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Posts from December 2007

Read the signs in the firmament


One with the wind and waves / New York Harbor / Dec. 2007

“To guide our own craft, we must be captain, pilot, engineer; with chart and compass to stand at the wheel; to match the wind and waves and know when to take in the sail, and to read the signs in the firmament over all. It matters not whether the solitary voyager is man or woman.”

~  from The Solitude of Self, an Address Delivered by Elizabeth Cady Stanton before the Committee of the Judiciary of the United States Congress, Monday, January 18, 1892.

* Firmament is defined as “expanse of the heavens; sky”

Glows world-wide welcome


"From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome" / New York Harbor / Dec. 2007

I like to walk at night when there is less visual distraction. The darkness hides much of the daytime landscape and whatever is lit or reflects light becomes a new landscape. A few leaves on a street full of leaves that would be lost during the day, stand out beneath the spotlight glow of a streetlight. A sagging porch goes unnoticed because the porch light glows with a golden warmth. A city skyline jumps to life and becomes an ever-changing canvas as lights blink on and off. An icon in the harbor holds her flame high and dances with the stars.

I am transported to America


Voyaging / New York Harbor / Dec. 2007

"I love moving water, I love ships, I love the sharp definition, the concentrated humanity, the sublime solitude of life at sea. The dangers of it only make present to us the peril inherent in all existence, which the stupid, the ignorant, untravelled land-worm never discovers; and the art of it, so mathematical, so exact, so rewarding to intelligence, appeals to courage and clears the mind of superstition, while filling it with humility and true religion."

~ George Santayana (Chapter VIII: 'I Am Transported to America' in Persons and Places)

Sea-washed, sunset gates


A reminder of the legacy of immigration in our country (according to Human Rights First, the US accepted only 190 Iraqi refugees in 2007) / New York Harbor / Dec. 2007

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

~ The New Colossus by Emma Lazurus (written in 1883; fully inscribed at the base of the statue in 1945)

Out on the water


Riding the Staten Island Ferry / New York Harbor / Dec. 2007

What fun to be out on the water. The cold wind blowing in your face. The ever-changing scenery passing by. Boats going this way. Boats going that way. The tall buildings of Jersey City and lower Manhattan. Birds and airplanes and helicopters all sharing the sky with the Statue of Liberty -- a gift to commemorate international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States. The seven rays of the Statue's crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world (and judging from all the voices you hear, the continents are well represented on the ferry). The anticipation of adventure in the city. What fun to be out on the water.

Never let me lose the marvel


Our Statue of Liberty basks in the glow of December's glorious, glowing late afternoon sun / New York / Dec. 2007

“Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.”

~ Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (from Sonnet Of The Sweet Complaint)