zirconium: Photo of graduated cylinder with black and blue feathers (measured 1)
[The subject line is from Dante, Purgatorio, canto XXVI:132: "as through the water a fish goes to the bottom"]

Some happy things:

  • Fox socks.

  • Another tiny tomato:

    tiny tomato

    tomato cutting

    (Scale: the bottle is about 4.5 inches tall.)

  • Working at the bakery while people-watching: toddlers and their parents sledding across and down the street; a woman in a fur coat climbing into her pick-up truck; some customers excited about the hamentaschen and others trying their first ones ever ...

  • Snow day = midmorning nap.
  • zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
    San Marco Square
    San Marco Square, Jacksonville, 2012

    This UU hymn (words by Carl G. Seaburg) has been running through my head tonight:

    God who fills the universe
    from the atoms to the stars,
    make firm my changeful heart
    so I may do my part
    and bring joy to all the earth.

    God who webs the universe
    with amazing mysteries,
    make glad my fragile soul
    so I can see life whole
    and bring hope to all on earth.

    God who keeps the universe
    by the truths of living love,
    make strong that love in me
    so I can set it free
    and bring peace to all on earth.

    Some other things I have been grateful for today:

    * the pleasure of seeing more tulips shoots emerge; how cute they are at this point, when they've broken through soil but not (yet) the dark brown bulbskin

    * an unexpectedly satisfying cup of mushroom-tofu soup

    * good colleagues

    * expert gift-wrapping

    * employee discounts

    * searchable style guides and the Google Ngram Viewer

    * receiving my copy of How to Live on Other Planets

    * chocolate chips in challah

    * feeling able to say farewell to a chapter of my life by throwing out a broken watch
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    [Subject line from Chuck Berry's Memphis, Tennessee]

    Presley poodles
    Poodles at Graceland

    I'd like to be in Memphis. Or Morocco. Or Monterrey. Or Miami. Or Monticello. Or messing around my yard. But here in my kitchen is a pretty good place to be as well. The BYM and the dog were in here earlier, the tomato cuttings aren't dead yet, and I have poured for myself a glass of the wine [personal profile] dichroic sent in December, to go with the edamame-wasabi dip I just made.

    I am frustrated about a number of things, including not yet feeling well enough to sing or to resume practicing yoga, but happy happenings have been in abundance as well. The client to whom I delivered a commission this past Sunday was very pleased with it. ("We definitely got our money's worth.") I fashioned a pin for a friend while at the easel.

    The Poetry Storehouse now has audio for my poems "Novecento," "Schrodinger's Top Hat," "Even an Empty Life Can Hold Water," and "Lining Up." At Autumn Sky Poetry, Christine Klocek-Lim published my sestina "O Clouds Unfold" (which may look familiar to some of you, as I posted the first draft here just under a year ago). First Class accepted a poem.

    The lily in the bathroom has put forth new shoots. A longtime friend got married. My honorary mama celebrated her eighty-something-eth birthday. Mary sent a sprig from Wilbur's "Black Birch in Winter."

    And now I must turn back to paperwork and work-work.
    zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
    my life in a snapshot

    Worker bee + hedonist = cappuccino + Old Fashioned

    and writing during and between courses
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    Elise Matthesen has a sale going on until midnight Minnesota time 22 February, and she asked those with shinies already in their nests to "maybe tell a little about a shiny that you have, or that you like, or that otherwise inspired you?"

    To Cover the Jade Well goes well with my hair, and I wear that pair frequently. Truth be told, I had forgotten their name (2006 was a while ago), but having unearthed it tonight, I now have ideas...

    I have, in fact, drafted a poem about "The Habits of Fire," which I wore more frequently before the green streaks. I shall polish and re-circulate it at some point.

    I am fond of a green hair clip / bookmark (having reached for it for both purposes) M'ris sent me one Christmas.

    And, another December, Sinterklaas brought me a pouch of blood- and rose-themed beads ordered by Paula, with this poem. I shall knot them into books or cards or broadsides or hair ornaments at some point. But the rest of tonight is for the fitting together of other rocks...
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    (by Mustafa Ja'far, British Museum/McGraw-Hill, 2002)

    The famous Persian calligrapher, Mir 'Ali of Herat (d. 1556), gave the following advice to those embarking on the task: "The calligrapher needs five things: a fine temperament, an understanding of calligraphy, a good hand, the ability to endure pain and a perfect set of implements."

    - from the introduction by Venetia Porter, Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum

    [I don't really agree with this -- especially not the "perfect set of implements" -- but it does amuse me.]
    zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
    22. Stopping by my favorite bakery, Sweet 16th [poem here].

    23. Sipping new-to-me whiskies.

    24. Napping.

    25. Revising poems.

    26. Hymn-nerding.

    27. Getting friends to the party.

    28. Wearing my sheep slippers.

    Halfinger slippers

    Read more... )
    50. Showing visitors around Nashville, especially the hall of vintage posters and the limited editions room at the downtown public library.

    51. Wrapping things (up). :)

    tying up loose ends
    zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
    Prompted by Kylie.

    1. Listening to the Beautiful Young Man yammer at the dog when he gets home.

    2. Taking photographs.


    3. Gardening. (There are TWO tomatoes on one of the indoor vines now!)

    4. Cooking.

    5. Reading cookbooks.

    6. Proofreading.

    7. Traveling.

    8. Enjoying the smell of crayons.

    9. And then using them in coloring books and on calendars.

    10. Playing fantasy tennis.

    11. Horse handicapping, too.

    12. Listening both to Handel and heavy metal as I work.

    13. Swimming.

    14. Crocheting.

    15. Throwing dinner parties.

    16. Sending postcards, and receiving them.

    17. Getting massages.

    18. Watching tennis.

    19. Watching dancers.

    20. Dancing.

    21. Singing.

    Easter eve

    [to be continued...]
    zirconium: photo of fabric elephant-shaped tissue holder in Thai massage parlor waiting room (elephant at Smile Thai)
    since your wedding when you have to Google one of the names on the announcement list, because you no longer remember what that person looked like, let alone why they were either close or important enough to be on list.

    (Doing some more purging of papers before the next shift of easel-work. Ditched: notes for my BA thesis, supporting docs for my parents' early 1990s tax returns, coupons that expired this past Sunday ...)

    In the meantime, the crepe myrtles and other trees/shrubs/what-have-you look spectacular. I haven't been outside today; these are from Monday:

    ice storm in Nashville

    ice storm in Nashville

    ice storm in Nashville
    zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
    sleet 023

    A reason to love being an adult: beginning a holiday with lasagna, salad, and half a glass of white wine.

    Read more... )

    This fall and winter, the sounds of a house being built across the street have filled many weekdays and most Saturdays. But not today:

    development across the street
    zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
    Published last week: my little poem about Hari-Kuyo, a festival that honors broken needles. [bio]

    Seen on yesterday's walk (several blocks apart):

    East Nashville

    East Nashville
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    Spending the day at my easel, but first, sifting through a box of old photos and letters. In the jumble, a photo from 1982:

    Richmond May Affair 1982


    Feb. 8th, 2015 01:24 pm
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
    This afternoon's main project is getting ready for this evening's Heartbreak Happy Hour at the Stone Fox -- I'm one of the performers.

    The years I've spent drafting sermons (and numerous other speeches for church) mean that I now have a pretty good sense of how many words = ten minutes of material. Which I found myself grateful for this past week, what with trying to bounce back from the flu while going back to work and staying on schedule on a commission and so on. It was nice to know that ten minutes of material isn't actually that many words and that I could knock it out in a day if I couldn't carve out the time any earlier. (But what actually happened was that I started writing it in my head two minutes after receiving the invitation, and sketched it various lines and points in my Workflowy during the rest of the week before slicing and knotting it all together the past two days.)

    Coincidentally, two of the hymns in this morning's church service were ones I selected for a service I led a decade or so ago. One was "When Shall We Learn," which is Carl Flentge Schalk's setting of a poem by Auden:

    When shall we learn, what should be clear as day,
    we cannot choose what we are free to love?
    We are created with and from the world
    to suffer with and by it day by day.

    For through our lively traffic all the day,
    in my own person I am forced to know
    how much must be forgotten out of love,
    how much must be forgiven, even love.

    Or else we make a scarecrow of the day,
    loose ends and jumble of our common world;
    or else our changing flesh can never know
    there must be sorrow if there can be love.

    The other is "Creative Love, Our Thanks We Give," a William DeWitt Hyde poem adapted by Beth Ide, and set to "Truth from Above" with harmony by Vaughan Williams:

    Creative love, our thanks we give
    that this, our world is incomplete . . .

    Since what we choose is what we are,
    and what we love we yet shall be,
    the goal may ever shine afar--
    the will to reach it makes us free.

    Also at church: an adorable mop of a service dog, who snuggled into its owner's shoulder for a while during the sermon:

    service dog

    After church, I ran an errand and picked up Chinese carryout. There was an invisible fortune cookie in the bag...

    invisible fortune cookie

    ... and this advice in one of the corporeal cookies:

    Business is a lot like playing tennis; if you don't serve well, you lose.

    From the speculative writing/publishing realm:

  • Sue Burke and several other very experienced translators want to bring castles in Spain to you -- specifically Castles in Spain, a bilingual anthology they're raising funds for via Indiegogo.

  • If you're a Science Fiction Poetry Association member, you have one week left to nominate your favorite 2014 poems for Rhysling Awards. I have both long and short poems eligible this year [downloadable at http://sfpoetry.com/ra/eligible/PegDuthie2014.rtf] . . .

  • How to Live on Other Planets is available for pre-order. The list of contributors is fierce, y'all.
  • zirconium: photo of fabric elephant-shaped tissue holder in Thai massage parlor waiting room (elephant at Smile Thai)
    Mary's comment on yesterday's entry reminded me that I hadn't yet posted snapshots from a hike two Saturdays ago. It was a crowded morning at Radnor, with overflow parking very much in use:

    Radnor Lake Radnor Lake

    My hiking partner's son was among the young men (most of them from Lipscomb) shredding Christmas trees and wheeling the mulch up the trails.

    As we came down Garnier Ridge, we glimpsed turtles sunning themselves. There were also a series of snowmen on the benches along the trail:

    Radnor Lake

    Radnor Lake
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    first indoor tomato!

    Been down with the flu; slammed with work. This may become the Year of Blogging Just Pictures of Tomatoes (Guest Starring Peppers).
    zirconium: mirliton = grinning squash from NOLA (mirliton)
    So, those tomato cuttings from October? They're still doing well -- so much that I spent part of my Saturday sanitizing stakes to bring inside, as the vines had become too long and heavy to creep up the wall without help:

    indoor garden

    There are also two generations of Christmas pepper plants in that corner (transplanting the trio of seedlings I hadn't placed among friends was another finally-got-to item on the list). I gave up on the pot of thyme.
    I chucked a couple of bulbs into the compost pail and sliced open a third.

    The scent of the tomato plants intensifies as they are handled. It was strong enough to disturb the BYM, on the other side of the wall.

    tomato blossom
    zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)
    This just in from the National Weather Service (via @NashSevereWx):


    We don't get much snow here. It started falling late last night. The sun's fully in the sky now, but most of my block is still asleep (or at least not out and about). Some creatures are watchful, though:

    looking west

    And some projects were probably going to be deferred to another weekend anyhow:

    not yet time


    Jan. 12th, 2015 08:41 pm
    zirconium: mirliton = grinning squash from NOLA (mirliton)
    "RAH!" is the name of the third movement of John Muehleisen's Eat Your Vegetables!, which the Tufts University Chorale performed at my church yesterday morning. This snapshot is of them chant-spelling R-U-T-A-B-A-G-A:

    Tufts University Chorale

    Yesterday also brought my first rejections and acceptances of the year.

    I'm the featured poet at 7x20 this week.

    Time continues to feel multi-layered to me -- multi-versed, multi-listastic (both in terms of to-do jottings and back-and-forth swayings), multifarious in its guises, multibarreled in its throwing of curveballs. I am still learning about what can be held together and what must be allowed to disappear.

    Not all ribbons were for the holiday
    zirconium: French word for "light" (on wall of Cheekwood Mansion) (lumière)
    [Subject line from Dawn Potter's Happy New Year post.]

    7th night of Hanukkah


    It has been a hectic yet happy holiday season for me, and it isn't quite over yet. I haven't put away the stocking holders or taken down the wreath. A friend and I waited until yesterday afternoon to open the presents we sent to each other, when we could watch each other opening the packages on Skype. I am snacking on summer sausage (a food gift) as I type.

    While 2014 isn't (and won't) be completely boxed up and neatly sequestered into the basement or closet, 2015 and its tasks are very much here. Yesterday's accomplishments included purchasing the accordion file for this year's business receipts and starting this year's submissions log (optimistically labeling a new spreadsheet "Acceptances 2015").

    I also bought pots and marbles for the bulbs that spent this past week on the living room floor (after two months outside, first on a truck bed and then a front porch):

    tulip bulbs
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    My Rhysling-eligible poems. Thank you for considering them.

    On a tangential note, this may be my next author photo (if not the one from two posts ago):

    in Sharon Louden's COMMUNITY



    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

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