"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Friday, August 28, 2015

Luna Moth Summer

July 17th on the Garage Door

Our elegant summer visitor stayed all day, from early morning until around 11pm, somehow holding on to the garage door, even through hours of really stormy weather and strong winds. Halfway through the day, it occurred to me that both my car and my bike were in that garage, so in deference to the resplendent luna, I sought out other transportation for my errands!

I loved my sister Di's comment: "That is so awesome, such a rare thing to see. Lyla [8 1/2 year - old grand-daughter] is setting here with me and said, 'Oh! A Luna Moth.' She knows!"

Maybe Lyla already is, or soon will be, a fan of the Melendy Kids:
"Floating out of the dark, knocking against the overhang, came something so beautiful, so fairylike that Oliver hardly dared to breathe. The thing was a moth, but like no other moth that he had seen. Its wings were as wide as his two hands opened out, as frail as a pair of petals, and colored a pale, pale green: a moonlit silvery green.

" 'Gee,' whispered Oliver. He sat there staring. 'A luna! I never thought I'd see a real luna!'

"It came close, hovered against the screen, and paused there. He could see the long curved tails on its wings, the delicate white fur on its body and legs. Oliver thought he had never seen anything so perfect. He and the moth watched each other for a long moment; neither moved. . . .

"For a long time after that whenever he thought about the luna moth he felt happy. He was careful not to think about it too often. Just once in a while he would look into his own mind and let himself see it again: his discovery, his beautiful guest, his secret. Seeming more than a moth, it paused there at his window: rarest green fragile, perfect, living. The though of it made Oliver happy all over again"
(87 - 89).

from Then There Were Five
by Elizabeth Enright
July 27th at the Swimming Pool

We spotted a number of lunas at swimming pool over the summer. We rescued three in one day from the surface of the swimming pool and re - located them to the hibiscus hedge. Two of them flew away, but this one remained long enough for a photo op. Thanks to my friend Beata for sharing this informative link & amazing poem:

Egg to wings: 51 weeks;
Wings to dead: 1 week.

We grieve for the Luna moth,
Its spectacular short life,
Beauty, beauty, beauty, beauty, beauty.
Living only a week
to seek, mate, die.

Perhaps we project too much,
Perhaps there is no intelligence to mourn,
Perhaps there is only a bundle of instincts,
Atop that fuzzy white body,
between those green wings.

The leaf-consuming caterpillar
(also greenly beautiful),
Has five months to eat, wander, eat, ponder,
To taste the beauty of a sumac leaf,
To feel sun, dark, rain, wind.

Then seven long contemplative months as a pupa,
Softly moving inside, always thinking.
Knowing the tides of seasons' slow change,
Until it is time
To surrender all conscious thought,
To become a pale night flyer.

~ David Mark

Thanks to my friend Debra
for sharing her photo from last summer:

Next Fortnightly Post
Monday, September 14th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

Friday, August 14, 2015

The RedBear Connection

Welcome RedBear!

Back in early June, my older sister Peggy sent this "picture of a kitty who has decided we are his family. I think I'll keep him and see if I can convert him to an indoor kitty. When I saw him outside the front door this morning I just had to take his picture because it reminded me so much of your quote, 'a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious.' Doesn't he look like he just belongs here? If I keep him I'll call him RedBear because he's a ginger boy and built like a little bear."

In addition to the E. M. Forster quotation, the words of Mark Twain came to mind when I saw RedBear waiting so proudly and patiently on Peg's front porch: "A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title?" Clearly, my sister has a perfect house, and this cat knew it! As a discerning feline, he could sense that this dwelling proved its title and chose it for his new home!

Coincidentally, my older brother Dave once had a similar cat with a similar name, and shared his story: "This cat looks a lot like the cat we had in Crailsheim that we named Bear. He was a big old woolly street cat that learned the joys of being a kept cat indoors. When he died of kidney failure I spent the last night with him laying on the laundry room floor. He woke me up to say goodbye and then passed right before my eyes. Needless to say, it was a long weekend. Good luck hanging on to this boy. He really looks like a keeper!"

At the end of the month, I asked Peg if RedBear was still hanging around, and she sent the good news: "RedBear is now an inside boy. Very sweet and fits in like he was always here. . . . learning the joys of being an indoor boy after living outdoors . . . getting along fine with his 'brother from a different mother.' His biggest problem is that we have to control his food or he gets sick. He's so used to fighting for his food that he wolfs down any food put in front of him. He's a wonderful addition to my home."

Thanks to Peg
for sharing these pictures of RedBear & Squiggles
and for thinking of my Fortnightly Blog!

Thanks to other readers as well, who have entered so gratifyingly into the spirit of my various blogposts:

Tracy: "I love that you save these things, it reminds me I have a kindred spirit out there who takes joy in the little things of our past and, with that, those little things become bigger."

Brigit: "Kitti Carriker, you're a cultural force of nature!"

Evelet: "Kit o' my heart! . . . May you always err on the side of audacity."

Jan: You understand "the power of story and poetry to transform and transcend. I am forever in awe of you and so so grateful to know you."

Jim: Kitti, you are the Keeper of Memories. Thanks for sharing them with so many . . . you are an essential connection.

Milly: "Today we were discussing diary and journal genres. Then we talked about blogs. I told the students that one of my friends has a blog. They wanted to see it, and I showed them. They thought it was cool and so literary, but the boys were more impressed that Sam played football for Purdue!"

Kitti: That is so sweet! Thanks for doing that! I wish all my friends who teach would show their students my blog, or maybe give them an extra credit assignment to read one of my posts! I always LOVED the concept of extra credit (both as student and teacher)! Sam has now graduated from Purdue and moved on to New York City, but I'll be sure to tell him that his legend has traveled to Northeast Missouri!

Why Connection & Coincidence?
Because as Henry James says:
"The whole of anything is never told;
you can only take what groups together."

In closing, I share the words of the ageless, timeless Hafiz:
"Still, though think about this, this great pull in us to connect."

and this excellent song about
Coincidence & Connection:
Come and See
Look up here,
Most people can't make out the difference
But it could be a small change
In the light

And sometimes
We watch our lives align
But the questions remain:
Did you will it? Is Sight benign?

Is it coincidence or connection?
Come and See
Fall to your knees
and hear the call
Are you still lovesick for it all?

Is it you that
Brighthens the same sea that
Curves my path and life-lines
Is your shine like mine?

And the difference between
Betting your life or dying
Could reveal itself in a small change
In the light

Is this coincidence or connection?
come and see
fall to your knees
and hear the call
Are you still lovesick for it all?
[emphasis added]

Sung by Young Galaxy
In one of our favorite summer movies:
The Way Way Back

Just Look at RedBear . . .
Such a Foxy Gentleman!

Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, August 28th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading