zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
Prompt 13: comforting

13. comforting

Prompt 14: orange

14. orange

Prompt 15: fact

15. fact

15. fact
zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
The subject line is from Diane Ackerman's "I Praise My Destroyer," which also contains these lines:

it was grace to live
among the fruits of summer, to love by design,
and walk the startling Earth

cigarette machine
Cigarette machine, Jerusalem, 2009

Paper Hound Bookshop
Poetry machine, The Paper Hound Bookshop, Vancouver, 2013

every stationery store should have a sleepy doggie
Stationery shop, Wilmington (NC), 2012

Madison County Public Library, 2008

Paris, 2009
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
Prompt: poems

11. poems

In the photo:
If I Had Wheels or Love - Vassar Miller
Collected Poems - Lynda Hull
In Advance of All Parting - Ansie Baird
A Year in Poetry - edited by Thomas E. Foster and Elizabeth C. Guthrie
Staying Alive - edited by Neil Astley

I'll probably spend part of tonight with one of these books. But first I will be finishing up the assembling of tonight's dinner (a variation of Bittman's chickpea tagine with chicken and apricots), and looking at other chicken recipes for tomorrow night. It will likely be pot pie if I feel I have time; if not, chicken salad sandwiches with leftover mashed potatoes on the side. The focus on chicken is thanks to a manager's special Saturday that resulted in me stewing a crockpot full of thighs; some of the chicken jelly was ladled onto the dog's kibble tonight, and oh, such rejoicing and gobbling there was by the auld girl.
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
It's been a while since my last spell of quality time with the tomato plants. This morning I reached for the scissors and twine. The vine I'd draped over the bookshelves had dropped to the floor, so I hauled it back up and this time used Jane Austen (a gift from my big brother) to anchor into place.

Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

I did sneak in a bit of pruning two nights ago, with one cutting going into a pot outside:


There was a vine I'd mentally consigned to the compost pile earlier in the week, but when I took a closer look at it, there were two tiny green tomatoes on it. So -- as with so many other things these days -- I'll wait and see.

not yet ready to compost

not yet ready to compost
zirconium: French word for "light" (on wall of Cheekwood Mansion) (lumière)
I am in love with this sentence I just saw in the the New York Times, about the Super Blood Moon:

"You're basically seeing all of the sunrises and sunsets across the world, all at once, being reflected off the surface of the moon," said Dr. Sarah Noble, a program scientist at NASA.

my song!

Sep. 25th, 2015 07:31 pm
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
David Early-Zald wrote this for me: Mechaieh

(My copies of the CD just arrived in yesterday's mail. Whee-yay!)
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
dolling up for a wedding

D: What's with the blue hair?

Me: Mid-life crisis.

D: Ah. Cheaper than a new car!

B: Or a new husband!


Sep. 13th, 2015 08:52 pm
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
At my church today: Spanky, a therapy dog in the Pet Partners program.

Spanky the Shih Tzu

My church observes a custom called "sharing the plate," where half of the "loose cash" (i.e., not designated for pledges) collected during the offertory goes to a local charity. This month the money will go to Crossroads Campus, whose goals include "OFFER[ING] PAID JOB-TRAINING internships to young adults who lack the connections and experience needed to break into the workforce" and
"PROVID[ING] AFFORDABLE HOUSING for young adults on the brink of homelessness; offering stability, safety and community to those who need it most" -- two social issues that many people in the congregation have put in many hours toward addressing.

Petting Spanky

The literature on the social justice table today included coupons for the Crossroads store and self-serve dog wash, and save-the date cards for Hike for the Homeless (November 7), which will benefit Safe Haven Family Shelter.

Victoria, Spanky, and a friend
zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)

the world ripe with seeds
on the other side of the wall


Sep. 5th, 2015 08:04 pm
zirconium: medical instruments @High Point Doll Museum (medical instruments (miniature))
Some of the trees in my yard are already shifting from green to brown. I'm heading in the other direction, but first I'm going to enjoy a day or two between the bleaching and the dyeing:

between the bleach and the blue between the bleach and the blue

In the meantime, fresh balloonflowers are keeping company with those gone to seed...

balloonflowers balloonflowers
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
August Moon Day 10 prompt: I love the power of music to lift the spirits. I head to the stereo and put on...

Jam Coffeehouse

...Candi Staton singing "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," a forty-six-year-old song when I first heard it in The Jam Coffeehouse back in 2012. It may have been Madeline Bell's take on it, or Renee Geyer's -- or, this being Nashville, who knows, someone here in town with a good set of pipes. None of the versions I've listened to since quite match what I remember, but I wasn't paying close attention to the cafe stereo in the first place, which made it all the more annoying several weeks later when I realized the chorus was still in my head.

I find the lyrics of the entire song pretty creepy, truth be told, and most of the melody doesn't grab me either. But that first/third line of the chorus: Just four notes. Maybe three measures? Sometimes that's all it takes. Sometimes I sing along with the mp3 on my computer, and sometimes that line leaps out of my lungs at random -- a bolt of attitude between deadlines or destinations. (And sometimes I get super-silly and sing "dog dog-dog dog-dog-dog dog doggggg /dog dog dog / dog dog dog" at Miss Abby.)

"Lift the spirits" isn't quite the right phrase for me. I have been known to turn up Alkan's piano concerto when I'm upset, but I don't associate "comfort" with "lift." Left to my own devices, I'm likely to turn to myself music [hello, Freudian typo!] not for uplift or lightening up, but to provide whatever I'm in the throes of -- anger, ambition, gratitude, grief, nerdiness, nostalgia -- with company and fuel.

Gingerbread sculpture

This gingerbread jukebox was on display in Asheville a few years ago. Speaking of intense... :-)
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
August Moon Day 9 prompt: In that moment I felt luminous.

Erm. When this first showed up in my in-box, I thought, Pass. Celestial I am not. When people call me a goddess, it's usually in reaction to a meal I've cooked or some deadline I've met or something I'm wearing with a low neckline or high hem. I've been described as earthy. Grounded. Driven. Terrifyingly pragmatic. I'm the woman who, after two rounds (whisky, neat), goes back to work or practice if I don't go straight to sleep.

But then I remembered what it sometimes feels like when I'm singing Handel or Josquin or Praetorius, or sight-reading something new:

I wasn't actually feeling luminous at all when this video was shot, as I had the flu and was thus singing most of the night through clenched teeth (aka trying to suppress a coughing fit). But it's what's near to hand at the moment. It's a link to how I've felt in the car or on the porch now and then these past few weeks, singing bits of this or that as I get my higher notes ready for the new season. It's a reminder that in the course of fumbling my way toward competence and reliability, I've managed to learn a few things here and there: Use what you have. Showing up matters. Time at the keyboard matters. What or how you feel is not necessarily material (thank God!) to what you are called to say or sing.
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
from one side of the gate

August Moon day 8 prompt:
I sat outside and told my secrets to the moon. This was her reply: ....

The sun was high in the sky when I rose
and yet cannot melt
tiaras into bullets
or bullets into bedpans
or bedpans into spades

nor coax fresh fruit
from smothered seeds.

Who are you to despair
at stones not turned
and leaves no longer new

when you stand but a step
and a hinge-life away
from a sky with different answers?

from the other side of the gate


  • Both photos were taken earlier tonight.

  • I took a break between stanzas to walk some magazines around the corner. There is already the scent of burning leaves in the air.
  • zirconium: medical instruments @High Point Doll Museum (medical instruments (miniature))
    August Moon Day 7 prompt: I pull back the curtain and I see...

    Bercy, 2011

    ...a game between strangers
    who see each other often
    but not away
    from the courts
    or the parties

    just as I blink
    stumbling into someone
    out of their Sunday best
    as I exit a shower

    -- yes, a fig leaf
    would fool me.
    My garden is thick
    with saplings
    so green
    they would smother
    an angel's sword
    with all
    of their wayward

    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    August Moon prompt: There is something about twilight that makes me feel...

    also on the rogue rosebush

    ... like I've barely begun
    to study the roses

    and that I'll still feel
    I've barely begun
    my life

    twenty-four summers hence
    should I be
    so lucky

    to grow
    past my prime

    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
    August Moon Day 4 prompt: So I had a conversation with my shadow...


    ... where she asked me what kind of net
    I would want to knot

    were time no object
    and money no limit

    men's spa/salon

    I said to her, I
    am both oil and water
    whip and trench
    slipper and shard
    caper and crutch

    Down the street

    I'll meet you at the corner
    where the wind
    has been whisking
    shreds of tealeaves
    past the lost screws
    of stray sunglasses.

    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    1. The urge to create a version of the mushroom-and-cheese "nem" (spring roll) at Boris Bistro.

    2. Jars of confiture from Maison Christoph Faure.

    Maison Christian Faure Maison Christian Faure

    3. A program and ticket stubs from this year's Coupe Rogers tournament, where Jeremy Chardy saved about 70,000 match points vs. John Isner, Kei Nishikori scored a tweener lob against David Goffin, Karlovic aced Raonic a bunch of times, and Mikhail Youzhny earned a standing ovation after winning a spectacular point during his loss to Rafael Nadal. We also saw two Djokovic matches, as well as Andy Murray in both singles and doubles.

    Andy Murray on Court 5

    4. A Rodin exhibition catalogue. So much to revisit and to write about...

    5. A list of places for next time -- costume institute, marchés, parcs...

    6. A longing to improve my French skillz...

    7. as well as my photography and lettering chops, what with being surrounded by so much art inside the hotel as well as on the street and in cathedrals, shops, and galleries...

    Plensa Outside LHotel LHotel Down the street

    8. and stories to spin, someday, about jazz in the square across from organ practice in the basilica:

    Doxas Brothers Trio

    9. An ocean-scented facial mask from a hostess at the Chinese restaurant where we'd just consumed spicy jade tofu and sauteed sweet pea greens. I couldn't help wondering if I really looked crazy-haggard, but I suspect she just couldn't resist the possibility of future sales ("If you like it, come back..."). My companion did in fact enjoy the greens so much that we discussed returning to the restaurant again, but that plan got hosed (so to speak) by rain delays at Stade Uniprix the next afternoon.
    zirconium: snapshot of me at class in Israel (me with M14)
    Prompt 10: criminals

    The manga I mentioned in the previous entry, FAKE, is mainly about the antics of and relationship between two NYPD cops:

    10 - criminals 10 - criminals
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    Prompt: "friends are so cute"

    9 friends are so cute

    During my first visit to Paris, in 2009, my friend E good-humoredly took me manga-shopping, as I was on a quest for French-language editions of Sanami Matoh's FAKE. (Two years later, E would present me with two volumes she'd found. The friendships I've formed and the keepsakes I've been given through fandom are a source of both wonder and pleasure to me.) One of the bookstores had characters from Totoro on its front, including the Catbus.

    [About the challenge: http://upperrubberboot.tumblr.com/post/123904555213]


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

    November 2015

    S M T W T F S
    2223242526 2728


    RSS Atom

    Most Popular Tags

    Style Credit

    Expand Cut Tags

    No cut tags
    Page generated Dec. 2nd, 2015 06:51 am
    Powered by Dreamwidth Studios