Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

"To live without faith, without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth,
is not to live, but to ´get along;´ we must never just ´get along.´"

The Wild One: Pier Giorgio Frassati

Pope John Paul II's Homily  From the Beatification Mass of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

I didn't do you justice in the portrait I did of you today, but, I will try again.  It's so hard to capture your beautiful smile and the far away look in your eyes.  You are an inspiration to me.  You died a death that was too cruel and too soon, from a disease that killed you in just one week.  Polio filled me with terror when I was a young girl, and thanks to .Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, most children and young adults today don't have to worry anymore about Polio.  

Polio in the World Today  World Health Organization
Early in the 20th century polio would become the world's most feared disease. The disease hit without warning, tended to strike white, affluent  individuals, required long quarantine periods during which parents were separated from children: it was impossible to tell who would get the disease and who would be spared. The consequences of the disease left polio victims marked for life, leaving behind vivid images of wheelchair, crutches, leg braces, breathing devices, and deformed limbs. However, polio changed not only the lives of those who survived it, but also effected profound cultural changes: the emergence of grassroots fund-raising campaigns that would revolutionize medical philanthropy,  the rise of rehabilitation therapy and, through campaigns for the social and civil rights of the disabled, polio survivors helped to spur the modern disability rights movement.

Two vaccines are used throughout the world to combat polio. The first was developed by Jonas Salk, first tested in 1952, and announced to the world by Salk on April 12, 1955. The Salk vaccine, or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), consists of an injected dose of killed poliovirus. In 1954, the vaccine was tested for its ability to prevent polio; the field trials involving the Salk vaccine would grow to be the largest medical experiment in history. Immediately following licensing,vaccination  campaigns were launched, by 1957, following mass immunizations promoted by the March of Dimes the annual number of polio cases in the United States would be dramatically reduced, from a peak of nearly 58,000 cases, to just 5,600 cases.

Eight years after Salk's success, Albert Sabin developed an oral polio vaccine (OPV) using live but weakened (attenuated) virus.  Human trials of Sabin's vaccine began in 1957 and it was licensed in 1962. Following the development of oral polio vaccine, a second wave of mass immunizations would lead to a further decline in the number of cases: by 1961, only 161 cases were recorded in the United States.  The last cases of paralytic poliomyelitis caused by endemic transmission of poliovirus in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwesterm states
List  of Polio Survivors

Pier Giorgio with sister, Luciana

Luciana's Obituary from La Stampa
Luciana Frassati
La signora del secolo scorso
 Luciana Frassati
The lady of the last century
 Si è spenta nel sonno a Pollone all’età di 105 anni
 She died in her sleep at the age of 105 years in Pollone
È morta alle sette di ieri Luciana Frassati Gawronska. La signora, che aveva compiuto 105 anni il 18 agosto, si è spenta nel sonno nella sua casa di Pollone nei pressi di Biella. I funerali si svolgeranno domani, a Torino, con una cerimonia in Duomo. Luciana Frassati sarà sepolta a Pollone, nella tomba di famiglia, accanto al fratello, il beato Pier Giorgio.
Luciana Frassati Gawronska, having completed 105 years,  died in her sleep at her home in Pollone near Biella at seven o'clock yesterday, August 18, 2007.   The funeral will be held tomorrow in Turin at a ceremony in the Cathedral.   Luciana Frassati will be buried in Pollone in the family tomb, next to the brother, Blessed Pier Giorgio.
Luciana's Obituary from Frassati USA

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Pray, hope and don't worry" Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint Pio (Pius) of Pietrelcina, (25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968) was a Capuchin Catholic priest from Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.  He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pius : ( Pio) when he joined the Capuchins, thus he was popularly known as Padre Pio. He became famous for his bearing the stigmata. On 16 June 2002, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II.



Dont worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: dont worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)

Singin: dont worry bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: dont worry (dont worry) bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, this is my message to you-ou-ou:

Singin: dont worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right. dont worry!
Singin: dont worry about a thing - I wont worry!
cause every little thing gonna be all right.

Singin: dont worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right - I wont worry!
Singin: dont worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: dont worry about a thing, oh no!
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” ― Rumi

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

  “Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
― William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart's Desire 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche 

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

 “Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire”
― Robert Frost 

“Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred.In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists.

I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become thevictor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing then it is the eternal
dance or creation. The creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing...and dancing...and dancing. Until there is only...the dance.”
― Michael Jackson

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking”
― Agnes De Mille 

 “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”
―Twyla Tharp

 “The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews
Not to be born is the best for man
The second best is a formal order
The dance's pattern, dance while you can.
Dance, dance, for the figure is easy
The tune is catching and will not stop
Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, dance, dance till you drop.”
― W.H. Auden

“If theater is ritual, then dance is too... It's as if the threads connecting us to the rest of the world were washed clean of preconceptions and fears. When you dance, you can enjoy the luxury of being you.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Witch Of Portobello 

 “Dance for yourself. If someone understands, good. If not, no matter. Go right on doing what interests you, and do it until it stops interesting you.”
― Louis Horst

“Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let's dance.”
― James Howe, Totally Joe

 “Now I am going to reveal to you something which is very pure, a totally white thought. It is always in my heart; it blooms at each of my steps... The Dance is love, it is only love, it alone, and that is enough... I, then, it is amorously that I dance: to poems, to music but now I would like to no longer dance to anything but the rhythm of my soul.”
― Isadora Duncan

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Men on a Beach (in search of a caption)

" Sven was thoroughly disgusted that Albert had managed to crash his dream."
"Sven the Sane was thoroughly appalled that Sven the Berserk had invaded his dream."

Dunny  Jul 30, 2012 
All Washed Up! Great piece,,, like your ideas,,, Cute swim trunks.
Thank you Dunny.  Great caption! - Leo

Sven (in Danish, and Norwegian and also Svend and in Norwegian also "Svein") is a Nordic first name which is used throughout Scandinavia, Estonia and Germany.  The name itself is Old Norse for "Young man" or "Young warrior." The original spelling in Old Norse was sveinn (whence Eng swain, 'servant boy' . Over the centuries, many northern European rulers have carried the name including Sweyn I of Denmark (Sven Gabelbart), who established Danish rule over Norway and successfully invaded England in the year 1002. An old legend relates the pagan king Blot-Sven ordered the execution of the Anglo-Saxon monk Saint Eskil.  In medieval Swedish "sven" (or "sven av vapen" (sven of arms)) is a term for squire. The female equivalent Svenja, though seemingly Scandinavian, is not common anywhere outside of German-speaking countries.  The Icelandic and Faroese version of Sven/Svend is Sveinn (pronounced Svay-dn in Icelandic).

Sven Einar Englund 
born at Ljugarn in Gotland, Sweden on June 17, 1916; 
he died June 27, 1999 in Visby, Sweden.

"Perhaps the most important Finnish symphonist since Jean Sibelius, Englund was a native Swedish speaker who often felt that his career was sidelined from the mainstream of Finnish music. He was 17 when he began studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 1933. Already a considerable pianist, he continued his studies with Martti Paavola and Ernst Linko, while studying composition with Bengt Carlson and Selim Palmgren.  Following his graduation in 1941, Englund was conscripted into military service. During his time in the Finnish Continuation War he was wounded in his hand, which almost brought to an end his hopes of pursuing a career as a concert pianist. He would often recall the bizarre, though life-threatening incident, with a smile." Wikipedia
Valkoinen Peura, The White Reindeer

Sven the Berserk 
(from Erik the Viking)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ain't Got No Home

Edwin Austin Abbey 

Study for "Religion," part of a mural for the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, 
Edwin Austin Abbey's last project. 

"For religion, pure religion, I say, standeth not in wearing of a monk's cowl, 
but in righteousness,  justice, and well doing."  
Hugh Latimer
His Last Words:
"O Father of Heaven, receive my soul."

None of us are home until all of us are Home

Bob Dylan and His Band

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso - otherwise known as Pablo Picasso

Pablo and the Chicks-from-Avignon

Why does a man need so many names? "You can call me Pablo or you can call me Diego or you can call me José or you can call me Francisco or you can call me Juan or you can call me, ah, never mind, just call me Picasso." In the case of Picasso he was given a series of names honouring various saints and relatives. Added to these were Ruiz and Picasso, for his father and mother, respectively, as per Spanish custom.

Why does a man need so many women? Allow me to venture a guess. Because he's afraid of them and want's to conquer his fear. It's Immersion Therapy: a psychological technique which allows a patient to overcome fears (phobias) by not only facing them, but by immersing in them . The greater the fear the more women he will need. It could take an entire lifetime, or maybe even several lifetimes, for some men. It all depends on the size of their EGO. Smaller egos entertain smaller and less threatening fears. They can mate for life with one woman. Novel idea, huh?
Immersion Therapy for Dummies:

First a fear-hierarchy is created:to determine the level of fear induced discomfort the patient can endure under various conditions. Can Pablo talk about the object of his fear? Can he tolerate a picture of it? Can he watch a movie that contains images of his fear? Can he be in the same room with the object of his fear? Can he be in physical contact with it?

Once these questions have been put into order beginning with the least horrifying to the most horrifying, Pablo is taught a relaxation exercise. He will tense up all the muscles in his body and then he will relax them, saying "relax Pablo, relax." He will then repeat this process again and again, several hundred times a day with an ever-increasing quantity of the fear inducing object, until finally, in a state of exhaustion, he embraces his fear and is calm at last. He can then go out to the terrace, have a cold beer, and blissfully smoke a cigar, cigarette, or cigarillo.

As per Wiki:
or, if you prefer, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) is a large oil painting of 1907 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). The work portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on Avinyó Street in Barcelona.  Each is depicted in a disorienting confrontational manner and none is conventionally feminine. The women appear as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two are shown with African mask-like faces and three more with faces in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them a savage aura. In this adaption of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. The work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both Cubism and modern art.

Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to wide anger and disagreement, even amongst his closest associates and friends.

Just Plain Joe, Woman WIth Braid and Syncopated Sister

Most of my artwork these days is done on an on-line drawing site called: Ratemydrawings. Here are a few much older drawings done in or around 2007. The site has improved much over the years with the major improvement being the artists now have possession and copyright of their artwork and can download it in jpg format.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Island Moonlight

Sea Dreams

Sea Dreams (with effects added)

Sea Dreams (original)


This Dream of You 
(Album: Together For Life)

How long can I stay in this nowhere café
'fore night turns into day
I wonder why I'm so frightened of dawn
All I have and all I know
Is this dream of you
Which keeps me living on

There's a moment when all old things
Become new again
But that moment might have come and gone
All I have and all I know
Is this dream of you
Which keeps me living on

I look away, but I keep seeing it
I don't want to believe, but I keep believing it
Shadows dance upon the wall
Shadows that seem to know it all

Am I too blind to see, is my heart playing tricks on me
I'm lost in the crowd
All my tears are gone
All I have and all I know
Is this dream of you
Which keeps me living on

Everything I touch seems to disappear
Everywhere I turn you are always here
I'll run this race until my earthly death
I'll defend this place with my dying breath

From a cheerless room in a curtained gloom
I saw a star from heaven fall
I turned and looked again but it was gone
All I have and all I know
Is this dream of you
Which keeps me living on

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Prayer Rocks

Niuka Father, Kiselamienkw Creator, or, Aham Grandmother
Kehala Wanishi talic, truly I am thankful that
Nikiski yukwe entra  kiskwik  I can be here on this day

Wicaminen talic nkaski weli nipainen entra xknithakamika
Help us that we can stand up well on this Earth
kenahkihweh wanishi  -- AHO  
Watch over us, thank you - let it be so

History of Prayer Rocks, Also known as Wyalusing Rocks 

Wyalusing is said to refer to "where there is an old man." The "ng" sound refers to a dwelling. The word is believed to refer to a holy or medicine man who once lived here. Early spellings of Wyalusing dating back to the 1700's include: Machachlosung, Wuihaloosing, Mockocklocking, Monmuchlooson, Machmihilusing, Ch’wilihlusing, and Wilhilusing. 

The earliest known settlers in the region were Susquhannock (also known as Andastes) Indians. Their palisaded town Gohontoto was destroyed by the Iroquois in 1650. Later, the Tuscarora, a tribe of the Iroquois Six Nations, and Monsee Delaware occupied the region, followed by Moravians from Germany who founded a mission town here in 1763. This location is marked by an Oblisk erected by members of the Moravian Historical Society in June 1871.

Wyalusing Rocks was once a lookout post high above the Susquehanna River for American Indian villages in the fertile valley below. A series of huge rocks jut out of a nearly sheer cliff several hundred feet above the river basin.The Great Warrior Path, an American Indian trail leading north to the lake region and south to the Carolinas passed through the area. Eastern Delaware Nations owns property on both sides of Route 6, including the scenic overlook Wyalusing Rocks. An adjacent state-owned parking area along Rt. 6 provides a place for travelers to enjoy the spectacular view.
 EDN's fundraising to buy the site kicked off  with a Pow-Wow in nearby Towanda in December 1996. In 1997 a 5’ by 24’ mural
Elan Kumankw (EElan-Koomonqua) was created and prints sold to help with the purchase of the property. A limited number of prints are still available.

 Pennsylvania does not recognize any American Indian tribe within the Commonwealth. EDN's core group is made up of descendents of different American Indian peoples, many who remained in the region hiding in plain sight among other ethnic groups to avoid government removals.

Eastern Delaware Nations 

Death Is Not The End
Bob Dylan

When you're sad and when you're lonely
And you haven't got a friend
Just remember that death is not the end
And all that you held sacred
Falls down and dows not bend
Just remember that death is not the end.

Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end.

When you're standing on the cross-roads
That you cannot comprehend
Just remember that death is not the end
And all your dreams have vanished
And you don't know what's up the bend
Just remember that death is not the end.

Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end.

When the storm clouds gather round you
And heavy rains descend
Just remember that death is not the end
And there's nowhere there to comfort you
With helping hand to lend
Just remember that death is not the end.

Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end.

Oh the tree of life is growing
Where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation
Shines in dark and empty skies
When the cities are on fire
When the burning flesh of men
Just remember that death is not the end
And you search in vain to find
Just one law abiding citizen
Just remember that death is not the end.

Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Not Søren Kierkegaard

Hans Christian Anderson

April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875 
Everything you always wanted to know about Hans 
"Talk about being misunderstood!   I endured year upon year of being misunderstood.  Misunderstood, misinterpreted and mistranslated!   In my day, I was regarded with either condescension or indifference by members of the  Danish literary establishment, who by the way,   were triflers, largely unknown today unless mentioned in biographies about me."  H.C. Anderson

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
 May 5, 1813 – November 11, 1855

"People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me. A woman I never even met mistook me for Hans Christian Anderson. What a joke. I am much better looking than Hans!" Soren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard led a somewhat uneventful life.  Ha, ha, ha.  
That line must have come from someone with no imagination.   Read  the real scoop

A terrible joke has been played on me, by whom I cannot say, I can only admit to unwittingly having a hand in it. The above portrait is NOT Soren Kierkegaard.  It's Hans Christian Anderson.  For more than a year I've had it up on my side-bar (beneath Bunny the Impersonator) believing it was Kierkegaard.  Only today I realized it was not.  I could attempt to cover up this embarrassing faux pas, this highly hilarious and ironic twist of fate, but it's so funny I would prefer to just bring it out in the open.  I think Soren would get a great kick out of it.   He complains a lot about being misunderstood.    I know the feeling.   But this?  This is perhaps the ultimate misunderstanding, being mistaken for your own rival.   All this time I've been in love with the wrong man, although it's more a case of the wrong face.  Truth is, I'm in love with both.   Oh, damn these horrid love triangles.  And to think, this morning I spent 4 hours painting the wrong lover.  Ah, slap myself in the head and reach for a V8.  Now I've got to get back to the "studio" and turn out a portrait of Soren, otherwise, they might have a duel or something.  Wait!  That's farfetched.  Even for me. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

To Ramona

Ghost in the Blue Velvet Dress


There's a story to go with this picture, but it's in an old notebook somewhere and I've got to hunt it down and put it in a word document, which I fully intend to do when I have the time.  It's about a young woman who is visited by the ghost of her mother.  Below is the best cover I could find of Bob Dylan's "Red River Shore".  The Web Sheriff and his posse have become absolutely "ruthless" in their mission to remove all bootlegs.  The opening lines of this song are:

Some of us turn off the lights and we live 
In the moonlight shooting by
Some of us scare ourselves to death in the dark 

To be where the angels fly

Bob Dylan 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Piano Imaginario - Moonlight Sonata - Vladimir Horowitz

This woman is playing Moonlight Sonata

This woman is not.

Dark and Deep

The Two Trees by William Butler Yeats
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with metry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Joves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

Birches By Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.


By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,-
By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
By the grey woods,- by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp-
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,-
By each spot the most unholy-
In each nook most melancholy-
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past-
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by-
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Woman With Blue Hair

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Alfred Joyce Kilmer 
(December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918)

 Sgt. Joyce Kilmer,
 as a member of the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment, c. 1918

Dear Sgt. Kilmer,
 I think your poem, Trees, is rather sensuous and goes very well with my Woman With Blue Hair.  Also, I hope you get a chuckle from Alfalfa's melodious rendition of your poem, and be sure to give a listen to Paul Robeson's version too. 

BTW, my great uncle Eugene was in the 316th Infantry, 79th Division, and, like you, he died in France in the Fall of 1918.  Unlike you, a Roman Catholic,  he was was a Seventh Day Adventist, not that it matters.  Death is the great equalizer, isn't it?  I doubt if the Great Beyond is sectioned off into denominations. In any event, that time of year certainly makes me think about trees.  Funny, so many things seem to be connecting as I write this. 

I was going to include your poem "Blue Valentine", but because of all the controversy over who is the real St. Valentine,  blah, blah, blah, I decided against it.  I don't want to get caught up in all that.  I think it's best to limit myself and stick with "Trees".  Your grandson says "Trees" isn't your best poem.  I wouldn't know, it's the only one I've read with the exception of "Blue Valentine" which I read for the first time today.  Could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized it was about the Virgin Mary.  It is about the Virgin Mary, isn't it? 

I hope this letter doesn't sound disrespectful.  It isn't meant to be.  I'm just very happy that your poem and my painting go so well together and that is the main reason I decided to drop you a line.  I intend to read more of your poetry.  I'm sorry you had to die so young.  War is Hell.

Sincerely, Leo

P.S.  I've attached a picture of my Uncle Eugene .  He was a pacifist.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Holy Toledo


This smaller version of Toledo is the original

Damned if you do and damned if you don't

   Lorenzo Dow (October 16, 1777 – February 2, 1834)
You can and you can't 
You shall and you shan't 
You will and you won't 
And you will be damned if you do  
And you will be damned if you don't.

From: The Testimony of a Hundred Witnesses
Compiled by J. F. Weishampel Sr.
When Lorenzo Dow was under four years of age, he was already under the awakening influences of religion. In his thirteenth year he had several remarkable dreams, which led him to a state of deep conviction for sin. He made this known to his father, after which, he says: "I knew I was unprepared to die; tears began to run down plentifully, and I again resolved to seek the salvation of my soul; I began that day to pray in secret, but how to pray or what to pray for, I scarcely knew. I at once broke off from all my old companions and evil practices, which some call innocent mirth, and betook to the Bible, kneeling in private. I frequently felt for a few seconds, cords of sweet love to draw me on; but from whence it flowed, I could not tell: which I since believe was for an encouragement to hope in the mercy of God. If I now had had some one to instruct me in the plan of salvation, I doubt not but I should have found salvation."

After this he was troubled with thoughts that he might be predestined to be lost, and therefore let his hope sink; and to end his earthly troubles, he resolved to destroy his own life. His mind was changed f-from this resolve, however, and he then felt thankful that God prevented him by the influence of His gracious Spirit, from thus sending his soul to everlasting misery. He attended a Methodist meeting, where he heard sermons preached from the texts, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" [ 1 Timothy 1: 15], and "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there? Why then is not the daughter of my people recovered?" [Jeremiah 8:22]. The preacher, during one of the sermons, accidentally pointing his finger towards him, exclaimed, "Sinner, there is a frowning Providence above your head, and a burning hell beneath your feet; and nothing but the brittle thread of life prevents your soul from falling into endless perdition. If you don't pray, then you'll be damned! " He says, this came home like a dagger to his heart, and he felt afraid to move, lest he should tumble into hell.

At this meeting one of his companions was converted, and soon after, others sought and found pardon. Sorrows arose afresh in his mind, at the idea of his friends being heavenbound, whilst he was in the downward road. He says, "I went to a prayer meeting; saints were happy, and sinners were weeping on every side. I went from one to another, to know if there was any mercy for me. The young converts answered, 'God is all love; He is all mercy.' I replied, God is just, too, and justice will cut me down: I saw no way how God could be just and yet show me mercy. A woman told me that evening, that I would be praising God by next morning. I told her I believed I should be in hell before morning."

He went home that night and prayed; then he dreamed he was carried off to hell by a devil. On awaking, he prayed fervently; then these words came into his mind: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness" [Zechariah 13: 1]. He says: "A thought darted into my mind, that the fountain was Christ; and if it were so deep and wide for the wicked numerous inhabitants of Jerusalem to wash them clean, why not for the whole world--why not for me? Here hope sprang up, that there was a Savior offered to ALL. I then thought myself to be the 'unprofitable servant,' and that I heard the voice of God saying, 'Take the unprofitable servant, and cast him into outer darkness' [Matthew 25:30]. I put my hands together, and cried in my heart, Lord, I give up; I submit; I yield; I yield; if there be mercy in heaven for me, let me know it; and if not, let me go down to hell, and know the worst of my case. As these words flowed from my heart, I saw the Mediator step in, as it were, between the Father's justice and my soul, and these words were applied to my mind with great power: 'Son! thy sins which are many, are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.' The burden of sin and guilt and the fear of hell vanished from my mind, as perceptibly as an hundred pounds weight falling from a man's shoulder: my soul flowed out in love to God, to His ways and to His people; yea, and to all mankind. As soon as I obtained deliverance, I said in my heart, I have now found Jesus and His religion, but I will keep it to myself, but instantly my soul was so filled with peace and love and joy, that I could no more keep it to myself seemingly, than a city set upon a hill could be hid. Daylight dawned; I arose and went out of doors, and every thing I cast my eye upon, seemed to be speaking forth the praise and wonders of the Almighty; it appeared more like a new world than any thing else I can compare it to: this happiness is easier felt than described."

"He was restless and he was a dreamer. He was contradictory and never happier than when engaged in a wordy war. He possessed scant learning, but was a very close observer of mankind. The very face of Lorenzo Dow indicated his character. His features were both rough and delicate. It was rough and effeminate but in that face there was every mark of indomitable energy. He parted his hair in the middle and wore it hanging down his neck and shoulders and his face was radiant with kindness."
From History of Methodism in Alabama
by Rev. [Anson?] West, D.D.
February 20, 1939

" One who became famous on the circuit was, Lorenzo Dow. He was known for his wild appearance and impassioned preaching. Many a new mother inspired by his preaching named a child after him." Byron L. Troyer, in his 'Yesterday's Indiana,' relates ". . . Lorenzo Dow, best known of all the circuit riders, was a modern Elijah. When he visited Indiana, he would dash on a horse from the wood into a backwoods community, dismount, and preach with such fire and fervor he became known as "Crazy Dow."  Denton Genealogy

An engraving made by Lossing-Barrett at one of Dow's outdoor sermons

 Dow's public speaking mannerisms were like nothing ever seen before among the typically conservative church goers of the time. He shouted, he screamed, he cried, he begged, he flattered, he insulted, he challenged people and their beliefs. He told stories and made jokes. It is recorded that Lorenzo Dow often preached before open-air assemblies of 10,000 people or more and held the audiences spellbound.

Dow's fame spread, and so did his travels. He traveled on foot and occasionally on horseback (when someone would donate a horse) throughout what was then the United States. He also traveled extensively in Canada, England and Ireland, and once to the West Indies. He was usually well-received although there were exceptions.

A fierce abolitionist, Dow's sermons were often unpopular in the southern United States, and he frequently was threatened with personal violence. He sometimes was forcibly ejected from towns, pelted with stones, eggs, and rotten vegetables. That never stopped him; he simply walked to the next town and gave the same sermon again.

Lorenzo Dow was personally unkempt. He did not practice personal hygiene and his long hair and beard were described as "never having met a comb." He usually owned one set of clothes: those that were on his back. When those clothes became so badly worn and full of holes that they were no longer capable of covering him, some person in the audience usually would donate a replacement. The donated clothes often were not the correct size for his skinny body.

When he traveled, he carried no luggage other than a box of Bibles to be given away. Throughout most of his life, what little money he ever collected was either given away to the poor or used to purchase Bibles. In his later years, he did accumulate a bit of money from the sales of his autobiography and religious writings.

His singularities of manner and of dress excited prejudices against him, and counteracted the effect of his eloquence. Nevertheless he is said to have preached to more persons than any man of his time.

His influence and popularity led to many U.S. children of the early 19th century to be named after him. The 1850 U.S. census counts Lorenzo as one of the most popular first names in America.

His wife, Peggy Dow (1780–1820), was almost as eccentric as her husband. She published her journal, entitled Vicissitudes in the Wilderness (fifth edition, 1833)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Winging It - Structural Integration

Rolf Institute of Structural Integration

Winging It

The froggy bottom of oak month livid and loathing as yesterday’s mother down on her knees in whodunit logo rhythm spiraled out of the faucet like a sinister storm with sixteen epicenters gasping for breath and screaming for Saigon noodles.  I put up with it for as long as I could and then took off with some fried chicken in a brown bag and a thermos full of Lucky Lady coffee sweetened with cactus flower honey and laced with Mezcal. The honey said it was imported from an underground desert  beneath the streets of Cincinnati.  The Mezcal said it was good for everything bad and for everything good too.  You can’t believe anything you hear these days.  I had to get out of Jackson quick.

Mobile bound I hitched my way southeast in a variety of vehicles not worth mentioning except for the pumpkin scented Plymouth wagon shot full of holes on the driver’s side and perfectly suited for snoozing in between red lights.  The driver was a piss ant naked from the waist up with a good set of teeth and miniature ears plugged up with cotton or so it appeared.  I gave him the remnants of my fried chicken which by this time was smelling pretty raunchy though he didn’t seem to mind cause he was starving man and sick to death of hamburger.  I got out ten miles short of my destination because he had to make a hard left and  pigeon-toed it up the highway taking in the atmosphere as best I could without letting on that my infrared was on the blink and my wing nut had rolled down the embankment.  My luck ran out years ago but I had a hunch I would find it again in Mobile.  My endorphins were blooming.

Twitty Prist did not meet me in the morning as planned but Biggie Matilda gave me the lowdown.  It turned out I stayed in Mississippi a day too long.  Twitty took off for Memphis yesterday abruptly right after the mail came without even saying toodleloo.  Matilda was out on the balcony having a smoke with Old Lady Dick from the 2nd floor.  “I heard the door slam," she said, "and that was that.  No goodbye no see you later no thanks for everything,  no nothin'.  And she went and took my suitcase that I never even got to use yet.  My brand new red suitcase.  What a nerve.  What a nerve.  What'm  I s'pose tuh do if I wanna go tuh Vegas or somethin'?  I never even got a chance to use it.  After all I done for that girl.  Old Lady Dick here says her son Buddy saw Twitty down in front of the bus station talkin’ to some weird lookin’ guy in a skirt. She was sittin’ on my suitcase an' it looked like it was about tuh bust.  She‘s got warrants yuh know.”

Biggie Matilda

Matilda was the tallest woman I‘d ever seen.  She had to duck when she went through a doorway.  She was wearing a sleeveless lime green mumu smeared all over with big white orchids.  Her armpit hair had collected a lot of foreign matter in a variety of hues and she had an odor about her that was hard to pin-point, pleasant and putrid at the same time.  Her feet were bare and surprisingly well maintained, pale blue polish on the nails of her long slender toes.  Her hands were a different story, rough and wrinkled with short fat nail-bitten fingers, mitts, paws, anatomical atrocities.  A diploma on the kitchen wall claimed she was a certified advanced rolfer.  A photograph of a kind looking big bosomed gray haired woman hung next to it.  “That‘s Ida,” she said, and then “Have yuh ever been rolfed?” I thought about it for a minute and said “No, I don’t think so.”  Matilda thought that was hilarious.  “Aw, honey,” she said, “yud know.  It isn’t somethin’ yud hafta think about.”  And then she started clearing the table.  “Come on,” she said, “climb up here.  I’ll rolf yuh right now if yuh want.”  She reminded me of Julia Child getting ready to prepare coq au vin.  Reaching for a bottle of red wine. Salivating. 

"Why do you do me like you do?"   It was a phrase I couldn’t get out of my head, it kept ringing in there with no particular rhythm or melody that I could nail down, just dancing letters rolling across my frontal lobe marquee fashion, sometimes flashing neon pink and green making me think of a jacket I wore when I was six years old running behind the mosquito truck in a fog of DDT.  Talk about nostalgia.  Even now as Matilda tried to coax me up on her table I couldn’t shake the words loose and feared they might  become embedded  on a cellular level and I’d be stuck with them for life.  Stuck inside of Mobile, in a psyche ward dreaming about Twitty doing the highland fling with some guy in Memphis.  Matilda was scraping dried egg yolk off the table with a practically nonexistent thumbnail.   I was numb and spinning in an olfactory nightmare of insecticide and Evening in Paris.  “What the hell,” I thought, “what have I got to lose.”  But just then …………….

the door opened and in walked Twitty