Monday, May 30, 2011

i ain't marching anymore

Adieu to a Soldier

ADIEU, O soldier!
You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,)
The rapid march, the life of the camp,
The hot contention of opposing fronts—the long manoeuver,
Red battles with their slaughter,—the stimulus—the strong, terrific game,
Spell of all brave and manly hearts—the trains of Time through you, and like of you,
With war, and war’s expression.

Adieu, dear comrade!
Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike,
Myself, and this contentious soul of mine,
Still on our own campaigning bound,
Through untried roads, with ambushes, opponents lined,
Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis—often baffled,
Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out—aye here,
To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.
by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

today is memorial day - a day set aside to mourn the dead and to give thanks to the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect ideals of freedom, democracy and justice.

i do mourn and support the individuals who are called to service.

however, on memorial day, as with every other day, my thoughts go toward thinking of peace and questioning war. i belong to an army of people who believe that there are better ways to protect and promote freedom, democracy, and justice than to take up arms and shed blood.

once more i write with the hope that there will be a day when we can erect a memorial to war and we will no longer have reason to erect memorials and monuments to people who die in wars.

last month i went to see the documentary phil ochs:there but for fortune i was reminded of the incredible body of work left behind when ochs exited this world at the tender age of 35. the film was compelling not only in its portray of ochs but also in its examination of the turbulent 1960s through the incredible archival footage that the filmmaker used in making the film.

the message of phil's songs are as relevant today as they were for the 1960s. the film provides viewers with a unique perspective on many other musicians and activists of the time - including pete seeger, tom hayden, joan baez, peter yarrow, and bob dylan. i seriously doubt the film will make it to the local cinemaplex, i saw it at the cleveland museum of art, if we're lucky perhaps it will make it to pbs - who knows if netflix picks it up.

his tune i ain't marching anymore is among my favorites. what would happen if everyone, everywhere simply refused to fight?

photo: soldiers and sailors monument festooned with peace cranes, cleveland.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

distant camera

One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.
Dorothea Lange (b. 26 may 1895 - 1965)photographer

ah.... perhaps dorothea's approach explains my attitude and practice! those who know me can attest to the fact that i do seem to document almost everything. but really like dorthea i have only touched a tiny bit of all that is.....

i do find our world so visually stunning and fascinating.

last year i picked up a copy of the dorothea lange biography written by historian linda gordon. since i just finished my current non-fiction read (i always have a fiction and non-fiction book going) seems like a good day to start on a life beyond limits!

speaking of visually fascinating, encouraged by a post by bloggybud karen, i recently watched the film micmacs by jean-pierre jeunet (perhaps best known as the writer and director of the quirky and adorable amélie). i join karen an give an enthusiastic shout out for micmacs! i love tales of little (good) guys taking on big (bad) guys!

distant camera by neil young appearing on his 2000 album silver & gold. i choose this vid because the song isn't a cover- no one does neil like the man himself with his distinct rough honey voice that i so adore.

even though i don't know who the people are in this vid i find the vid is totally engrossing and love the randomness in terms of the chronology of the mix of pics. it has given me a idea about how to organize - as in not organize - the photographs i'm putting together for dad's june memorial. some mouse readers may remember my father passed away in august, however, since his ashes will be interred at arlington national cemetery, we weren't able to schedule his service until june. truth be told, we did have the option of having a service on january 2nd - but we opted to not take that date (can't imagine why we didn't go with that date). since we didn't take that date, in february arlington notified us with our new date.

photo: mike's tree peony, cleveland heights, may 2011

a mid afternoon addendum:

after visiting meri's blog i realized today's post kind of fits with the share the joy thursday game she started. so i am adding that this post is a share the joy thursday post! visit meri's place to find links to more joyful posts!

when theme thursday's changed the day themes were announced - from sunday to thursday, i pretty much dropped out of the tt game. i do like playing bloggy games, however, there's something in my schitzy wiring that just never made the adjustment. -- i needed a few days to contemplate my tt posts... somehow posting a theme thursday post not on thursday just seems all wrong. oh well, things change.

spreading joy, now that sounds like mighty good mouse medicine to me! i do believe, i'm going to try and jump aboard the joy wagon more often when thursdays come around - won't promise every thursday, but some.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the power

A good indignation brings out all one's powers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 May 1803 -1882) philosopher, essayist & poet

it's wednesday that means wall power!

late this afternoon some powerful weather worked it's way through my area...since f is out of town i have use of his vehicle. so, after baby bingo left i decided to take advantage of having wheels and run some errands to places that are too far (or for items too heavy) for my normal modes of transport (e.g. feet, rta, stroller, or bike). the weather didn't look very threatening when i left the house. however, after i left my first stop, i noticed the sky was starting to look somewhat 'off.' by the time i pulled into the target parking lot, things when beyond 'off' to downright strange and verythreatening. the wind began whipping the small trees in the parking lot around and then rain started. i made a mad dash from the truck to the store.

once inside the store i was greeted by an announcement over the p.a. system telling shoppers that the national weather service has issued a tornado warning or something or another for the area. we were advised to move away from the windows and to move to the center or back of the store. we were told not to leave the store until the we received the all clear.

it was very strange to be in a giant store with so many strangers, many exhibiting signs of growing anxiety as the big box store was plummeted with hail and subjected to some powerful winds that made quite a racket. needless to say, my plan to run in and out and then move on to the next errand stop didn't really pan out. i remained in target much longer than expected, and i ended up picking up a couple items that were not on my list. long story short, no big drama and for my little patch of the universe all ended well - and although i spent more at target than intended, i did pick up a really sweet, very soft summer pj set!

oh, what an intense spring in terms for storms - very heartbreaking and humbling. continuing to offer thoughts and prayers for all the denizens of joplin -- and for all the folks who's lives, homes, and world have been ripped apart in what is turning out to be the year of the tornado!

snap! first released the power in 1990, since then it has gone become a power in of itself!

song makes you want to dance....that and watch some hoops!

photo: washington heights, nyc june 2010

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

three little birds

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) author, educator, & clergyman

in addition to heading out on a rabbit hunt, my other major activity this weekend was attending the hessler street fair. this rite of spring has been an annual event since 1969 and is just one of the 1,001 reasons that i love living in cleveland!

here, see for yourself. we couldn't have ordered up a more perfect weekend! (don't forget you can make the slide show bigger by clicking on the 4 arrows in lower right corner)

although today is bob dylan's 70th birthday, dylan just gets a nod and a thanks on the mouse . after all, he's getting plenty of press elsewhere so really why bother! (need some bob, check out some of these tributes - here (perhaps the best and most extensive of the tributes i stumbled on - but what does one expect from a magazine that shares the name with one of bob's most famous songs!), here, and even here!

instead of dylan, i choose to have a song from another bob as today's theme song - three little birds. three birds was first released by bob marley and the wailers in 1977 on their album exodus. in 1980 the song was released as a single and quickly rose to the top of the charts. it is a reggae standard and has been covered by a wide variety of artists (including alvin and the chipmunks!). i just love the tune - it is so sweet and hopeful!

i adore marley's original version, however, this recent release from playing for change really makes my heart soar and it reminds me also of all the all the things i love about cleveland's annual hessler street fair!

if you don't know about playing for change, you are really missing out and really ought to remedy that deficiency!

photo: dancers at the drum circle @ hessler street fair, cleveland, may 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

mister rabbit

'The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.'

W.H. Auden (1907-1973) poet
from As I Walked Out One Evening

the rabbits are out!

those would be the rabbits which are part of cleveland's st. clair superior development association's annual public art project celebrating the animals of the chinese zodiac.

this weekend i went on my annual sculpture safari, hunting - with my camera, of course, the whimsical works created by local cleveland artists. in two days time i was able to capture all 24 rabbits - each day i went with friends and we made more friends along the way.

here's a slide show of ALL of the rabbits- (if you enlarge the slide show, the name of the piece and artist can been seen by clicking mouse on 'show information' at the upper right of the screen)

pete seeger singing mister rabbit which is found on the album birds, beasts, bugs & fishes little & big: animal folk songs originally released in 1955. i've been playing this album of 28 animal folk songs since my em was a little girl. thanks to smithsonian folkways this classic album is still available!

photo: lotus bunny blossom by anna arnold in front of cleveland city hall, may 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

why worry?

Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) poet, novelist, and critic

guess you may have heard according to some folks the end is near....or given today's date, i should say that it is here!

and just how many millennium have people been saying the end is near or here? like since the beginning of human record keeping and probably even before that!

in college i read a study about how groups make sense of life going on after the date has passed from when they believed the world would end. if memory serves me correctly, the primary rationalization or explanation went something like - "the world didn't end when it was suppose to because we prayed so hard and are so good. god took favor with us and spared the world his wrath." or a similar variation.

well, believers, i'm radically optimistic that the world isn't going to end today but if it makes you feel better to believe that you saved us, then well, thank you for saving the planet.

okay, if i'm partway wrong and it turns out that a whole lot of folks have been raptured up, i still want to say thank you --if there is a rapture, i'm sure i'll still be here given the nature of my belief system. as an unrepentant optimist i'm really grateful that some of the pressure is off... maybe i don't have to worry so much about global climate change and overpopulation!

speaking of ends and optimism....have you heard this one? pretty much sums up my attitude about things:
In the end, there are only two things to worry about:
either you are well or you are sick.
When you're well, there is nothing to worry about.
But if you're sick, then there are two things to worry about:
either you get well or you will die.
When you get well, there is nothing to worry about.
But when you die, then there are two things to worry about:
either you'll go to heaven or you'll go to hell.
When you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
But when you go to hell, you'll be so damn busy shaking hands with friends,
you won't have time to worry!



we have a beautiful weekend here on the north coast. time to unplug and go out end check out some of the great happenings going on this weekend- like this and this and who knows what else!

the following vid doesn't really tie in but a friend recently turned me on to it and i just love it.

photos: self-portrait, nyc, june 2010; cleveland 20 may 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

bright side of life

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell (18 may 1872 -1970) philosopher, mathematician, social critic

and now for something completely different - for wednesday a wall and a window.

speaking of and now for something completely different how about a little monty python.

always look on the bright side of life from the gang's brilliant 1979 comedic masterpiece monty python's life of brian . unfortunately i couldn't embed this clip from the film, but the following is the next best thing.

The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good. (BR)

i dedicate today's post to wes lind, the brilliant and always happy and good father of alice, my best friend of almost forty years. wes passed away suddenly after 88 (almost 89!) full years of life. if there is such a thing as a 'good death,' wes achieved it - he collapsed while bowling last friday morning, after arriving at the hospital he regained consciousness, chatted with his wife and hospital staff, and then closed his eyes and quietly and peacefully took his next big trip to go home to god.

because of my close friendship with alice, i have known wes for thirty-five years. one does not often receive another loving family through a friendship, but with alice i am so blessed. wes was a remarkable human being who was not only brillant, happy, and good, but humble, kind and wickedly funny (it would not be unusual to find wes singing a monty python tune or referencing a thinker like bertrand russell). the world is a happier and "good-er" place because of wes - don't believe me, just read this lovely obituary.

thank you wes. rest in peace.

photo: olympia wa, april 2010

Monday, May 16, 2011

born under a bad sign

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.
Garrison Keillor (b. 1942) writer, storyteller and radio host

this past friday - which happened to be friday the 13th, often considered an 'unlucky' day, f and i lucked out when it came to picking a restaurant. we were going to parma, ohio for an evening comedy show/fundraiser at the parma vfw hall. i thought it would be easiest if we just ate dinner somewhere near the venue. picking a place to eat in a town you don't know anything about is a risky proposition, especially if you don't have time to do any preliminary investigation. parma isn't renown for it's fine dining so the odds of finding a really outstanding restaurant were quite low. but we hit pay dirt when we selected charm thai.

the food at charm was delicious and the decor was a feast for the eyes. not surprising given it's name, luck appeared to be a theme inside the restaurant.

always on the lookout for additions to my ongoing finding buddha series, charm had a few lovely contributions. i was particularly captivated by the little shrine near the cash register - which i learned from a woman connected with the restaurant was some sort of lucky altar. she started explaining the meaning and significance of all the items, but unfortunately we had to leave to make the show. but that's good luck for me as now i have an excuse to return - as i really want to know the significance of all the toys and other various objects around the twin buddhas...and in addition to red is pink also supposed to be a lucky color?

when it comes to luck, for the most part i subscribe to the belief that we make our own luck. then again it was dumb luck stumbling upon a such great place to eat in parma, ohio, so maybe there's something to it - after all one of the most enduring and universals when it comes to human belief systems is the idea of luck and fate......

born under a bad sign written by william bell and booker t jones in the 1960s, the song was first recorded and released by albert king (1967). this now classic song has been covered by an incredible slew of artists -including jimi hendrix, etta james, eric clapton, rita coolidge, bb king and john lee hooker - well, geez, just about anyone who knows their way around the blues and the guitar has covered it! i love jimi's version, it's long on guitar and short on lyrics, but for today here's albert.

Friday, May 13, 2011

borrowed tune

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) writer, journalist, philosopher

until just a little while ago blogger was broke but they seemed to fixed whatever was ailing it.

i might have had more to say this morning when i logged on to the computer to post here and on the snap. i even had a post in mind to get up on my most neglected studio blog - like the story and a photo of the quilt i've been working on for months. i finally finished that quilt and sent it off - but that post will have to wait!

now the day is well underway and my head is upstairs in the studio - instead of blogging i got started on a new quilt! hopefully i will get this quilt done in a more timely manner!

borrowed tune (1975) - neil....don't you just love him? oh, i do.....

photos: backyard rodents @ casa mouse, may 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

twilight zone

The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.

Salvador Dalí (11 may 1904 - 1989)

along with today being the anniversary of the dali's birth, did you know today is also national twilight zone day? perfect pairing, don't you think!

wall wednesday continues.

in honor of dali, today's main wall art comes from barcelona - dali was born in the catalonian town of figueres, not too far from barcelona - an incredible art town which is associated with some wonderfully outrageous artists - picasso, dali, miro, and gaudi!

i wonder if dali is the inspiration for the nyc moustache tagger?

nee nee nee nee nee nee nee nee

photos: barcelona, march 2007; nyc subway (favorite haunt of the moustache tagger), february 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

i can see for miles

If you have love you don't need to have anything else. If you don't have it it doesn't matter much what else you do have.
J.M. Barrie (9 may 1860 - 1937) quthor and dramatist

last month I mentioned on the mouse that april 7th or 8th is sometimes considered the buddha's birthday.

actually the date of the buddha's birthday is a highly movable feast and most of the time it is celebrated in may. this year, most asian countries will celebrate tomorrow - may 10th!

the variability of the buddha's birthday was brought home to me earlier this month when I was in metro dc and went by a vietnamese center located near my sister's home. the shrine in front caught my attention, also catching my attention was a large banner which said "happy birthday buddha". a woman came out while I was paying my respects to the shrine; we started talking - she mentioned that they were getting ready to celebrate the buddha's birthday in a few days.

I enjoy running across such places as this once suburban house now buddhist temple and am very happy when I meet folks who are connected with such places. this is just one example of the diversity and multi-cultural character of our country and how change is the constant.

as soon as I returned last week from my little trip to metro dc it was if all vestiges of winter have finally left the north coast. although we have had years where there was snow adorning the tulips, I think this won't be one of those years.

a few snaps from yesterday's nature hike:

ferns awakening from a long winter's sleep

a river of skunk cabbages

the world coloring up...and my mind filled with the who's classic song i can see for miles.....

photos: top: happy buddha, dc; insert - vietnamese buddhist center, fairfax, va; 3 photos from cuyahoga valley national park. may 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

may the fourth be with you!

Yes. A Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.
Yoda to Luke - episode V:the empire strikes back

so did you know that according to wookieepedia, the portal of all things wookiee and other star war cultural phenomena - today is star wars day - may the fourth be with you!

according to the entry, typical festivities include inviting fellow star war aficionados over for a party where the group watches the series in order - of course since it is a party eating, drinking and playing with star wars toys is also the order of the day.

here at casa mouse,unfortunately we only have vhs copies of the first three star wars films (which in terms of the series are actually episodes IV, V, and VI) alas, we no longer have an operational vcr, so we're out of luck. since I didn't know that today was star wars day until this morning when I read my writer's almanac entry, I really didn't do any planning in terms of inviting fellow star war lovers over - oh well, next year we'll plan ahead!

more yoda wisdom, clips from all the star war films. much thanks to christopher matar for putting together this film collage!

photo: olympia, wa 23 april 2010

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

trouble me

What kind of nation and what kind of species do we want to be? Do we want to become a species that honors life? Do we want to become a species that embodies peace? If that is what we want, then we need to start now to examine our own hearts and actions, and begin to consciously evolve in that direction. We could start by not celebrating the killing of another.

monday night I returned to cleveland after spending a long weekend in metro dc. visiting in early may is an annual tradition as to join in the celebration of my mother's may 1 birthday. may is always such a beautiful time to visit the area; spring is so much further along in the washington dc area than here - - all the trees were decked out and the flowers - so gorgeous! much of what was in bloom we won't see in cleveland until late may or even june.

although I spent most of my time with family, I did manage to do a little museum hopping the first day I arrived. I also got in a good walk around the capitol hill neighborhood before on monday afternoon before heading out for the bwi airport - didn't have time to set up any bloggy meet-ups, but did cross my fingers I'd run into reya as I was literally in her hood! I definitely needed to walk off some of the extra calories I always consume when I'm home - hard to resist the temptations from being around all those gourmet cooks - mother, sister and sister-in-law!

I wanted to make sure I got to the folger shakespeare library before the exhibition on women's early contribution to medicine and science left (it leaves may 14th). fascinating display featuring old manuscripts and recipe books and various artifacts which showcase the vital role women played in healing. I had no idea that snail water was a seventeenth century cure for consumption and jaundice (by the way, the recipe for snail water is very elaborate as it takes two days to make and yes it does entail sacrificing many snails and earthworms, not to mention the use of all sorts of medicinal herbs!) and did you know mole blood was an early treatment for baldness? geez, I wonder who discovered or thought of the blood of those tiny rodents would stimulate hair growth!

after the folger library, I checked out the gauguin exhibit at the national gallery of art - the exhibit is titled gauguin: maker of myth - and that he was!

I left dc on monday, the day after the action in pakistan where osama bin laden was killed - being in dc the day after was a bit surreal. it isn't surprising that bin laden didn't surrender, but I sure wish he had. well the death of bin laden quickly eclipsed all the media attention that had been directed to the tornadoes in the southern u.s. and the wedding of kate and william.

natalie merchant and 10,000 maniacs' trouble me (1989)

photos: capitol dome; roses; banner in front of folger library - photos taken april 28- may 2 2011