“Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.” ~ Pablo Neruda, from “Here I Love You”

Eugene Fredrik Jansson Vinternatt over Kajen Winter Night on the Quai 1901 oil on canvas
“Vinternatt over Kajen (Winter Night on the Quai)” (1901, oil on canvas)
by Eugène Fredrik Jansson

                   

“Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov, letter to his wife

Tuesday afternoon. Cold and rainy, 39 degrees.

Well, I slept a bit better last night but still awoke with a migraine. I wonder if the Botox will ever kick in, or if my body will continue to do what it will regardless of treatment.

It’s a beastly day outside, the kind of day that causes the dogs to peer out the door and then turn around, choosing instead to wait and wait and wait. I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head about so many different things that I thought I might just do a random thoughts post today. So here we go . . .

  • I have realized that my ideas about art have changed significantly from how I used to feel decades ago.
  • Thinking about art always makes me think about Mari, who loved art. When she was still with her husband Buddy, her house was filled with original works of art. I was so jealous.
  • I used to love only the Impressionists with their milky colors all blurring together, Monet in particular.

    Edvard Munch Thawing Snow 1919
    “Thawing Snow” (1919, oil on canvas)
    by Edvard Munch
  • Then I was really into the pre-Raphaelites, especially John William Waterhouse.
  • Lately though, I find that I am much more drawn to the Realists (and all of the associated offshoots) who worked right around the late 19th century into the first part of the 20th century.
  • I like the clearer depictions of landscapes, the richer, more defined colors.
  • I am particularly drawn to Emil Nolde, Leon Spilliaert, Edvard Munch, and Edward Hopper.
  • I have never understood or particularly cared for Andy Warhol.
  • Regardless of movement or school, however, I find that I am almost exclusively drawn to landscapes, or in the case of Hopper, his lonely people.

“You never realise where you are going until you get there,
where nothing is planned, nothing is known,
and you’re drawn back into the heart’s old orbits,
tiny as a grain, massive as a moon.” ~ Pat Boran, from “Moon Street”

A few personal things:

  • I haven’t read a book in almost three months; I go through these phases in which I simply cannot read, cannot concentrate, but this has turned into a long dry spell.

    John Fabian Carlson Brooding Silence
    “Brooding Silence” (nd, oil on canvas)
    by John Fabian Carlson
  • Even though I’m not reading it doesn’t keep me from wanting more books, adding books to my wish list, obsessing over new releases or old titles that I haven’t read yet.
  • Even as a teenager I used to wish that I could work for a publishing company, but I never did a damned thing about it.
  • I have this publishing degree that is pretty much wasted.
  • I used to dream of moving to New York and working for a big publishing house. I never even tried to make this a reality.
  • I also used to dream of moving to New York and trying to find work as an actor. Never did that either.
  • So little action for such big dreams, and now I wonder if I’m too old to have dreams.

“Sometimes at night I would sleep open-eyed underneath a sky dripping with stars. I was alive then.” ~ Albert Camus

Family news:

  • Corey and I talked for almost an hour and a half last night. He has so much to tell me about his new job. I hear an excitement in his voice that I haven’t heard in a while. I’m so relieved.
  • Sometimes I think that Corey only works as a merchant marine to support our family, but I really think that he likes being on the water, and he’s very good at what he does.

    Zinaida Serebriakova Winter Landscape period Neskuchnoye 1910
    “Winter Landscape. Nekuchnoye” (1910)
    by Zinaida Serebriakova
  • When we first got married, his big dream was to own his own landscaping company, and he worked at it for over a year. I was actually surprised when he told me that he realized that he really didn’t like it.
  • Olivia’s new word is no . . .
  • The Christmas tree still has no ornaments on it, and I haven’t addressed any cards yet. This is the most unprepared I have been for the holidays in a very long time.
  • Eamonn called Corey yesterday morning to tell him the phones were off. We were both stupefied by eldest son’s complete lack of context, as in Corey might be a bit busy, you know, with the new job thing. Amazing.
  • I did do some online shopping yesterday, but I don’t even feel like leaving the house to finish the shopping.

“Look up . . . and see them.
The teaching stars,
beyond worship
and commonplace tongues.” ~ Dorothy Dunnett

On time marching inexorably on:

  • Mari and I have gotten lax in our writing project. I started it when I got side-tracked while working on the bathroom. I’m hoping that we can get our rhythm back and really get back to it by the beginning of the year.
  • Speaking of beginning of the year, I have a milestone birthday coming up—not going to say which one, so don’t even ask—and I’m kind of in shock. I mean, how does this happen?
  • Of course I know how it happens, duh, the whole space time continuum, earth rotating around the sun and all of that, but still . . .

    Tom Thomson Frost-Laden Cedars, Big Cauchon Lake 1916 oil on canvas
    “Frost-Laden Cedars, Big Cauchon Lake” (1916, oil on canvas)
    by Tom Thomson
  • I still don’t feel my age. I’ve never felt my age. When I was young, I felt older, and when I got older, I felt younger.
  • I think that I’m doing this whole age thing wrong, but I can’t figure out how to do it right.
  • Still don’t know what I’m going to be when I grow up, which used to be funny, but I realize that it’s kind of lost its charm at this point.
  • Am I going to live the rest of my days not knowing what in the hell I’m doing, where in the hell I’m going, when in the hell I’m finally going to figure something out? Anything?
  • At this point, really, I’d settle for anything.
  • Speaking of time and things, I find that a lot of people fear the future. I don’t fear the future for being the future or for what it may bring. I just fear being unprepared for life.
  • For me, time that has passed is far weightier than time to come.
  • Days gone by contain so many pieces of our selves, of other people, of the world. The past is heavy just from all that it bears and how it is continually resurrected.

“We were approaching winter like an object which cannot be put between words. Behavior became simpler since we had dislocated our memories . . . Though the clouds could be uttered in a variety of tones, the stars formed constellations analyzed completely. You cried for the moon, which had started to wane in agreement with constant and variable.” ~ Rosmarie Waldrop, from Curves to the Apples

Things I still want to do, see, experience:

  • My wish for our next big vacation: Ireland, England, France. I know, almost prohibitive.
  • The northern lights, Aurora Borealis, a comet—I ache to be somewhere without light pollution, to stand on a hill and drink in the complex beauty of the night sky.
  • A Canon Rebel camera so that I can get back into photography (I guess this belongs more on a want to have list)

    Petr Nilus Snowy Landscape
    “Snowy Landscape” (1928, oil on canvas)
    by Petr Nilus
  • The west coast—Oregon, Washington, Northern California. Absolutely no desire to be anywhere near LA
  • A long weekend to New York to go to nothing but museums
  • Speaking of museums, still, always will want to go to the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Also the Art Institute of Chicago and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • An extended train trip across Europe. I have never traveled any distance on a train, only inner city. I understand that it can be quite cramped, but what I would like to do is go to a country, get off and see things, and then travel to another country.
  • Alaska.
  • A train trip in the northwest of the US and Canada.
  • A home that sits on a cliff near the sea, just like in the movies.

Enough of that. Today’s image theme is . . . cold, as in I am.

More later. Peace.

Music by Thriving Ivory, “Angels on the Moon”

                   

A Good Sky

I show you a good sky.
It could hold a fleet of geese
above a kite, sipping in a breeze,
or foliate the wind
with leaves of cherry wood
and hedge.

It will blanket your sleep
with mirrors of stars
in the soft undressing of night.

It will love you, soley,
through the Venus dawn,
rubbing your eyes awake
a moment before the day’s
light hangs its spars.

I show you a good sky.
It will rain its reflection
on your one troubled eye,
the one that blinks
each time a hawk rants by.

I am no one’s romantic.
No. I am the sky’s shadow-wish
writing this only
to breathe its light.

I show you a falling sun,
passing like a lover,
to be near you, allowing
no star, no bulb on a corner lamp
to possess you as you are.

Look. Here I am, the sky’s moon
down. I will shave
a horizon out of peaks
like none your memory
has ever carved.

I show you a good sky.
Its broad blue ribbon will wrap
its mind around your eyes’ imagination
and tease you into smiles—
Now, be patient,
let your grieving rest awhile.

~ James Ragan

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“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” ~ Emily Dickinson

Max Ernst Violette Sonne, 1962 oil on waxed paper laid on board
“Violette Sonne” (1962, oil on waxed paper laid on board)
by Max Ernst

                   

Two for Tuesday: Dreams and Elegies

August Hagborg Sea and Clouds
“Sea and Clouds” (nd)
by August Hagborg

Lacandons

In the forest of Chiapas, in thatched huts without walls, in hammocks barely rocking, they sleep.
There it is said:
If you dream of a donkey, there will be a strong wind.
If you dreams of tacos, you will see an anteater.
If you dream of an anteater, people are coming.
If you dream of a termite, you will see a jaguar.
If you dream of a jaguar, people are coming.
If the jaguar bites you, they are not people.
If you dream you are waking, you’ll be frightened in the forest.
If you dream of a mirror, you will see white stones.
If you dream of your tongue, beware.
All birds mean fever; all fish mean pain in your stomach.
If you dream you’re worrying about the cost of things, you’ll not have to worry about the cost of things.
If you dream of a party, for a long time you’ll be bored
A gourd is a jaguar’s head; the old canoe an alligator.
If you dream of a house, you’ll see a wild boar.
If you dream of a beard, you’ll see a wild boar.
If you dream of a broom, you’ll see a wild boar.
If you dream of a radio, you’ll see a wild boar.
If you dream of a poet, someone will cry.
A shotgun is the tooth of an animal.
Beans are maggots and maggots are beans,
If you dream you are writing, you’ll be bitten by a snake.
If you dream of a lake, it is nothing.
If you dream of a frog, it is nothing.
If you dream of a flower, it is nothing.
If you dream of heaven, it is nothing.
If you dream of leaves, it is nothing, but if the leaves are shaking in the wind, grasshoppers will eat the corn.
If you dream of fog, people are coming who are sad and ill.
If you dream you know something, you do not know it.
If you dream of a halo around the moon, the end of the world is coming.
That which is thin in a dream will be thick.
That which is certain in a dream won’t happen.

~ Eliot Weinberger

Michael Ayrton Wave 1968 oil and mixed media collage on canvas
“Wave” (1968, oil and mixed media collage on canvas)
by Michael Ayrton

                   

Elegies

               amy winehouse
 
All song is formal, and you
Maybe felt this and decided
You’d be formal too. (The eyeliner, the beehive: formal.)
When a desire to escape becomes formal,
It’s dangerous. Then escape requires
Nullity, rather than a walk in the park or a movie.
Eventually, nullity gets harder and
Harder to achieve. After surgery, I had
Opiates. I pushed the button as often as I could.
Understood by music was how I felt. An escape
So complete it became a song. After that,
Elegy’s the only necessary form.
 
               steve jobs
 
Say you lost all your money, or turned against your ambition.
Then you would be at peace, or
Else why does the mind punish the body?
Vengeance is mind, says the body.
Ever after, you’re a mirror, “silver and exact.”
Just like the bug in a string of code, the body defies the mind
Or looks in the mirror of the mind and shudders.
Better instruments are better because they’re
Silverish but intact.
 
               troy davis
 
The clock is obdurate,
Random, and definite.
Obdurate the calendar.
You thump on the cot: another signature.
Did it didn’t do it would do it again.
And if a deferred dream dies? Please sign the petition.
Very good. Let’s hunt for a pen.
If you thump, there’s another signature and
Signatures are given freely by the signer’s hand.
 
               lucian freud
 
Lingering over
Unlovely bodies,
Couldn’t help
Intuitively rendering
A whole
Nother angel.
Facts are
Relics — an
Effect worth
Undertaking: yes,
Dear daylight?
 
               donna summer
 
Discourse that night concerned the warm-blooded love we felt.
On the divan and in the ballroom and on the terrace, we felt it.
Now virtue meant liking the look of the face we lay next to.
Never mind the sting of the winter solstice.
All discourse that night concerned the warm-blooded love we felt.
Something lifted us higher. Her little finger told her so,
Untangling, with careless skill, the flora of the sexual grove.
Master physician with a masterly joy in wrapping up
Mud-spattered, coke-dusted wounds at midnight, when it’s too
Early to stop dancing and go home. Our lily-minds soothed by her
Royalty concealed in the synthesizers in the flora of the sexual grove.
 
~ Kathleen Ossip

                   

Music by Paper Kites, “Gates”