Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
ANYTHING WILL DO
To smile about!
Now you feel better--
even if you are being stared down
by a little critter in a creek bed.
Happy to report that over 100 images
have now appeared on this blog.
Thank you for taking the time to view them!
Busy months for writing/traveling ahead.
There may be fewer posts, but know
I am grateful when you drop by for a
Monday, July 28, 2014
Gerard Manley Hopkins. S.J.
The priest-poet was born this day in 1844.
A leading Victorian poet, very few poems
of his were published in his lifetime.
"The Holy Ghost over the bent World broods
with warm breast and with ah! bright wings."
"God's Grandeur" (1918)
"Nature is never spent, said Hopkins.
. . . but sometimes cats are.
"What I do is me, for that I came."
-Gerard Manly Hopkins
A great answer for cats--or poets trying to explain why they write poetry.
Would you agree?
Sunday, July 27, 2014
We know him for his poetic line from "Trees."
Hint: I think that I shall never see . . .
But there are other things in a garden--maybe.
Have you ever wondered about a garden fairy?
"The fairy poet takes a sheet
of moonbeam silver white;
His ink is dew from daisies sweet
His pen a point of light."
(The poet Joyce Kilmer died on July 30, 1918)
Would you like to write with light?
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Have you ever read a quote
that hit home
and made you want to
work toward a change?
"The wisdom of life consists in the eliminationof nonessentials." -Lin Yutang (1895-1976)
but . . . aren't books a good thing?
"Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. It's nine-tenths of the problem. -John Lennon (1940-1980)
And then you say, "Let's leave it for another day."
Friday, July 25, 2014
This middle summer month will soon be gone. . .
Do you recall The Real McCoys television series?
Yes--then you are in the healthy stage of middle age.
Grandpa McCoy, the actor Walter Brennan was born
on this day in 1894.
If imported correctly you will hear his voice again. Enjoy.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Today brings together two very different
St Bridget of Sweden was born on this day in 1303
She was the mother of eight children. She married
at fourteen and became a widow 20 years later. She
devoted her life to prayer and good works after her
She was declared the patron saint of Europe.
On July 23, 1823 Coventry Patmore was born in England.
After their mothers died he took it upon himself to raise
all eight of his children.
His poetic talent was never highly regarded. Though chances
are you have heard a few lines from his poem, "The Toys."
"And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own."
"To God, I wept, and said:
. . . Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys. . .
For some the poem is about a Heavenly Father
who knows us and forgives us as His children.
Stories can flower whenever we
take the time to find connections.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Today is the day that Roman Catholic,
Anglican, Lutheran, and Easter Orthodox
churches honor Mary Magdalene.
She was at the Crucifixion and the
Resurrection of Christ.
For many centuries her identity has
been in question.
Recent books and movies have fed
We may not be sure . . .
There are so many things we cannot
know for sure "until all things are
revealed to us" after death.
Until then . . .
Today we know is the birthday of
Alex Trebek who gave us an appropriate
"You should not be afraid of silence."
Monday, July 21, 2014
By The Sea
If you are of a certain age,
you will recall a song.
The words roll off
the tongue from memory . . .
whether from a cartoon
or a musical show:
"You and I, You and IO how happy we'll be."
The song topped the charts as World War I began.
If you go to the National Jukebox at the Library
of Congress website, you can hear this old song.
However, don't stop with the music, get to knowyour Library of Congress: maps, performing arts,American memory, prints and photographs -- plusso much more.The Library of Congress is the largest library inthe world! It was founded --for all of us-- in 1800.The walls and columns are covered with art and quotations. May it be that everyone will one dayview their library buildings--on screen or in person.
A quote from the South Corridor ceiling:
"They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts." -Sir Philip Sidney
Sunday, July 20, 2014
On July 20, 1969 the Lunar Module named Eagle landed
on the surface of the moon. Three astronauts were aboard.
Neil Armstrong made the announcement, "Houston,
Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
Over 450 million were listening to the news.
And when Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon,
his words echoed around the globe:
The "a" before the word man is a bit of a
mystery. Armstrong recalled putting it there,
but that little letter is difficult to confirm in the
His words are repeated with pride by all -- of that there is no doubt.
Can one small word change a meaning?
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Born on this day in 1834, this French
painter became widely known for
his ballet dancers.
"Art is not what you see, but
what you make others see."
Little dancer at the barre.
"Art is much less important than life,
but what a poor life without it."
Degas said that he had luggage in his head. Do you carry around luggage tocreate from also?
Time to open it and begin.
Friday, July 18, 2014
"Keep peace, hate war, bind wounds,
be patient, love." -Archibald MacLeish
Today we mourn with those families who lost
loved ones on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Today we also remember the strength of
Nelson Mandela, born July 18th 1918.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
July has been designated National Blueberry Month
by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
Native Americans taught the pilgrims about this
healthy food and today we eat these berries
for brain power--and for many other reasons.
Blueberries begin as small green berries.
As they change to blue their size increases.
"Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb
Real sky blue and heavy . . ." -Robert Frost
This pie holder holds no pie yet, but maybe it will
provoke you to collect some blueberries and
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Maybe you are planning a summer vacation and
are wondering what the flight plan will include.
You will be traveling what Wilbur Wright called
"the infinite highway of the air."
If the weather permits, you may be looking out a
small window for much of the time, trying to identity
from the sky what you are viewing on earth.
"There are two critical points in every aerial flight--
its beginning and its end." -Alexander Graham Bell
In this digital age it may not surprise you that people
do not share life stories anymore with the stranger
next to them. No. They will be engaged with
private games on a private screen.
"Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is
worth the price." -Amelia Earhart
Amelia would be very surprised at the price of flying today !
If you are making plans to fly, make them with
adventure in mind--the adventure of meeting someone
who might just be waiting to meet the likes of you.
We are all just passengers in this life anyway. Right?
Friday, July 11, 2014
Born: July 11, 1899 Died: Oct 1, 1985
"Writing is an act of faith, and not a trick of grammar,"
said the man whose birthday we celebrate today.
This same writer updated The Elements of Style
"Be obscure clearly." E. B. White loved language and
ordinary events. His short, witty writings for the
New Yorker are evidence.
Charlotte's Web written by White has sold
over 45 million copies.
"We must always be
on the lookout for
the presence of wonder."
Here is the first line of a brief essay by White:
"This is a ridiculous assignment."
Take the challenge tonight and write another
short piece using the master's first line.
He won't mind where it takes you.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
City and Science
Today is known as the birthday of Dublin City
in the year 988 -- mostly because a King came
into power and taxes were collected.
Dublin in 2012
Perhaps you have visited Dublin and gone
into one of its many pubs. You certainly would
have seen their famous stout ( Guinness ) served
by the pint. You might have gone for a taste,
since it looks akin to a cold glass of Root Beer.
Surprise! An acquired taste -- the Irish say.
Arthur Guinness and his wife had 21 children.
They were generous with their wealth and
helped restore St. Patrick's Church in Dublin.
This day we also remember Nikola Tesla, born
on July 10, 1856. He was an inventor/scientist
who immigrated to the U.S. and worked for
Thomas Edison until he began his own electrical
Nikola Tesla left us some thoughts & beginnings:
like the stars of the firmament, with ties inseparable.
These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them."
Perhaps you will look at a stranger today andrecall the words of Nikola Tesla . . .
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
FOOD (MORE OR LESS)
Summertime and the living is easy or so the song
goes. Suddenly though, you step on the scale and
a number digitally appears that makes you very
uncomfortable -- maybe even a bit anxious or angry.
You have gained a few pounds.
How did it happen?
-that fun Bar-B-Que
-maybe a Cruise
Carbs got you -- but you walked the ship!
You are a temple of the Holy Spirit you tell
yourself. You should have more self-control.
You try to eat healthy most of the time.
Do saints have such problems?
Yes, but the difference is they do not
allow their physical body to overburden
Your BMI does not dictate the Lord's
Mercy & Love for you.
Think about Good Pope John. A man
of humility, humor -- and considerable size.
A wonderful story goes that when someone
commented on his over-weight size, he smiled
and replied, "This is just the package I came in."
"Unity in necessary things,
freedom in doubtful things,
charity in all things." -Pope Saint John XXIII
We all need help in granting our own self
some charity and acceptance each day.
With three pounds of Amen!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Getting & Spending
Do you ever go out and buy something
just for a momentary thrill? And then
after you get it home you realize that you
really don't need it--don't really want it.
It happens to everyone sooner or later.
Although there are special people for
whom material needs are last on their list
For instance, every time they
buy a book, they give a book away.
We need to learn their secret for letting go.
In 1802 the poet William Wordsworth wrote
a sonnet about getting and spending:
"The World Is Too Much With Us"
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending , we lay waste our powers.
Did you buy something today that has left you
Monday, July 7, 2014
Today in the coastal town of Newport Beach. CA.
a lifeguard is being remembered. Ben Carlson, 32,
died in the line of duty, trying to rescue a swimmer.
"Murmuring they move, as when old ocean roarsAnd heaves huge surges to the trembling shores . . ."
from The Iliad
"The cold and sparkling silver of the sea
We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me."
Remembering Ben Carlson with gratitude --
Sunday, July 6, 2014
In 1902 a young girl refused the
sexual advances of her 18-year-old neighbor
Alessandro and he stabbed her 14 times.
The next day on July 6th Maria Goretti
forgave Alesandro before she died.
Maria was proclaimed a saint (worthy
of Heaven) in 1950. Her mother and the
repentant Alessandro were both present
for the ceremony in Rome.
Today she is seen as a special helper to
those who have been raped.
This day is rich with birth days:
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,
was born on July 6, 1935. He is
recognized around the world as a
man of peace. In 2011 he asked to be
removed from political power, thus ending
the tradition of the Dalai Lama as the
temporal head of Tibet.
Also (in no special order)
Frida Kahlo 1907-1954
George W. Bush 1946-
Marc Chagall 1887-1985
Detail from Green Violinist
by Marc Chagall 1923-24.
Saints, artists, politicians and
peacemakers -- all God's children.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
A Formalist poet, Nemerov was said to have
"a quiet intelligent voice brooding lyrically on
the strange beauty and tragic loneliness of life."
Howard Nemerov died of cancer on July 5, 1991.Poet, essayist and fiction writer, Nemerov also served
as Poet Laureate. He won a Pulitzer Prize and the National
His younger sister was the photographer Diane Arbus.
"Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light."
And . . .
Happy Birthday Chuck Close! The famous painter of
photo-realism was born this day in 1940.
Friday, July 4, 2014
America The Beautiful
by Katharine Lee Bates - 1913
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!
O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
USA Flag Site (copy)
Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929) first wrote
America The Beautiful as a poem.
Later, Samuel A. Ward composed the music.
Today if we look around us, we can still see
spacious skies, waves of grain, and purple mountains.
God has shed his grace on us.