zirconium: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (tulip)
[Today's subject line comes from Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind."]

Earlier this evening, my department head and I stood at my office window, watching a strong wind bend the trees and menace the panels of the Gala tent. It appeared to peel a sheet of metal from its moorings, knocked over stanchions in the parking lot and, at home, flipped open all the lids of the giant roller-bins. But the rain also eventually lightened up enough for me to don a wide-brimmed hat and scrape at some of the weeds attempting to strangle my mint patch.

Last Saturday I danced for seven hours -- two two-hour workshops, plus the Playford Ball, of which there are videos, including this one. I am thinking of splurging on a blue + green +/- dark gray tartan sash for next year, which is the sort of thing that happens when I try to figure out what should happen during a Dunant House Waltz and somehow end up studying Viking's Sheepskin moves. (The Duthies are part of Clan Ross, but I'll likely go with one of the universal patterns, like Highland Granit, or maybe wear Montgomerie in honor of Alexander, seeing how "What Mightie Motion" haunted me on first hearing for the better part of several years (to the point that I wrote to the Scottish Poetry Library to obtain the full set of verses).

Speaking of poetry, it is April, and thus there are goings-on. At Vary the Line, Mary, Joanne, and I have written and/or collected responses to the question "What is a poem?", with my friend Lisa Dordal starting the series. Over at Pretty Terrible, Natalie Luhrs analyzes and links to some of my poems as part of her own monthlong poetry project.

It is still too soon to put out plants that cannot withstand frost. I am edgy and eager to get them resettled, even though there is plenty of prep that still needs to be done. I can hear and see my impatience reflected among my colleagues and acquaintances: Whennnnnnnnnn? one whimpered. Whennnnnnnnnn indeed.
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)

Gladys Knight and the Pips (1969)

The Pips had just come up from Atlanta, so they didn't know about Coles and Atkins and they weren't familiar with my choreography for the groups. None of them had seen the Cadillacs, for example. But, Marghuerite [Mays, their promoter] really talked me up; told them how their act lacked class and how I was gonna take care of that. Then she brought them by the studio where I was rehearsing. Bubba said he saw me over there in the corner sweating and dancing and carrying on, and he said, "This is the guy who's gonna give us class?"

... Marghuerite rented a little studio for us to rehearse in each day and when our time ran out there, we would pack up and head on over to my place, move the rugs, push all the furniture back, and keep working.Man, we had scuff marks all over the floor. When it was time for Maye [Atkinson, Cholly's wife] to come home from work, we'd be throwing the windows up and running around trying to put everything back in plac. When she came in, the Pips were sitting there covered with sweat. The place smelled like a locker room.

    -- Cholly Atkins (born Atkinson) and Jacqui Malone, Class Act: The Jazz Life of Choreographer Cholly Atkins

zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
...everyone has some. But now, looking out there,
she felt easy, at home in the world -- maybe like
a casual snowflake. And some people loved her.
She would remember that. And remember this place.

As you will, wherever you go after this day,
just a stop by the road, and a glimpse of someone's life,
and your own, too, how you can look out any time,
just being a part of things, getting used to being a person,
taking it easy, you know.

-- William Stafford, "Emily, This Place, and You," in The Way It Is

Snapshots of the audience at a Charanga Carolina concert one year ago:
Read more... ) Charanga Carolina concert
zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
Today's subject line comes to you from a picture book, Ian Falconer's Olivia and the Fairy Princesses. During a recent Q&A in the NYT, Falconer advised other authors "not to underestimate your audience. Children will figure things out; it's what they do best -- sorting out the world."

The man means it. The dedication of the book reads, "With deepest apologies to Martha Graham," and there's a two-page spread in the middle of the book of Miss Olivia in eighteen poses à La Graham. I cannot even.

(And, later in the book, the phrase "corporate malfeasance" shows up. Talk about not talking down!)


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

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