Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another post of my DC photos. It is always interesting
to see an actual work of art rather than a reproduction.
Certainly looking at this painting you realized what
a great artist da Vinci was and how far ahead of most
of the other artists he was at depicting people.
Because the gallery was arranged chronologically
we could see it would be 100's of years, in our minds,
before people were depicted as people and not the
rather chubby personifications of classical myths or
biblical stories.

 Ginevra de" Benci
Leonardo da Vinci

The next group we really enjoyed were the Northern Europeans.
I love the little crowds amid the winter landscapes. It is such
a romatic image everyone dressed up, no cold.

Sorry the photos an pretty bad but
I could not resist.

details from Adam van Breen (ca.1585-1640)
Skaters on the Amstel with a View of Amsterdam

"After the brief bivouac of Sunday,
their eyes, in the forced march of Monday to Saturday,
hoist the white flag, flutter in the snow-storm of paper,
haul it down and crack in the mid-sun of temper.
In the pause between the first draft and the carbon
they glimpse the smooth hours when they were children--
the ride in the ice-cart, the ice-man's name,
the end of the route and the long walk home; "

The Stenographers
P.K. Page


Detail of the interior of a Gothic Church
 Dirck van Deelen
He seemed to do a lot of church interiors.

"Walking sometimes in the streets of the town
I live in and thinking of the people who
lived here once and fill the space I fill —
If they'd painted white trails on the sidewalk
everywhere they went, it would be possible
to see them now."

                              Method for Calling up Ghosts
Al Purdy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have blogged a photo of the yellow board
that covers this garage window a few blocks away
before. Now the dissolution of the entire garage
has become an object of some interest for me. The
roof has seen better decades the stucco is flaking and
even the faithful yellow board is cracking.
Is this the end?

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The Hollow Men
T.S. Eliot

It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice

 — there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork,
and the other is nostalgia.

Frank Zappa

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"I heard the flowers in the breeze make conversation with the trees
Believed to leave reality behind me
With my commitments in a mess my sleep has gone away depressed
In a world of fantasy you’ll find me.

I’m just sitting watching flowers in the rain
Feel the power of the rain making the garden grow,
I’m just sitting watching flowers in the rain
Feel the power of the rain keeping me cool"

                                        Flowers in the Rain
                                                     Electric Light Orchestra

Friday, June 22, 2012

Small Worlds

  "The Seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision."

Another Spring
                        Kenneth Rexroth

" If I moved, Basho's frog
Would splash in the pool.

Empty Mirror
                    Kenneth Rexroth

"As long as we are lost
In the world of purpose
We are not free."

Empty Mirror
                     Kenneth Rexroth

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature,
is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”
                                                                                  May Sarton

This weekend we weeded and set up the fountain
in the pond. We are trying to introduce for native
plants around the pond so this weekend we added
some small native columbines and shooting stars.

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core. "

The Lake Isle of Innifree
       William Butler Yeats

Sunday, June 17, 2012

As I trundled thru the house getting ready for work
I heard the sound of the finches up and singing  with
the dawn. It is for me a happy sound

Later I read an article that appeared as a link on
from the New Republic, Happyism The creepy new economics 
of pleasure by Deirdre N. McCloskey. She touched all
the basics pleasure vs happiness, the hedonic treadmill,
economic theory, surveys etc. and while I found it
interesting if long I was also distracted more and more by the
thoughts of what make me happy. I also realized that one thing
that I enjoy when I read is the authors attempts to capture the
moment when they are overwhelmed by joy, revelation,
fuifillment, what ever you choose to call it.
One of my favorite descriptions of this experience follows.

“I feel as though I stand at the foot of an infinitely
high staircase, down which some exuberant spirit
is flinging tennis ball after tennis ball, eternally,
and the one thing I want in the world is a tennis ball.”
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Annie Dillard
A rare visitor to the yard.

We have been in this house close to twenty years.
After we had been here a few years we heard
the beautiful song of the male House Finch a
bird we were not familiar with here. He would
(we assumed it was the same bird) appear every
Spring but never seemed to get an answer. Eventually,
I can not tell if it was in time for our lone swain more
finches appeared. Now they outnumber house sparrows
at our feeder. And at present they are both bringing their
young to feed and the food is disappearing from the new
Squirrel proof feeders at an alarming rate.

"In trees still dripping night some nameless birds
Woke, shook out their arrowy wings, and sang,
Slowly, like finches sifting through a dream."


Morning in a new land
Mary Oliver

The House Finches do seem to spill enough
food that the squirrels while in danger of
frustration are not in danger of starvation.

Leopard's Bane the first non-bulb to flower in our
garden each year.

"Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom."
A Blessing
   Jame Wright

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The last post from our trip to the Calgary Zoo.
This trip we found ourselves knee deep in Peacocks
I never did figure out how many they had, they
seemed to be everywhere.

So a post in memory of Argus faithful servant of
Hera tasked with watching Io daughter of Inachus
( changed by Zeus into a heifer to fool his wife )
After Argus is slain by Hermes Hera places his
one hundred eyes into the tail of a peacock.

What I really tried to capture was the
variety of the feathers and the sheer size
and weight, a lot to carry.

And the object of everyone's affection.

"And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.

The colors of their tails
Were like the leaves themselves
Turning in the wind,
In the twilight wind.
They swept over the room,
Just as they flew from the boughs of the hemlocks
Down to the ground.
I heard them cry -- the peacocks."


Domination Of Black
              Wallace Stevens

Friday, June 8, 2012

“The real and proper question is: why is it beautiful?”  

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Annie Dillard
The Calgary Zoo announced a few months ago that they
are looking for a new home for their small group of
Asian Elephants. It is felt they would be better off as
part of a larger social group and hopefully they would
have a larger area that a couple of small dusty paddocks.
We noticed when we went to the DC zoo the elephants
had a huge area by comparison with lots of room to roam.
The search is expected to take several years to find an
accredited facility to take them. Even knowing that it
will take years I felt I was saying goodbye. And while
it is better for them, a bit of wonder will be lost from our lives
when we can no longer see them in the flesh.

“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”

                       Mary Oliver

Thursday, June 7, 2012

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
 The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and 
let the beautiful stuff out.”

 Ray Bradbury

I learned yesterday that a favorite author
Ray Bradbury had died. Ray wrote beautifully
and for me often captured the wonder and terror
of everyday life. Last night I watched The Beast 
from 20,000 Fathoms a film loosely based on 
Bradbury's story the Foghorn with the monster
created by his friend Ray Harryhausen. Since
I am travelling I would like to offer some quotes
from the internet with photos from my earlier blogs.

All the quotes below come from Bradbury or
his works

"The sun burnt everyday. It burnt Time. 
The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis 
and time was busy burning the years and the 
people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt 
things with the firemen and the sun burnt time, 
that meant that everything burnt."   

Fahrenheit 451

"Yet this train's whistle! The wails of a 
lifetime were gathered in it from other 
nights in other slumbering years; 
the howl of moon-dreamed dogs, 
the seep of river-cold winds through 
January porch..."

Something Wicked This Way Comes

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if 
they don't they should, for their feet are 
dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

Dandelion Wine

“Way out in the country tonight he could smell 
the pumpkins ripening toward the knife and the
 triangle eye and the singeing candle.” 

Dandelion Wine

“Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? 
Well, what tongue does the wind talk? 
What nationality is a storm? What country do rains 
come from? What color is lightning? Where does 
thunder go when it dies?” 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

"I have never listened to anyone who criticized 
my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. 
When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs 
and leave the room.” 

Ray Bradbury 

Thanks Ray