Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Hero

John on his uncle's farm in Missouri two years before we met

Monday, July 29, 2013

Just For Fun

She is still me, I am still She
Happy Birthday

About this video:
My awesome, dynamic Aunt Catherine, hero and role model, teaching us how to have fun and celebrate being alive. We seem to be under her spell and energized by some magic potion.  Included in this exercise in wild abandon are my two cousins and my brother. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saint James Infirmary

 James the Greater - Saint and Martyr
c. 1636-1638 by Guido Reni (1575 - 1642)
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

 Words and music of Blind Willie McTell, written by Bob Dylan (the melody loosely based on "St. James Infirmary Blues") 

Blind Willie McTell

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
 I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, I heard that hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
 Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
See the ghosts of slavery ships
 I can hear them tribes a-moaning
Hear that undertaker’s bell
Nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
 There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
 I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When the last rose of summer pricks my finger .....

Black Muddy River  Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
As performed by Bob Dylan in Melbourne, Australia, Apr 6 1992

When the last rose of summer pricks my finger
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And dream me a dream of my own

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain
And the stars start to splatter in the sky
When the moon splits the southwest horizon
With the scream of an eagle on the fly
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And listen to the ripples as they moan
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own

Black muddy river
Roll on forever
Don't care how deep or wide
If you got another side
Roll muddy river
Roll muddy river
Black muddy river roll

When it seems like the night will last forever
And there's nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And dream me a dream of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
And sing me a song of my own


Bob Dylan
Guitar, Harp, Vocals

John Jackson
Guitar, Vocals

Bucky Baxter
Pedal Steel Guitar
Electric- and
Acoustic Guitar,
Slide Guitar,
Dobro ,
electric Mandoline

Tony Garnier

Ian Watson

"A truly remarkable example of Dylan's ability to get through a text that he only has a faint recollection of, and still giving the impression that something meaningful is going on. He gets the refrain fairly right, and a line or two from the original lyrics flash by, but apart from that there is no relation at all between what he sings and what Hunter wrote (or, for that matter between what he sings and what makes sense – in any language), but still, it's a very arresting performance of a very charming tune.

For these reasons I will – for once – completely disregard what Dylan sings, and use Hunter's lyrics for the tab. BTW, this was the last song that Jerry Garcia sang." Eyolf Østrem   Dylan Chords

 Dylan performed this song three times:
Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA, USA on May 17, 1992
Silva Hall (Hult Center), Eugene, OR, USA on April 30, 1992
Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia on April 6, 1992

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dos Gardenias

I've been taking a much needed break from the computer and during my absence I managed to start and finish  a few projects around the house.  Mainly, the project that required the most physical strength and energy and gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment, was fixing up the kitchen.  Halfway through I realized that what I was doing in the kitchen was Feng Shui.  I got rid of a very large and practically useless floor cabinet along with a very heavy hutch that was atop our kitchen table, balanced and up against the wall.  I didn't mind throwing out the cabinet, but I couldn't bear to get rid of the hutch because it was one of the first things I ever bought with my own money.  The cabinet, because of its size, bulk and amount of space it took up, was a big hindrance to entering the kitchen and also to gaining access to the basement door.  The hutch, because of it being atop the kitchen table, prevented the table from being pulled out from  the wall so that the whole family (six of us) could sit around it comfortably. We were all "sqooshed" together with the hutch looming in the background.

That explains my lack of new blog posts until this morning when I found the time to throw this little snippet video together for The Blog That Never Was.  Haha.  Why I chose that name is beyond me.  The video is made up of stills of my mother and her sister dancing.  The music is Dos Gardenias by Ibrahim Ferrer and the Buena Vista Social Club. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Keep a Knockin'

We used to have a doorbell  that played Cheech and Chong singing "Keep a knockin' but you can't come in, come back tomorrow night and try it again."  It was wonderful. The grandchildren loved it - too much - in my husband's opinion, so he disabled it.  

Bob Dylan has a song for just about every human emotion.  He's got one called "Open The Door, Homer".  I wasn't familiar with it so had to look it up.  What a surprise to find this in the last verse:

“Take care of all your memories”
Said my friend, Mick
“For you cannot relive them
And remember when you’re out there
Tryin’ to heal the sick
That you must always
First forgive them”

and then there's this - just exquisite:

 Hunts home - 64 Street of Prophets, Jerusalem

William Holman Hunt
  (2 April 1827 – 7 September 1910) 
Photographed by
Julia Margaret Cameron

The Light of the World
by William Wholman Hunt
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me".  According to Hunt: "I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject." The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing "the obstinately shut mind" Hunt, 50 years after painting it, felt he had to explain the symbolism

Ave Maria, gratia plena

Virgin Mary - Diego Velazquez

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum, Virgo serena.

Ave cuius conceptio,
solemni plena gaudio,
celestia, terrestria,
nova replet letitia.
Ave cuius nativitas,
nostra fuit solemnitas,
ut lucifer lux oriens
verum solem preveniens.
Ave pia humilitas,
sine viro fecunditas,
cuius annunciatio
nostra fuit salvatio.
Ave vera virginitas,
immaculata castitas,
cuius purificatio
nostra fuit purgatio.
Ave preclara omnibus
angelicis virtutibus,
cuius fuit assumptio
nostra glorificatio.

O Mater Dei, memento mei. Amen.

Grazie Mary
Grazie Gabriel

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Titian's Gabriel

TIZIANO Vecellio
Polyptych of the Resurrection: Archangel Gabriel
Santi Nazaro e Celso, Brescia


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Announcement and Request

The Annunciation (1876 -79)
by Edward Burne-Jones

I have been looking for famous paintings of the Archangel Gabriel.  This is my favorite.  I'm attracted to it because Gabriel's garment and wings look as though they are made of liquid gold, and if not gold, some unearthly precious metal.  Immensely strong and protective like armour and at the same time, soft, lustrous and pliable.  Although we are told that angels have no gender, all depictions of Gabriel that I was able to find appear feminine to me.  I'm surprised that, unlike the angel, Mary has no visible halo.  I like her simple dress and her bare feet.  Her body looks relaxed, not shocked and rigid as you might expect, considering a strange being had entered the room.  Her gaze is stunning. Above her head and to the right a relief shows two people being kicked out of Paradise, they seem to be cowering and grief-stricken as an Angel escorts them out.  

Why did I go searching for a painting of Saint Gabriel?  Since the 6th of July someone has been "camped out" on my blog.  This someone gets their internet signal from the nearby town of Norwood.  The Catholic parish that serves Norwood is Saint Gabriel.  I will give "Norwood" the benefit of the doubt, the doubt being that you, Norwood, opened my blog page on Saturday the 6th of July and never closed it, leaving it idle but open at the bottom of your computer screen, oblivious to the fact that I've been aware of your constant presence throughout these five days and that my awareness of your presence might be causing me concern.   So, the intention of this blog post is to ask Norwood, politely but firmly, if you are here purposely and with malintent:

"Please exit my blog." 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who, me?

St Matthew and the Angel (1602)
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
1571 -1610
The picture shows the first version of the St Matthew and the Angel, executed for the Contarelli Chapel in the San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. This painting was rejected, and the artist made another one which still stands over the altar today. The first version of the St Matthew and the Angel was purchased by Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani and then ended up in Berlin, where it was destroyed in the Second World War; no color reproduction exists.

The Inspiration of Saint Matthew
Caravaggio (1602)
 The angel belongs to an aerial and sublime dimension, enveloped in an encircling rippled sheet. The restless Matthew leans to work, as the angel enumerates for him the work to come. All is darkness but for the two large figures. Matthew appears to have rushed to his desk, his stool teetering into our space. His expression is sober.
The Calling of Saint Matthew is  by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him.. It was completed in 1599-1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it remains today. It hangs alongside two other paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio, The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (painted around the same time as the Calling) and The Inspiration of Saint Matthew.

Matthew 9:9-13
King James Version (KJV)
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


Raphael, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1515)
Matthew 4:19
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Through Jesus Christ, the Incarnation, God works personally and intimately in the lives of every human being. God calls everyone to fulfill a very particular mission that only the called individual can fulfill and through which the individual will reach his fulfillment as a human being. The vocation is a unique and intimate reality experienced differently by everyone. Every human being, in some way or another, must face such a moment of decision: he will either leave his comfort zone or stay hunched over his personal comforts, ignoring the Divine Caller. For those who choose to heed the call, the reward is incredible. They are offered what was offered to Matthew: a privileged relationship with the Son of God and eternity with him in heaven!

 "All Catholic faithful are called to be missionaries."  Pope Francis, July 7th, 2013