Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Tistket A Tasket

For Today...

Outside my window... rain, rain, go away, come again another day

I am thinking... why am I not living the life I want for myself on so many levels--how can I be that off course?

From the learning rooms... there are a lot of songs about rain. I'd be hard pressed to pick one favorite. I was thinking of posting Dee Clarke's "Raindrops," but then my thoughts drifted to how much I love songs about rain and airplanes. Neil Young has a great song called "Look Out For My Love," and the last stanza has him out on the runway with "hydraulic wipers pumping...but no one listens."

I am thankful for... not having dementia

From the kitchen... tonight? Jasper White's (a New England chef) three-cheese macaroni and cheese. I'll be freezing this. It feeds an army.

I am wearing... black and red. Suitable for attending a Suprematism exhibit or invading Poland.(see: mac and cheese.)

I am reading... old issues of Architectural Digest to ditch them and re-reading Raymond Chandler's Payback. The only thing I would recommend that I've read in the past two weeks is Peter Ackroyd's Poe: A Life Cut Short....and if anyone ever died screwed up and unfilfilled, try Poe.

I am hoping... I can shake this horrible mood

I am creating...I'm forcing more self-taught Photoshop tutorials on myself to stretch and learn

I am praying...that I can have the life I want, and not die feeling so disappointed

Around the house... chaos and dealing with the dead....still. Does it ever end?

One of my favorite things... I photographed them: the alliums in my yard. They are past their glory, but they stay fascinating in decay. I plant "Globemaster," which have heads that can grow 11 inches wide. They are part of the "big ball" allium hybrid group, so yes, there is even inferiority about "size," in the floral kingdom.

A few plans for the rest of the week...getting this massive amount of paperwork under control, going over to the dead person's house to continue emptying it out. I will have to force myself. I am burnt out on disposing of these things, and the idea of crawling up in an attic, which is decades of untouched old filth and hauling this stuff down and out is just.....depressing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... flying at night with dim lights in the airplane cabin, tracing the lights on the ground below and realizing that you are seeing where the shoreline meets the ocean. It sounds so romantic in French: vol de nuit...flight of night.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Twitter Twatter: Memorial Day

West Point - 1911

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about (David) Dwight Eisenhower and West Point. I realized I didn't know where he stood in his graduating class at West Point (upper half,) but a lot of shifting thought like "If you are going to go to West Point, and you become a general, then what luck to stumble into a World War to show your skills. And yes, "luck," because many never see battle on that scale. When George Patton was facing multiple reprimands and being held back, he agonized over lost opportunity in terms of where he would stand in history and not being able to fulfill his destiny. Eisenhower served in two world wars.

I did a little homework on Eisenhower this morning. His West Point graduating class of 1915 was called the class "that the stars fell on." Of it's 164 graduating members, 59 became generals: the highest number ever recorded in one class in West Point's history. I also didn't know he injured his knee playing football there.

I have no idea why Eisenhower came to mind, or West Point, over say...Eisenhower's affair with Kay Summersby during the war, or the ambition it takes to claw through Army hierarchy to general, or how often ambition is overlooked in seeking the Presidential seat in government. People rarely think of Abe Lincoln as anything other than Father Abraham, but he was consumed with ambition and the fear he wouldn't reach his goals. I think it safe to say any man that seeks power at this level is consumed with the desire to win.

From West Point I thought about generals who became President. Twelve of them. Washington, Harrison, Taylor, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, Eisenhower, Jackson, Pierce and Andrew Johnson. Two Whigs, Three Democrats, Seven Republicans.

"The jellybeans are mine. ALL MINE! brarahhahaha."

And from generals who become Presidents, I then had this visual image of Dick Cheney in a wheelchair at the Inauguration, and how other people jumped on that one, screaming "Doctor Strangelove!" which of course is exactly what I thought. The movie's full title is Doctor Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. What a grave fear I felt knowing Cheney could be President. Who remembers Alexander Haig rushing into a news conference after Reagan was shot declaring, "I'm in charge here," when he was anything but. George Bush the Elder was in charge, as Vice-President, as every schoolboy knows. Haig later complained "I'm being undermined by weenies and second-rate hambones." His insecurities and low self-esteem doomed his future, and that one gaffe became the defining moment of his career.

The Alien Hand Syndrome

And this is why I wonder what value Twitter has to me, holding my thoughts to 140 characters, including spaces. How do you contain the wandering mind which can be a compost pail of mishmashed thoughts. Throw them on the heap. See what they make. Think how crazed men can become in suppressing their desires in meeting the strangleholds of duty and hierarchy.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, May 15, 2009

In Memory Of Emily

Emily Dickinson
December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886

'T was just this time last year I died.
I know I heard the corn,
When I was carried by the farms,--
It had the tassels on.

I thought how yellow it would look
When Richard went to mill;
And then I wanted to get out,
But something held my will.

I thought just how red apples wedged
The stubble's joints between;
And carts went stooping round the fields
To take the pumpkins in.

I wondered which would miss me least,
And when Thanksgiving came,
If father'd multiply the plates
To make an even sum.

And if my stocking hung too high,
Would it blur the Christmas glee,
That not a Santa Claus could reach
The altitude of me?

But this sort grieved myself, and so
I thought how it would be
When just this time, some perfect year,
Themselves should come to me.

…and yet she died in the season she didn’t list in the above poem. Spring. Today is the anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s death in 1886. On May 15, 1886 Emily Dickinson died at the age of 55. Her brother Austin wrote in his diary that "...the day was awful ... she ceased to breathe that terrible breathing just before the whistle sounded for six."

She could see West Cemetery from her window in that room she never left. The funeral was held in the library of her family home. The service was short. A favorite poem by Emily Bronte, “No Coward Soul of Mine,” was read, and Emily’s coffin was carried out the back door and across a field of buttercups, where she was buried, laid in a white coffin with vanilla scented Lady’s Slipper heliotrope (a popular Victorian flower) and “a knot of blue field violets placed about it.” There she lies in the family plot on Triangle Street in Amherst, Massachusetts.

In the poem above, she speculates if her father would still lay out her plate at Thanksgiving, or just how she would be missed within her small social circle, but still her place in the world. I know she has haunted me for years, and I’m not sure “haunted” is the right word, but I have definitely felt an “affinity,” which seems a more appropriate and Emily-like word. I searched her poems, and apparently she never used it. She should have. I'll use it for her:

A field of yellow
Under coffin white
Petaled in varied purple hue
Lady’s slipper in wooded shade
With shy faced violets, too
Blooms that shrink
From sun of day
Have been my affinity
Now see me on my way

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

....and then you DIE!

I just finished reading a book called Unforgettable Walks to Take Before You Die. The bulks of the "must sees" are in very isolated places of the world. You have to walk miles to gain access to them. There are dangers built in.

No leathery aunties in hiking shorts with their sticks pronging along, whistling "The Happy Wanderer." A few spots here in the States are accessible: "The Freedom Trail" in Boston (through some bad neighborhoods.) Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" in Pennsylvania (you need to have a ticket to gain access to the interior.) Many of these trips work on luck of lottery, or hanging around or planning well out in advance.

Some have wildlife warnings: a beach in Australia where snakes come out of the water after you. Tigers. Lions. Bears. Flying Monkey Squadrons. Others have built in physical dangers: "Not good for those with vertigo," "Get there before the tide prevents you from getting back," "the path can crumble under your feet."

I made some mental notes to myself of things I would like to see before I DIE!!! Some temples in Kyoto, Japan. Scandanavian coasts. Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Yangtze River in China. The Skocjan caves in Slovenia. The Coyote Buttes in Arizona.

Looking at the back cover, I had to laugh. There's a whole series of what you should do ::tapping out the message "before you die." Unforgettable Islands To Escape To ::tapping::: Unforgettable Things To Do :::tapping::: Unforgettable Journeys To Take.....Unforgettable Things To See.....BEFORE YOU DIE!!!!

Here's what I think you should do before you die:

* Acquire a taste for prunes and Ensure

* Make sure you have a will, living will, power of attorney, trust...all of that legal stuff in place

* Understand how adult diapers work

* Work hard to keep your own teeth. Otherwise they might wind up getting tossed out with the garbage, and trust me, you don't want to deal with that.
*Take your action figures out of their boxes.

* Try to build up a repetoire of stories. You don't want all of them to start, "In 1939...."

* Get rid of stuff as each year passes. You don't want to have the authorities show up with ten dumpsters.

* Get heavily into juicing and vitamins.

* Become an evil overlord

Labels: , , , , ,

Add to Technorati Favorites