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Posts from November 2008

For taste and color

Fruits of the season / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

mango, granny smith, lemon, orange, and gala apple
reds, greens, yellows, oranges
for taste and color
in food and life we
give thanks
thanks giving

The family treasure

The audience at the Hot Sauce Festival talent show knows the meaning of "bringing out the family treasure"! / Mountain House / Aug. 2008

Everything comes from your own heart.
This is what one ancient called “bringing out the family treasure.”

~ Yuan-wu

Sublime mystery constantly envelops us

Leaves on the new porch railing / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

One does not need to fast for days and meditate for hours at a time to experience the sense of sublime mystery which constantly envelops us. All one need do is notice intelligently, if even for a brief moment, a blossoming tree, a forest flooded with autumn colors, an infant smiling.

~ Simon Greenberg

Appointments to keep in the past

Today we celebrate another in a long line of Jelisava-Elizabeths / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

“And might it not be, continued Austerlitz, that we also have appointments to keep in the past, in what has gone before and is for the most part extinguished, and must go there in search of place and people who have some connection with us on the far side of time, so to speak?”

~ Austerlitz, W. G. Sebald

The swish of her sari

Colorful Sari cloth forms the lining of my Houndstooth jacket / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

“It is the sounds we hear as children that shape us.

It is the snap-crush of spices under the heel of my grandmother's hand. It is the slip-splash of her fingertips, sliding fish into turmeric water. It is the thwack of her palms, clapping chapattis to life on her flat stone, a perfect circle, every time. It is the swish of her sari, the click of her knitting needles, the tap-tap of the soles of her feet hitting the soles of her sandals. There lies my grandmother's Morse code.”

~ Sadia Shepard writing in her book: The Girl from Foreign, A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home

Alizarin crimson

Crimson stream of conciousness / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

A few moments ago I heard a sound behind me, turned around and saw nothing out of place. Then I saw it on the floor — one of those pesky, scaly stink bugs that have been infesting our area. I've seen so many of them this year. It would be nice if they were useful. At one time the dried body of a scaly insect called kermes was used to produce a dye called crimson. In the late 19th century, chemists developed Alizarin crimson to replace rose madder; its roots were used to make a light, rose-colored textile dye. “Alizarin” makes me think of the Donovan song:

Colour sky Havana lake     
Colour sky rose carmethene     
Alizarin crimson     

Wear your love like heaven
Wear your love like heaven

~ lyrics from Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven

Ocularly imprudent


I see golden confetti raining down / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

Perhaps it's only falling leaves,
raining down outside my window.
But I see golden confetti.
Flying and falling down to earth.
Is this a byproduct of being a blogger?
Too much time spent scanning, searching, seeking
on a flat, but lively screen
and thereby failing to be “ocularly prudent”* ?
Or just a desire to believe that
the earth is celebrating?

* from a story in the NYTimes by Penelope Green where she writes of “...spending more time online than is perhaps ocularly prudent...”

Champagne tea party

A special day with two Champagne toasts, Champagne tea, and Temple of the Gods tea / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

“... Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, ... is that expression of health self-worth, spirit and soul, that kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.”

~ A letter to Barack Obama from Alice Walker

The arc of history


"...because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America" / Nov. 4 2008

For as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.

~ Barack Obama


Mitza called to tell me that today would be Barba's 100th birthday. This isn't a picture of him, but is an image that looks like him that I've had for years it captures his spirit and sweet smile. He was my great-Uncle and Jelisava's youngest son (in the local Croatian dialect, "Barba" means "uncle" and is also a term used to address older seafaring men). Born in Camden, he worked on ships and told wonderful stories. One of my earliest memories is of Barba taking my older brother and me to the park near his house in Philadelphia. His love and affection for me is one of the little miracles in my life. / Remembering Camden NJ in 1908

What shall I give? and which are my miracles?
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim — the rocks — the motion of the waves — the ships with men on them,
What stranger miracles are there?

~ Walt Whitman (an excerpt from Miracles; Leaves of Grass)