To the Library

Homewood Library run today to pick up several books. Might pick up a pizza and 6-pack at the Pig on the way home. Definitely not cooking tonight.

I’ll be off on a rollicking fun adventure with Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s latest book, “Fortune and Glory.

Just Read: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Strange but satisfying little book I just finished. “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating”. No mystery, no wham-bam action, no romance.

Just a simple unfolding of how life can suddenly take an unexpected turn and the odd way one woman survives it day by day.

So apropos of 2020 and sheltering in place against an unseen assailant.

Paens of Womens Writing

Perusing the southern history room of Birmingham’s Linn Henley Library downtown is an experience that I savor.

So much history is about men by men, but there is a rich history of women if one is willing to look. It exists in journals, letters, and more.

So much has been lost or tossed as of no consequence. But some have been preserved for us if we know where to look.

Paeans

praise for the paeans

flowing from a woman’s pen

that told their story

quietly they rail

assail anonymity

filling silent pages

pen in hand they stand

long lines of women through time

countless pages writ

journals letters more

words telling the history

men tend to

Food and Memory

I’ve got a menu for our small Thanksgiving for two. In the past we’ve seated 10-13, but this year it’ll just mom and I. Sounds like a lot of food for two, but leftovers. I love leftovers. Mom not so much.

And as I’m only one person, I freeze in portions for days when I want comfort. And is there anything more comforting than the aroma of Thanksgiving dinner cooking on a cold January or February day to recall the myriad memories of family gathering around the table.

Memory lives in our senses: smell, sound. So even though there will be only mom and I this year, I’m cooking it all, albeit in smaller portions. And we’ll make a memory to recall in the coming year.

TG Menu

  • Turkey in oven bag
  • Broccoli casserole
  • Squash cornbread dressing.
  • Shoepeg corn in butter
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy

Library Lifeline.

Yikes the table by the door is overflowing with books DVDs, etc. that are due today. So. First errand on my list is a run to @homewoodpublic Library to return 11 DVDs and 4 books, and pick up a few things on hold.

Looking forward to reading “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” whose author was interviewed on Today over the weekend.

I’ve always been an avid reader. But. With Covid clearing my calendar of events, and all the political garbage clogging the TV for so many months, the library has been a lifeline, and along w my journal and long walks, my sanity.

I’ll be taking them some store bought Christmas cookies earlier than usual this year, so they can quarantine the tins for 5 days along w returned books.

Poetry Before Bed

Good poetry gives us pause; makes us consider our life on this plane. Rilke does that for me. In this poem, it is the last stanza that gives me pause.

Du Berg, blieb da die Gebirge Kamen

“You mountains, here since mountains began,

slopes where nothing is built, peaks that no one had named,

eternal snows littered w stars,

valleys in flower —

Do I move inside you now?

Am I within the rock

like a metal that hasn’t been mined?

Your hardness encloses me everywhere.

Or is it fear

I am caught in? The tightening fear

of swollen cities

in which I suffocate.”

The book survived the fire of 2011 and is a little bit moldy, sooty and warped by the firemen’s hose, but I couldn’t toss it. It’s been my bedside companion for many years. Ray Bradbury told me one night at a cocktail party, read something good and thought provoking before bed. It gives the mind wings in dream. He was right. And Rilke does that for me. Mañana y’all.

Stolen things

Culling old photos. I still miss my Wizard. He was stolen. The day of the fire in 2011. When the firemen let us back in, I remember seeing him still on the desk. Wet but there. I was to distraught over Mark’s death in that fire to stay and rescue much before I went to mom’s. By the time I came back, he was gone along w my self portrait, my magic wands, my one-of-a-kind handcrafted copper rose that Robert Taylor made.

I remember when I paired it with the plain $14 gray metal rose. Mark came over from across the hall, beer in hand – one for me, one for him – for critique and conversation (a ritual we shared for his art and mine). He took a sip then cocked his head and nodded his approval of the arrangement. The green vase full of Mardi Gras beads, the two roses, some black Christmas floral from Z Gallery and two of my magic wands.

Sad that some people compound a tragedy by stealing the few remaining personal treasures.

I’ve replaced the roses, but my wizard, wands and self portrait are lost forever.

Are You Superstitious?

Do you have friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskavedekatriaphobia – fear of Friday the Thirteenth, or just or just triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number thirteen. 

You’re not alone.  It’s not so much a fear these days as a superstition handed down through the generations.

No one knows exactly why 13 or Friday the 13th particularly is unlucky.  In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness. Consider the things that come in twelves: months in a year; hours in a day; tribes of Israel, apostles (Judas was the 13th).  Thirteen obviously throws off the whole and bad things happen.

Historically, the 13th Street and 13th Avenue are often omitted in street numbering; the 13th floor skipped in tall buildings.  As if the not naming it 13 belies the fact that it is 13 carrying another label. 

Being a witch, I have adopted it as a personal holiday. 

Happy Friday the 13th.

Party Time At Last

Finally some places doing their traditional holiday open house. So we masked up, put hand sanitizer and wipes in purses n pockets and converged first at Gallery Services. Amazing art inside and outside, lovely hot hors d’ oeuvres. I started inside but when it got crowded, I found a lovely large outside table all to myself then shared with Sarah, a local freelance interior designer.

@gallery_services_birmingham.

From there a few of us walked across the street to @PepperPlace to @designsupplyshop, more fabulous art, and furnishing for the home. Here @bayogourmet was cooking some delicious seafood bites of shrimp, salmon, and more. And the gods save me, an open bar with Tito’s Vodka – I’m a sucker for vodka. Again masks everywhere. I found a cozy corner to sip, nibble, take pictures and chat w friends at a distance. A perfect end to a perfect evening.

Do You Journal?

In the midst of all things on my November ToDo’s list, I’m still writing my morning pages in my journal – at least 3 handwritten pages every morning. I usually write more throughout the day. Why?

It’s my creative net to:

  • Capture Ideas of the moment to pursue later. The pen is my best memory.
  • Give form to my dreams and ponder how to give them wings.
  • Brainstorm solutions to problems.
  • Write a poem, or essay or capture a character for later extemporization.

It’s my friend & confident where I:

  • Give voice to things best kept to myself knowing the confidence will go no further. Cheaper than a shrink.
  • Give thanks for what I have without sounding maudlin.
  • Cry over losses, and rejoice in my triumphs.
  • And so much more.

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