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Showing posts from July, 2009

seeing through

I am tired and should go to bed, but am still stewing over a conversation I had tonight. Who are we really if not what we seem to everyone else? Do we not become that shadow of our true selves when we act out the part too long? Does the poet get squelched by the clown? What shines forth?

As always, Uncle Walt made me feel understood.

"Of the terrible doubt of appearances"

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all—that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive—the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night—colors, densities, forms—May-be these are, (as doubtless they are,) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known;
(How often they dart out of themselves, as if to confound me and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them;)
May-be seeming to…

meandering thoughts on gardening

I wandered through our (TSO’s and my) garden plot yesterday to gather peas from TSO’s plants while he was away. Things are abloom and gathering height like a ball going downhill gathers speed. I have not yet had children, but I think that I feel a parents’ pride when I look over my advancing plants and wonder at the fruits of my labors to come.

My beets are leafy green arms reaching further out of the ground, stretching toward the sun to allow for the bulbous purple vegetable to round itself; making rings in its inside like the rings inside a tree. My green onions fatten and reach skyward; sharply flavored and crisp in color. My red peppers however are stunted—possible too much rain this season? My cosmos grow ever taller, something akin to a leafy fern or a soft evergreen. I am expectantly looking for buds and yet none thus far.

TSO’s peas and green beans climb and wrap themselves around poles, their fruits hanging down, absolutely begging to be picked and eaten even with dirty, weed-p…

intake of summer

I am a big fan of rain. I have a memory of myself at age five, gearing up in my rain boots and rain coat, hanging an umbrella over my arm, making my way into our city yard—we were living in the Kensington district of Detroit then—all stipulations my mother put on me before going out into the rain shower. I can still remember the satisfaction that came from jumping into puddles; a sensory moment as crisp as biting into a fall apple or a luscious summer watermelon—it’s juices running in rivulets down chins and necks, declaring stickiness king.

I still feel that same way about puddles. And I am not ashamed to say that I still enjoy playing in mud, though these days that declaration is made respectable when one considers that most of this “play” takes place in our garden. Yesterday and today have been a dance for the senses, tactile exercises in weed pulling in soft, muddish soil; finger filching of blueberries between summer showers.

Last night I spent two hours pulling weeds. Weed pulling…

the silence and the muffled drum

Just watched Four Weddings and a Funeral (which I love) with Mummy Dearest and Hubby, M and roomie B, all who didn't love it. I could go into detail about why I love that movie and why it makes me laugh, but instead I will share a poem which I LOVE LOVE LOVE; this is read at the Funeral in the movie. It is sad, but so lovely in sentiment.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up…

it's here

So, I finally did it. Ordered a refurbished Acer Aspire One a week and a half ago from Woot.com which my friend N turned me on to. Woot.com picks an item and puts it on sale at a discounted price and N just happened to show me the site the night we were talking about laptops. I took that as a sign or Providence or something and ordered the damn thing. Now just getting used to a smaller screen (8-10 inches, can't remember) and smaller keys--I feel like a fricking Yeti typing with this. Otherwise, so far, so good.

Another great thing about Woot.com (aside from the fact that they sold me my new laptop mad cheap--$264), is that the Woot-ians also come up with clever descriptions for their products. Today's great catch is a set of Star Wars bobbly heads--I know, I know, not quite as cool as a cheap laptop!) The description reads,

"Bobble bobble, toil and trouble.
CLAUDIUS: So let me see if I’m following you. We’re trying to prepare for an invasion because of a perceived weakness…

with good comes the struggle

I am seeking something calming.
I turn to Utopia; finding some passages fascinatingly familiar, as though they could have been written about life at the Farm. This is not to say that we are a Utopian society at all, just a community who had it's best interests in mind at it's inception. "They cultivate their gardens with great care, so that they have vines, fruits, herbs, and flowers in them; and all is so well ordered, and so finely kept, that I never saw gardens anywhere that were both so fruitful and so beautiful as theirs. And this humor of ordering their gardens so well is not only kept up by the pleasure they find in it, but also by an emulation between the inhabitants of the several streets, who vie with each other; and there is indeed nothing belonging to the whole town that is both more useful and more pleasant." ~ "BOOK II: OF THEIR TOWNS, PARTICULARLY OF AMAUROT""Besides agriculture, which is so common to them all, every man has some peculia…

rating Harry

For those of you Harry Potter fans out there, I LOVED movie #6, the adaption of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from book into movie format. I rated this movie second of all the Potters, or a close tie to the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (which was previously my favorite).
SPOILER ALERT!
While of course the movie has to leave out some things (and I was disappointed with Director Yates' choice to leave out the battle inside Hogwarts--between the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters--and the Funeral at the end of the book). However, I thought Yates did a good job of balancing the light and the dark: Harry's last year at Hogwarts; the awkward dating games between Ron and Lavender Brown; Quidditch; and Harry's continued education of Voldemorte. There was also some weird choices on how to make the Harry and Ginny Weasley connection happen on film (it flows more naturally in print), but all in all, Half Blood Prince was great. The special e…

amazement of things and thoughts on house-sitting

I love house-sitting at the Farm. House-sitting at the Farm provides such an opportunity to really enjoy the variety of houses we have here. In the past couple of months I have stayed at Mummy Dearest and Hubby's house; B1 & B2's small, old school cabin in the woods; and now, here I find myself sitting in one of the newest editions to the farm, N&M's adorable cabin in the woods.
N&M and their adorable girls M&S are in Ithaca for the weekend visiting N's family and I find myself here, shrouded in the silence that trees and tall grasses on three sides of a house provide. I promised to keep the pets company: Cooper (a chocolate lab), Beeker and Chester (cats), but I feel as though they are keeping me company this weekend. The weather has been wonderful so far, providing me with a full array of Mother Nature through the windows of this tidy little cabin.
Last night it rained hard and I found myself coming "home" to a fog swept forest (even believ…

the voice of American history for a while

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Walter Cronkite has died. The New York Times had a good piece on this fascinating man.
Though Mr. Cronkite stopped giving us the news when I was still a baby I understand the profound loss of such a character, considering today's hail storm of media. It seems in today's world we are hit from so many different sides by so many different voices; Mr. Cronkite offered a news reporters perspective to the worlds events that were happening around him while not being afraid to show the emotion that he felt: JFK's assassination, the Vietnam War, Watergate and the first Americans landing on the news.
So, today I celebrate the passing of another interesting person.
"In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story." ~Walter Cronkite

we must act

A fellow WSU alumni shared this today on our listserv:

"Governor Granholm issued her Executive Order Monday, July 13 calling for the elimination of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Following is an overview of pertinent sections of the Executive Order that pertain to the library community, MLA’s current position, the options and issues before the library community and the timeline for action.

Overview of the Executive Order: The Governor’s Executive Order calls for moving all of the authorities, powers, duties, functions, responsibilities, personnel, equipment, collections and budgetary resources of the Library of Michigan to the Department of Education except for those pertaining to the blind and physically handicapped, which would be transferred to the Michigan Commission for the Blind, and those related to the census data functions, which would be transferred to the Department of Information Technology.

The Governor appointed State Librarian position would be elimina…

taking the Berkshires by storm

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My family (my Mom, sister A1 and bro-in-law M, and Monster niece and nephew S and A: ages 4.5 and 3 years) came out for a long weekend, driving from Michigan. I had some time off while they were here, but also had to work a little, so I found some things for us and them to do. If you are ever in Berkshire County, MA, here are some things worth checking out:
Umpachene Falls: One of the best kept secrets in the Berkshires; Umpachene is a series of tiered rocks which splash the Umpachene River down. You can either hike (carefully) up the falls on the very slippery rocks (I fell and took Monster niece S with me, though we both got up and laughed it off), or hike the trail through the woods which follows the falls. Be careful, you eventually hike to a point where it becomes private property. We had a great afternoon; Mummy Dearest, Hubby and their two kids (Big and Little Fish) and M&N and their two kids (M&S) joined my family. We ate a picnic hodge podge lunch, the kids played with…

hitting that wall

Had another interview today at a not too far away library. The position would be for a library assistant of sorts, doing circulation work, etc. Interview went well. If nothing else, I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with the Director, who was uber cool.

Won't hear anything for a few weeks, and now, in the meantime I have to think about the effect taking this job would have on life here. Listening to the time slots which will need to be filled (during the interview) I had to really realistically think about 1. how I would manage to work these library hours with my work schedule here, 2. am I willing to juggle my schedule at this point, while our work team is already feeling really stretched thin due to: upcoming vacations, training new volunteers, low staffing, etc., and 3. taking on another job with this many hours (another 18 hrs/week)--while being great to get back into library life and having a little more money would be great-- would really tie me down at a time when I am w…

the ambiguity of life

There is a big meeting to happen at the farm this weekend with the Board. Many people have high hopes of a positive outcome; steps taken to alleviate some stresses here at the Farm that many staff have been feeling for some months. I too am hopeful, but also looking at things realistically and knowing that a lot might not come out of the meeting; that things may stay the same. I know I am being vague, but that is due to my wanting to respect our privacy.

All I know is that lately many friends as well as myself have been looking ahead, hoping for the best, or trying to think of what comes next and how we will either have to roll with the punches or move on. It is emotionally and mentally draining.

I try not to let myself get to wrapped up in fearing things out of my control but that is so hard in community when sometimes living and working with people--friends and co-workers--means a lot of dialog and stewing over all things work related. I am praying for a sense of calm and for the righ…

hooray for Harry

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I know I am so overdue in writing about life here. Trying to catch up. Until then. SO EXCITED to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, due out next week!!

Here is a link to the preview!! YAY!!!