Saturday, January 30, 2010

love call: sepia saturday

today's sepia saturday photograph is of my maternal grandparents from their wedding day - june 30, 1924. george was twenty-five when he married 17 year old mary - today we would say ol' george robbed the cradle! but it was a match made in heaven; mary and george were together until death did them part, in 1965, george died he was 66 years old, although mary was only 58 when george died, she never remarried.

mary and george, who we called nana and 'dodo', had three children, rita, george, and rose marie. when I was a child I always felt there was magic in the number 3 when it came to my mother's side of the family. nana came from a family where her biological mother (julia) had three children; julia married josef, a widower who had three children (although one of these children died in childhood). my mom had three children and her sister had three children. although my uncle married, he never had children; he did have six nieces and nephews, all of whom he is close to. my grandfather, dodo, came from a family with six children (nothing more than 3 times 2). okay, enough of this nonsense - but maybe one more bit of 3 magic, I already mentioned nana lived to be 96 - but what I failed to also say is that when she died, along with her three children, she had six grand children and nine living great-grandchildren!

last week I mentioned that this grandfather worked for some time as a miner. I don't know how long he was with the harwood coal company. but his time there was enough to help shorten his life; he qualified for a black lung pension (or whatever it is called) and eventually died from lung cancer. among the treasures I rescued from being incinerated when nana was going through her stuff in her later years are a hodgepodge of documents, including pay statements when my grandfather was with the coal company. at right are two showing what he earned in 1924 and 1926 (in 1924 he worked his rate was 62 cents/hour the wage increased to 66.7 cents/hour in 1926). do you know the song sixteen tons? it has a line about 'owing one's soul to the company store; well this was really true, below is a snap of what is at the bottom of the 1926 pay statement.

I always felt that my nana was the hardest working person I ever have known. in addition to raising her children, nana took care of many others including her in-laws when they became elderly and needed assistance. in addition to her family she cared for many people in her community. she worked outside the home as a housekeeper for many years. she was very involved with her church and community until she was 90. the only reason she had to slow down was because of a second hip fracture, this fracture happened three years or so after her first hip fracture and necessitated her having to finally move out of the home and community where she lived from 1924 until 1997. nana died in 2003 at the age of 96.

in addition to the prevalence of the magical number three, this side of the family also has a prevalence of 'women of the cloth' - my grandmother was a avid quilter - a passion shared by my aunt, my sister, a cousin, and me; along with quilting, most of the women in the family are skilled with the sewing machine and thread and needle. my aunt made a living as a dress-maker - her gowns were sights to behold. my mom made all of my sister's and my clothes when we were young. to this day if I am flummoxed by a sewing problem all I have to do is call up my mom and she helps me find my way out of the problem.

I thought I'd post a love song that was popular in 1924 as today's tune. of course in the digital age, finding out what songs were hits way back when is just a click and a couple keywords away. it is pretty impossible to find youtube vids of songs from the 1920s; among the scores of songs listed as popular songs for 1924 on this website is indian love song. this version isn't by edith day, who made the song a hit when she played the title character in the 1924 operetta rose marie.

go to kat's pad for to see the list of other sepia saturday players!

Friday, January 29, 2010

gonna get through this world

(D)issent and protest are divisive, but in a good way... they represent accurately the real divisions in society. Those divisions exist - the rich, the poor - whether there is dissent or not, but when there is no dissent, there is no change. The dissent has the possibility not of ending the division in society, but of changing the reality of the division. Changing the balance of power on behalf of the poor and the oppressed
Howard Zinn
(August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010)

because zinn has long been a source of inspiration and admiration, I have read many tributes and obituaries over the last couple days; this reflection by james carroll, a columnist for the boston globe, best captures why so many of us are drawn to professor zinn: "Howard had a genius for the shape of public morality and for articulating the great alternative vision of peace as more than a dream. But above all, he had a genius for the practical meaning of love."

thank you professor zinn. rest in peace.

today's song makes me think of professor zinn. lisa gutkin of the klezmatics, performs woody guthrie's gonna get through this world. woody wrote this song in 1945, however it took until 2003 before the world would hear it. after woody's death in 1967, his daughter nora established the woody guthrie archive in order to keep woody's music alive. since 1998 nora has worked with a variety of musicians to set music to many of the songs woody wrote that are in the archive. the klezmatics cd wonder wheel is the most recent of these collaborations. (youtube has another version of this song but you have to go here to listen/see it).

photo: snap from page 260 of a people's history of american empire (2008) - a graphic history book, by howard zinn, mike konopacki (illustrator) and paul buhle (editor). the book is part of the american empire project

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm a little mixed up

In painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false.
Edgar Degas (1834-1917) artist

What I am after is the first impression – I want to show all one sees on first entering the room – what my eye takes in at first glance.
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) painter and printmaker

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) diplomat, humanitarian and first lady

It's not so much a matter of patience but rather passion...We want to do what we want, where we want and how we want it – that is the scream of freedom.
Jeanne-Claude (1935 – November 18, 2009) environmental artist


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) poet, journalist, editor

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.

Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

Some photographers take reality...and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) photographer

If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) biologist, writer, ecologist

Deja Brew: The feeling that you've had this coffee before.


notes on photos:
  1. an impression of edgar degas, although he is regarded to be one of the founders of impressionism, he himself felt that he was a realist. cimetiere de montmartre, september 2004
  2. detail of painting by pierre bonnard, a founder of les nabis, a group of post-impressionist avant-garde artists. I had the good fortune to catch a exhibit of bonnard's work last spring in new york - however since it was a special exhibit photography was forbidden. I adore bonnard's use of color and his attention to the little details of our world (mouse medicine?) -what can I say, bonnard's paintings make me feel good. this photo is of the painting la femme au chat (1912) at the musée d'orsay, paris. march 2007.
  3. impressions on a sidewalk, feeling cold? lakewood, 26 january 2010
  4. the gates created by christo and jeanne-claude, new york city. february 2005
  5. conjoined by roxy paine at the modern in fort worth. april 2009
  6. entrance to japanese garden at the fort worth botanical gardens. april 2009
  7. felted dodad with glass beads, corner of casa kim on avenue c. january 2010
  8. ms t giving her impression of what it must be like to be a dog. october 2009
  9. painted wall at a mozart coffee roasters, austin. april 2009
I have to admit that this week's theme had me feeling all mixed up! betty james released I'm a little mixed up in 1961. betty did another song called I'm not mixed up anymore. good for her! I, on other hand, am still mixed up!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

tears in heaven

Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.
Elie Wiesel (b. 1928) writer, holocaust survivor, activist

in 2005 the united nation's general assembly designated january 27th as international holocaust remembrance day. on this date in 1945 the largest nazi death camp, auschwitz-birkenau in poland, was liberated by soviet troops.

forgive but never forget

work always for peace and tolerance

eric clapton performing his heartbreaking 1992 ballad tears in heaven

photo: memorial to the martyrs of the deportation is a quiet garden memorial at the eastern end of ile de la cité. the memorial was designed by the architect georges henri pingusson and inaugurated by charles de gaulle on april 12, 1962. the monument memorializes the 200,000 people who were deported from france to the concentration camps between 1940-1945, 85,000 of whom were political activists, resistance fighters, homosexuals and gypsies; 76,000 of them were jews, including 11,000 children. Only 2,500 of those deported survived. paris, october 2005

Monday, January 25, 2010

to a mouse

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair
Robert Burns (25 january 1759-1796)

today is the anniversary of the birth of the scottish bard rabbie burns. someday I would like to attend burns night (burns nacht), the celebration of his life and poetry often held on or near this day. despite the fact that the traditional fare for these celebrations is haggis (which was probably designated as the national dish of scotland after robert burns immortalized it in his poem address to a haggis (1787)), what attracts me to the celebration is the notion of spending an evening where his poems and songs are performed live. I expect I'd be skipping the haggis, along with not eating 'cute' animals, I also don't eat foodstuffs made from organs (and what is haggis but a concoction of all sorts of well, I don't really want to go there...). however, I would be happy to partake in other aspects of the evening, such as being 'piped' into the fête by bagpipes, indulging in a toast or two of scotch whiskey, basking in the beauty of the bard's words, and being surrounded by scores of men in kilts.

it goes with out saying my favorite burns poem is to a mouse. there are quite a few vids of the poem floating around, however this version by peigi mccann and david sibbald (who incidentally also performs the poem) does a lovely job illustrating many of the 'lessons' of burns' bit of mouse medicine. I hope you enjoy the vid!

the best known stanza of the poem is:

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

or if you prefer standard english would have it as:

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

photo: notch (may 2007 - october 2009), my dearly departed mousie, photo taken april 2009

Saturday, January 23, 2010

imagined village: sepia saturday

today's sepia saturday contribution features a photo of josef koszcelnik (later kostelnik), my mother's maternal grandfather and five other gentlemen. josef is the seated man in the middle with the pipe in his mouth, wearing a cap with his miner's lamp still attached.

like most of the old photos in my box of old photos the one above lacks any accompanying information. I don't know when the photo was taken or who the other men are, a couple of them don't exactly look like miners, at least they aren't wearing clothes miners would wear. but they do seem to enjoy each others company and a nice mug of beer! the life of a miner did not appeal to josef and he soon left the mines and he and his wife went on to establish a saloon and boarding house in bethlehem, pennsylvania.

like many others who immigrated from europe and settled in northeastern pennsylvania during the late 1800s and early 1900s, josef found work in the coal mines. it turns out that after getting off the boat, three of my great-grandfathers ended up working in the coal mines. both of my mother's grandfathers worked in the coal mines and also father's maternal grandfather, andrew urinchak. I don't have any photographs of andrew, but I do have a very old certificate, seen on right, which verifies his competency to mine anthracite coal. the certificate contains all sorts of interesting information. the document has andrew's last name as uhrinchook. I'm sure when andrew went to get his certificate, the clerk asked him what his name was and then proceeded to spell it like it sounded. it appears to me that people were fairly lax back then in terms of being precise with the spelling of last names. I have quite a few documents with all sorts of spellings of the last names of my great-grandparents and grandparents. and I remember hearing quite a few stories regarding spelling issues with all of the names on both sides of my family.

well, that's all I have time to write for today - I really should do some advance planning for these sepia saturday posts, they are great fun. I only wish I knew more of the stories and the histories associated with the people in the photos. I wonder if hypnosis would help me recall all the stories I heard when I was a kid - I used to love sitting at the knee of a grandparent and listen to them wax on about their lives and the lives of their parents.

today's song is by the imagined village, performing "tam lyn (retold)" during 2008 at the cambridge folk festival. I recently learned about this amazing group from some member of our global blogging village (was it tony?). at the time this vid was made, members of imagined village included: Benjamin Zephaniah, Billy Bragg,Chris Wood, Eliza Carthy, Johnny Kalsi, Martin Carthy, Paul Weller, Sheila Chandra, Simon Emmerson, The Copper Family, The Gloworms, Tiger Moth, Transglobal Underground, Tunng (I expect like all villages there will be additions and departures as time marches on)

by the way as soon as learned of this amazing group (it includes many of my absolute favorite musicians) I ordered one of the first of the imagined village cds - it came yesterday and includes this song.

wander over to poetikat for links to the other sepia saturday posts

Thursday, January 21, 2010

stir it up

There are few things as toxic as a bad metaphor. You can't think without metaphors.

Mary Catherine Bateson (b. 1939) writer & anthropologist

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said, “is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) writer & mathematician
From The Walrus and the Carpenter

We have learned to see in bread an instrument of community between men—the flavour of bread shared has no equal.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1940) pilot & poet

The common woman is as common
as the best of bread
and will rise
and will become strong
I swear it to you.
I swear it to you
on my own head….
I swear it to you
on my common

Judy Grahn, poet, writer, cultural theorist

When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
Jean de la Bruyere (1645-1696) essayist & moralist

To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art

Chinese Proverb

The opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference.

Elie Wiesel (b. 1928) writer, human rights activist

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.

Yiddish Proverb

notes on photos:
  1. bread baskets of some unknown purpose (sorry I didn't take notes) at le musée de la boulangerie, bonnieux october 2005
  2. breads at the place to buy bread (and scones!) in my current home town, the blackbird bakery, lakewood january 2010
  3. bread cart, provence, france ~ october, 2005
  4. beautiful bread, vermont
  5. sign for the elmore mountain bread, where the beautiful breads (above) were baked, september 2005
  6. a bit of street art on the security gate for a bakery and pastry shop located in the 20th arrondissement, paris october 2005
  7. yum - marmite, cheese and bread. love it or hate it - 'tis one of my favorite combos
  8. a very old oven, the bories village in the luberon october, 2005

stir it up by bob marly and the wailers

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I remember you

What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one.... It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one—which is really the realm of the artist.
Federico Fellini (b. 20 january 1920-1993) film director

things feel a bit surreal this morning; I wake to the news that massachusetts elected a little known conservative republican state senator to take the seat of teddy kennedy. the seat of teddy our beloved liberal lion of the senate! can't say I'd be surprised if this morning's haitian aftershock is a result of the seismic activity generated when teddy started spinning in his grave.

from here on out I hereby declare january 20th the day of absurdity. speaking of absurdity, did you know that today is the birthday of both federico fellini and david lynch - what a coincidence that two kings of the absurd share a birthday!

I don't like the word ironic. I like the word absurdity, and I don't really understand the word 'irony' too much. The irony comes when you try to verbalize the absurd. When irony happens without words, it's much more exalted.
David Lynch (b. 20 january 1946) film maker & visionary artist

topping things off, today is also the birthday of slim whitman (b. 1924). here's slim singing his 1950's hit song I remember you, introducing slim is no other than andy kaufman, who in my book is another comely prince of the absurd!

photo: is there anything as absurd as the sight of a quilting cat? perhaps not. tsuki, 19 january 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

tout moun se moun

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) minister, civil-rights leader

almost a week has passed since the devastating earthquake in haiti bringing a new level of tragedy and disaster to a country and a people who have already had to endure more tragedy and disaster than seems possible. my heart is heavy. I can't stop thinking about all that needs to happen to help the people. the images and stories coming out of haiti are heartbreaking and the numbers of people affected are mind blowing and mind numbing: one report states that at least 140,000 people are presumed dead and over 3.5 million peoples lives have been turned upside down in haiti.

fortunately, people all over the world are responding to the tragedy in haiti - we can only hope that this response is not short-lived. it will take years and years for haiti to recover.

immediately after the earthquake, like many people, I was moved to give something to the relief effort. because I am aware of their work, I chose to give to partners in health, an organization with deep and established ties with haiti. as a result of this donation I am now receiving regular emails. I appreciate these emails as they provide accounts not readily available via mainstream media. however, there was reference to mainstream media through a link in this morning's email. it mentioned a segment which aired last night on 60 minutes, I missed last night's broadcast, but in this digital age, I was able to watch it this morning, if interested you can to check it out here. it is very powerful and I think underscores the wisdom of the quote I opened today's post with.

the people of haiti need sustaining light and love to help get them away from darkness created by the earthquake. shine some of your light and love on the cause and please give to established organizations such as partners in health, doctors without borders, madre, or the red cross (to name the groups that the mouse considers among the best) and keep on giving. we have to be in it for the long haul.

the haitian band zing experience and their song tout moun se moun (every person is a person)

photo: detail of painting by haitian artist y. seraphin

honor the spirit of martin luther king, jr
happy martin luther king, jr day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the lonesome whistle blows: sepia saturday

unlike last week's sepia saturday contribution which was taken in a studio, today's photo is a causal snapshot taken by my grandpap. the picture was taken before my grandpap married and features his then future wife, mary (on the left), one of the boys from tomlin tribe, and gradpap's sister sue, who we met last week. the photo was taken in lofty, pennsylvania, most likely in 1916 or 1917. mary, mr. (first name unknown) tomlin, and aunt sue are standing on the tracks in front of the lofty station.

the yanoshik and the tomlin families were among the handful of families that lived in the little village of lofty. today a few descendants of both families still remain in lofty. I'm not sure what the population of lofty is, but according to the 2000 census there were 20 people living in lofty. during its heyday lofty was a busy railroad junction and switching town which was best known for its tunnel - not surprisingly referred to as the lofty tunnel . lofty got its name as it was once the highest point on the route of the catawissa railroad at an elevation of 1,540 feet above sea level.

hank williams sr. song I heard that lonesome whistle blow williams released the song in 1951, the song has become a classic country tune and is widely covered.

once again, to view other sepia saturday posts just go nowhere

Thursday, January 14, 2010

under the surface

I have been into many ... cathedrals -- grand, wonderful, mysterious. But I always leave them with a feeling of indignation because of the generations of human beings who have struggled in poverty to build these altars to the unknown god.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 -1902) social activist

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril."

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) author & philosopher

We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (b. 15 january 1929-1968)

Nature is a burning and frigid, transparent and limited universe in which nothing is possible but everything is given.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) novelist, essayist and playwright

The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made.
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.

Edmund Waller (1606-1687) poet

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer (b. 14 january 1875 -1965)

Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802 – 1838) novelist & poet

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone,

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) short story writer & poet

notes on photos:
  1. st. theodosius russian orthodox church this church is was featured in the wedding scene of the 1978 movie the deer hunter, I finally watched the movie this fall, after years of avoiding it. painful to watch, but doable -now, I can check that off my must see list. cleveland, august 2008
  2. one of the art cars that were toured the country last year. the surface of the car is covered with an incredible collection of 'treasures.' I haven't seen it, but I understand harrod blank made a documentary called automorphosis which gets under the surface of the people who transform autos into art. photo from a visit to the american visionary art museum, baltimore, august 2009
  3. skimming the surface of the cuyahoga river, cleveland, september 2008
  4. detail of the surface of piece from artist as quiltmaker xiii, oberlin 2009
  5. ms t looking out the window lakewood public library january 2009
  6. my street the winter of 2008, before it was resurfaced.
  7. reflections on the surface of a pond in oberlin, october 2008
  8. looking across the surface of lake erie towards cleveland, february 2009
  9. billboard, wales march 2003

the song under the surface by norwegian singer-songwriter marit larsen, from her debut album of the same name (2006)

Monday, January 11, 2010

iron jawed angels

When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.
Alice Paul (11 january 1885 -1977) women's rights activist

today is the anniversary of the birth of the indefatigable alice paul. in 2004, director katja von garnier directed a docudrama entitled iron jawed angels; the film focused primarily on the lives of alice paul, her close friend lucy burns and other women's rights activists as they forged the modern feminist movement and worked to secure women the right to vote in the united states. it is a powerful film, if you haven't seen it check it out. hilary swank leads an excellent cast as she convincingly inhabits the role of alice.

the trailer for iron jawed angels, produced by hbo films. seeing that the cleveland public library has dozens of copies of this film, I expect it is fairly easy to get.

photo: amish farmer plowing a field, ohio. july 2006

Sunday, January 10, 2010

time in a bottle

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) philosopher, author, radical

today is the anniversary of the publication of common sense, which was published on 10 january 1776. however, today's quote comes from paine's other great work the american crisis, published after common sense. because of the power and significance of paine's writings he has claim to the title of being the father to the american revolution.

today is the birthday of singer-songwriter jim croce. croce died tragically in 1973 in a plane accident when he was only 30 years old. after his death his song time in a bottle, became a hit song. jim wrote the song for his son a.j. who was a just a baby at the time. today a.j. is older than his father ever was; like his father a.j. is also a singer-songwriter. I wonder if a.j. has ever covered his father's song for him - or if it is too painful.

photo: tagged utility box, cleveland. january 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

ancestors: sepia saturday

I've long admired and been inspired by alan's sepia saturdays. this week, I decided I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and play along. what better way to share some among my most treasured possessions, the small collection of old photographs I've rescued from complete obliteration when elders have passed on.

today's photograph is of my beloved grandpap, stephen, and his younger sister sue. stephen was the oldest child in a family of 6 children - three boys and three girls. grandpap's parents immigrated to the united states in the 1880s and settled and lived in lofty, which is in the anthracite coal region of northeastern pennsylvania. however, this side of my family was not directly involved in the coal industry - rather they were farmers and involved in transportation and communication. my grandpap stephen was born in 1888 to stephen and mary; sue was the second child, all of the children of stephen and mary, were born at the family home in lofty.

there is no date on the photographs. but based on other dated photos in my treasure box I believe the photograph of stephen and sue was taken around 1914 or 1915. this photograph is in one of those cardboard frames that photographic studios provide, in the corner of the frame is a seal which reads "Thomas MacCollin Hazleton Pa" - a google search of thomas maccollin turns up nothing, so we are to assume that the studio never survived into an era of being remembered by digital history keeping

I am happy to report that the yanoshik family house still stands and is still in the family - my uncle george lives in the house. uncle george and his twin brother, john recently celebrated their 80th birthday!

again there is no date on the photo of george and john, the photo was probably taken when they were in their mid teens - both of the twins are wearing a tee-shirts that were given to them by their older brothers who were serving in the military. the naval aviation shirt was undoubtedly given by my father who was a naval aviator for most of his twenty-eight years in the navy; the other shirt was probably given by uncle joe who served in the army during ww II. I expect this photo was taken around 1944.

for more sepia saturday players go nowhere

coincidentally, on january 9th 1839 the french academy of sciences announced the daguerreotype photographic process. later that same year, william fox talbot announced that he invented the calotype process. together these inventions are considered to mark 1839 as the year photography was invented.

the photo directly above is of a statue which celebrates daguerre's invention and stands near the national portrait gallery in washington d.c.

edith frost's lovely, haunting and poetic song ancestors. edith is a singer-songwriter currently based in san francisco.

the lyrics:

When we go to glory
When our time is over
Will we stand unspoken for
When the light becomes too blinding

When my ancestors come to meet me
They'll have questions about my drugging
They may look on my enemies kindly
When my life becomes a memory
Will my ancestors meet me up there

They may look upon me
They may take it badly
All the men I used to love
All the things they won't approve of

When my ancestors come to meet me
Well I hope that they welcome me there
They'll forgive me forgetting their names
When the place becomes too frightening
Will my ancestors meet me up there

below is the original photo I posted- some mouse readers may have seen earlier today. lucky for me to have a friend who is master at digital editing. he emailed me that he liked it So much that I couldn't leave it alone. I occasionally get the urge to exercise my digital
editing skills, and this one got to me.
and attached the new, improved old snap. like I said lucky me!

addendum: I spoke with my folks and learned from my dad that I misidentified the sister in the photograph with grandpap. that's the problem with old photos that lack documentation. this morning I wrote that it was emma with grandpap. I corrected the text above to reflect who is really sitting with grandpap! whoops! now I just have to find the paper which lists aunt sue's birth year. maybe it is time to start organizing some of the family history hat I have laying about the nest! you know us mice we aren't the most orderly critters but we do love details....

Friday, January 8, 2010

times they are a changin'

The survival of democracy depends on renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.
A.J. Muste (8 january 1885 - 1967) pacifist and activist

in honor of the anniversary of muste's birth and because the snap was taken at gather 'round farm, today's song is bob's classic the times they are a changin' - bob has been on my mind since the clever pup reminded us yesterday about how fond bob was for polka dot shirts! sorry the vid ends so abruptly, but dontcha love how young bob is!

photo: gather 'round farm, december 2009

Thursday, January 7, 2010

dot me baby

How much piecin' a quilt's like living a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves...

It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.
Coco Chanel (1883-1971)legendary fashion designer

I'm saying look, here they come, pay attention. Let your eyes transform what appears ordinary, commonplace, into what it is, a moment in time, an observed fragment of eternity.
Philip Levine (b. 1928) poet

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.

Native American Proverb

Impartiality is an acquired taste, like olives.You have to be habituated to it.

Simon Hirsch Rifkind (1901 – 1995) u.s. federal judge & trial lawyer

When the situation is desperate, it is too late to be serious. Be playful.

Edward Abbey (1927 - 1989) writer & environmentalist

Ah! you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
A whisper inside me seemed to say,
"You are more than the earth, though you are such a dot;
You can love and think, and the earth cannot!"
William Brighty Rands (1823-1882) author and poet

A line is a dot that went for a walk.
Paul Klee (1879-1940) artist

notes on photos:
  1. a snap of a quilt I'm currently working on, just so happens it includes a number of fabrics which feature polka dots. for some unknown reason it seems that I'm quite drawn toward incorporating fabrics with dots/polka dots into my quilts. january 2010
  2. the girl in the middle in the polka dot dress is a childhood friend of my daughter e (on right) - despite the ubiquitous nature of polka dots in clothing, turns out I can't recall a single photo of me or anyone in my family of origin or creation wearing polka dots! surely, em, or my mom, sister, or grandmothers wore clothes with polka dots - if so, I have no evidence. all dressed up for the 8th grade spring dance, connecticut. 1993.
  3. two dressed up dogs at the clifton art and musicfest, cleveland. june 2008
  4. one of my most precious possessions features polka dots; although not technically a kachina, the warrior mouse is a legendary hero to the hopi. (if interested you can read the story of the warrior mouse here, just scroll partway down the page)
  5. olives - delicious dots, snapped at gallucci's italian market, cleveland.
  6. detail of mural, itacha, new york. may 2008
  7. I snapped this photo yesterday when I ran into "n" at the library with her new baby "z". only when I was going through the photos I took so I could send them on to "n" did I notice the burp cloth has a strip of polka dot fabric sewn on it. I didn't know "n' before yesterday, but I recognized the quilt when I was walking by - I instantly went over and introduced myself. what a delight to meet the baby and to see first hand how much the quilt is loved by mom and baby!
  8. if one gives any credence to klee's quote there were plenty of dots out for a walk yesterday around town!

today's song isn't 'dot me baby' or even 'rock me dotty' - it's really rock me baby. when polka dot was chosen as this week's theme, I figured I would post either a polka or one of the two songs that actually contain polka dot in the title: the classic polka dot song we all remember, or this more obscure but not less covered number. then when I remembered buddy guy's guitar, well what can I say, I'll take these jamming guitar heros anyday!