Monday, January 20, 2020

Flowers and winter light for Martin Luther King Day 2020

"... On February 22, Mrs. King and I journeyed down to a city in India called Trivandrum. Then we went from Trivandrum down to a point known as Cape Comorin. This is where the mass of India ends and the vast rolling waters of the ocean have their beginning. It is one of the most beautiful parts of all the world. Three great bodies of water meet together in all of their majestic splendor: the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
I remember how we went out there and looked at the big old rocks, a sight that was truly incredible, out into the waters, out into the ocean. Seated on a huge rock that slightly protruded into the ocean, we were enthralled by the vastness of the ocean and its terrifying immensities. We looked at the waves of those great bodies of water as they unfolded in almost rhythmic suspension. As the waves crashed against the base of the rock on which we were seated, an oceanic music brought sweetness to the ear. To the west we saw the magnificent sun, a red cosmic ball of fire, appear to sink into the very ocean itself. Just as it was almost lost from sight, Coretta touched me and said, "Look, Martin, isn't that beautiful!" I looked around and saw the moon, another ball of scintillating beauty. As the sun appeared to be sinking into the ocean, the moon appeared to be rising from the ocean. When the sun finally passed completely beyond sight, darkness engulfed the earth, but in the east the radiant light of the rising moon shone supreme ..."
For those who expressed interest in David Riley's blog last February, a friend of his left a comment today letting us know that The Endless Further, which was not accessible after David's death, is now available,

A peaceful moment on a snowy day last week, with Oboe sleeping in her fleece bed:

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"... threatening my baby, unborn and unnamed ..."

Paper Wings- WIlhelmina Frankzerda (guitar) and Emily Mann (fiddle) perform "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
-- Bertolt Brecht

Monday, January 6, 2020

Forever / Leonard said so

"... there are children in the morning / They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever ..." 

(Leonard Cohen)

This morning when I got up at 4 a.m., thinking of the children of the world near and far, I saw that the Abutilon bud I had been watching this past week had opened during the night. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Voices from Oakland, California / The Audacity of Hope in MMXX

The interview at the Oakland Public Library is well worth spending time with.  It took me the good part of this last week to hear all of it.  I recommend the whole interview, if you have time, along with Tommy Orange's book which ends with two pages of acknowledgments ending with:

"The Native community in Oakland.  My living Cheyenne relatives, and my ancestors who made it through unimaginable hardship, who prayed hard for us next ones here now, doing our best to pray and work hard for those to come."

While working on this post, I stopped to listen to this bookstore reading and discussion of There There in Washington, D.C., in 2018:

From There There:

Part I


In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
-- Bertolt Brecht

Part III


People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.
-- James Baldwin

"Tony remembers something his grandma said to him when she was teaching him how to dance.  You have to dance like birds sing in the morning," she said, and showed him how light she could be on her feet.  She bounced and her toes pointed in just the right way.  Dancer's feet.  Dancer's gravity." (p. 290)


"Welcome to a brilliant and generous artist who has already enlarged the landscape of American fiction.  There There is a comic vision haunted by profound sadness.  Tommy Orange is a new writer with an old heart." (Louise Erdrich)

"... and the sequel has everything to do with how to come back from something that we can't even all agree on having happened ..." (Tommy Orange, from the last minutes of the Oakland Public Library interview)