Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"... with my brother in peace ..."

"... Let me walk down the highway with my brother in peace ..."

The memories which come to us through music are not accompanied by any regrets; for a moment music gives us back the pleasures it retraces, and we feel again rather than collect them.

-- Madame de Staël, 18th-century French novelist and essayist
From "Letters on Rousseau" (1788)

("Person with Questions," chalk pastel, gouache and watercolor, by am, from the early 1980s.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day weekend 2012

Thanks to The Goat That Wrote, currently living in South Korea, for bringing the grassy tombs of the Silla Kings to my attention.  They remind me of the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, where half of Richard's ashes are buried.  There are approximately 30,000 graves in this cemetery which dates back to 1992.  The ashes of Richard's father and his mother are buried in an older part of the cemetery.  In the San Joaquin Valley, the late summer grass in the rolling hills is golden rather than green.  These photos were taken in October 2008, a little over five months after Richard died.

The older part of the cemetery was watered to a surreal green.  Grass had not yet been planted in the area of Richard's grave.

The first Columbine on my porch opened this week.  The name Columbine comes from a Latin word meaning "dove." 

Memorial Days are usually quiet days for me.  It's often a good day for a long walk.  This year I'll be getting together for an informal dinner with some friends in the evening of Memorial Day.  

My thoughts this weekend are with the new generation of widows and their children and with all those whose loved ones have died in war throughout history.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


A long time ago Bob Dylan said, "I'm gonna get me a new Bob Dylan" and "I just wanna go home"

Today is Bob Dylan's 71st birthday.

... but my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection for all those who've sailed with me ...
(Bob Dylan)

Still not settled in.  Getting closer.  Here's today's view from the porch:

(chalk pastel drawing up at the top by am from the early 1980s, "The Composer")

Sunday, May 13, 2012

When my mother was 41, my youngest sister was 3, and I was almost 8 years old

Today I am remembering our mysterious and creative red-headed mother who as a child loved her doll, walking in the snow in St. Paul under the light of street lamps, visiting family friends at a farm in Hastings, and roller skating.  She loved her brother, their dog named Lightnin', being a Girl Scout and going to Girl Scout camp, all books (especially Little Women), the blue and white wooden chest that her father built for her, and camping and canoeing with her father in Northern Minnesota. 

My mother's mother died at home of gallbladder cancer when my mother was in her first (and last) year of college.  

As an adult, my mother loved books, writing, horses, the book Where the Blue Begins by Christopher Morley, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the humor of Groucho Marx and Danny Kaye, the sculpture of Henry Moore, the paintings of Marc Chagall, classical music, the night sky, birds, baby lambs, pistachio nuts, chocolate, pattern knitting,  cooking, watching figure skating on television, KQED (public television), the writing of C.S. Lewis, the teachings of Judaism, and the Pacific Ocean.  She loved us, her family, in her unique and fierce and gentle way.  I wonder how she would describe herself and what she loved.

My father must have taken this picture.  I wonder where my 6-year-old sister was that day.  Maybe she is standing right next to him.  I can still feel the warm dry California sun on that September day at a riding stable, not far from our home on the San Francisco Peninsula when it wasn't such a crowded and expensive place for young families to live.

If my mother were still alive, she would have celebrated her 96th birthday on April 30th.

Thanks to my cousin, Beth, for sending the photo of my mother, youngest sister, and me, along with other photos recently.  

It won't be long before the long overdue repairs in my little condominium home of 28 years are complete.  Most of my routines are still disrupted but in a good way.  I feel as if I am traveling.  It will take some time before I am settled again.  

Right now, I am sleeping in my living room while the work on my bedroom begins.  Oboe is still being boarded at her veterinarian's office.  I miss her.

Although it wasn't clear to me until I began emptying my living space, the bulk of my possessions is framed paintings and books.  The books are all in boxes in storage right now.  The framed paintings (both mine and those I've collected over the past 40 years) are currently taking up much of the space on my living room floor and a large hall closet.  I'm thinking of keeping most of the paintings in storage when this project is finished.  I'm looking at everything with new eyes.  What to keep.  What to let go of.  Sorting out my life.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Listening to Maurice Sendak / "Whatever you're meant to do ..."

Thanks to Sabine at http://interimarrangements.blogspot.com/ for posting this video of Maurice Sendak.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the beginning of my freedom from bulimia, anorexia, and alcoholism.  The day before that there were five pelicans in the sky at the Lost Coast.  Yesterday, there were three deer.

"Whatever you're meant to do, do it now.  The conditions are always impossible."
(Doris Lessing)

Thanks to The Lost Coast Webcam for sublime moments on the north coast of California.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The happiness of watching the Lost Coast from hundreds of miles away while my usual routines are disrupted by long overdue repairs to my home

Dawn today

Sunset yesterday
Views throughout the day yesterday

Before dawn yesterday

Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalized.
-- G K. Chesterton