Saturday, August 19, 2017

Eclipse

How then does light return to the world after the eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gradually the fields drink in red, gold, brown. Suddenly a river snatches a blue light. The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself; hangs pendent; settles and swings beneath our feet.
~Virginia Woolf



Isn't that an exquisite quote from Virginia Woolf? I don't have permission to post the following artworks here, but they are worth clicking on the links:

Eclipse of the Sun, 1975 by Roy Lichtenstein

Corona #2: Solar Eclipse by Caryl Bryer Fallert
from the Permanent Collection of The National Quilt Museum of the United States
One of the 100 most important quilts of the 20th Century

Lastly:
A terrific selection of downloadables for Eclipse 2017 from NASA

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A prayer and a call for submissions

Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.
~Brandon Mull


Something from 100 Poems to Lift your Spirits today, followed by an announcement.

An excerpt from Max Ehrmann's A Prayer:

May I not forget that
poverty and riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not,
may my thoughts and actions be
such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth,
and let me not forget the uses of the stars.
Forbid that I should judge others
lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world,
but walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am;
and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,
and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams,
teach me still to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet;
and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.

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Perhaps a mistake was made?
photo by Diablo Rosa

I'm putting together a poetry anthology for middle schoolers and would like to invite you all to submit. The theme is mistakes.

Why make an anthology about mistakes? Because "mistakes flower/every hour"! We make them all the time. Some are the size of erasing a hole in your paper, mispronouncing a word, or tripping over your shoelace. Some are the size of telling a friend's secret. Some can be useful, like a science experiment that goes wrong but gives you a new idea. How can we make the most of the good mistakes and do our best to fix the ones that need fixing? Poetry can help us figure it out.

The details:

The anthology will look at mistakes from as many angles as possible, including (but not limited to) mistakes that result in discoveries/inventions, grammar and etiquette mishaps, historical and fictional blunders, funny/silly/embarrassing missteps, ways to make things right, and forgiveness.

Humor is good. Seriousness is also good. The primary interests are carefully-chosen words and generous, honest insight (although not everything needs to be deep, you know?).

Please submit blind entries (include your name, address, phone number, email address, and poem title on a separate page). A panel of readers, including teachers, will be evaluating the poems. Poems can be form or free verse. Multiple submissions by individuals are fine.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are identified and as long as you remember to withdraw it if it is accepted elsewhere. Reprints are fine as long as the author has the rights. Payment is one print copy and one electronic copy. Authors retain rights. Send poems (and questions) to mistakesanthology(at)gmail.com.

The deadline is November 1, 2017.

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A Journey Through the Pages has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kay!

Poetry on Paper

Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.
~Vincent Van Gogh


Posting work by Vincent Van Gogh today. Basically, I wanted to spend time with "Undergrowth with Two Figures" and then I started adding on.

Undergrowth with Two Figures
by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)

Green Wheat Field with Cypress
by Vincent van Gogh

The White Cottage Among the Olive Trees
by Vincent van Gogh

Sunflowers
by Vincent van Gogh

The Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital
by Vincent van Gogh

Almond blossom
by Vincent van Gogh

The Red Vineyard
by Vincent van Gogh

(I've featured Van Gogh before.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Memoirs

Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.
~William Zinsser


Hi folks! Like last week, this Wellness Wednesday post was inspired by a press release.


I was charmed by the summary for the film Spettacolo:
Once upon a time, villagers in a tiny hill town in Tuscany came up with a remarkable way to confront their issues: they turned their lives into a play. Every summer, their piazza became their stage and residents of all ages played a part – the role of themselves. Monticchiello’s annual tradition has attracted worldwide attention and kept the town together for 50 years, but with an aging population and a future generation more interested in Facebook than farming, the town’s 50th anniversary performance just might be its last. SPETTACOLO tells the story of Teatro Povero di Monticchiello, interweaving episodes from its past with its modern-day process as the villagers turn a series of devastating blows into a new play about the end of their world.
What's the link to Wellness Wednesday? It made me start thinking about memoirs. Maybe you'd be interested in writing a wee memoir about yourself or a friend or family member? It seems like it has the potential to be rewarding and therapeutic.

* Memoir prompts
* Reasons for writing memoirs
* Writing a flash memoir
* How to structure your memoir
* A memoir-writing workbook




Monday, August 14, 2017

Sharon Isbin and Berta Rojas

Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone’s got their own character, and that’s the thing that’s amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone’s approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it’s all valid.
~Jimmy Page


Sharon Isbin and Berta Rojas for Music Monday:







Thursday, August 10, 2017

In my mailbox

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.
~Phyllis Theroux



A poem wallet from Irene

I love pulling the mail out of the box and finding something exciting inside. This summer has provided a bounty of delights. (I'm not including everything that everyone sent because it's a lot of photos already and I want to give you a good look at poems.)

From Carol Varsalona:



From Buffy:


From Joy, who enjoys correspondence more than just about anyone I know:

From Michelle Kogan:

From Irene, who used a book as her springboard:

From Robyn, who used a map of my locale for her clever steampunk critter:


I also shared the poem I received from Iphigene earlier.
A bonus shout out to my friend Amanda who sent me a care package of some of her handmade soaps.

One last quote:

Alice Adams wrote a sweet note to me after my first novel came out when I was 26, and I was so blown away that I sent her a bunch of stamps by return mail. I have no idea what I was thinking. It was a star-struck impulse.
~Anne Lamott


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Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Wassily Kandinsky

Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and... stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to 'walk about' into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?
~Wassily Kandinsky


Works by Wassily Kandinsky today. Kandinsky was a law professor who decided to leave the university and devote himself to art, a choice partially instigated by seeing an exhibit of French impressionists.

More Kandinsky quotes:
Each period of a civilisation creates an art that is specific in it and which we will never see reborn.
The more frightening the world becomes ... the more art becomes abstract.
Color is a power which directly influences the soul.


Wassily Kandinsky with Paul Klee in Guethary, France, 1929

Yellow-Red-Blue
by Wassily Kandinsky

In the Bright Oval
by Wassily Kandinsky

Above and left
by Wassily Kandinsky

Distinct Connection
by Wassily Kandinsky

Hommage to Grohmann
by Wassily Kandinsky

Merry Structure
by Wassily Kandinsky

Quiet Harmony
by Wassily Kandinsky