Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chartres Cathedral Windows

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Henri Matisse, 1911

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Scream
Edvard Munch, 1893

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting There: A Ramble

3 a.m. I wake up thinking
about those patches on your body,
those flesh-colored stop-smoking patches,
you lying in the hospital bed near
death, an oxygen mask on your face,
your eyes rolled back in your head,
body stripped naked except for the loin
cloth someone fashioned for more privacy,
you looking like Gandhi, you my brother-in-law,
whose arms I don't think I'd ever touched
until that day, when your wife, who had not
slept for days, asked if I could please keep
rubbing your arms and forehead with cool
water so she could just talk to you, could hold
your seven year old daughter in her arms
as they both talked to you, saying over and over
Your girls are here, Daddy, Your girls are here,
and then could I just continue a little longer
so she could lie down for just a minute's
rest, and so I started with the cloth, up and down
your arms, wondering why in the hell anyone
would put patches on your body, you less
than an hour from death, and though those patches
troubled me and though I felt I was violating
your right to be left alone, though I felt something
close to sacrilege, I wanted to help, so I kept sponging
and talking to you, asking you if you remembered
my wedding day and how you tried to talk your brother
into a quick getaway, asking if you could recall
the day you came in to tell me how badly
injured your brother (my man) was in the bulldozer
accident, me screaming He’s dead, isn’t he!!!
and you assuring me he was very much alive
and asking to see me, me asking if you remembered
that tall tale full-of-bullshit-as-they-come story you told
once about Jigs, your daddy’s bulldog, playing dead
then jumping up and killing those two beautiful show
dogs of your uncle’s, me there rubbing up and down,
up and down those tanned arms that would never
see the sun again, trying not to break, letting myself
tell you I was going to miss you, you who I never
got to know very well in the twenty-five years
I knew you, all the while wondering about those
patches, which I now remember were on your back,
which I know now were there to make you a bit more
comfortable on your way out, which may
have kept your body from craving a smoke,
which may have made your brain a little
less reluctant to keep fighting, which freed
up those few moments in which your breathing
became a bit less labored as your beautiful
daughter wept there next to you, which gave
her some comfort and others too--your mom
and wife, your brother and son, and even me,
me the one you wanted not to like but grew
accustomed to, me, the one who presented
a nephew, a niece, and another nephew
to you, the Me you knew loved ragtime
so you played Maple Leaf Rag or some other
Joplin tune every time you came to the house,
you telling me once that you were a piano player
in a bordello in a former life, you whose genius
few others could touch, you who I think of often
when I wake in the night, unable to sleep any longer,
up and down all night asking questions I can't answer,
falling back into an uneasy sleep, getting up the next
day still wondering about things like patches
and what's humane, about how it's not the dying
that scares me so much, it's the getting there.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

-- Dylan Thomas

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bob Dylan Set List

Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University
Assembly Hall

October 19, 2007

1. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel)
2. It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel)
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel)
4. Love Sick
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
5. Rollin' And Tumblin'
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
6. Spirit On The Water (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
7. High Water (For Charlie Patton)
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass)
8. Workingman's Blues #2
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
9. Honest With Me (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
10. My Back Pages
(Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
11. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie lap steel)
12. Ain't Talkin' (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoustic guitar)
13. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on lap steel)

15. Thunder On The Mountain
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie lap steel, Stu on acoutic guitar)
16. Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar)


I've seen Dylan many, many times, but last night
was the first time I've heard him perform
Ballad Of A Thin Man and Blowin' In The Wind.

The show was great, and Elvis Costello was pretty
damned amazing. Going to look at his set list (if I can find it).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is a picture of Dad and me at my youngest
brother's first wedding.
Happy Birthday to Dad...

who would have been 84 today.
Took flowers to the grave. Molly
went with me so I could tell her a bit
about her grandfather. She even sat
very still on his grave while I took
her picture.

I miss you, Dad. You would have loved
the weather today. High of 80 (it's almost
there now), beautiful sunshine, cool nights.

You would have loved meeting your
newest grandchild and your three new
great-grandbabies. You would have loved
Molly, too, and the house renovations
and the flower and herb gardens.

And you would have listened patiently
as I told you my concerns about my job
situation. And you would have wanted
Mom to go to the beach, but you know
she would never have done that while
you were living unless you went too.
I can think of very few places (in the
ten or so years preceding your death)
that she has been without you.

And you should see how beautiful
the shade garden is that you and Mom
started for me 4 or so years ago. The peonies
and hydrangeas are thriving, and so are the hostas.
Even the yuccas, which prefer sun, are growing well.
I've added coral bells and columbine and more
hostas and hydrangeas. I also planted an azalea
at the west end of the house--the very corner
of the shade garden. Some lily of the valley, too.

You know those bean poles you bought to border
off the garden area until I decided what I wanted to
do with it? Well, I removed them when I added
landscape rock around the garden, but I couldn't
get rid of them. They're stacked, upright, in the
corner behind the screened-in porch. Maybe I'll
even plant some pole beans next summer and I'll
use them. Been far too long since I had a vegetable
garden. I have my flowers and my herbs, but there's
nothing like home-grown eggplant and peas and
squash and tomatoes and corn and limas and peppers
of all kinds.

Yeah, maybe I'll do that, Dad.

Today, Christopher, Jessica, and baby Isaac
are on their way. I wish you could be here
to see them.

Well--gotta go. I'm crying now, which isn't a bad
thing but I have much to do before the kids get home.

Love you, Pop. Happy Birthday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Molly in her lampshade. These were taken in early August. She's grown quite a bit since then. She had to wear the collar almost 5 weeks, but she's all healed up now and still being a pain-in-the-arse puppy most days, but I see improvement since she started obedience school.

Some examples of some art work in the house. The colors are much more vibrant than this scan shows. Don't know why I can't scan from a good pic and get a good scan. The pics were beautiful.
Part of the kitchen renovation. The counters are not all cluttered now so it looks much better. The corner cabinet is still doorless at the bottom but we will be putting the doors back on. A work island will be built in the center of the kitchen. In the pictures of Molly, you can see the floor.

These pictures don't do justice to the hardy hibisus. The pics were good but apparently I don't know how to scan!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007