Thursday, September 30, 2010

home again


No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

Lyn Yutang (1895-1976) writer and editor

the mouse was off on another wander - this time to sunny, summery texas -- the calendar might have said it was autumn, but to this northerner, it sure felt like summer! we had a great time; when there's time, perhaps I'll rattle on about some of the highlights of the trip. unfortunately, today's not the day, as it's time to pay the piper and play catch up on all the work and projects that have been neglected.

with everything going on this month, september appears to have tied may's record low for blogging - it might be time time to roll out a monthly theme for october if only to help me get back into the groove!

along with missing an entire week of posting (and reading others blogs - sorry) I missed my weekly wall wednesday post - even though it's thursday, I'm pretending it's wednesday and putting up a pic of one of the many walls I snapped this past week.

the mural above is one of the many 'sanctioned' wall murals encountered in austin. lots of little hidden gems of austin and texas can be found in the mural!

carol king singing home again, the song first appeared on her 1971 classic album tapestry. did you know that king's album was in the number one position for a 15 consecutive weeks, which at the time was the longest a female artist topped the chart!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the show must go on


The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone,
Everywhere in the world.

Dōgen Zenji (1200 – 22 September 1253) zen master

leaving the chalk festival on sunday, I ran into two fellows who were having a blast with their bikes and a wall. after their first run up the wall I asked if they'd run the wall again so I could snap a few pics. they happily complied. when viewed as a slide show the result can be considered a little stop action action. in retrospect I'd should have continued snapping until the second bike finished the run, oh well, it's still a good show!



the show must go on from pink floyd's the wall



wall wednesday continues .... perhaps when i run out of walls, the mouse will start playing wordless wednesday, I just love those alliterations!

photo: superhero mural, olympia, washington. april 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

change


Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) essayist, poet and philosopher


I'm not going to argue with henry, after all he's dead, but I believe things change and we change.

speaking of change, doesn't it seem as though this time of the year is the changeyist?

hey, so what if changeyist isn't in the dictionary, in college my professor for the course language and culture was fond of saying that "language is an open system" - changeyist might not be in today's dictionary, but who knows, it may be one day!

think of the word 'google' according to my 1985 2nd college edition american heritage dictionary there is nothing for google - words go from goofy to googol - which if you think about it is a bit prescient
goofy: slang. Silly; ridiculous
googol: the number 10 raised to the power 100; the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.
today if you go to dictionary.com we learn google is both a noun and a verb - the noun means an internet search engine; the verb means to search for something using a search engine.

ironically (or would it be coincidentally) lore has it that google was derived from googol!

along with being the time of year of change, in cleveland with the changing season and leaf color, it is also the time of year of the cleveland museum of art's fall chalk festival.

the chalk festival is one of my absolute favorite community events. following up on a well established mouse tradition, I offer a slide show from this year's chalk festival just in case you couldn't make it (by the way, you can make the turn the slide show into a full screen extravaganza, after clicking play in the flickr box, click on the four arrows going outwards in the lower right hand corner of the flickr box - it will be almost like being there!):





change this song was released on blind melon's debut album in 1992 - to me the colors in this vid seemed quite chalk-like.



did you know that according to the portal, there are 26 songs that are titled "change" - hmmm, maybe it's true the more things change, the more they stay the same.

photo: self portrait with public art along euclid avenue, cleveland. september 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

shell game


In summer, the song sings itself.

william carlos williams (b. 17 september 1883 -1963) poet & physician

nothing says summer like a trip to the ball park!! I went nuts over one of the 'features' on the big board - a trio of squirrels playing a shell game.

just a few more days of summer in the northern hemisphere - it may feel like fall, but it's not official until next week - the secrets of the september equinox are revealed here.

theme thursday revealed a new game plan. in the spirit of play, the mouse is revealing the secrets to the shell game below.



to see who else is playing tt go here

one last thing to reveal, in case you haven't notice, been a bit squirrely on the mouse this week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

stop


If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.
George Eliot (b. Mary Anne Evans, 1819-1880) novelist, humanist & freethinker

today's wall wednesday song is pink floyd's stop from the wall of course!



photo: squirrel by roa, new york, june 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

lives in the balance

It is clear to all that the animal organism is a highly complex system consisting of an almost infinite series of parts connected both with one another and, as a total complex, with the surrounding world, with which it is in a state of equilibrium.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (14 September, 1849 – 1936) physiologist, psychologist, and physician


jackson browne released lives in the balance in 1986, sadly, the message is still relevant.....

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire



everything is connected

yes, it is.....

photo: squirrel at casa mouse, summer 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

the book I read

last week my bookgroup had its annual book selection meeting. this year we returned to having a theme for our upcoming year of reading. unlike some of the past themes such as, "food" or "war" or "africa" - this year our theme was almost like having no theme. the theme we went is "award winning books" - once we started checking out book awards, we discovered there are literally thousands of different types of awards, so really almost any book could fit. no, not really!

my bookgroup is often fueled by recommendations and learning what other bookgroups are reading, with this in mind I'd once more like to share our reading list maybe some other bookgroup will see a title that will pique interest!

the cleveland bookwomen year of reading 2010 -2011:

october death with interruptions by josé saramago
this book didn't win an award but it is by saramago who won a nobel prize for literature in 1998

november still alice by lisa genova
winner of the 2008 bronte prize

december silver lies by ann parker
the first of a series, silver lies won the willa award for historical fiction and the colorado gold award

january out stealing horses by per petterson
won the norwegian booksellers prize, the critics award for best novel, and the independent foreign fiction prize.

february wolf hall by hilary mantel
won both the man booker prize and the national book critics circle award

march the brief wondrous life of oscar wao by junot diaz
winner of numerous awards including the 2008 pulitzer prize for fiction and the national book critics circle award

april march by geraldine brooks
won the 2006 pulitzer prize for fiction not to mention is included in the 2006 richard and judy best read book list

may cod: a biography of the fish that changed the world by mark kurlansky
winner of the james beard award, the glenfiddich food writing award, the new york public library best books of the year award

june half broke horses by jeanette walls
author walls has received numerous honors including the christopher award for helping to "affirm the highest values of the human spirit

july zeitoun by eave eggers
in august eggers won the american book award for zeitoun and this year san francisco picked the book for its 2010 one city one book read

august left hand of darkness by ursula leguin
the small band of sci-fi fans of the group lobbied hard to include a sci-fi/fantasy selection; we chose leguin, who is the grand dame of genre. what was difficult was choosing which of her many award winning books to go with. we settled on the classic left hand of darkness which both of the sci-fi'd biggest awards the nebula and hugo, in 1969 and 1970 respectively




the book I read was on the talking heads 1977 debut album. don't you just love david bryne? I do -- the guy's a genius. I read the new movie wallstreet: money never sleeps (like the original wallstreet) will feature a bunch of bryne tunes. this fact alone puts the film on my must see list.



photo: maya lin's fountain and reflecting pool in the cleveland public library's reading garden

Saturday, September 11, 2010

bridge over trouble water

We are shaped by each other. We adjust not to the reality of a world, but to the reality of other thinkers.
Joseph Chilton Pearce (b. 1926) author and social critic

I've been finding it difficult to get back into a normal rhythm and routine these days.

being out of sync isn't too terribly surprising. no worries. everything in it's own time.

the weather has been spectacular here on the north coast this week. on thursday morning I had to run over to the film festival office. the office is located in the ohio city neighborhood, after completing my errand I started walking back to the rapid station, however, I was instantly seduced by blue sky and the dramatic clouds. instead of heading home, I took a detour in order to walk over the lorain avenue bridge. I love the lorain-carnegie bridge it is such a monumental structure and the views of the city are absolutely gorgeous. there are four huge ornamental pylons that grace each end of the bridge. these pylons are called the lords of transportation and were designed by frank walker in the early 1930s by the architectural firm walker and weeks. these lords each depict aspects of the progress of road transportation.

the traffic was fairly light thursday morning so at one point when I noticed no vehicles I was able to position myself in the middle of the road and get a good snap of the two lords on the west end of the bridge.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

empty spaces

Once I knew only darkness and stillness. My life was without past or future. But a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) author, activist, lecturer

I can't say I've encountered any memorial street art murals in cleveland, however, in new york one does run across some incredible works of remembrance. in june the friends I was visiting treated me to dinner at roberto's in the bronx's little italy. as we were driving around looking for a parking spot, we drove by the mural which is featured today. after parking the car we walked back to the mural, I was, of course, quite interested in studying it a bit more and getting a few snaps.

coincidentally, we weren't the only ones interested in the piece, as we walked up we saw a priest busily snapping shots of the mural with his smart phone. we introduced ourselves and started talking; we discovered that father phil was from wisconsin and was in new york for a conference. a few months earlier someone had sent him a photo of the mural. he decided that while he was in new york he would try and locate the mural. he only knew that the mural was located in the bronx's little italy neighborhood. he told us that for close to an hour he walked up to folks in the neighborhood, pulled up the photo on his cell and asked if they knew where the mural was located. it turns out he had to ask at least ten people before encountering someone who could recall where the mural was located.

since I had a camera that was slightly better than a cell-phone camera, father phil and I exchanged email addresses - once I got home I sent him the photos I took. who knows maybe father phil is using the shot of him with the sacred heart on his facebook page. of course, I'm assuming that father phil is on facebook part of his priestly mission is working with teens and young adults and these days doesn't it seem that everyone and everything has a facebook page?

wall wednesday returns as does pink floyd's the wall - today's tune is empty spaces according to the portal the song includes a hidden message that is only intelligible when the song is played backwards. no the message is not that paul is dead.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

memory

A strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.
Grandma Moses (b. 7 September 1860 - d. 1961)

dear mouse readers, thank you for all the thoughts and prayers of love, light and condolence.

in the hope of healing though memory today I offer one more post on this journey of loss I'm currently undergoing.

there was a funeral mass for my dad on friday and afterward there was a luncheon for family and friends to celebrate my dad's life at his favorite restaurant. the process of working together to plan the funeral and the gathering was extremely helpful for my 'family of origin' -- and such a tangible lesson that shared grief not only lessens the burden but can also strengthen the soul.

over the last couple weeks I have learned just how powerful the taproot of memory is for healing. in the spirit of keeping the light and memory of shan burning bright, I would like to offer the eulogy I gave for my lovely, remarkable, and unforgettable dad.

The Yanoshik family would like to thank everyone for coming this afternoon to Holy Spirit to attend this blessed mass for our beloved Shan - husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend extraordinaire.

Today we gather not only to mourn Shan but also to praise and thank Shan and God in that Shan graced our lives for as long as he did. Dad died last Thursday morning at 4:10 - a little more than three weeks after his 88th birthday. Dad had a good life, it was filled with a loving family, work he loved, and an incredible network of friends. And if there is anything as a good death, I believe Dad had a “good death.” He did not suffer and he was never alone.

I was blessed to be at my father’s side when he and God finally decided that it was time to be moving on. Our family felt it was important that dad not be alone while he was in the hospital and I eagerly volunteered to be the “night nurse” - truth be told, being with dad, during this period has been one of the most, profound, important and beautiful things I’ve ever had the good fortune to be able to do.

But on Thursday morning I fell asleep on my watch - for the previous two nights I was ever vigilant and although I did take a few cat naps I was alert and roused by any change that happened in the room - be it the hospital staff coming in or a change in dad’s breathing. Those sleepless nights caught up with me and some time after 2 AM, I fell into a deep sleep. At 4:10 I woke - I didn’t wake up startled or alarmed, just calmly opened my eyes. I looked over at dad - I didn’t see his oxygen mask rise. I put a hand on his chest and it seemed still. I immediately picked up the phone to call Nicole, the real night nurse, I whispered, “Nicole, I think my dad has died” Nicole replied, “No, I just left your room, he is alive, but his breathing is very light.” A second later Nicole entered the room and went over to dad. She looked up at me and said “Oh my, it must have just happened, I was just here.”

I’ve have been accused of being a bit of a magical thinker, maybe I am, but in retrospect I think dad was waiting until I was in a deep sleep to leave. But everyone who knows my dad, knows what a huggy-kissy fellow he is, I believe that he brushed past me to give me a kiss as he was taking off on his last flight -- a flight to go home to God.

In case anyone doesn’t know me, I’m Kim, Shan and Rita’s middle child - which dad always reminded me of -- whenever I called home, when dad heard my voice he’d say “Is this my middle child?” You may think this was funny kind of greeting, but it was all mine - and it made me feel special. Whether it was something small like a greeting, or a special nickname, or a shared inside joke, Dad had a gift for making each of us kids feel special - this quality wasn’t limited to his kids, I think Shan had a gift for making people feel special.

Dad was christened Francis Yanoshik and was born on August 3, 1922 in the family home in Lofty Pennsylvania. One of my favorite Shan stories deals with the fact that dad was born at home. When Feagin and I were expecting our daughter Emma we told my folks we were planning a home birth, as soon as dad heard “home birth,” he got alarmed and launched into an campaign to change our minds claiming that home births weren’t safe. Turns out he had recently read an article by some MD claiming home births were a form of ’child abuse.’ Well, I had done a great deal of research, so I proceeded to present facts and figures which showed the opposite outcome. I presented research which showed that with low-risk women, accompanied by a trained attendant, home births were very safe -- in fact many times safer than hospital births. After presenting my data, I asked dad where he was born. He answered “at home.” I don’t know if it was reminding him of his own birth, or my research, but the campaign to change our minds ended. For me, this story illustrates a few of qualities I appreciated in dad. One -he never hesitated to challenge us (a trait he passed down to his children, as he would say in spades. - no one can accuse any of Shan’s kids as being shrinking violets). Second, dad prized researched and reasoned arguments. Lastly, dad valued the ability to change course when presented with new information. Thanks dad!

Dad was the third of seven children born to Stephen and Mary Yanoshik. He may have been the third kid, but he was the first in his family in many things. He was the first person in his family of origin to go to college. He passed his love of learning to his children and he was so proud of his children and grandchildren’s academic pursuits and accomplishments. Thanks dad!

Shan came from a railroad family - both his father and grandfather worked for the railroad, but dad broke tradition and instead of staying on the ground he took to the air. In 1942 Dad enlisted in the Navy and in 1944 he was commissioned as an officer. Perhaps his naval career was preordained. According to the book to The Secret Language of Birthdays, August 3rd is "the day of the dangerous quest" and "Those born on August 3 are attracted to danger in one form or another." For twenty-eight years dad was in the Navy as an aviator. During his early years he was a test pilot, later he was one of those guys who take off and land on aircraft carriers. Unlike so many of his friends and colleagues dad survived all the dangers he faced. Thanks dad!

In 1950, dad met the Rita and as is said, ‘the rest is history.’ Dad’s passions for flying and the Navy never wavered, however, when he met Rita, they did take backseat to his love for Rita and the family that they created. Shan and Rita married in 1951 - on March 31st they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary - but they did celebrate a sixtieth anniversary - for it has been sixty years since they met and fell in love.

I know if I start talking about the profound love my parents have for each other and for their family I will surely dissolve into a puddle of tears and emotion.

Instead, I will close with a poem I wrote and recited to dad last week as we shared his last hours before take-off.

‘Ode to our Flyboy’

Rita and Shan true love
Deep red, white and blue love
Everlasting sweet love
I'll always be there for you love

Family love, always growing love
Joining hands together love
Chitter, chatter, pitter, patter love
Silly love, billy love, playing together love

Flying high above love
Wandering around the world love
Everything is connected love
The world and we are one love

All is love, Love is all
Love, love, love

Thanks Dad!