Advice for the New Year:
"Arm yourself with clairvoyance!"
from French Composer and Pianist,
Erik Satie, 1866 - 1925
This is the beginning of Year Four for my Fortnightly blog of Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony, a mental space where the threads of art and life intertwine until a pattern emerges from the chaos. Four years ago, as I was getting the blog underway, my friend Eve -- also a writer and a teacher of writing -- asked me if I had a Dream Job in mind for my Inner Scholar. Indeed I did!
Back in September 2009, I posted my Mission Statement of what I hoped to accomplish in every blog post: to generate some literary analysis -- scholarly yet painless -- about how literature fits into every hour of every day; to share and interpret what I have recorded and remembered over the years; to include a running update of my current reading; and to explain how it all fits together with the little things that actually happen in real life throughout the course of any given day -- in manner of Mrs. Dalloway!
To celebrate the New Year -- and because January is a time to look backward as well as forward -- I thought I'd gather up the positive responses that I have received from supportive friends and readers who assure me that there's something to my project of combining the life, the literature, and the visuals.
For example, I was inspired by Len's view of my blog as an "anthology," in the medieval "flowers of literature" sense of the word. I learned something new that day -- that anthologia comes from anthos (flower) + logia (collection, collecting) = flower gathering. Similarly, florilegium in medieval Latin derives from flos (flower) + legere (to gather) = a gathering of flowers. These collections of "fine extracts from the body of a larger work" were initially culled from religious, philosophical, or scientific writings, eventually coming to describe books of botany (actual flowers!) as well as collections of poetry, epigrams, favorite quotations, and "beautiful passages from authors."
Literary flower gathering! Definitely a Dream Job! Thus is today's bouquet gathered from the encouraging words and unique perspectives for which I owe my kind followers -- such as Jack, for instance, who always praises, comments, and shares -- many, many thanks! To those mentioned above and below and all the hundred others who goad me on my way . . . I get by . . . gonna try . . . with a little help from my friends . . . and family: Gerry, who not only "likes" but loves me; and Ben and Sam who delight me every occasionally with a "Hey, Mom, I read your blog!" [Okay, I'm saving my long list of sibs for next time!]
Len also said -- "your blog is a public service"
Melinda said -- "thanks for always showing us the second page"
Charlotte said -- "thank you, Kitti, Assembler of Beautiful Juxtapositions"
My "lasting literary fan" Cate said --
"So glad you document all of this.
When people ask you what you do just tell them that you are a documentor.
I document things silly. I am the observer."
Ann and Paula were both kind enough to review my blog on their blogs!
Jill most sweetly posted -- "I'm inviting my friends to visit my friend, Kitti's, blog. You will find that she writes, most eloquently, about a variety of interesting ideas and topics, some of which will surely capture your attention and, possibly, your heart."
Jan is always willing to share and collaborate -- "My dear friend Kitti knows literature like no one else. When I first met Kitti in graduate school, she said, 'Literature helps me live my life.' I have always remembered that. Today, Kitti dedicated her Fortnightly Blog entry to my writing. I am so humbled and touched. It's delightfully Kitti, and it's also me! What a treat."
Kisses to our mutual friend Jes who wrote: "How courageous of you to insist on beauty and thoughtfulness every day in this, the 21st century! What a brave blogger you are! Thank you for drawing my attention to Jan's journal in your blog.
"Yay for both of you, journaling, blogging, thinking, creating! May the workings of your beautiful brains never cease. I've always had good taste in friends, you know. It's so reassuring to see that my instincts were then and are now perfectly sound"
And it must have been Victoria who said -- "You have a way of synthesizing the ideas of literature and explaining them in a way that makes sense even in our mundane world. I think the essay is really your literary forte--forget about the collegiate constraints and go for your own book of essays." [Like Vickie, "I hate to brag . . . well, that's not true!"]
Etta wrote at length: "I told you about the dooce blog because it makes me think of you. It's snarky, funny and in the end she knows what to value in life and can express it. In the end, she describes how I feel about life. I know that lots of your friends see those same things in you that I do.
"I have been appreciating your blog. I think the best part is your use of literary quotes to describe the joy in your life. It is put together like the Hallmark cards I always imagined you creating, but better. Who knew you would be so computer savvy? Your entries are beautifully crafted and written and terribly literary. (Those who can, should.) Do you think you will ever add daily life anecdotes? You and your family are terribly interesting and I would love to hear more. Tell us a good story about your kids.
"You are going to be unstoppable now. Who knew that you would be so inspirational in your writing. It seems like the whole world opens up to you when you read poetry, and I know you have many poems just waiting to share with us."
[Etta concluded, "I wish I had the nerve to post a comment but I'm not sure I have the courage to have lots of other people read my writing." Well, Et, now they have! Thanks for being so optimistic on my behalf, and for sharing with us all!]
Eileen suggested that "The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker is a medium whose own being is a message -- not a mere channel but an offerer of love / motivation / comfort to fit the occasion. Better than seemingly random information coming at you from the great beyond, it aids the receiver in transcending, more of a transmission, in its best sense, vs a trance-emission.
"Creatively chosen, there is agency as well as receptivity, but it seems to me that some folks do their thing with an eye toward referring back to 'authorities' while others use extant literature creatively to respond to current circumstances, each more or less (just my bias, no slur on the first sort, just not my tribe). I like to collage the classical stuff and ~ omg! ~ I think I am about to say repurpose."
Collage? Repurpose? No kidding, Eileen! These terms are going to be just perfect my next post . . . see you in a fortnight!
SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Monday, January 28th
Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading