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Posts from March 2008



The Alleluia candle and Easter Breads: Scones, Croatian nut bread, Hot Cross buns / New Jersey / March 2008

Bread is the warmest, kindest of all words.
Write it always with a capital letter, like your own name.

~ from a cafe sign

I see a peace sign


Secondary rainbow (to the left; red on the inside) and Primary rainbow (to the right; red on the outside); I see a peace” sign in the primary rainbow's interaction with the transmission tower and its cables / New Jersey / March 2008

“Every once in a while, if you get lucky, you may see a second rainbow on the outside of the first, brighter rainbow. This is the “secondary rainbow” which occurs when raindrops high in the atmosphere refract and reflect light back to the viewer.

These raindrops are higher than those which cause the “primary rainbow” and are special because they internally reflect the incoming sunlight twice rather than just once.” (via Patterns in Nature)

Comes and goes like a bird


Jackie's rainbow in the sky that comes and goes / New Jersey / March 2008

“the voice of love that comes and goes
like a bird and will never be forgotten.”
(the English translation of “Kaleoalohapoina'oleohelemanu)

Ray Kaleoalohapoina'oleohelemanu Kane was a master of the slack-key guitar (a traditional Hawaiian method of playing the guitar where the strings are tuned down, or slackened; slack-key guitarists all tune their guitars differently and the secret tunings are passed down in families). Kane (pronounced KAH-neh) who is often credited with reviving the slack-key style, died on February 27th. “Drawn from the heart and soul out through the fingers, slack key music is sweet and soulful.” (from A Brief History of Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar)

The truancy of memory


Mitza's tour of her old neighborhood / Port Richmond, Philadelphia / March 2007

    “the truancy of memory”

I came across this wonderful phrase in reference to the book The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888-1978 (it was also an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art; view an online version here). In the book Sarah Kennel writes about photography in the 1920s and 30s: “Kodak began to stress use of the camera to counter the truancy of memory...”

My image, above, is not so much a snap-shot, rather it evokes the opposite of the “truant memories” for me. I have vivid memories -- snap-shots in my head -- of being in this neighborhood when I was very young. Cared for and watched over by my great-grandmother (Jelisava) and great-uncle. Memories of little bits and pieces of pictures and smells and sounds and feelings. Funny though, as I think about it, many of my memories are actually images of snap-shots from the old photo albums. My mother and her sister before I was born. Me in a stroller with my great uncle and brother in the park. The whole family dressed up and visiting on a holiday. I can flip through so many of them in my mind. Guess old George Eastman had it right.

A field of brightness


Detail from The Red Kerchief, Portrait of Mrs. Monet, 1873, Oil on canvas by Claude Monet / I have been entranced by this woman passing by my window (well, the "painted" window at my desk; it's part of a calendar that sits on my desk). She looks slightly wistful as she glances in the window.

No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.

~ John O'Donohue

Those feckin devils


May those feckin devils stay far from your door . . . / Rijeka, Croatia / May 2005

“In his activism, as well as his writing and speaking, and most of all, in his life, he wanted people to have shelter from the storms their lives would bring; when I once told him of my own struggles with serious depression and anxiety he clapped his hands together in a gesture of defiance and almost shouted at me: ‘May those feckin devils stay far from your door and NEVER TOUCH YOU AGAIN. You are worth far more than you think.’ His presence in my life made me believe it.”

~ Gareth Higgins writing about Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue, who died in January.

Hold back the boulders


Rocks on the Adriatic / Sv. Vid, Croatia / May 2005

“I believe that our friends among the dead really mind us and look out for us. Often there might be a big boulder of misery over your path about to fall on you, but your friends among the dead hold it back until you have passed by.”

~ Irish Poet and Philosopher John O'Donohue (from his book: Anam Cara)