or some such thing, on a two wheeled folding scooter.  He was tear-assing around the place in the usual 4 year old manner, so I steeled myself for a mild losing of face and began to fall on the very wee little hillocks.  He kept on saying "it's only a hill!"  He also asked us where we got those 'roller skaters,' and why were putting on all these elbow, wrist and knee pads.  I thought, but did not say:  I am wearing them so that when I stumble over onto you I don't feel your tiny hands smashed under my knees, you little goofus!  Well, whatever, but I am a 'fraidy cat and safety, or what I like to pretend is safety, first!

I fell three times in front of this pair, and then the young dude who sweeps the rocks I'd been falling on up, arrived.  I made sure he wasn't turned my way, and once more tried to stay upright down the short, shallow slope of concrete.  Yes, you guessed it!  I did not fall!  What a triumph!  But, that wasn't enough- I next tried to get to the bottom of the real ramp, the 4 foot or so one.  It dips down, lies flat for about 10 feet and then heads back up.  I got to the bottom and threw myself on my knees to keep from continuing my madcap pace!  Twice I ditched in this manner, then I crossed my fingers and let the momentum carry me on up the opposite slope.  I wanted to shout and sing it to the rafters!  I could not believe I had managed it! 

The thing, though, that I know, is that it seems like nothing to tell it like this, especially to anyone who's done it or doesn't want to do it, and that covers everyone,  doesn't it?  Or maybe even to anyone anywhere anyplace anytime.  Phooey!  I want to tell you how fun it is, and I cannot.  I mean, I can, but it's so much meaningless gibberish.  It sounds like this:  ghhhh, hubscam blam, fibble-tak! 

Oh, yes;  I wonder, do you think this lovely photograph of a skater falling was taken at Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment?  Or was it a little late, or even too early?  I have adored and carried with me this notion of his for decades, as in a locket:  I never think about the movement of life and photography without it.  If you would like, please take it for yours also- get it here, for free, locket not included.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oh my!

Dear Wheeled,

Look at this delight- can you live without them?  I wonder if I can.  I will let you know later, I guess. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Today's Song.

Dear Clementine,

Here is a song for today; I hope it reaches you in time.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Nothing Doing

Dear You,

I’ve been thinking of you, and of course, I know I should write, or at least send a message.  But, I am busy now, doing nothing.  I was planning to meditate, but doing nothing is so much more genuine.  If you ever meet someone you can do nothing with, clear out your spare room and invite them to live with you.  Of course, no, I am doing nothing, yes, but I am thinking and seeing much.  I need all this time to do this thinking and looking. 

I am doing nothing, but not thinking nothing- I am lousy at thinking nothing, so I never bother with it.  I am thinking of the Changing Face of  Feminism, and of the birds, and the wind, and of tattered books.  Also, I am considering less lofty things, like how I just threw out all the pencil shavings I was saving in a champagne bottle.  Was that right to do?  Perhaps it was nuts to collect the shavings to begin with and now I have set things to right by tossing them?  These are the issues I confront in the pursuit of what might matter.  And besides, you were right; I did have too many glass jars.

I am watching the house finches pick up fallen seed, and as I gaze at their movement, things on the edge of vision become blurred.  Substance flattens and becomes indistinct; it all seems to be one: the space, the ground, the sky-  I knew a wonderful professor once (a feminist as it happens) and she told me once of seeing the ‘etheric web' from her vantage point on a hill, or a slope.  She described her awareness of the interconnectedness of everything in a visual way.  I am pretty sure my lack of focus could be revealing the etheric web.

I have been thinking of you, wanting to send my greeting and thanks;  I know you are up north now, or out west... I will get a message to you soon, but for now, I simply must do nothing!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Together Today Only

Dear Special Listener,

My DJ played these two songs for me recently, and I know you will want to hear them too.  I like them together, but I don't know if they might be better in reverse order.  Play the one, and then the other, and then play them again, the first last and the last first, and let me know what you think.



One more time, because there's a little more gravitas in this version.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Dear Band Mates,

Imagine the most beautiful acoustic guitar you can- of course, it has mother of pearl, and that edging, which I believe they call purfling.  What else?  A sunburst?  Dark wood, light wood?  What of the wood's character?  Bird's eye, curly, quilted, flame, bearclaw?  Is it black and from the '30s?  Is it worn, or shiny new?  I imagine a lot of nice guitars, and I think I sent you out once to pick up a parlor guitar, but now, I have a new errand for you to run:  Go and get this, because it is the most beautiful guitar I can imagine.

My desire for this thing, and I have spent a lifetime desiring, so I know what I am talking about, moves me to the ultimate act:  Saving money.  Actually, no, it moves me to wishing and considering purchasing a lotto ticket, which is what I usually do when I want something absurdly beyond my means and uses.  Still, a girl can dream, and this is about as dream worthy an item as I have seen this decade! 

On the topic of dreaming and the proper tools for the task, don't you think, don't you know in your heart, that your fingers would play better, that your voice would sing sweeter, with a guitar like this?

While we are wishing, let us play this song on our ordinary, daily use, right here right now, trusty old guitars.  The chords are easy, but don't forget to get louder as the song progresses.

While you are out, pick up a shirt to wear with this guitar:  A frilled tuxedo shirt would be grand.  Oh, and I know you are worrying that I will be too nervous about scratching this opulent instrument to play it, and I assure you that I would play it and bang it and scrape it just as heartily as I do Little Blue.  The only thing I might hesitate to do is take it camping- sitting in a hot car while you stop for tacos en route to the lake is hard on a guitar's laminates and neck.

By the way, the fifth element that the word quintessential refers to, is that element beyond the air, earth, water, and fire: that highest element which permeates all the universe; ether.  As in, "Dude, that is one sick, filthy, and ethereal guitar!"