“Some things become such a part of us that we forget them.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

Yokayama Taikan Mt Fuki 1953 color on silk

“Mt. Fuji” (1953, color on silk)
by Yokayama Taikan

                   

“We become aware of the void as we fill it.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

Monday afternoon. Sunny and warm, 66 degrees.

Sorry about the confusion with posts in the last few days. I had set up one to post on Friday but forgot to update the information, and then the Tyson post was supposed to be on Saturday, but again, my days were mixed up. Daylight Savings Time always wreaks havoc with my brain. Anyway . . .

Yokoyama Taikan Towing a Boat 1901 color on silk

“Towing a Boat” (1901, color on silk)
by Yokoyama Taikan

Random things that I’m thinking about today:

  • I once stopped traffic on a small bridge in Corey’s hometown so that I could take a picture.
  • We do not value ourselves until someone tells us what we are worth. If no one tells us, what happens then?
  • I wonder how many children went to bed with empty stomachs in the U.S. last night? In 2013, children still starve in America. We should be so ashamed.
  • A vet with one leg gave Brett directions in New York. I have to wonder where that vet sleeps at night.
  • I realized something about humanity while watching “The Walking Dead”: a person’s true personality emerges in times of war.
  • Some people just look like they would rather be alone.
  • Not everyone in this world is made for casual conversation.
  • I think that my fascination with old buildings stems from a feeling deep inside that I belong within them.
  • Along those same lines, I have always wanted to write a mystery in which the dead bodies are hidden in abandoned swimming pools.

“Everything is a little bit of darkness, even the light.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

More things:

  • I truly bemoan the state of higher education in this country in which seemingly anyone can come up with a name, add the word university to it, and promote an online college.
  • What is really sad is that so many people will not realize that a degree from most of these places is not worth the wrapper on a Snickers bar.

    Yokoyama Taikan Autumn Four Seasons of the Sea 1940 ink and color on silk

    “Autumn: Four Seasons of the Sea” (1940, ink and color on silk)
    by Yokoyama Taikan

  • The majority of online colleges are nothing but businesses and diploma mills, but the people who will suffer the most are the individuals who desperately want a degree but cannot afford a traditional education.
  • Last night when I got up to let the dogs out, I noticed that the stars were incredibly beautiful, and then I remembered that I was only seeing about 1 percent of what was there.
  • Corey thinks that I want to leave the country, and part of me does, but what I want more is to be able to see the stars.

“Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

In just the last decade, we have jumped so far in technology; I don’t expect the pace to slacken, only to quicken, which means that Olivia’s generation:

  • will probably never use a land-line telephone,

    Yokoyama Taikan Snowy Peak with Cranes 1958

    “Snowy Peak with Cranes” (1958, color on silk)
    by Yokoyama Taikan

  • will find it odd to own both a camera and a phone,
  • will not own a paper phone book, and will probably not have to remember telephone numbers because they will be programmed,
  • may never see a paper daily newspaper,
  • may not have to hear Rush Limbaugh,
  • will probably only have a tablet in their backpacks and no actual books,
  • may never send or receive something via the U.S. Postal Service,
  • will watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy as classics

“No one can help going beyond, and beyond there is an abyss.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

Things that show my age:

  • I remember who shot J.R.
  • I look at my sons’ penmanship and wish that they had gone through those classes with the divided lined paper and practiced writing the letters J and F over and over again.
  • I once knew how to develop black and white film.

    Yokoyama Taikan White Clouds Longing for Spring 1939 ink on paper

    “White Clouds Longing for Spring” (1939, ink on paper)
    by Yokoyama Taikan

  • I used to think the height of convenience was having an extra long phone cord.
  • I have used a rotary telephone.
  • I remember movies of the week and miniseries.
  • I have an album collection
  • I have lived without air conditioning.
  • I remember unleaded and leaded fuel.
  • I could fill the tank of my VW Bug for under $5, and it would last a week.

“There are pains that have lost their memory and don’t remember why they are painful.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

Things I wanted to be when I grew up:

  • A marine biologist (high school)

    Yokoyama Taikan Holy Peaks of Chichibu at Spring Dawn 1928 ink on silk

    “Holy Peaks of Chichibu at Spring Dawn” (1928, ink on silk)
    by Yokoyama Taikan

  • A hairdresser (six years old)
  • A pediatrician (freshman in college)
  • A lawyer (graduate school)
  • A poet (first grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, ninth grade……………)
  • An English professor (graduate school)
  • A newspaper reporter (senior in college)
  • A news editor (senior in college)

When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

I never wanted to be:

  • A marketing director
  • A membership coordinator

    Yokoyama Taikan Winter Four Seasons of the Sea 1940

    “Winter: Four Seasons of the Sea” (1940, ink and color on silk)
    by Yokoyama Taikan

  • A development officer
  • A proposal development specialist
  • A technical editor
  • A program coordinator
  • A middle-school teacher
  • A medical administrator

I have been all of the above and none of the above above.

Enough.

More later. Peace.

(Haven’t posted any images by Japanese painters in a while, so today’s artist is Yokoyama Taikan (aka Sakai Hidemaro, 1868-1958), a pre-WWII Japanese painter.)

Yokoyama Taikan Summer Four Seasons of the Sea 1940

“Summer: Four Seasons of the Sea” (1940, ink and color on silk)
by Yokoyama Taikan

Music by Trent Dabbs, “Better Off Now”

                   

A Breakable Spell

I don’t know
with what tongue
to answer
this world’s constant question—

whether the tongue
of red enamel, or blue,
whether the tongue
of flowing water, or ice,

or the tongue of mountain,
or the split-songed
tongue that embraces first light.

But it keeps asking
and so I continue
trying cucumber, trying window,
trying egret

For a moment
she stands with her
elegant legs
black in the water.
Below her, another looks up.

My love,
there is no sound between them.

Then,
inside apples and subways,
in smokestacks,
in blossoming roses,
the heart’s machinery starts up again,
hammering and sawing.

~ Jane Hirshfield

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4 comments on ““Some things become such a part of us that we forget them.” ~ Antonio Porchia, from “Voices” (trans. Gonzalo Melchor)

  1. Sarah says:

    May I add these? Kids today do not know the freedom of being disconnected. Getting in a car, no a/c, rolling down the windows, blaring the radio with absolutlely NO WAY to be contacted! Pay phones -thing of the past. I can remember my dad trying to decide if a color t.v. was in the budget! Remember those huge floor models?? How did we manage with 3 stations to watch? No remote, no TIVO,no HD- just rabbit ears. My grandson writes like a pig. They do not teach penmanship in school ,at least not as we knew it. No red mark on your paper if you wrote a letter wrong. They will never enjoy trul family t.v. – or comedy by the greats – Skelton, Moms Mabley, etc. Or the days when a comic could do his or her routine without using profnanity I can remember my dad refusing to turn on the tv until 6pm – for the news.We actually ate dinner and talked. I miss those days.

    • poietes says:

      Oh yes, good one, the disconnect. You walk around public places, and no one is looking at each other, only at screens. Weird. Three channels, my god, pure torture.

      The penmanship thing bothers me probably more than it should, but I just hate it that generations don’t know how to write. It’s a pride thing.

  2. leah in NC says:

    I think I’ll put a sign on the inside of my door that says, “You don’t have to listen to Rush Limbaugh.” That ought to improve my days, just by having that thought… I wish I thought that Olivia wouldn’t have to listen to some equally hard-to-listen-to speaker…

    I wish I had tried to see the Southern Cross constellation when I was in Key West, although I know it’s probably too low on the horizon for a good view.

    I really have just wanted to work in a library all these years… but haven’t done it consistently, and never got the degree it would take to make it pay enough to make a decent living.

    I think we value ourselves when the people telling us that we are worth something outnumber the people who are telling us that we are not worth anything. And, I think that has to happen at the right time of our lives. Also the parent closest to the child probably has more weight, so if that person is doing the bullying, well, that makes it worse. A child’s world should have brightness, wonder, and lots of good things happening. A dull life with trauma singes the ends of our synapses…

    I hope you have a wonderful week….

    • poietes says:

      I love that: “A dull life with trauma singes the ends of our synapses.” Don’t be surprised if I quote you (but don’t be disappointed if I don’t because you know my mind is like a sieve).

      I agree about the parental closeness thing. Definitely. I thought about working in a library (later in life), but it’s the whole needing the proper degree thing. A library would actually be perfect for me–if it were the kind of library we used to visit. Libraries today befuddle me. No books.

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