Sunday, May 9, 2021

Rainy May days

 



I meant to write sooner, but I am struggling with depression just now... that not wanting to do anything.

Thank God the garden keeps me moving, but with the cold rainy days, and with the plants that keep growing and needing to be cut back ... so many!  I feel loath to address them either.

I keep listening to my audiobooks and re-watching "The Chosen" and reading Facebook.

And now I am in the midst of grading 24 essays, anticipating 24 more essay exams coming on Tuesday.

Maybe by this time next week I will be emerging .Sigh. 


But here are some lovely memes from The Garden of Bright Images.






Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Thoughts on my birthday

 


Some of these "memes" from the Facebook page "The Garden of Bright Images" are very appropriate for me as I face my seventy-third birthday.   I still can't believe I am this old, or that this many years have passed.



Yes!




Monday, April 26, 2021

April's in the Skies

 





Here's a poem by Alicia Ostriker:

April 

BY ALICIA OSTRIKER

The optimists among us

taking heart because it is spring

skip along

attending their meetings

signing their e-mail petitions

marching with their satiric signs

singing their we shall overcome songs

posting their pungent twitters and blogs

believing in a better world

for no good reason

I envy them

said the old woman

 

The seasons go round they

go round and around

said the tulip

dancing among her friends

in their brown bed in the sun

in the April breeze

under a maple canopy

that was also dancing

only with greater motions

casting greater shadows

and the grass

hardly stirring

 

What a concerto

of good stinks said the dog

trotting along Riverside Drive

in the early spring afternoon

sniffing this way and that

how gratifying the cellos of the river

the tubas of the traffic

the trombones

of the leafing elms with the legato

of my rivals’ piss at their feet

and the leftover meat and grease

singing along in all the wastebaskets

 

Source: Poetry (February 2011)

 




Friday, April 16, 2021

I m amazed at this Spring

 

artist:  Esme Shapiro



Here's a poem from D.H.Lawrence:


"This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze."

 

-  D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring


artist: Daniel Garber





Wednesday, April 14, 2021

My heart is numbed too much for hopes or fears

 


Here is a wonderful poem by Christina Rossetti:


A Better Resurrection

by Christina Rossetti

I have no wit, no words, no tears;

My heart within me like a stone

Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;

Look right, look left, I dwell alone;

I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief

No everlasting hills I see;

My life is in the falling leaf:

O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,

My harvest dwindled to a husk:

Truly my life is void and brief

And tedious in the barren dusk;

My life is like a frozen thing,

No bud nor greenness can I see:

Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;

O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,

A broken bowl that cannot hold

One drop of water for my soul

Or cordial in the searching cold;

Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;

Melt and remould it, till it be

A royal cup for Him, my King:

O Jesus, drink of me.


Source: “A Better Resurrection” from Goblin Market and other Poems, by

Christina Rossetti. Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862.

 



artist   Bonnie B Cook


 


Monday, April 5, 2021

Easter Monday

 


art by John Faupel




Here's a poem by R.S. Thomas:

The Answer

 

by R.S. Thomas

 

Not darkness but twilight

In which even the best

of minds must make its way

now. And slowly the questions

occur, vague but formidable

for all that. We pass our hands

over their surface like blind

men feeling for the mechanism

that will swing them aside. They

yield, but only to re-form

as new problems; and one

does not even do that

but towers immovable

before us.

Is there no way

of other thought of answering

its challenge? There is an anticipation

of it to the point of

dying. There have been times

when, after long on my knees

in a cold chancel, a stone has rolled

from my mind, and I have looked

in and seen the old questions lie

folded and in a place

by themselves, like the piled

graveclothes of love’s risen body.

 

 


 art by Melinda Cooper





Saturday, April 3, 2021

Get Used to Different

 

It's Holy Saturday, somehow appropriate that I speak of my experience of watching this show.

Recently I finished watching the 8 episodes of "The Chosen"  Season One.

I wasn't thrilled with the first episode, but each following episode hooked me even more.

What I believe as a Catholic, particularly the Incarnation, was not contradicted.  The stories from the New Testament are told with a lot of creative backstory, which I actually liked.

One of my favorite scenes was the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus.  I've read that passage many times, but this dramatization really brought it to life.


I also loved that the Apostles were all young men - which, given the average life span at that time, was probably true.

But I have been especially captivated by the portrayal of Jesus.  As it says in the Gospel, he speaks with authority,  and heals, and clearly has a divine nature. But he's also down to earth: a little scruffy, witty, and warm.

The actor who portrays him is a devout Catholic, which I didn't know when I watched the series.

He has a wonderful face.  I am sure the real Jesus has a wonderful face.



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The last day of March!

 Has this month seemed long to anyone else?   I guess it's because I am yearning for my garden to wake up.


and this:  








Sunday, March 28, 2021

Always the sky keeps expanding

 

artist: Venus Alzouohu




Here's a poem by Eugene Gloria:

Palm Sunday

Always the sky keeps expanding.
Wide as America’s brave margins,
wide as my loneliness in the Middle West.
I lean against a dust cloud behind us,
the glory sinking into a muted timberline.
I am drunk with longing. The wind is singing—
 
my drunken friend, the wind, hurls
sweet curses at my face.
We have learned to love
this road, which lies down like pythons,
refuses to forgive our excesses,
refuses to consider us kin. Our driver’s
 
sign overhead reads, Jesus is my co-pilot.
Jesus who crossed the city
gates of his ancestors
on a road carpeted by palms.
Our goodtime driver must know this—
he drives with abandon,
 
despite our fragile cargo: scholars and accountants,
prophets and exiles all the same to him.
The road, which suggests things, is tired of ceremony.
It lies down to sleep like the snow.
Lie down TallMountain, lie down
Serafin Syquia, lie down Li-Young, lie
down Divakaruni, lie down Eman Lacaba,
lie down pilgrims of the open road.
Shameless, we gather our light
jackets in balls. We rest our heads,
our faces upturned to a squall of stars.
I near the end, my soul recites.
 
O loneliness, my body responds.
This empty road is a house
where no one lives. What strange fire
we bring when we come to this house.
 

Eugene Gloria, "Palm Sunday" from Drivers at the Short-Time Motel. Copyright © 2000 by Eugene Gloria.  Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House. Used by permission of Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (Penguin Random House, 2000)

Friday, March 26, 2021

Wind Advisory

 A very blustery March day.  I am hoping the blossoms on the Star Magnolias don't blow away.

Here's a photo of them from last March:


Here's a poem by Rilke:

 

"Harshness vanished. A sudden softness

has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.

Little rivulets of water changed

their singing accents. Tendernesses,

 

hesitantly, reach toward the earth

from space, and country lanes are showing

these unexpected subtle risings

that find expression in the empty trees."

-  Rainer Marie Rilke, Early Spring 

 





Thursday, March 25, 2021

My lips will sing Your praise

 Here are some of my favorite artists images of the Annunciation:

artist:  Henry Tanner



Today is the feast of the Annunciation -  when the angel of the Lord gave Mary the message, and she said yes.

Today my Sisters and I said our Annual Vows during the morning Mass.

I love this psalm from Morning Prayer:

Psalm 63

God, my God, for you I long

my soul thirsts for you

my body aches for you

Like a dry weary land without water

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary

a vision of strength and glory.


For your love is better than life,

my lips will sing your praise

I give you a lifetime of worship,

my hands raised in your name.

I feast at a rich table,

my lips sing of your glory.


On my bed I remember you

On you I muse through the night

for you have been my help

In the shadow of your wings

I rejoice.

Yes, I cling to you.

Your right hand holds me fast.


Annunciation      artist:  John Collier



Annunciation      artist  Brigid Martin


Annunciation      artist:  Fra Angelico


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spring Rain

 It's a lovely rainy day.  I am "in Retreat" with my other Sisters as we prepare to renew our vows tomorrow.

Here's a lovely picture of March:

artist: Angie Lathem


And another:


Artist: Janae Olsen





Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Today is the day when daffodils bloom

 


Here's a poem by Robert McCracken:


"Today is the day when bold kites fly,

When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.

When robins return, when children cheer,

When light rain beckons spring to appear.

 

Today is the day when daffodils bloom,

Which children pick to fill the room,

Today is the day when grasses green,

When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen."

-  Robert McCracken, Spring

 





Monday, March 22, 2021

Bright Minstrel

 






Here's a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne:


"Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell,

       and the splendor of winter had passed out of sight,

The ways of the woodlands were fairer and stranger

       than dreams that fulfill us in sleep with delight;

The breath of the mouths of the winds had hardened on tree-tops

       and branches that glittered and swayed

Such wonders and glories of blossom like snow

       or of frost that outlightens all flowers till it fade

That the sea was not lovelier than here was the land,

       nor the night than the day, nor the day than the night,

Nor the winter sublimer with storm than the spring:

       such mirth had the madness and might in thee made,

March, master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms

        that enkindle the season they smite."



-  Algernon C. Swinburne, March: An Ode

 

 Facts about March from the Pagans:


Gwyl Canol GwenWynol or Eostre: (pronounced E-ostra, also known as Ostara, Spring Equinox etc.), March 21-23. Time of equal day and equal night. This is often celebrated with eggs (beginnings) and rabbits (fertiity) ... see the theme? It is now time to lay the seeds of new projects and new directions that you have meditated on throughout the cold months. Now is the time to start taking action. (A lot of traditions use this particular sabbat for initiations. New roads, a new breath.) Colours for this sabbat: Purple and Yellow. The Spring Equinox defines the season where Spring reaches it's apex, halfway through its journey from Candlemas to Beltane.   Night and day are in perfect balance, with the powers of light on the ascendancy.   The god of light now wins a victory over his twin, the god of darkness.  In the Welsh Mabinogion, this is the day on which the restored Llew takes his vengeance on Goronwy by piercing him with the sunlight spear.  For Llew was restored/reborn at the Winter Solstice and is now well/old enough to vanquish his rival/twin and mate with his lover/mother.  And the great Mother Goddess, who has returned to her Virgin aspect at Candlemas, welcomes the young sun god's embraces and conceives a child. The child will be born nine months from now, at the next Winter Solstice. And so the cycle closes at last to begin anew.  The customs surrounding the celebration of the spring equinox were imported from Mediterranean lands, although there can be no doubt that the first inhabitants of the British Isles observed it, as evidence from megalithic sites shows. But it was certainly more popular to the south, where people celebrated the holiday as New Year's Day, and claimed it as the first day of the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries. However you look at it, it is certainly a time of new beginnings, as a simple glance at Nature will prove."
-  
Spring Equinox  

 








Saturday, March 20, 2021

The first day of Spring!

The snow is gone here, but it's still below freezing at night


And it's the Spring Equinox!


 

 

"Equal dark, equal light

Flow in Circle, deep insight

Blessed Be, Blessed Be

The transformation of energy!

So it flows, out it goes

Three-fold back it shall be

Blessed Be, Blessed Be

The transformation of energy!"

-   Night An'Fey, Transformation of Energy




 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

What they tell me is their story

 



Here's a wonderful poem by Gabriela Mistral:


The Teller of Tales

Gabriela Mistral

translated by Ursula K. Le Guin

   When I’m walking, everything

on earth gets up

and stops me and whispers to me,

and what they tell me is their story.

And the people walking

on the road leave me their stories,

I pick them up where they fell

in cocoons of silken thread.

    Stories run through my body

or sit purring in my lap.

So many they take my breath away,

buzzing, boiling, humming.

Uncalled they come to me,

and told, they still won’t leave me.

    The ones that come down through the trees

weave and unweave themselves,

and knit me up and wind me round

until the sea drives them away.

    But the sea that’s always telling stories,

the wearier I am the more it tells me...

    The people who cut trees,

the people who break stones,

want stories before they go to sleep.

    Women looking for children

who got lost and don’t come home,

women who think they’re alive

and don’t know they’re dead,

every night they ask for stories,

and I return tale for tale.

    In the middle of the road, I stand

between rivers that won’t let me go,

and the circle keeps closing

and I’m caught in the wheel.

The riverside people tell me

of the drowned woman sunk in grasses

and her gaze tells her story,

and I graft the tales into my open hands.

    To the thumb come stories of animals,

to the index fingers, stories of my dead.

There are so many tales of children

they swarm on my palms like ants.

    When my arms held

the one I had, the stories

all ran as a blood-gift

in my arms, all through the night.

Now, turned to the East,

I’m giving them away because I forget them.

    Old folks want them to be lies.

Children want them to be true.

All of them want to hear my own story,

which, on my living tongue, is dead.

    I’m seeking someone who remembers it

leaf by leaf, thread by thread.

I lend her my breath, I give her my legs,

so that hearing it may waken it for me.

 

 


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Hundred Million Miracles

 


I still love this song from the Broadway musical "Flower Drum Song:"

My father says
That children keep growing
Rivers keep flowing too
My father says
He doesn't know why
But somehow or other they do
They do
Some how or other they do
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
And those who say
They don't agree
Are those
Who do not hear or see
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
Miracle of changing weather
When a dark blue curtain
Is pinned by the stars
Pinned by the stars to the sky
Ev'ry flow'are
And tree is a treat to see
The air is very clean and dry
Then a wind comes blowing
The pins all away
Night is confused and upset
The sky falls down
Like a clumsy clown
The flowers
And the trees get wet
Very wet
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
And when the wind
Shall turn his face
The pins
Are put right back in place
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
In ev'ry single minute
So much is going on
Along the Yangtse Kiang
Or the Tiber or the Don
A hundred million miracles
A swallow in Tasmania
Is sitting on her eggs
And suddenly
Those eggs have wings
And eyes and beaks and legs
A hundred million miracles
A little girl in Chungking
Just thirty inches tal
Decides that she
Will try to walk
And nearly doesn't fall
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
My father says the sun
Will keep rising over
The eastern hill
My father says
He doesn't know
Why but somehow
Or other it will
It will
Somehow or other it will
Miracle of making music
When an idle poet
Puts words on a page
Writes on a page
With his brush
A musical friend
Writes the notes to blend
Suggested
By an idle thrush
Then a young soprano
Reads what they wrote
Learns every note
Every word
Puts all they wrote
In her lovely throat
And suddenly
A song is heard
Very pretty
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
A hundred million miracles
Are happ'ning ev'ry day
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein