Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cold Winter Day on the Pond

Fishing in Winter
~~ by Ralph Burns ~~

A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows. He's forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.

He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead. It's cold. The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else--a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub--
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.

Crimson Relief

I'm so hoping I didn't alarm this gentleman as I stalked his "color red" for a couple of miles and hours around the pond in frigid temps! This is one dedicated fisherman! Hmmmm.... guess the same could be said about the silly photographer!


Winter Trees
~~ by William Carlos Williams ~~

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Two Teddies

My Two Teddies, originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
(Please click on image to see on black!)

... greet visitors at the door. The brown and gold Mister on the left was mine ... bought for me by my dad the day I was born. He's held up to the years much better than I have! The dapper fellow on the right is a Vermont Teddy Bear ... a Valentine gift from the Other Man in my life.

The framed images are mine (all children and grands) and actually the entire purpose of the shot - for a picture in picture group challenge in Flickr! But I found that I love all of the sentimental "homey" things here that - if you know me, maybe even if you don't ... tell you a little something. ;-)
And what the image doesn't tell you ... the poem to follow will. ;-)

To Chloe: Who for his sake wished herself younger
~~ William Cartwright ~~

There are two births; the one when light
First strikes the new awaken’d sense;
The other when two souls unite,
And we must count our life from thence:
When you loved me and I loved you
Then both of us were born anew.

Love then to us new souls did give
And in those souls did plant new powers;
Since when another life we live,
The breath we breathe is his, not ours:
Love makes those young whom age doth chill,
And whom he finds young keeps young still.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 28 Jan 11, 9.00PM CST.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love What is Mortal

The rest of the family went for a long walk yesterday and I stayed behind to finish up some chores. When I next looked up I realized the sun was going down and it was getting much colder. I knew that jackets had been left at home because of the sunny, almost spring- like weather, and I worried they'd all be feeling the sudden chill. Knowing that they had probably headed for the pond I grabbed jackets and my camera and set off to find them.

They weren't at the pond ... in fact, they were back at home already -- we'd crossed paths at some point unaware ... but I did snap a couple of shots at pondside. The first in a long time. Think I'll go out today for more.

In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver in "American Primative"

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Uploaded by Sparky2* on 23 Jan 11, 12.07PM CST.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For My Friend

Last year I reconnected with a long lost very special friend and we began the task of catching up on the ups and downs, the hurts and losses, the joys, successes and blessings that we missed in each other's lives.

Shortly after our visit my mom became ill and I was so immersed in her care and later the grieving, that many of my own life experiences sort of ... fell by the wayside, so to speak. They were put on hold in the back of my mind, I suppose, to allow me space to process the more immediate.

I'm returning now to photos and notes and thoughts ... savoring the good stuff.

Like sharing spiced chai in her lovely kitchen.

So much of this image speaks to me of her - her interests, her talents, her heart, her home - where a part of my heart is always.

Uploaded by Sparky2* on 19 Jan 11, 11.30AM CST.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Backyard as My "MacDowell"

Backyard as My "MacDowell", originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
I have a friend in the Flickr community who has the most wonderful and quaint mountain cabin lodge in Wyoming ... just east of East Gate Yellowstone.

I love to visit his photo stream and dream of free, uninterrupted time in one of his cabins with the amazing vistas to inspire me much as MacDowell inspired Ms. Wetzsteon in her wonderful poem. Then I happened to see this in my own backyard ... It will do until I can get to that cabin at Elephant Head Lodge. Now if only the photo and my patient muse will hold the thoughts until there is time to string them together!

~ by Rachel Wetzsteon~

For once I fought back,
answering Oh yes, someday
when a restless muse asserted
This golden age needs treatment on the page.
It was the strangest lesson—
all that ink to make me think
shadows were real, this silence
when one true heart so manifestly was.
Time passed. Themes amassed;
I scoffed at amber, basked in oxygen.
Now in this little cabin
where no sightings slake my cravings
and my pen gets back its need to conjure,
on the ingots I have stored, oh pine, opine.

MacDowell is an artist colony.Uploaded by Sparky2* on 17 Jan 11, 12.23PM CST.

Light Sneaking In ...

Light Sneaking In ..., originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
... where the drapes were closed against the coldest day in the teens. We're as unacustomed to closing drapes around here as we are to the cold. And Lukas announced "don't like it" ... he would go and stand behind the drape to look out -- left a little gap and a sunbeam found its way to this spot on the mantle. (Thanks to Cricket our candles never stay in place!)
This spot on the chair's arm was our sunbeam's first landing ... an appropriate and loving reminder of my mom. I'll explain ...

I have the pair of these two wonderful chairs; they were my mom's years ago. When she remarried and was blending households she was ready to toss them and I intervened. I remember when she bought them ... her first time to really "decorate" her home with new furniture ... she was so excited and proud of her choices - and she truly did a beautiful job. These chairs are well made and have timeless, classic lines; I've loved them long. They need to be updated with new upholstry, but I'll never tire of their form! And I'll certainly never tire of the memories they prompt when touched by an unexpected sunbeam!

Altars of Light
~~ by Pierre Joris ~~

If the light is the soul
then soul is what's
all around me.

It is you,
it is around you too,
it is you.

The darkness is inside me,
the opaqueness of organs folded
upon organs--

to make light in the house of
the body--
thus to bring the
outside in,
the impossible job.

And the only place to become
the skin
the border, the inbetween, where
dark meets light, where I meets

In the house of world the
many darknesses are surrounded
by light.

To see the one, we need
the other / it cuts both ways

light on light is blind
dark on dark is blind

light through dark is not

dark through light is movement
dark through light becomes,
is becoming,
to move through
light is becoming,

is all
we can know.

Uploaded by Sparky2* on 15 Jan 11, 5.57PM CST.

He's Not Melting!!

He's Not Melting!!, originally uploaded by Sparky2*.

We're not used to snowmen who stick around longer than a day! It's been five days and he's not changed a bit!

Uploaded by Sparky2* on 13 Jan 10, 3.25PM CST.

First Snow

First snowball ...
Fun "Ice, Ice Baby" video of our day for those inclined:

First Snowball Fight!

First Snow, originally uploaded by Sparky2*.

by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first- it wet the bed
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 13 Jan 11, 12.45PM CST.

Lukas has learned to vocalize his opinion lately. About everything. Food? "Blech! (spit) Ooon't like it!" or "Ummmm, liiiiike it! Toys (his own, someone else's, or ones in a store ... usually the "Like it" is expressed loudly with wide eyes, a covetous smile and grasping fingers. The snow was definitely a winner. ;-)

BTW: That's vaseline on his face! ;-)

Flying solo!!!!!

Lukas ... overdosed on fun ... can't move another step.

Zachary ... a little hot cocoa ... a few minutes by the fire ... ready to go again!

Looking around ... believing.

Looking around ... believing., originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
It's so bittersweet to think back to this time last year when my mom was still with us. All the talks and laughs and hugs mixed up with the hurts and worries - and only now realizing when each turned out to be the last one. All part of the grieving process, I know ... and I'm doing it. Making sunlight where shadows were.

Looking Around, Believing
by Gary Soto

How strange that we can begin at any time.
With two feet we get down the street.
With a hand we undo the rose.
With an eye we lift up the peach tree
And hold it up to the wind — white blossoms
At our feet. Like today. I started
In the yard with my daughter,
With my wife poking at a potted geranium,
And now I am walking down the street,
Amazed that the sun is only so high,
Just over the roof, and a child
Is singing through a rolled newspaper
And a terrier is leaping like a flea
And at the bakery I pass, a palm,
Like a suctioning starfish, is pressed
To the window. We're keeping busy —
This way, that way, we're making shadows
Where sunlight was, making words
Where there was only noise in the trees.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 11 Jan 11, 9.40AM CST.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter ... Yes, I've Noticed.

Winter ... Yes, I've Noticed., originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
*Please click for black ... original size is surprising!
by Thomas Hardy

When the Present has latched its
postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green
leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours
"He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the
dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing
the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
"To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during
some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively
over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should
come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
"He hears it not now, but used to notice such things?"

Color anyone?

Color anyone?, originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
Psyching myself up for snow tomorrow! Needed a shot of sunny and color ... ;-)

Somewhere .... over the fence top ...

Here comes the cold ...