Monday, March 2, 2015

Be easygoing, be flexible, be adaptable and try something new

Taste: chocolate peanut butter pie
Sight: North Cascades Grizzly Bear; blue sky, cherry blossoms, white star magnolia, tulip tree magnolia, white camellia
Sound: Bj√∂rk, Vulnicura: Atom Dance, "I am dancing towards transformation."; Family, "There is a swarm of sound/Around our heads"; Quicksand,
"When she's broken, she is whole
And when she's whole, she's broken

Our mother's philosophy
It feels like quicksand
And if she sinks
I'm going down with her"
Touch: light wind in the low 50s
Smell: hyacinth
"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." - Philip Pullman 
"Who rides so late in the night and the wind? It is the writer's grief. It is the wild March wind." — Pale Fire, Nabokov 
Grateful for: the onset of spring

Monday, February 23, 2015

White crested tigers, bears, lions and small puffs of dogs

Taste: boiled Cameo apple, boiled banana, boiled Yukon Gold potatoes; watery foods
Sight: red, pink and orange waves rolling, an ocean at sunrise: the waves crested and fluffy as the manes of white lions
Sound: the dogs know the snap of the laptop closing
Touch: a finger swipe on smooth screen
Smell: honey skin
Extra: The Blink Comparator - a machine used by Clyde Tombaugh to examine the discovery images of Pluto
Grateful for: time; dreams; favorite places, favorite meals; time to read; time to dream; gifts of time with a loved one

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Experimental dinner and an unusually perfect Valentine's Day

A delightful experimental dinner
lemon-herbed bean pate
micro greens
pommelo and cara cara orange
seared fennel
pomegranate and beet in a spiced orange blossom dressing
roasted leek sauce and asparagus
blood orange coulis
hazelnut cheesecake
Sight: huge raviolis and asparagus on plate; fine fog misty morning; a crying woman on crutches
Sound: 80s hits playlist; velcro
Touch: a soft tissue
Smell: teriyaki; roasted honey; a burnt wound
Extra: a large warehouse, teaching automechanics and looking up
Grateful for: breath; sleep;
A perfect day
Up early writing with a silver pot of coffee
Dogs and cat close at hand helping
Read a good book
Visit to a farm sanctuary
Tasted a new wine and chocolate
Out of doors in the sun and blue sky
Took Trooper for a walk
Quality time with husband
Dinner out dancing
Said hello to friends

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fanciful thought: one might ride a ferry from Porec to Venice

Taste: Sangiovese, sanguis Jovis, the blood of the Roman God Jove/Jupiter, grapes grown in Italy Tuscany, Campania, Umbria, Apennines
Sight: greebling; the steam rises up; the cranes along the port; a wire fenced in walking trail
Sound: crunch; wheeze
Touch: cat's paw
Smell: something burning-an open wound
Grateful for: breath
"Resistance and change often begin in art and very often in our art: the art of words." — Ursula K. Le Guin, 4:34
Ursula K. Le Guin accepts the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Springy story review: "Torching the Dusties" by Margaret Atwood

Why it springs to mind: Relevant thoughts about how we view aging and how we treat the aged in our society. In this story, young people protest the existence of old people in an assisted living facility for taking up resources. Not far from the callous viewpoint of people sometimes expressed in the national news.
Where read: The last story in Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014) a collection by Margaret Atwood
Summary: Wilma and her boyfriend Tobias escape an assisted living facility, Ambrosia Manor, that has come under attack by protestors carrying signs that say "Time to Go" and "Our Turn" who think the old people are just taking up space and resources.
Memorable: the delightful use of Charles Bonnet Syndrome as a character trait for Wilma
"We have to be kind to one another in here, she tells herself. We're all we have left."  
"According to Tobias, women hang around longer because they're less capable of indignation and better at being humiliated, for what is old age but one long string of indignities? What person of integrity would put up with it?"

Personal attachment: As a former hospice volunteer, I'm very interested in explorations of how we treat and view aging in our society. I've also written fantasy stories about little "pocket people," so I enjoyed this story's use of visions of tiny dancing people. I also loved reading the sympathetic point of view of an aged woman.
Pairs well with: Ninni Holmqvist's novel The Unit, a dystopian future in which single people of a certain age are expected to leave society for the unit where they must donate their organs or participate in experiments for the good of society, Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet, a novel about a feisty older woman, and the novelette "Lady Astronaut of Mars," by Mary Robinette Kowal another story with an older female protagonist
About the author: Margaret Atwood - fabulous, thoughtful and relevant - so many memorable stories that speak to society - what a gem! See my review of her MaddAddam Trilogy at EcoLitBooks.

Friday, February 6, 2015

She makes a rather simple list to post this day, February sixth

Taste: broccoli and red pepper
Sight: darkness; SuperBowl by candlelight
Sound: ballads and falsetto
Touch: nibbling
Smell: burning wax
Extra: celebrating animals, confronting cruelty; army of the kind, align values and actions
Grateful for: electricity

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Writing for a compassionate, companion named Elizabeth

Taste: molasses; grade B maple syrup
Sight: doggie diapers; a spring in her step
Sound: "Diabolical!","Barbaric!"
Touch: velcro;
"Each extension of a hand or paw is toward contact....When we touch we go from being observers to being included; things seen become things felt. 
In silence or in speech, reading and being read to are other forms of touch. The words of poets and writers stir us." — Ann Hamilton, "On Touch"
Smell: woodsmoke; worst of the year candidate: the stench that comes from the nearby Burger King and permeates the air around the running track
Extra: a moral quandary, a conflict of interest; a commonplace book - the v. commonplacing - reading, copying out and managing selections from one's books;

"If I can think my way into the existence of a being who has never existed, then I can think my way into the existence of a bat or a chimpanzee or an oyster, any being with whom I share the substrate of life." — J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello

Grateful for: change; the very sudden and very slow alignment of our behavior with our beliefs;
 "We're a cause made up of converts; the doors of this movement are open to anyone whose heart and mind leads them inside." — Wayne Pacelle, The Bond