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August 2008

Posts from July 2008

Making unlikely connections


A summer project with the girls / New Jersey / July 2008

Some attributes of creativity:
Challenging assumptions
Being receptive to new ideas
Recognizing similarities or differences
Making unlikely connections
Taking risks
Building on ideas in new ways
Looking at things in new ways
Taking advantage of the unexpected
Taking chances

(Source: The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher)

The suns of summer


Basking in the light of the summer sun as it sinks into Little Egg Harbor Bay. The light of the sun just before it sets is so calming, gentle, and alive. I have the urge to grab the sun and ask it to linger a while longer. / Beach Haven, New Jersey / July 2008

“The need in these streets of your half-opened
laughter, climbing walls in the afternoon
when the insects blacken the sky.
With the suns of summer came the orders of leisure
and after them an unconditional attachment to life.”

~ an excerpt from With the Suns of Summer (Con los soles del verano) by Colombian poet Fernando Linero; Poetry International Web says of Linero: “Philosophy is a constant influence in his poetry, in which he aspires to exalt humanist values.”

A dialogue with light


Fleeting summer sky at sunset / New Jersey / July 2008

“I believe in a dialogue with light,
in a dialogue with the Earth,
to exalt the senses.
I began to write poetry at the age of 15.
I think it cures us of a certain disillusion,
of a certain melancholy,
and it allows us, although fleetingly,
to recover things lost:
it helps us to understand a little
the sense of what is properly human.”   

~ an excerpt from Notes for my Autobiography (Apuntes para una biografía) by Colombian poet Fernando Linero

Hyperthyroidal speed


Porch decking going down / New Jersey / July 2008

“Hemon, by contrast, tore through his development in the new language with hyperthyroidal speed.”

~ James Wood reviewing a book by Aleksandar Hemon in the New Yorker  describing how Mr. Hemon arrived in the U.S. from Bosnia with only a basic command of English and within eight years was writing with “polish, lustre, and sardonic control of register.”

After suffering from the effects of hyperthyroidism for many years (I remember a doctor telling me it was like my body was on a “toxic high”), I was delighted to see the word used to describe how quickly someone mastered a new language rather than a debilitating medical condition. I'd much prefer to learn a new language with hyperthyroidal speed than to chart the results of my T3 and T4 tests.

The knowing is always emerging


Summer Project #3: Another variation on a peasant blouse (Butterick B4685) with a ruffled neckline and small sleeves / New Jersey / July 2008

“The imagination offers revelation. It never blasts us with information or numbs us with description. It coaxes us into a new situation. As the scene unfolds, we find ourselves engaged in its questions and possibilities, and new revelation dawns. Such revelation is never a one-off hit at the mind. The knowing is always emerging. The imaginative form of knowing is graced with gradualness.”

~ John O'Donohue, from Beauty The Invisible Embrace

Perfectly myself


I've been waiting and waiting for the Morning Glory to bloom. The vine has been growing up and around and up around and up and around. Yesterday morning a perfect bloom was perched in its own perfect circle / New Jersey / July 2008

Try saying this out loud:
     “I am perfectly myself”

~ another gem from Rob Brezsny

A desire for independence


With economic and aging population crises upon us, I wonder if bringing back some version of the bequine would help women to form a sisterhood and support each other and society? / Opatija, Croatia / May 2005

“... for centuries they managed to live independently from overweening male control. Their legacy is deserving of respect and can still be felt in the unusual communities they devised, even as they themselves have all but vanished.”

~ excerpted from “A Lost World Made by Women" by Richard B. Woodward

Starting in the 13th century, Catholic women banded together to live and pray within an enclave called a beguine. Essentially an autonomous lay religious community they gave women some independence and control while serving the poor and needy. Some of the women were thought to be mystics, some were called heretics, some found a home and a sisterhood.

“There are among us women whom we have no idea what to call, ordinary women or nuns, because they live neither in the world nor out of it.” (Franciscan Friar Gilbert of Tournai, 1274; Sisters Between)

Having a fine time


Old Postcard from the wonderful collection at the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History / Beach Haven, NJ / July 2008

               “Dear Lucille, I wish you
were here I am having a fine time. We
are staying at the Seaside Hotel.
     Gladys Supplee.”

I just love the phrase “I am having a fine time.”
My dictionary lists 15 definitions for the adjective fine and the 2nd one is very satisfactory, enjoyable — and its example sentence is “We are having a fine time.” A search of the phrase reveals that it was frequently written on postcards mailed in the first half of the 20th century. It was such a popular phrase that many postcards had “Having a fine time” pre-printed on them.

Forever boy


Riding my bike right on and on / Beach Haven, NJ / Aug. 2006

“ALL day and many days I rode,   
My horse’s head set toward the sea;   
And as I rode a longing came to me   
That I might keep the sunset road,   
Riding my horse right on and on,   
O’ertake the day still lagging at the west,   
And so reach boyhood from the dawn,   
And be with all the days at rest.   

For then the odor of the growing wheat,   
The flare of sumach on the hills,   
The touch of grasses to my feet   
Would cure my brain of all its ills,—   
Would fill my heart so full of joy   
That no stern lines could fret my face.   
There would I be forever boy,
Lit by the sky’s unfailing grace.”

~ A Wish, By Hamlin Garland