"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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Laden With Fruit

FRESH FALL FRUIT, ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
~ Thanksgiving Bounty ~
Thanks to Cathleen and Ben for the fruit and for the pic . . .

. . . and for sharing!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit
; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
[emphasis added]

William Blake, 1757 - 1827

Thanks to my friend Katie Field
for the Opinel Paring Knife

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Comical Prayer for the Season
from the movie that we watch every Thanksgiving:
Home for the Holidays

Henry / Dad / Charles Durning: "Dear Lord, We realize just that lately everything is changing too damn fast. And all sorts of things are always the same, even things we hated like shoveling the turkey and stuffing the snow, and going through the same crap year in and year out -- "

Adele / Mom / Anne Bancroft: "Come on, your food is getting cold."

Henry: "As I was saying Dear Lord before my wife interrupted me, even those old - fashioned pain - in - the - ass traditions, like Thanksgiving, which really mean something to us, even though, god - damn - it, we couldn't tell you what it is, are starting to stop; and thousand - year - old trees are falling over dead, and they shouldn't. That's all from this end. Amen"

After dinner:

Adele: "It's all relative."

Claudia / Holly Hunter: ". . . that's what the day is supposed to be all about,
right? . . .
"

Adele: "That, and giving thanks that we don't have to go through this for another year. Except we do because those bastards went and put Christmas right in the middle, just to punish us."

Henry: "Oh shit! Deck the Halls! I can't wait for god - damn Christmas."

As everyone departs:

Adele: "There's never enough time, right? . . . I think I'm never going to see my kids again."

Claudia: "Come on, Mom. Buck up. There's always Christmas."

Henry: "Yeah, whether we like it or not."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, December 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT ~ Fruit in Season
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Title Like a Book

HAPPY NAILS, ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Happy Halloween Nails
It was just a fluke of timing that my orange tips
coincided with the Illinois Game (colors orange & navy).

I seem to remember this same thing happening once before.
Ben & Sam said, "Mom! Not orange!"
Well, no harm, no foul -- we won both times!

Pumpkin Spice

Purdue Snazzy

For a literary blogger, a large part of the fun of having your nails done is the poetic quality of the polish names. Puns abound, and the word - play provides endless entertainment. Kind of like strolling through the library, reading title after title of a hundred books that I will never have time to read, I can easily stand at the polish display for an hour, turning over each bottle to read the clever names.

There are the food names: Beets Me!, Bitter Chocolate, Chocolate Shake Speare, Malaga Wine, Mimosas for Mr and Mrs (suggested for weddings), and Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore. There are those which immediately conjure a specific color: Teal the Cows Come Home, Turquoise and Caicos, Down to My Last Penny, My Chihuahua Bites (ouch!). My favorites are the concept names, where you must use your imagination to figure out what connection might exist between the name and the color: Amster-Damsel in Distress, Can’t Find My Czechbook, I'm not Really a Waitress, Nomad's Dream, Not Like the Movies, Optimistic, Road Trip.

My friend Katy has an idea for a novel in which each chapter is named after a polish color. So imagine how delighted we were to discover a novelist -- Gabrielle Zevin -- who shares our interest in these color names and has actually used them to advance the plot of her novel The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. As the main character Amelia explains to young Maya:
Amelia takes Maya to the drugstore and lets her choose any polish color she likes. "How do you pick?" Maya says.

"Sometimes I ask myself how I'm feeling," Amelia says. "Sometimes I ask myself how I'd like to be feeling."

Maya studies the rows of glass bottles. She selects a red then puts it back. She takes iridescent silver off the shelf.

"Ooh, pretty. Here's the best part. Each color has a name," Amelia tells her. "Turn the bottle over."

Maya does. "It's a title like a book! Pearly Riser," she reads. What's your's called?"

Amy has selected a a pale blue. "Keeping Things Light."
It is not lost on Maya's dad, A. J., despite Amelia's protestations, that perhaps her ever - changing nail colors reveal a hidden clue to the status of their tentative romance. Later in the day, he asks,
"What color are you wearing today?"

"Keeping Things Light."

"Is that significant?"

"No," she says.
On previous occasions, A. J. has asked Amelia, "What hue is that?" One day the answer was "Rose - Colored Glasses," another time "Blues Traveler." As the months pass, and Amelia and A. J. decide [spoiler alert!] to marry, Maya picks the perfect wedding day present for Amelia: " . . . a bottle of orange nail polish . . . A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find."

(132 - 133, emphsis added, 156; see also previous FN & KL)

Available on amazon

Nail polish serves as an effective metaphor in poetry as well as fiction. The color names chosen by poet Anya Krugovoy Silver symbolize not only the brief life span of the manicure itself but also a foreshortened human existence, opening with a Baby's Breath, a First Dance, and the recklessness of youth -- Russian Roulette; closing with a Curtain Call, accepting life's ultimate fate -- Bone (the skeleton takes the day):
Red Never Lasts
There’s no doubt it’s the most glamorous,
the one you reach for first — its luscious gloss.
Russian Roulette, First Dance, Apéritif, Cherry Pop.
For three days, your nails are a Ferris wheel,
a field of roses, a flashing neon Open sign.
Whatever you’re wearing feels like a tight dress
and your hair tousles like Marilyn’s on the beach.
But soon, after dishwashing, typing, mopping,
the chips begin, first at the very tips and edges
where you hardly notice, then whole shards.
Eventually, the fuss is too much to maintain.
Time to settle in to the neutral tones.
Baby’s Breath, Curtain Call, Bone.


by American Poet ~ Anya Krugovoy Silver, 1968 - 2018
in her book From Nothing
On living with cancer and the connectedness of all things in life, the poet explains:
“I have a tremendous amount of joy in my life, and my joy exists with pain. I don’t see those two things as completely separate. All of life is woven together, and separating the strands is impossible.”

Anya Krugovoy Silver
on Georgia Public Radio
One more connection comes from the futuristic novel Player Piano, a post World War II tale of Dawn or Doom written in 1952 by the visionary Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. In his imagined dystopia, the brave new machines have all but displaced meaningful human labor. Vonnegut explores the likelihood and the qualms of a society that reveres engineering above all else. However, it seems that he misguessed when he describes the "streetcorner manicure machine" that after a few minutes of buffing leaves the user "with gleaming, red - enameled nails" (239).

As it turns out, sixty - six years later, clients still value the undivided attention of a personalized, detailed manicure or pedicure. No machine has taken the place of that yet. What Vonnegut says of the haircut likewise remains true of the manicure:
"Used to be sort of high and mighty, sort of priests, those doctors and lawyers and all, but they're beginning to look more and more like mechanics. Dentists are holding up pretty good, though. They're the exception that proves the rule, I say. And barbering -- one of the oldest professions on earth, incidentally -- has held up better than all the rest. . . . It does seem like the machines took all the good jobs, where a man could be true to hisself and false to nobody else, and left all the silly ones, And I guess I'm just about the end of a race, standing here on my own two feet.

And I'm lucky barbering held out as long as it did -- long enough to take care of me. . . .

Anyway, I hope they keep those barber machines out of Miami Beach for another two years, and then I'll be ready to retire and the hell with them"
(205 - 08).
In conclusion, I think the only thing left to say is long live the hands - on manicure and the colorful polishes with titles like books:

Back to Reality,
Envy the Adventure,
Adam Said “It’s New Year’s, Eve,”
Hello Kitty: Let's Be Friends
!


SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Wednesday, November 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT ~ RED: Dress, Lipstick, Fingernails & Ersatz
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Miracle of Mushrooms

MUSHROOMS, ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Giant Puffball Mushroom,
about the size of a soccer ball, in our backyard.
I placed the apple and pears alongside for scale,
only to be queried by my son Sam: "How do I know
those aren't just miniature apples and pears?"
Haha!

Searching not for a Halloween scare,
but merely for further information concerning
the Calvatia_gigantea,
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I googled
Wikipedia and this creepy face suddenly appeared
on my laptop, leering eerily amongst the puffballs.

"How do we know that isn't just a shrunken head?!"
Or, as my daughter - in - law Cathleen said:
"Wow! That takes scale to another level!"

We are surrounded by the miracle of mushrooms!
Last month, my friend Beata sent an update of the
late summer adventures that she was having near Warsaw:

"Dear friends,
I’ve been in Poland already five days. . . . This weekend we went to visit friends who live in Gostynin. This small village, located in the Mazowsze Region, is known for a wonderful fresh microclimate created by pine forestry. We went mushroom hunting today, and I include photos of our treasure."
"Sending you warm greetings from the forest!"

"Mushrooms on the porch table,
lit by the afternoon sunshine!"



Elegant and mystical . . .

. . . just like Sylvia Plath's poem!
Notice how the mushrooms speak for themselves:
Mushrooms

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot's in the door.


American poet, Sylvia Plath (1932 - 1963)
**************

This, and all mushrooms above
(except for the Giant Puffballs)
photographed by Beata Ribeiro
Poland ~ September 2018
THANKS BEATA!

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Wednesday, November 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Getting Almost Homesick

A HOMESTEAD WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
I don't have a picture of my great - great - grandfather
Charles Gordon Hartman (1824 - 1898),
but I do have this 1920 photo of two of his children:
Charles Hartman (1854 – 19??) and
Sarah Elisabeth Hartman Lindsey (1856 - 1937; my great - grandmother),
and two of Sarah's children:
Paul Jones Lindsey (1895 - 1983; my grandfather)
and Gail Hartman Lindsey (1899 - 1944)

Two weeks ago, I shared a letter that Sarah (pictured above) wrote in 1893, mailed from her homestead in Nebraska to her niece in Ohio. When Sarah and her husband James and their young children left for Nebraska in 1887, they were accompanied by Sarah's father, Charles Gordon Hartman.

In the following letter, he describes the earlier years of their homesteading experience, before the drought overtook Nebraska.

from Charles Gordon Hartman, 1824 – 1898

to his eldest daughter "Emma"
Emily Eugenia Hartman, 1846 – 1928

*********************

Madrid, Nebraska, written on February 15, 1889

My dear Daughter,

Am going to town tomorrow; and take this opportunity to drop you a few lines and let you know that we are all well and hope you and your little family are the same. I was awful glad to get your last letter, and should have written sooner but have been very busy helping Jimmie [his son - in - law ~ Sarah's husband James] to get his house and stabling fixed in time for Joe Young, who arrived with his stock on the first of February, and his family get here a week ago today. They are all very well pleased with the country and all their surroundings. Jimmie did not get his house completed to move into but moved into a house adjoining his claim until we can get the house completed.

My house is up but not plastered yet. We will get at it next week and finish it up so I hope that when I write next time I will write from The Lone Ranch. I have not given it any other name yet as that seems to be the most appropriate as yet. I never enjoyed better health any winter for the last 20 years than I have this. I never had such an appetite before in my life. I eat more than twice as much in a day as i ever did and my food agrees with me. I have not weighed since I have been here but think I must weigh 15 or so more pounds than I did when I came.

You ask what difference there is between a preemption claim and a homestead. A preemption claim can be paid out, after 6 months residence upon it with a reasonable amount of improvements, by paying $1.25 per acre. Or you can let it run 33 months before you prove up and pay for it, after proving up on your preemptions. You can after that take a homestead, which you can improve, and get a Patent from the govt for nothing after 5 years' residence on it. And you can at any time file a claim upon 160 acres of land as a tree or timber claim, and by that means get possession of 480 acres of land for $200, the amount you paid for proving up your preemption.

Mr. Young says that Frank and James Ca?? are coming out this month to see the country. I hope Frank [his son Franklin, b 1855] will come out. If he does, I know he will like it well enough to see out and come out here; he could make four times as much money here with half the capital as he does there. I have not had a line from Frank since I left home, but I heard yesterday that there was a registered letter in the office for me, and I suppose it is from Frank as I have written him twice for money since I have been here and have not heard from him yet. My insurance has been delinquent since the 30th of last month and it will take $10.80 to pay for last and this month which be due in a few days. I hope that he has sent me enough pay that and busy some things that I will e compelled to buy before I can commence housekeeping.

I expect I will feel our loss more than I do now when I get moved to myself. You write in your last letter that you lay awake at nights thinking of Mother [Ellen Brewer, 1821 - 1880]. You must try my dear girl and bear the loss without worrying yourself so much, for I know the poor dear soul is better off than she was when she was with us.

I did not sell your sewing machine but left it with Mrs. Crozier to sell. She has not sold it yet. Mr. Young says Blanch said Sam Sh??'s widow would buy it about April when she got some money due her for the sale of some horses Sam owned before he died. You must write me as soon as you get this letter for I am getting almost homesick to hear from you all. I hope the baby and all the rest of you are well.

Sallie [Sarah] has not had time to write you as she has had 3 extra men to cook for besides James and me for 19 days, men who were working on Jimmie's well, and just got it done yesterday -- but he has one extra hand yet for a week or ten days longer and after that she will have some time to write you. Sallie's baby is getting to talk a good many words. She calls me Grammy Papa tolerably plain [this would be little Nellie 1887 - 1991, who died two years later when she fell from a horse]. She and all the rest of the children are fat as bears.

Tell Eyrie and Fred to write me as I want to hear from you all often. Send me some newspapers as often as you can; even if they are old it will be news to me. Jimmie is living in the house on the claim he wanted you to come out and take adjoining his old claim. The young man who owns it proved up on the 7th of January and got a loan of $500 on it and when I heard that Frank was coming out, I asked the young man if he would sell it; he says he would for $1200. There is but very little vacant land in this township, and in six months there will not be an acre vacant. Jimmy paid $50 cash for 19 days work boring his well, that ought to be done in 5 or 6 days with a proper set of tools. I could have made over $200.00 by this time if I had brought them with me when I came. I do hope Frank will buy me a set of tools.

I must close with love to all -- Your loving father, C. G. Hartman


*********************

A story of the Nebraska hardships:
"But at last a thaw came. Thin rivulets of snow water trickled for an hour so and were soaked up by the hungry, warming earth. A greenish - brown mist hung about the cottonwoods across the river. Gray April wept her dripping days away in mist that beaded every bush and tree, but there was no rain, not enough moisture to start the grass. . . . they might raise nothing at all this year, have nothing to eat . . .

"When the fires of autumn ran yellow through the low places, Marie gripped the unaccustomed lines over the temperamental buckskins, while Jules swung the leather - lashed willow whip. With a jerk of the wagon they were off into the hills, the land of deep - grassed valleys, blue lakes . . . the habitation of gray wolves, cattlemen, and rattlesnakes . . . ."
(207, 327)
*********************

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Sunday, October 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Friday, September 28, 2018

Thus Far Our Experience

A HOMESTEAD WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
My Great - Grandparents
James Sankey Lindsey (1846 - 1921) & Sarah Elisabeth Hartman
in Summer 1913 with their grown children
Sitting by father: Wayne Wallace (1889 - 1951)
Sitting by mother: Samuel Gordon (1893 - 1918)
Standing, L to R: Lillian Virginia (1897 - 1980), Gail Hartman (1899 - 1944),
My Grandfather Paul Jones Lindsey (1895 - 1983)
Bertha Mabel (1880 - 1968), James Sankey, Jr. (1883 - 1965),
Edna Beatrice (1891 - 1921)

Two weeks ago, I quoted several paragraphs from a letter that my great - grandmother wrote during her homesteading years in Nebraska. Here is the letter in its entirety, complete with Sarah's views on various governmental homestead measures and Veterans Affairs.

from Sarah Elisabeth Hartman Lindsey, 1856 - 1937

to her niece Eyrie Winegarden Hadley, 1866–1943

Eyrie was the daughter of Sarah's half - sister
"Emma" Emily Eugenia Hartman, 1846 – 1928

*********************

Madrid, Nebraska, July 30, 1893

Dear Eyrie,

Your truly welcome letter of the 9th was rec'd the following Saturday night. Found us all well, and so glad to know that your mother is again improving and we fervently trust that it will continue so until she recovers.

I am (nearly) alone this afternoon, with my babies Beatrice and Gordon both asleep. Jimmie went 5 miles away to see a sick horse this morning, taking Wayne with him. Mabel and Jim are at Sunday School three and half miles distant since dinner. And I have a quiet time in which to write. You know, Eyrie, few of the homesteaders have another room where they can go and read or write undisturbed.

We had a delightful shower last night, and I was reading today little poem entitled "The Music of the Rain" and thought the author did not know in what sense it was musical to us. It was indeed a grateful sound, after having been so long without rain. I have felt so deeply concerned about your mother's illness that I have not written you much "news" lately nor have I spoken of our lack of rain.

We have had the worst drought this summer that we have ever had. We have always had what we call our spring rains, until this year we had none until the first of June we had a thunder shower, and two light showers since, that of last - evening being one of them. This is the first spring without some early garden vegetables. Even 3 years ago when we suffered so from drought we had early vegetables, but later ones such as beans, peas and beets, etc. did not grow. But this year we have not had any of any description -- nor a bite of fruit. Our wheat was blown out entirely by the severe spring winds and the drought has burned up the corn. It is general too, and the coming winter will be the worst that the homesteaders of this county have ever known.

I see by the papers that the governor of Kansas has called an extra session of the Legislature to afford relief to the drought stricken farmers in the western half of the state, immediately south of us.

Well, as a result of this succession of crop failures, Jimmie [her husband James] has at length concluded to take your advice and go where he can gain something for his labor but he cannot go until his time on the homestead expires, which will be a year and a half yet.

Thus far our experience in this country: a good year follows a general drought and invariably a great many eastern people who have heard of the rich land. So long as the poor fools will come and will have the land, we hope to dispose of ours so that we will not lose everything by this dearly bought experience. It had to be experience with us too for we thought it was a grand country, and have laughed at folks for moving away. People cannot live on a crop once in three years. That is the average -- as we have found it, but we kept on hoping that the rainbelt would be extended and we would have rain more regularly. We have read, and heard it said,that agriculture extends the rainbelt westward from the 100th meridian, but I do not believe it will ever do it permanently. The effects of the rainfall we do have are carried away by the constant winds. I have not kept account but I don't believe we have had a dozen days this last five months without strong winds all day long -- sometimes ceasing at nightfall but renewing their energies with the sunrise.

People are deceived by the appearance of the country and the occasional good crops. A very wealthy gentleman from Philadelphia has purchased hundreds of acres of land north of Madrid and has been at great expense to have it plowed this summer. Another from the central part of this state has done the same. Had we the amount of moisture required to grow vegetation, never was there a more fertile country; but we are so far from any stream that it is impossible to irrigate it. The winds are very destructive and disagreeable, once the sandy soil is cultivated the wind blows it in great clouds across the country almost blinding the people and filling the houses with dust. This is what we call a sandstorm. It blows the pig pens full of sand like drifts of snow so that the pigs can walk out over the top of the pen.

When the thunder shower I have mentioned came up the first of June little Jim was just coming in with his herd at noon and it was right in the worst of it when he got them to the coal gate and Mabel, Jimmie & I all helped and he had an awful time to get then to go in, but finally succeeded, and Mabel & I came in the house to get on dry clothing, when there came a terrible flash of lightning (Jim had gone to put this horse up in the barn & his pa was closing the corral gate when we came in). I rushed out of the house in an instant and saw Jimmie lying by the corral gate. He received a pretty severe shock, did not regain consciousness for awhile, and we had an awful time to get him in the house. It was in the hardest of the shower too; he was sick abed several days from the effect of it.

He [Jimmie] had his [Civil War] pension granted some time ago -- six dollars a month. He thought it so little. When granted he considered it almost an insult, but if it were not for it now we'd nearly starve. I see [President Grover] Cleveland is having all the New Law of 1890 Pensions suspended for sixty days until all the evidence can be reviewed. We may come under that. Don't know yet. There will be a great many pensioners cut off during the present administration.

While Jimmie was sick an old friend & wife who used to live in J’s native town in Ohio, came eight miles to see him. They are well-to-do people spending a few months here for their health. They brought him some oranges, a can of peaches, and Gordon [Uncle Sam, as a baby] a new dress. After Wayne had eaten of the peaches, his papa was telling him we would move east where fruit grows and then we could have some. I was out, and when I came in, Wayne said, “And Mama don't you think they grow on trees”! It has only been a year since he learned there was such a thing as a tree. He scarcely ever sees one, they usually die in the first year.

Mrs. Jung brought so much shrubbery with her & had not but one bush on her place, after nearly five years of trying. I rec'd this paper & the other papers last - night. Many thanks Eyrie for the same. God know I never want you to feel the sting of poverty as we have. I hope in some way some time to repay you for your kindness to us.

I saw Grandpa a week ago just for a few minutes. I went uptown for the mail & he was in too. He is well. You must not feel hard toward him Eyrie for not writing oftener. He has worked awfully hard all summer and not writing much & with his hard work and age too all together his hand is stiff and tired and he no doubt does not feel like writing. I did not tell him what you said. He was awfully glad to hear of your mama being better. Tomorrow is the 31st, his 69th birthday. I wrote Frank the other day to send him some help. He will not have anything for his hard work. I think he will go to Frank's this fall to stay. We don't know where we'll go but we will certainly go -- if we live -- as soon as we can dispose of our claims.

Eyrie, I am glad you take such a sensible view of your trouble, for it is something you cannot help, and I think Fred is a grand good fellow to help you bear it too.

I read a poem two or three years ago, perhaps you have seen it -- about a census taker who called at the home of a man who had a son that lost his mind from a disease incurred in the war. In telling the census taker of it [the son was at home] and on his remarking about it being unfortunate for them, the father replied "Unfortunate -- yes: but we can't complain. It's a living death . . . when the body clings to a life of shame and the soul has gone to the bad. But Bill is out of the reach of harm and dangers of every kind. We only take care of his body but God takes care of his mind." Isn't that a beautiful thought and so comforting.

Write soon -- hope to hear about your mom.

Love to all, S.

*********************

A few lines from one of my favorite novels:
"I do not remember crossing the Missouri River, or anything about the long day's journey through Nebraska. Probably by that time I had crossed so many rivers that I was dull to them. The only thing very noticeable about Nebraska was that it was still, all day long, Nebraska. . . .

"All the years that have passed have not dimmed my memory of that first glorious autumn. The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower - bordered roads. . . . sunflower - bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.

"I used to love to drift along the pale yellow cornfields, looking for the damp spots one sometimes found at their edges, where the smartweed soon turned a rich copper color and the narrow brown leaves hung curled like cocoons about the swollen joints of the stem. Sometimes I went south to visit our German neighbors and to admire their catalpa grove, or to see the big elm tree that grew up out of a deep crack in the earth and had a hawk’s nest in its branches. Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons. It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious."
(5, 28 - 29)
*********************

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Sunday, October 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Friday, September 14, 2018

Talking About the Homestead

A HOMESTEAD WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Map of the Family Homesteads and Surrounding Area ~ 1890s
Sketched out in the 1940s by Wayne Wallace Lindsey (1889 - 1951)

Madrid, Perkins County, Nebraska

Detail of Perkins County ~ Grant = County Seat

In 1887 my great-grandparents (my mother's paternal grandparents), James Sankey Lindsey and Sarah Elisabeth Hartman Lindsey, headed west from Ohio to settle a homestead in Perkins County, Nebraska, taking along their three children: Mabel (b 1880 in Ohio), Jim (b 1883 in Ohio), and Nellie (b 1887, along the way, in Illinois). During their years in Nebraska, three more children were born: Wayne (b 1889), Beatrice (b 1891) and Sam (b 1893). My grandfather Paul (b 1895 in Oklahoma) and his two younger sisters Virginia (b 1897 in Kansas) and Gail (b 1899 in Kansas) were born after the family gave up the homestead claim and returned to Kansas.

Sometime in the 1940s, my grandfather's brother Wayne sketched out the above map, recalling all of the homesteading families who lived near them in Madrid, Nebraska (in the 1890s). The two Hartman - Lindsey homesteads are near the middle: "Grand Pa" (Sarah's father, Charles Gordon Hartman) marked with an "X" and "H sted" marked with an X (James & Sarah's place). Another "X" on the "Road from Madrid" marks the "School where mother taught" (Mother = Sarah Elisabeth Hartman Lindsey). If you look at the right hand column listing all the other families, you can see at the very top of the list is another school -- maybe "Rucker" School. Going south from there, the families seem to be: Williams, Randall, Simon, Janes, Bauer, Kegras, Cutler; to the west are Olesons, two unnamed farms, and Kenaugh; and further west on the "Road from Madrid" is Sam Culver.

It was the adventure of a lifetime, but it was also a tough, harsh time, filled with adversity, frustration, and loss. Saddest of all was the death of 4 1/2 - year - old Nellie in 1891, when she fell from a horse. Yet somehow my Great - Grandmother Sarah persisted, caring for the other children, teaching school, and maintaining connections with relatives back East.

Sarah's account of the devastating drought reads like a testimomial in a history book (for additional narratives, see The Great West, p 424; and "Drought and Depression in 1890s Nebraska").

On July 30, 1893, she wrote to her niece in Ohio:
We have had the worst drought this summer that we have ever had. We have always had what we call our spring rains, until this year we had none until the first of June we had a thunder shower [which knocked James unconscious!], and two light showers since . . . . This is the first spring without some early garden vegetables. Even 3 years ago when we suffered so from drought we had early vegetables, but later ones such as beans, peas and beets, etc. did not grow. But this year we have not had any of any description -- nor a bite of fruit. Our wheat was blown out entirely by the severe spring winds and the drought has burned up the corn. It is general too, and the coming winter will be the worst that the homesteaders of this county have ever known.

I see by the papers that the governor of Kansas has called an extra session of the Legislature to afford relief to the drought stricken farmers in the western half of the state, immediately south of us.

Well, as a result of this succession of crop failures, Jimmie [her husband James] has at length concluded to take your advice and go where he can gain something for his labor but he cannot go until his time on the homestead expires, which will be a year and a half yet.

Thus far our experience in this country: a good year follows a general drought and invariably a great many eastern people who have heard of the rich land. So long as the poor fools will come and will have the land, we hope to dispose of ours so that we will not lose everything by this dearly bought experience. It had to be experience with us too for we thought it was a grand country, and have laughed at folks for moving away. People cannot live on a crop once in 3 years. That is the average -- as we have found it, but we kept on hoping that the rainbelt would be extended and we would have rain more regularly. . . . The effects of the rainfall we do have are carried away by the constant winds. I have not kept account but I don't believe we have had a dozen days this last five months without strong winds all day long -- sometimes ceasing at nightfall but renewing their energies with the sunrise.

People are deceived by the appearance of the country and the occasional good crops. A very wealthy gentleman from Philadelphia has purchased hundreds of acres of land north of Madrid and has been at great expense to have it plowed this summer. Another from the central part of this state has done the same. Had we the amount of moisture required to grow vegetation, never was there a more fertile country; but we are so far from any stream that it is impossible to irrigate it. The winds are very destructive and disagreeable, once the sandy soil is cultivated the wind blows it in great clouds across the country almost blinding the people and filling the houses with dust. This is what we call a sandstorm. It blows the pig pens full of sand like drifts of snow so that the pigs can walk out over the top of the pen.

. . . We don't know where we'll go but we will certainly go -- if we live -- as soon as we can dispose of our claims.
[Letter to be continued next time . . . ]

As the historians will tell you, immigration to Nebraska slowed to a halt in these years and thousands of covered wagons (18,000 of them in 1891 alone) reversed their westward path and returned to friendlier climes. In 1895, three of these wagons belonged to James and Sarah, who was expecting my grandfather at the time.
In his autobiography, my grandfather writes:
I was born in a covered wagon in the fall of 1895 in Choctaw Indiana Territory near Stigler, Oklahoma. My father left Perkins County, Nebraska, two months before I was born, with his family in three wagons outfitted for sleeping, and with 30-some loose horses He was headed for Arkansas and intended to trade horses for land.

They came through Caney, Kansas, and on southeast when they had to halt for my birth.

By this time they were all chilling. Everyone was full of ague [malarial fever] from drinking water out of creeks. They saw graves being dug in every graveyard they passed, so decided to come back north.

The country around Caney had appealed to them so they came back thus way and traded horses for eighty acres of land in the Sand Hills of Cascade Community, immediately west of Caney.

By the time they got settled they had been on the road and in camp one year, I was ten months old when we stopped one - half mile west of Cascade Schoolhouse."
Paul Jones Lindsey (1895 - 1983)

*******************

Here I am with my grandfather in 1981,
around the time that he jotted down the above
story of his childhood and recounted several
hours of oral history that my kind husband Gerry
has painstakingly transcribed from cassette tapes
to digital files for safekeeping.

When I encountered the following poem in Plainsongs -- appropriately, a literary magazine from the Great Plains of Nebraska -- I felt the truth of my ancestors' homesteading experience:
This Is Not the Farm I Talk About
When I Talk About the Farm


I.
Show me a vase of daisies,
and I will turn over dirt, point
to chopped root of thistle
pulled the day before.

All summer
I filled the back of her truck
with purple flowers
then set the field on fire.

II.
If you squint, you won't see
sweat or prickled skin or the way
we curled away at night
from the brown recluse
that paced our headboard,
from a loaded revolver,
from spirits of animals stretched
and pinned to the wall -- for protection
or company, I don't know,
we were very alone.

Sometimes I heard wheelbarrows
bumping over rocks, saw horses
running in the two - by - fours
we'd used to build the barn. Or, if not
horses, someone's face missing
half its nose, a small child
rocking. A splinter of wood
was a gash of cloud,
and it all meant something.

III.
The chicks are learning to pluck
maggots from a steaming pile of straw.
It is winter,and you can warm your feet
to burning on last week's shit
stomped flat between two trees.


Genevieve N. Williams
Contemporary American Poet ~ Nebraska & Iowa
Associate Editor Dwight Marsh explains that "This poem is an anti - pastoral, a tradition with a distinguished history, probably as old as the pastoral itself. The pastoral idealized country life where the only problems were indifferent maidens and calluses on finger tips from strumming lutes. . . . But debunking the myth of idyllic country life is wide spread. . . .

"'This Is Not the Farm . . . ' enumerates some brute realities of rural life: thistles, fires, spiders, sweat, armaments, predators, injury, splinters, the rawness of the life cycle of ingestion and excretion in a range of animals . . . . The poem is a bitter lament for the hard life of farming, in terse forceful images and language
."

Plainsongs, Vol XXXV, #3, pp 2 - 3
Spring 2015, 35th Anniversary Issue

In one of those remarkable literary coincidences that I love writing about on this blog, I was recently thumbing through one of my old notebooks of saved poetry from 1984. One of my favorites that year was "The Drama Critic Warns of Cliches" by Evan Zimroth, photocopied from Poetry magazine (April 1984). In all these thirty - four years, I can't recall ever having stopped to read the poem on the facing page until that day last month:
Mute

Once, on the last ice-hauling,
the sled went through the surface
of the frozen pond,
pulling the son under
the thrashing hooves
of horses. Listening for him

after all her tears was perhaps
what drew the mother
into that silence. Long afternoons
she sat with the daughter,
speaking in the sign language
they invented together,
going deaf to the world.

How, exactly, did they touch
their mouths? What was the thought
of the old man on the porch
growing so drunk by nightfall
he could not hear
mosquitoes in his ears?

There is so much no one remembers
about the farm where sound,
even the bawling of the unmilked cows,
came to a stop. Even the man’s name,

which neighbors must have spoken
passing by in twilight, on their way
to forgetting it forever.


Wesley McNair
Contemporary American Poet, New Hampshire & Maine
In a radio interview with McNair, Mary Kuechenmeister observes that "Drawing from his personal experiences, McNair's poetry is emblematic of both family and economic hardships, and New England living." For example, McNair recalls the time during his childhood when his stepfather "began building a garage, which we lived in for many years, actually, while he got the wherewithal to start a house. So this garage was probably one of the most forlorn family homes in existence."

In "Mute," McNair memorializes the bleak reality of rural farming, the untimely loss of life, the relentless elements, and the inevitability of nature. If the farm itself grows mute, then we must talk -- and write -- about it for its own sake and for our own. Although from different parts of the country, both Wesley McNair and Genevieve Williams insist on the anti - pastoral rather than the cozy romantic Home on the Range. Their poems bear witness to the lived reality of my great - grandparents, to the persistence and stamina required of them in their search for a homestead and a home.

"Barber ~ Shop ~ W. W. Lindsey"
One of my Great - Uncle Wayne's Barbershops

Some of my second cousins: Dick, Katheryn (top left)
Marilee, Joyce, Jeannie (front row) Fitzwater
Wish I could name the other two, but alas I cannot!
Nor do I know the exact location of the shop but know
that Wayne had shops in Chautauqua, Elgin, Havana, Peru
~ all in Southeast Kansas ~
and that in one of them, he shaved Emmett Dalton!

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, September 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Greener Grass Over There

~ ORCHARD HOUSE ~
WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

Photo by Stan Lichens
Family Home of Louisa MayAlcott
Remember, in Little Women, this is the house of the "poor" family.
Yet by my standards -- when first reading the novel back in 1968 and,
even now, 50 years later -- Jo March lived in a dream house!

Just as the March girls were intrigued by the big house over there where Laurie lived, I imagined the enchanted life taking place right here in Orchard House where Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy embodied the creativity and romance that seemed hopelessly lacking from my painfully bland, uninspired split - foyer subdivision existence. It seems that there is always an over there, no matter where you are; and, in fact, it is always somewhere that you are not.

Double - Fronted Symmetry, Order, and Dignity
Everything I Longed For -- But Could Not Find

However problematic things may have been for the unprosperous March - Alcotts, their "humble" dwelling continues to represent beauty and perfection to countless readers and tourists who never cease in their admiration of the interior and exterior of this all - American New England home. The following selections capture the double bind of childhood nostalgia, ever convinced that the lawn next door had greener grass:
1.
Over There

Although we know they may
not be better necessarily,
over there we know at least
things are different, and we

sense we would be different
ourselves all these years
had we been born, brought
up, nurtured over there,

been given opportunities
to play the barefoot games,
had we had the friends
with the perfect trochee names

who lived on streets with
no sharp corners but with trees
that grew, merged over roads,
melded light like arches,

in houses shadowed with
pianos and portraits in oil,
who went to the alabaster
school on the low, smooth hill

with a library on whose
shelves are only first editions
bound in leather and halls
echoing a bronze tradition

like a language stranger
than ours, older and stronger,
the language of flawless children
into which ours fades forever.


by J. R. Solonche
in New Criterion (February 1993, Volume 11 Number 6, p 44)

2.

Yury Olesha (1899 - 1960)
from the novel Envy

"I would like to have been born in a small French town, to have grown up in daydreams, to have set myself some sort of high goal and one fine day to have walked out of that small town and come to the capital on foot, and there, working fanatically, to have reached my goal. But I wasn't born in the West. . . . I won't ever be either handsome or famous. I won't come walking from the small town into the capital." (17 - 19)

3.
Bruno Schulz (1892 - 1942)
from the novel The Street of Crocodiles

"Goodwill knows no obstacle; nothing can stand before deep desire. I have only to imagine a door, a door old and good, like in the kitchen of my childhood, with an iron latch and bolt. There is no room so walled up that it will not open with such a trusty door, if you have but the strength to insinuate it.” (19)

4.
from "Green, Green Grass of Home"
by American songwriter Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr. (1930 - 2016)
sung by Porter Wagoner (1927 - 2007)

The old home town looks the same as I step down from the train,
and there to meet me is my Mama and Papa.
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green, grass of home.
The old house is still standing, tho' the paint is cracked and dry,
and there's that old oak tree that I used to play on. . . .


5.
George Orwell (1903 - 1950)
from the novel Coming Up For Air

"But I’d wanted to come over Chamford Hill, the way we used to go when we biked home from fishing in the Thames, When you get just past the crown of the hill the trees open out and you can see Lower Binfield lying in the valley below you.

"It’s a queer experience to go over a bit of country you haven’t seen in twenty years. You remember it in great detail, and you remember it all wrong. All the distances are different, and the landmarks seem to have moved about. You keep feeling, surely this hill used to be a lot steeper — surely that turning was on the other side of the road? And on the other hand you’ll have memories which are perfectly accurate, but which only belong to one particular occasion. You’ll remember, for instance, a corner of a field, on a wet day in winter, with the grass so green that it’s almost blue, and a rotten gatepost covered with lichen and a cow standing in the grass and looking at you. And you’ll go back after twenty years and be surprised because the cow isn’t standing in the same place and looking at you with the same expression.

"As I drove up Chamford Hill I realized that the picture I’d had of it in my mind was almost entirely imaginary."
(Part Four, Chapter One, 175)
Binfield Heath

In every case, the tenuous belief in childhood innocence and unconditional acceptance is challenged by the reality of residual damage inflicted by careless adults and overbearing parents. Compounding the unreliable nostalgia of "the old home place" are the problematic parental units -- what a struggle it is to ever imagine them young, how difficult to know which memories are real, which perceptions accurate.
6.
Yury Olesha (1899 - 1960)
from the novel Envy

"I saw myself in the mirror and suddenly I sort of caught a similarity in me to my father. In reality there is no such similarity. I remembered: my parents' bedroom and I, a small boy, am watching my father changing his shirt. I was sorry for him. It's already too late for him to be handsome, famous; he's already done, finished and nothing more than what he is can he be. That's what I thought, feeling sorry for him and taking pride in my superiority. But now I recognized my father in me." (19)

7.
Julian Barnes (b 1946)
from the novel The Sense of an Ending

"In those days we imagined ourselves as being kept in some kind of holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. And when the moment came, our lives -- and time itself -- would speed up. How were we to know that our lives had in any case begun, that some advantage had already been gained, some damage already inflicted? Also, that our release would only be into a larger holding pen, whose boundaries would be at first undiscernible.

"[Our teachers] and parents used to remind us irritatingly that they too had once been young, and so could speak with authority. It's just a phase, they would insist. You'll grow out of it; life will teach you reality and realism. But back then we declined to acknowledge that they had ever been anything like us, and we knew that we grasped life - and truth, and morality, and art - far more clearly than our compromised elders. . . .

"This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature. Look at our parents -- were they the stuff of literature? At best, they might aspire to the condition of onlookers and bystanders, part of a social backdrop against which real, true, important things could happen."
(10, 12, 16)
***********************

I have yet to visit Orchard House. It's on my Bucket List; and, when I finally get there, I expect to find some greener grass and a finer house than the one I lived in as a girl. I hope to encounter the co-existence of Life and Literature, the embodiment and security of Home, where a talented young writer felt equally the pull to stay and the push to go, the longing to depart and the desire to remain forever.

More posts, poems, songs, and stories
about the houses we used to live in:
Derek Walcott & Kenneth Koch

the streets we used to live on:
Frank Sinatra & Art Garfunkel

the places we've left behind
Joyce Barlow, William Meissner,
Robert Wallace & Howard Nemerov


the rooms we can't forget
Sam McCartney & Clement Long

the places we dream about:
Frederick Buechner, Salman Rushdie & John Denver

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, September 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lammas ~ Lughnasa

THE CROSS - QUARTER DAYS,
WHEN ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

August 1st is the cross-quarter holiday halfway between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox, called Lughnasa (from the ancient Irish god Lugh) or Lammas Day (from the Anglo-Saxon term hlaf [meaning loaf] - mas. Sometimes called The Feast of the First Corn, it is the first harvest festival of the year -- the cutting of the first corn, the first wheat, the "first fruits." One time - honored custom was to celebrate Lughnasa not necessarily on the 1st day of August, but on the evening of the nearest full moon. Another was to extend the celebration from August 1st through September 1st, giving us not merely Lammas but Lammastide, and making this Fortnightly post the perfect occasion for observing the midway point of the season.

Although some Americans may be familiar with -- fans even -- of the Meryl Streep movie: Dancing at Lughnasa, for the most part this holiday goes unobserved in the United States. It simply doesn't draw the kind of attention to itself that the other cross - quarter days do: Groundhog Day (halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox); May Day (halfway between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice); Halloween / All Saints Day / Dia de los Muertos (halfway between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice).

In England, back in 1981 anyway,
Lammastide retained enough currency
to feature on a postage stamp,
along with several other folk celebrations:

Thanks to my friend Steven for reminding me that Shakespeare's tragic heroine Juliet (like Harry Potter and his creator J. K. Rowling) was born on July 31st -- Lammas - Eve. We learn this fun fact from Juliet's devoted Nurse, as she recollects Juliet's toddler - hood:

"On Lammas - Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
That shall she. Marry, I remember it well. . . ."
Romeo & Juliet
, I, iii, 23 - 24

Color illustration of Juliet and Her Nurse
by British artist ~ Gertrude Demain Hammond (1862 - 1952)
for an 1878 illustrated edition of Charles and Mary Lamb's
Tales from Shakspeare

I like to think that Carole King had Lughnasa in mind when she wrote these lovely lyrics about the seamless transition from July to August, along with the subtlest hint that before long, Summer will soon give way to Fall:
The First Day in August

On the first day in August
I want to wake up by your side
After sleeping with you
On the last night in July
In the morning
We'll catch the sun rising
And we'll chase it from the mountains
To the bottom of the sea

When the day is over
And the night air comes to chill us
You'll build a fire
And we'll watch the flames dancing

You'll fall asleep
With your arm around my shoulder
And nothing will come between us
On the first night in August
The first day in August
Noon, Rest from Work (1890)
Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
~ after Millet ~

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Tuesday, August 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Advancing & Receding

VIBRANT HORIZON, ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Red Sky ~ or ~ Red Sea?
Advancing ~ or ~ Receding?

Painting by Leonard Orr

An literary exploration of the intriguing concept
of a perpetual redistribution of human emotion:


"We seem to have learned of the horizon
the art of perpetual retreating and reference."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
from "Experience" ~ 1844


"The tears of the world are a constant quantity.
For each one who begins to weep
somewhere else another stops.
The same is true of the laugh."

~ Samuel Beckett ~
from Waiting for Godot ~ 1953


"Every moment of one's existence
one is growing into more or retreating into less.
One is always living a little more or dying a little bit."

~ Norman Mailer ~
from Advertisements for Myself ~ 1959

"As in the fusion with Mercer, everyone ascended together or, when the cycle had come to an end, fell together into the trough of the tomb world. Oddly, it resembled a sort of biological insurance, but double-edged. As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off. A herd animal such as man would acquire a higher survival factor through this..."
~ Philip K. Dick ~
from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ~ 1968

"So how do we seize the past? As it recedes, does it come into focus? Some think so. We know more, we discover extra documents, we use infra - red light to pierce erasures in the correspondence, and we are free of contemporary prejudice; so we understand better. Is that it? I wonder. . . .

“The past is a distant, receding coastline, and we are all in the same boat. Along the stern rail there is a line of telescopes; each brings the shore into focus at a given distance. If the boat is becalmed, one of the telescopes will be in continual use; it will seem to tell the whole, the unchanging truth. But this is an illusion; and as the boat sets off again, we return to our normal activity: scurrying from one telescope to another, seeing the sharpness fade in one, waiting for the blur to clear in another. And when the blur does clear, we imagine that we have made it do so all by ourselves.

"Does the world progress? Or does it merely shuttle back and forth like a ferry?"
(100, 101, 105)
~ Julian Barnes ~
Flaubert's Parrot ~ 1984


"Their happiness is not her unhappiness. Unless it is.
What if there is only an equal ratio of happiness to
unhappiness in the world at any given time?"

~ Gabrielle Zevin ~
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry ~ 2014


"But life is not a zero - sum game.
There isn't a limited quantity of success or happiness,
meaning that if one person achieves something,
the rest of us take an automatic step backward."

~ Natalie Hanes ~ "Introduction" ~ 2015
to Extracts from The Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir ~ 1949


"It's the universe showing us that we're all connected
and feel the love, happiness, and pain oif one another
-- we just have to be ready to listen."

~ Peggy Carriker Rosenbluth ~ 2014


"One fire burns out another's burning.
One pain is lessened by another's anguish.
Tut man, one fire burns out another’s burning.
One pain is lessened by another’s anguish.
Turn giddy, and be helped by backward turning.
One desperate grief cures with another’s languish.
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die."

~ Shakespeare ~
Romeo & Juliet ~ 1597
Quoted by Peter Abernathy in Westworld ~ 2016


Green Bird ~ and / or ~ Green Fish?
Sky ~ and / or ~ Sea?

Painting by Leonard Orr

*******************

Thanks Len for multiple appearances on my blogs!
Previously Posted Paintings & Poetry:

Fortnightly
Capturing the Ginkgo Light
Like An Ant
I Will Show You Modernism In A Handful of Dust
The Ides of Whatever
Advancing & Receding

Quotidian
End of Summer Sounds
Golden Paintings by Leonard Orr
Excellent Images
Happy Birthday Dylan Thomas
The same war continues . . .
The Magpie Waiting for his Beautiful Partner
An Ant and a Grain of Sand
Bursting Into Light
Sun ~ Flower ~ Moon
Days of Optimism
Life Without Poetry
What To Do
Star - Spanlged But Unsingable
That Lost Time & Place

Book List
Lovely As A Tree
Evening ~ Timing ~ Floating: Poetry by Leonard Orr

Poems: "Past Tense, Future Tense" ~ "Yiddish for Travellers"
"The Loop" ~ "Desperate Times" ~ "Optimist" ~
"Sun and Wheatfields" & "Russian Olives" ~ "Monet's The Magpie"

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Tuesday, August 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com