Sunday, May 31, 2009

keep your eyes on the prize

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 – 1913)

in march, when I introduced readers to my friend joan southgate and her dream of establishing an underground railroad educational center in cleveland, I shared these wise words of harriet tubman's, in light of yesterday's festivities it is only fitting to repeat them.

I have a feeling that sister harriet was present and smiling down on us yesterday knowing that joan, and all of us share joan's dream, are one step closer to making joan's dream a reality. hundreds of folks gathered together to welcome joan home as she concluded her 250 mile walking journey from st. catherine's ontario to cleveland. there is a fairly decent (in fact, very decent) article in this morning's pd, which you can read here.

it was a glorious day; I was there take part of this joyful celebration. and yes I was snapping away like mad - you can see a couple of my flickr slideshows capturing some of the day's highlights by going here and here (if you click on the links, just know that the first slideshow is longer than the second).


mavis staples singing hold on, keep your eyes on the prize, a folk song which was particularly popular during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. like many influential protest songs, this song is rooted in an older traditional song. the tune for keep your eyes on the prize is drawn from in gospel plow, a traditional hymn. along with staples, many other artists have covered the song including: mahalia jackson, pete seeger, odetta, bob dylan, and bruce springsteen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

(the suitcase song)

To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary. When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual. Immigration officials did this to refugees; husbands routinely do it to wives.
Erica Jong (b. 1942) writer and educator

The bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.
Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) novelist and poet, 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature

I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.
Plato (428 BC-348 BC) philosopher and mathematician

True change takes place in the imagination.
Thomas Moore (b. 28 May 1779 - 1852) poet, singer, songwriter

Why it is that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos-novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes - you are beyond doubt the strangest?
Walker Percy (b. 28 May 1916-1990) writer, winner of the National Book Award 1962

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry.
French Proverb


suitcase - now brian, what were you thinking? once again I thought 'oh no, no way' -- but then I started thinking of my cache of photos and I realized I do take photos of everything! turns out I actually have lots of photos in which suitcases figure in; who'd have thunk it! believe it or not the above are just a few that I was able to quickly unpack.

notes on photos
  1. mural celebrating some of the immigrant groups who came to find a new home in the united states. snapped in washington heights during a wander with bud squirrel. new york, september 2008.
  2. I don't know what caught my eye initially in terms of this picture which I snapped last august in nyc, but if you look closely you will see a rolling suitcase on the sidewalk. remember life before suitcases with wheels? we may have been stronger, but it sure took a hell of a lot longer to get around town!
  3. last month I traveled around texas on a bit of a wander. I just happened to snap this exciting portrait of my suitcase on the platform of the san marcos train station. actually, this is the san marcos train station - if you are taking the amtrak north or south you have to purchase your ticket on the train, the platform is it! but it is a lovely platform, a bit lonely, but lovely none-the-less.
  4. a random queque waiting to board the long term parking shuttle, hopkins international airport, cleveland 2008
  5. a piece of art representing a suitcase for a human - this is part of the big bang exhibit at the centre georges pompidou. the big bang exhibit remains one of the most exciting displays of modern art I have experienced. alas, I did not write down either the artist or the name of the piece. anyone know? detail of human suitcase shown on right. october 2005
  6. tsuki in one of his favorite resting spots. if there is a suitcase open in my house, beware it is just a matter of time before a cat jumps in! this is a universal characteristic of cats - evidenced by this amusing google find.
aaron marsh of copeland singing the day I lost my voice (the suitcase song) from their album you are my sunshine

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

call it democracy

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.
Hubert H. Humphrey (b. 27 may 1911 -1978) 38th VP(65-69), Senator from MN (1949-64; 71-78)

now that the weather has gotten so lovely and the days are so full, I have a sneaking feeling that unless I fall back on one my tried and true blogging tricks, the mouse might go to sleep for the summer (a different twist on seasonal hibernation!). with that in mind, the mouse is returning to birthdays as a source of inspiration! today two greats in the fight for human rights are being honored - hubert h. humphrey and singer-songwriter bruce cockburn.

speaking of the fight for human rights, I don't know about you, but I'm very disappointed about yesterday's ruling by the california supreme court which upheld the anti-human rights and homophobic proposition 8, banning marriage for same-sex couples in that state. however, the court ruling has not ended the fight, if anything it has only strengthened the resolve among activists everywhere to work toward increasing efforts to guarantee marriage equality for all people everywhere. support full human rights and let love prevail - go here and find out how you can plug into supporting this righteous cause! if you live in the greater cleveland area, contact ask cleveland and see what you can do.

today is also bruce cockburn's birthday - bruce was born in ottawa in 1945. bruce has a rich musical career spanning many decades and fusing folk, jazz, and rock (before going solo he was a member of groups that played woodstock and opened for jimi hendrix and the cream). he is an ardent activist and committed to human rights and environmentalism, many of his songs reflect this, as does this one entitled call it democracy which is perhaps the only song ever written about the international monetary fund (imf). the song takes the imf to task for encouraging out-of-control debt in the developing world.


note about photo: last month I was in fort worth, one of the nicknames for fort worth is panther city, I didn't remember why fort worth had this nickname until I ran into this statue of a sleeping panther which was erected in 2002 in hyde park; hyde park was established in 1873 and is fort worth's first public urban park.

the origin of why fort worth (aka cowtown) is also known as panther city:
DALLAS DAILY HERALD

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 1875.

FORT WORTH IN A COLD SWEAT.

Mass Meeting of Citizens--A ''Panter'' Loose In Her Streets.

Last week our suburban village of Fort Worth was the scene of the wildest excitement. Nothing like it has been seen since the report that the railway was coming.

The high water in the Trinity overflowed the bottom and drove out a panther, who wandered at his own sweet will during the night through the streets. Next morning his tracks were seen by the terror stricken natives, and a scene ensued which beggars description. The whole village turned out to examine the tracks of the monster, and a public meeting was immediately called--Fort Worth never does anything without a meeting.

Parson Fitzgerald drove down a stake ''whar the panter had laid down.''

On motion, Captain Eph. Daggett was overwhelmingly called to the ''cheer,'' and Frank Boaz was elected secretary.

Parson Fitzgerald, in a few appropriate remarks, explained the objects of the meeting, by stating that it would never do for it to get out that a ''panter'' had walked those streets, for the Dallas people and their confounded papers would nevr let up on Fort Worth, and that it would deter people from investing, and ruin the prospects of their city as a railway centre. He then offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the people, en masse, of Fort Worth, be requested and cautioned to say nothing about the fact that a ''panter'' had been in their street, and that the press is requested to keep it out of their paper.

On motion of Captain Paddock, a committee of three prominent citizens, Dr. Burks, Captain Hanna, and Hyde Jennings Esquire, was appointed to wait upon General Peers, and to earnestly request him for the sake of the future prosperity of the city, to keep his d--d mouth shut.

These resolutions were very eloquently supported in telling speeches by Dr. Sam. Field, Hon. Edward Terrell, Woolear Fraser, and Colonel William Terry, jun.

The mayor was instructed, on motion of Hon. Junius W. Smith, to double the police force, and put a strong guard around town, and to search the mails to prevent any ''panter'' information going abroad. Captain Eph. Daggett introduced a resolution that the star of empire be requested to take its way westward by the first train.

The exercises were closed with prayer, by that ''son of thunder,'' as he is familiarly known, Parson Fitzgerald, after which that prince of liberal nature's noblemen, Captain J.Y. Hogsett, stood the champaigne for the crowd. Adjourned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

helplessly hoping


the memorial day holiday weekend is a holiday of contrasts. on one hand, this long holiday weekend is a joyous time, the weekend marks the official 'kick-off' of summertime (when the living is easy). on the other hand, it is a weekend of reflection. the holiday was originally created to honor those who died in the civil war; later the holiday was expanded to honor all the men and women who have died while in any war or military action - quite the opposite of joyous, wouldn't you say - sad and sobering is more like it.

my own weekend has been consistent with this holiday of contrasts. the weekend has been quite full of fun times with family and friends; but, I have also taken time to reflect on the more serious and somber nature of the weekend. my reflections have been aided in no small part to the many excellent articles in our papers, programs on the radio (haven't I mentioned that I am a npr junkie), and just thinking about my own commitment to the notion of a world without war and how that fits in with president obama's recent advice about this weekend: "it is about doing all we can to repay the debt we owe to those men and women who have answered our nation’s call by fighting under its flag."

I am particularly grateful to the diverse and expansive nature of the stories on npr this weekend. while I'm preparing for get togethers and good times, I have heard about the woman who passed herself as a man during the civil war in order to serve for what she believed in and the story of the mothers who selflessly are caring for their wounded and broken sons and daughters who are returning from fighting in iraq or afghanistan.

yesterday on bob edwards weekend they presented stories from third med: surviving a jungle er, an hour long segment on surviving (or not) the vietnam war. the soundtrack for the documentary was very compelling. one song, csn&y helplessly hoping has been a sweet earworm in my head ever since.



I hope everyone has been having a good weekend and one of meaningful contrasts. now, I best get back to making something to take to today's gathering at the house of some friends.

photo: memorial in front the annunciation church in tremont - the home of this weekend's annual greek festival

Thursday, May 21, 2009

let the good times roll

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) draftsman, painter, sculptor, architect and engineer

It is not more vacation we need - it is more vocation.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) diplomat, humanitarian and first lady

We love because it's the only true adventure
Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943) poet

A civilization is a heritage of beliefs, customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries, elements difficult at times to justify by logic, but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere, since they open up for man his inner distance.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) pilot, writer and author of 'The Little Prince

Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi(1893-1986) biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine

Laughter is an instant vacation.


He who nurtures benevolence for all creatures within his heart overcomes all difficulties and will be the recipient of all types of riches at every step.
Chanakya (350 BC-275 BC) politician, strategist and writer

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)essayist, poet and philosopher

va⋅ca⋅tion
–noun
1. a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.
2. a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.
3. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.
4. an act or instance of vacating.


I've had many wonderful vacations and I hope there will be many, many more in store!
I may come back and add some back story but until then, the basic

notes on photos:

1. olympic penisula - april 2006
2. the burghers of calais by rodin, victoria tower gardens outside the house of parliament, london 2002
3. f and me with the versailles gardens in the background, october 2005.
4. somewhere in the provence, october 2005
5. em & me in gaudi's parc guell, barcelona, march 2007
6. em & h.s. friend waiting for in some line on our way to nova scoctia summer 1995
7. em (age 4) feeding chipmunk friend at our campsite in acadia national park, october 1983
8. me (age 4) with father and brother at cuyamaca rancho state park, california, summer 1959


(the sure sign of a terrific vacation will always be encounters with new friends! seals in the waters around nova scotia, summer 1995)

b.b. king let the good times roll performs at the pavarotti and friends concert, 1999

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

my favorite things

The thirst for equality can express itself either as a desire to draw everyone down to one's level, or to raise oneself and everyone else up.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) philosopher, historian and social critic

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Chinese Proverb

one of my favorite things is the eastman reading garden at the cleveland public library. last week I made a point to walk through the garden everyday - I never know what delight I might encounter! it is sad when the garden is locked up during the winter, I don't understand why; although it probably has to do with the cost of maintaining the garden during the winter. considering all the granite and marble in the garden, the garden it probably viewed as a lawsuit waiting to happen. winter in cleveland can be fierce.

the centerpiece of the garden is a sleek, smooth reflecting pool made of black granite. it is designed by maya lin, the artist and architect best known for the vietnam veterans memorial (coincidentally, reya recently wrote about her visit there). what you probably don't know is maya lin was born in athens, ohio and that along with the vietnam memorial she designed another important monument - the civil rights memorial in montgomery, alabama. it has been years since I've been to alabama, and then my visit was confined to visiting family in the beautiful city of mobile. however, after reading about this memorial I believe that next time we make a road trip to texas, we need to take the long way!

until then, I can satisfy my thirst to check out more of maya lin's work as there is an interesting installation, maya lin: systematic landscapes, currently at the corcoran gallery in washington, dc. great. I'll be down to d.c. at least once before the show leaves in mid july! for mouse readers not traveling to dc this spring or summer you can check out the exhibition here.

the reading garden also is home to a whole village of those delightful tom otterness characters - you can see two of these guys in the bottom photo.

john coltrane and friends playing my favorite things (1961 in baden-baden germany). coltrane was one of the most influential and talented jazz musicians and composers of our time. it is a tragedy that coltrane died so young - in 1967, at 40 of liver cancer. coltrane was amazingly prolific and left an incredible legacy of recordings and compositions. always a spiritual person, during his thirties coltrane started seriously exploring the world's religions and fusing what he learned into his music. I'm surprised no one has ever done a biopic of coltrane's life, at least not that I know of; however, I have heard that there are a couple decent standard documentaries.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

wild horses

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.
Malcolm X (19 May 1925-1965) orator and human rights activist

today is malcolm x's birthday. born malcolm little, the adult malcolm changed his last name to "x" in order to shed the slave name given to him at birth. have you ever wondered where malcolm or our country might be now had those crazed assassins not riddled his body with bullets that cold february night in 1965?

speaking of malcolm, last week when I was at the library I picked up strivers row, the third novel in kevin baker's city of fire trilogy. several years ago I read paradise alley, what a powerful and compelling read. I've been meaning to get around to reading the other two books in baker's novelized history of new york ever since. I think today is a perfect day to start strivers row, especially considering this:
Played out against the backdrop of Harlem in 1943... Baker reimagines the early days of Malcolm Little—the man who became Malcolm X. As depicted by Baker, the young Malcolm is quick-witted, eager, reckless and impulsive, but also sensitive and possessing a strong sense of justice. These qualities lead to a chance encounter in which he helps Jonah Dove (the Dove family is familiar from Paradise Alley), a young Harlem minister who is struggling with his own demons as the fair-skinned leader of a black church that has not truly embraced him, despite his being the only son of the church's much-beloved founder; Dove's unfolding story (including his struggles with passing) deepens Malcolm's. The book stays within what's already known about Malcolm X's early adulthood, but Baker covers the territory carefully. He also thoroughly captures the figures (Adam Clayton Powell Jr., West Indian Archie, the Collyer brothers, etc.) and micropolitical climate of wartime Harlem: munitions factories have brought jobs to the struggling community, but low wages, rationing, racial hostilities and an increasing military and police presence makes for possibly explosive combinations. When these tensions do reach the breaking point, Baker lends the resulting fray a visceral reality. Copyright © Reed Business Information
notes on photos: last week I met rascal and cruz, two of the six horses in cleveland's stable of police horses. I also had the good fortune to talk to officer sikora and learn a bit about cleveland's mounted police. I remember a few years ago, then mayor campbell put the horses out to pasture. I asked officer sikora about that; according to the officer, the horses were out of work for 28 months. during that time there was a lot of private and public activity to reinstate the horses. long story short, the horses are back! if you are interested in reading about the long and sometimes turbulent history of the cleveland mounted police go here.

the two horses in these photos are both tennessee walking horses, rascal (brown) is 20 years old and cruz is 9. there are three officers who ride horses, I met two of the officers. I learned that prior to joining the mounted division when he was 51 (he is now 62) officer sikora had no experience with horses. the city taught him how to ride.




Monday, May 18, 2009

lawyers, guns, and money

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, peace activist

last week I mentioned that I was on jury duty. since it took up so much of my time, I thought I'd post a brief note about the experience. overall it was an interesting experience; although my first two days could have been considered mind-numbingly dull. however, the jury assembly room was a fascinating place to watch people. it is so interesting how quickly folks create little social networks and also how we tend to lay claim to specific bits of 'real estate' - I saw that most people returned to the same seats day after day. as a person who loves to read, I never complain about having big expanses of time on my hand. I read a really interesting book which transported me far, far away from cleveland to the wilds of tibet.

the first day of jury duty I left my camera at home, at lunch time, we broke for lunch and I went out and wandered about the city, of course I was kicking myself for leaving my camera home as cleveland was shining like a brand new penny. on day two I did bring my camera with me.

on day three I planned ahead and along with my camera, I brought two books, a deck of cards, and scrabble cubes. of course, as one would predict, this was the day my name was called. my named was called and I was also selected served on a jury. I sat on a civil case and fortunately it only lasted a couple days. after not being called during the first two days, I had a dreadful thought that if I did get called on the last day, I would end up on a jury for some complex case and end up sequestered away for weeks. it seems as if most of the potential jurors all had this same fear!


notes on photos:
  1. original cuyahoga county courthouse framed inside isamu noguchi's monumental abstract sculpture entitled 'portal' - I particularly like how the piece changes shape as you move around it or change your viewing angle.
  2. did I say sitting in the jury assembly room could be considered mind-numbing? I couldn't resist snapping this pic inside the room of sleeping people. I thought it was so funny how some people choose to sit in the little coat cubbies.
  3. I don't know if I would say this was the 'best lunch in town' but it certainly was the cheapest place to grab a bite! the tall building in the background is the cleveland justice center which houses both the cleveland police headquarters and most of the courthouses for the cuyahoga county court of common pleas.
warren zevon singing lawyers, guns, and money. the song appears on warren's 1978 album excitable boy. warren was a brilliant light which was extinguished way too soon, he died in 2003 at the age of 56 of inoperable mesothelioma (a form of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the lion sleeps tonight


is everyone is having a good weekend? I hope so, I am! among this weekend's highlights is the annual hessler street fair - one of my favorite community happenings. I went yesterday with susan and ms t. I didn't take as many pics as usual and my camera was mostly focused on documenting the face painting process, as evidenced by these snaps . my documentation may have also been curtailed by a sudden rainstorm which prompted an earlier than planned departure.

the fair is also going on today. I expect with today's sun and lovely cool temperatures the crowds will be out in full force! although it would be fun to return, I think I'm going to lobby for a nature hike for today's activity!

jimmy cliff's version of the lion sleeps tonight. there are scores of versions of this classic song from the ridiculous to the sublime. pete seeger and the weavers are often credited as introducing the song to western audiences - here's the weaver's version. the song has a long and complex history and has been subject to many controversies. in fact, the history and controversies surrounding the song prompted a south african documentary a lion's trail by françois verster. in 2006, pbs aired the documentary and it later won an emmy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

everything is broken

Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to waste and destroy.
Henri de Lubac (1896-1991) theologian

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.
Amelia Earhart (b.1897 – declared dead 1939), aviator, author, adventurer

Misfortunes one can endure - they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults - Ah! there is the sting of life.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)poet, novelist, dramatist and critic

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
Albert Camus (1913-1960)novelist, essayist and playwright

Those with the greatest awareness have the greatest nightmares.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, peace activist

Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need.
Jesse Owens (1913-1980) athlete, Olymic Gold Medalist (1936)

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

before I go into the notes on the photos a couple "disclaimers" - first of all, regular readers of the mouse may have deduced that I am a visual being and I will be the first to admit that this week's theme of (wh)oops has presented a challenge - my own biggest whoops stories have never been documented and that leads me to the next disclaimer; second, although I am no longer traveling, I am in a manner of speaking still 'away' (e.g. I'm currently on jury duty) so I'm still not in my usual blogging groove.... what you have here is the best I can conjure up with my very limited 'window' but that said I do hope I've offered up a few good does of mouse medicine....

okay, that's it for the disclaimers, now here are the notes:
  1. a caution written on some road in london. very helpful for visitors coming from countries where traffic comes at you from the opposite direction!
  2. so what is it! is it the left or the right lane that is closed ahead? cleveland 12 may 2009
  3. 'one too many guinnesses' somewhere along the southeast coast of ireland during a wander, may 2001
  4. broken fiestaware outside the fiestaware factory, newell, west virginia september 2008
  5. the type of road that is sometimes an element in one of my recurring nightmares, somewhere on the ring of kerry, ireland may 2001
  6. jesse owens statue outside the cuyahoga county courthouse, cleveland 12 may 2009
  7. a very beautiful elderly gentleman, new york city, september 2008

bob dylan's everything is broken - bobby, you ain't jiving!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

another day in paradise

If you change the way you look at thing, the things you look at change.

when I was in austin I picked up a magnet with the above quote above, there was no credit given to who coined the expression, but googling it I found it is attributed to wayne dyer, a contemporary "motivational speaker" and "self-help book author". I would not be surprised however to find that he 'borrowed' the saying from some anceint proverb - it does has that feel about it.

today I'm heading out for day two of my week of jury duty. I wasn't called yesterday ...but who knows what will happen today. according to the bailiff who provided yesterday's orientation, the cleveland courts are among the busiest in the state of ohio. okay, gotta go, can't be late!


phil collins another day in paradise


photo: 'cleveland venus' by jim dine in front of the carl b. stokes u.s. courthouse, cleveland (oh, btw, I'm not at this courthouse)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

let it be

last year on mother's day I wrote that according to tibetan buddhist thought each of us has been a mother. so a very happy mother's day to each and every one of you!

this year I am happy to say that I am among those most blessed individuals, who in spite of being on the dark side of 50, my mother is alive and well!

I went down to visit my mom and dad last weekend to help celebrate my mom's 84th birthday. I sometimes debate which weekend to go south to visit my folks - my mom's birthday or mother's day and my mom's birthday seems to always win out. part of my own personal ritual for celebrating these two special days is to get flowers and veggies and plant them for my mom to enjoy in the days and months ahead. this year mom cautioned me to not go overboard and to control the number of plants that I bring home. I never thought of it before but planting a garden at someone's house can be a bit of like giving someone a white elephant. my mom's days are full taking care of my dad, who I am happy to report is still with us. unlike my mom, my dad is quite frail and benefits from having as many 'mothers' around as possible (in the tibetan buddhist sense) ...

by the way, this time I did listen to my mom, and I didn't go overboard - although I did put in four tomato plants instead of her requested 'only two'....how could I resist the varieties of heirlooms at their local farmer's market!

neither of the songs I had hoped to use today - susan mckeown's mother of mine or natalie mcmaster's mom's jig are available on youtube. however, last night lin dropped in to take matilda home and I asked her what song came to her mind with the prompt 'motherhood.' without missing a beat she replied 'let it be.' thanks lin, I think you are right, this beautiful tribute mccarthy wrote to his mom may be the ultimate mom song!


speaking of beautiful tributes to mothers make sure you read connie schultz's beautiful tribute to her mom which appears in today's pd.




photos: top - lily of the valleys transplanted last year from my grandpap's garden to my own; bottom - my mom and some her flowers, may 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

nine million bicycles

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist, philosopher, peace activist

when I got back from my texas wanders my friend lin presented me with the most wonderful gift - the use of an extra bike she has laying around. as a voluntarily car-free person who most often uses public transportation or walks, having a bicycle at my disposal is going to open up all sorts of new vistas - not to mention save time!

it's been quite a while since I've ridden a bike but I learned that it is true you do never forget how to ride a bike! however, I discovered that bikes today are a great deal more complicated than the bikes I used to ride! I'm also a lot more safety conscious than I used to be so last weekend when I was visiting my folks in metro dc, I ran out to the local rei and picked up a lovely bike helmet, subtlety decorated with images of lotus flowers, for 25% off!

if only my town got busy and started expanding those bike lanes like they promised!

katie melua singing her sweet tune nine million bicycles... the song was a hit in the uk in 2005.


bottom photo - me on my bike in 1962, memphis

Thursday, May 7, 2009

summer breeze

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
Anais Nin (1903-1977) writer

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind
Bob Dylan (b.1941) singer-songwriter

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
Dolly Parton (b.1946) singer, actress, literacy activist

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.
Richard Bach (b.1936 - ) author and aviator

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
Goethe (1749-1832) poet, novelist, philosopher

In all our quest of greatness, like wanton boys, whose pastime is their care, we follow after bubbles, blown in the air.
John Webster (1580-1632) writer & playwright

Men are like bagpipes no sound comes from them until they're full.

Irish Proverb

Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) novelist and writer, winner 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature

notes on photos:
  1. kite-flying at green springs garden, alexandria september 2008
  2. hot air balloon, central park - new york city august 2008
  3. sailboat on cuyahoga river, cleveland august 2008
  4. clouds, somewhere in texas
  5. windmill on the grounds of the lady bird wildflower center. to see a slide show which features the current sculptures and flowers budding at the wildflower center go here. april 2009
  6. bubble play in the backyard of our house on avenue c
  7. pipers at the 2008 cleveland irish festival july - a great time and an annual rite for our family!
  8. curtains hanging in my bedroom at avenue c
    See the curtains hanging in the window
    In the evening on a Friday night

    A little light a-shining through the window
    Lets me know every thing's all right


how I loved the seals and croft's song summer breeze (1972) when I was in high school. I saw the duo once in concert, but for the life of me, I can't remember the venue, that's what happens when one gets old! the song has been featured in a few films including, dazed and confused, about high school life in the mid-1970s (yeah, been there, done that) and the 2009 sleeper the king of california

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

just a little bit

I live a day at a time. Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: "What is my exciting thing for today?" Then, I do the day. Don't ask me about tomorrow.
Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) attorney, congresswoman, activist

while on my texas wander I was particularly impressed by all the colorful and creative outside art. I managed to get some snaps and put together a slideshow, although these photos are far from representative of what is around but they do capture just a little bit of the mural scene in austin....

slowly I'm making progress organizing my texas snaps.

here's the link to my slide show of the unveiling of the barbara jordan statue which occurred on april 24th; attending this event was the serendipitous highlight of the trip. I was surprised to learn that of all the statues that adorn the ut campus, until now there has been no statue honoring a woman. it's sad to think it's taken this long, there certainly has been no shortage of women leaders in texas history, but it is fitting that the first statue of a woman be of barbara jordan. ms. jordan was a first in so many things during her lifetime. let's hope that this is just the first of many more statues of women to grace the campus of ut!

maria mena music video just a little bit


photo: outside wall of tequila mockingbird, a music studio in the heart of austin, april 2009