Monday, December 29, 2008
The sun shines today. It is December the twenty ninth. Between Christmas and the new year. That brings next year very close. Three days from now next year will be far away. Time measurements have sort of a wackiness about them.
The sun shines today. The day before yesterday it rained. It rained on mountains of snow. For days and days people have been digging out. Snowplows too struggled with the loads. The rain did a faster, more efficient job, Turned roads and walks into rivers. Shrunk the mountains to ground level.
The sun shines today. Most places one can walk now without fear of slipping on ice. Most sidewalks are bare. They dried enough before the weather changed to light freezing.
The sun shines today and it feels like spring. You almost expect little sprouts to appear in the soil. Flower beginnings. But you know better. It is still December. A long way off to April.
The sun shines today, but yesterday, while still raining, the wind blew with a vengeance. The outside was a dance floor for empty garbage cans, and hard to identify litter. The wind arranged its own band, clinging and clattering anything loose around. Even things not so lose were torn away and sent in the air, or crashed to the ground. The wind was having a ball, singing and whistling in tune with the sounds of destruction.
But the sun shines today. The temperature is mild. Here at home my windows and doors are open, letting in lots of fresh air.
How many stories are hidden in the above, trillions? One could follow the path of someone who slipped on ice and broke a limb. One can enter the emergency with this person. Could be an adult. Could be a child. There are nurses, there are doctors, there is a waiting room full of patients with all their own stories, making new ones.
Someone else could have been caught in the flood waters. Didn't make it. Stopped breathing. Devastated family and friends. Ambulance attendants. News reporters. Onlookers. One of them goes home and tells the story. A listener knew the person that drowned. The story calls up unbearable memories causing a nervous breakdown. Councilors or a psychiatrist enter the scene.
Someone, an elderly someone, could live alone, not having anyone to share Christmas with. Sits by the window in a rocker. Watches the strange weather. Thinks back to Christmas' past, live stories in the inner mind. Picks up a pen and writes, recreating memories.
A little girl is out in the yard. The sun shines today. She opens a gate and enters a summer garden, leaving white winter behind. A bunny, walking up straight, meets her, takes her by the hand, and they follow a path surrounded by flowers and butterflies, up to where? Maybe a fairy castle and a prince.
A cat jumps in through an open window. Meets the family dog. Dog barks. Cat runs. Dog runs after it. Wild chase. Cat jumps on the piano. Runs some scales. Throws over some statues, a plant crashes to the floor. Dog barks, cat squeals, footsteps sounding, upset homeowners enter the scene. Who are they, where do they come from, do they support World Wildlife, do they like animals unconditionally, do they hate cats, is it their dog, are they just dog sitting?
The sun shines today. I looked at my empty screen and wrote six paragraphs about time and weather. I imagined about all the hidden stories in those six simple paragraphs. So many to chose from. Endless, endless stories. On this sunshiny day I agree with author Michael Ende who sees life as a Never Ending Story, even though there is an ende to his name.
Friday, October 17, 2008
That's what I thought. Until I saw a commercial pointing out how much more electricity we will need when our transportation is powered by electricity. How we're definitely going to need more and bigger nuclear plants providing clean power, and how the government is proud to work on the extension of the nuclear power plants, to provide us with clean, safe electricity. Sounds like a golden promise. Until you do a double take, “nuclear power?” Clean? Safe? What about Chernoble, and other accidents? What about all the nuclear wastes being buried in secret far off places, like the Arctic? What about all that cancer causing stuff escaping into the air we breath. Settling on the food we eat. What about it?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Towards morning, still pitch dark, I half awoke, and heard water clatter. Oh no, I thought, my fountains have gone out of control. Space creatures have come to take over!!! I scrambled from my cozy sleeping nest, stood and tried to comprehend what was happening. Oh. Without a warning the big guy in the sky had sent what seemed like a 40 day flood. Well, no time to build an ark, but definitely time to walk the dog. My alarm clock going off, told me so. I sleepily dressed in my "sloppy-it-doesnt-matter clothes", stuck my feet in my wellies, grabbed my big, big umbrella, and out in the downpour I went with treats and poopy bags in my pockets, following that dog. So easy to be a dog. A coat that always keeps you at the right temperature, except maybe in an all over disabeling heat wave that retards all living creatures, unless they steal the benfits of that "ruining the environment" invention the air conditioner.
I always enjoy walking under my umbrelly, making a circumference of dry around me, splashing my wellied feet through big puddles, listening to the symphony of raindrops above me and all around. The rain seems to bring out more smells for Simon, and he, without umbrelly, without wellies, wags his tale enthusiasically and takes his time reading doge-mails. What a pair in the dark early hour on deserted streets, just an odd car splashing by.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Didn't I fish a letter out of my mailbox, this morning, addressed to my niece, her name and newly wedded name, but my home address, by a Toronto Company with grocery saving coupons. Stuff I need like a hole in the head.
The only way I can think of they could do that is by reading e-mails.
Like I once took out a store's credit card, just to take advantage of a big discount on what I bought. Then I cancelled the card. But after I got lots of junk mail, and I knew it was because I fell for that credit discount, 'cause they had spelled my name wrong, and all the junk mail came to my misspelled name.
Feels weird to get mail for my niece in Wales on my address.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
obsolete wild thing
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Early Saturday morning. The main tune of the day is rain. All the fans I own are whirling away in strategic places around the place I dwell in and call home. It is warm. It is clammy. Not unpleasant. The air feels rather soft, touching my skimpily clad body with soft gossamer fingers. It makes me feel sensual and dreamy.
After a rain walk with Super Dog, the day stretched ahead of me like a blank page. During the past days I've been drastically cleaning house. I hate cleaning, but even more I hate it when everything starts looking cluttered and dowdy and seems to be covered with a film of dirt. Action required!!! Three boxes of kitchen dishes went rattling in my little red wagon to the Salvation Army thrift store, enough to feed food and drink to an army. I don't even have a particular talent to be a pack rat. How do I end up being one anyhow? You'd figure that my kitchen cupboard are empty now. Wrong! The plus is that I can oversee what I have now.
The point I am making is that after the rain walk I came home to order and space. Dog and me had breakfast. Cat likely was hunting his own, in spite of his personal dish being filled with his top choice kibbles. And then I sat down in my rocking chair with a cup of tea, and thought of a poem. It doesn't matter which one. I envisioned the booklet it was in. I went downstairs to look for it. I'm not even sure I found it. I don't even remember what I was looking for. But my eye fell on a book called “Pocket Man.” Don Bell wrote it. A wild story about a most eccentric man called Roy McDonald. The man who wrote, “Living a London Journal.” Where was that book? And what happened to that funny other little booklet with his hilarious poem “The Answer Questioned?”
So I started rummaging around. Upstairs and downstairs. Soon upstairs I sat surrounded by books, booklets, newsletters, reliving the time of the late seventies and early eighties, a time of friendships, poetry and partying. Each item I held in my hands presenting me with a precious memory.
I Opened “Pocketman” and saw my neat ex libris I used those days to personalize my books.. A little, old wizened dwarf with a walking stick, in a woodsy nature setting, a friend I used to work wit gave me because she thought that typified me. And on the blank leaf beside it Roy, who gave me the book, wrote: “I liked your book of poetry very much. Your poetry is sensitive and honest as you are. I wish you all the best, always. In friendship, Roy. “( I had given him one of my handmade booklets.)
And in “The Answer Questioned he wrote, “This book was published last night. You have One of the first 25 copies. I treasure the copy of your short story, “Hey Diddle Diddle”.
Oh yeah, that was a story I wrote when he and I were in the same creative writing class. Maybe I should find that story and read it again. It was very Jungian. My mind was very occupied with alternative thinking and finding meaning in dreams then.
From among the books on the floor I had pulled out, at random I picked up a volume of Jan Figurski, The Stevensdaughter Poems. I always liked Jan Figurski, I liked his poems from hearing them being read by him, at poetry readings in The London Main Library meetings. Once he accompanied me with guitar, when I was reading my poems at the park. Looking at the book, I realized that I haven't even really read it. It will have to go to the bathroom. (A lot of my reading, I must admit, I do in the bathroom. One of Jan's poems I liked so much, I copied it into my “A Hobbit Travels Book, may the stars shine upon your face”a journal I used for sort of a record of poems I wrote myself, and some of others I particularly liked. Jan and his wife were expecting a baby, and he wrote:
A Sense of Wonder
One early morning me and you
and one as yet unnamed
will hear the sound of drying dew.
Our ears will tingle, softly mingled
with others still untamed.
A sound is but vibration,
As if that was enough!
But how we feel a finer sensation
is made of slipp'rier stuff.
Other poems he wrote are better crafted. I like this one because he tries to catch an emotion that really lies beyond his physical grasp.
My own introductory poem in the Hobbit book reads,
There are spaces
in time where we can live
in leisure and leave
all logic behind.
Where snatched from
our world by whimsical
faeries, it's only
And I filled that book with hand written dreams and poems and longings and magic all signifying my state of mind at the time. Sometimes I didn't know if I was awake or dreaming.. I had day visions and night visions. I was in love. Experienced things that weren't One poem in the same book reads,
You found me unaware
and trailed a passionate kiss
along my lips, so swift,
I gasped at empty air.
Was that your dream or
was it mine or just a trick of time?
One thing I know for sure,
There was no body there.
The man I was in love with,without knowing about my poem, wrote.
When I dreamed you were here
As a dove my heart took flight
to decent upon your shoulder
Only to find a cloud
in the morning mist
never to come again.
Was that about me? I don't think so. I was just struck by the similarity of dream feelings.
While dwelling in that time capsule of the past, I remembered one of the poem posters still hanging on the wall downstairs. I went to look at it. Frank Raymond, an experimental poet, great performer. He signed the poster: “For pretty netty.” Ah, I was still pretty then, although I never really believed it myself. Pity!
And then I though of Bill Bissett, experimental poet, and musician. He performed his poetry with rhythm instruments and song. He played with word spellings like Larry does. (Whoever reads this and doesn't know Larry, forget I said that. This is no place to explain Larry.) He also formed his poems into shapes on the page. (It's too much writing to give an example of such a shape. One looks like a sailboat.) A tiny fragment of his spelling, I can do.
th rain in th
treez the rain in
yr eye nd
evry way yu dew it
Bill moved to Vancouver. I wrote him a letter, just to keep in touch. He wrote me back. We corresponded for quite a while. He sent me his publication “Medicine My Mouth On Fire.” On the title page, in simple lines, he drew gulls in flight and waves, around, 'for netty, love bill.'
Some lines extracted from his letters are,”reallee nice to heer from you-that was a luvlee nite.” “Yes, sumtimes dreem images occur in th writing.” “Thrain seems to have stoppd heer, allthbe ok, love bill.
I have a newly pile of reading to stack on my reading bench in the bathroom. Oh boy. Will I really get to read it? Once withdrawn from my time capsule, the one I am still in right now, will life in “Outer Space” reclaim me and keep me busy with nowadays living again?
I started this journey into the past, early this morning. Right now it is almost 3 pm. It's good that I didn't have any “must does.” Forgetting time like this really can be dangerous.
Since the Dovetale blog is in hibernation, and I had on mind to try to revive it once more, (much chance!) I will publish this for dovetalers to read, and very likely also bring it to editing circle. Some people may get to read it twice that way. But I suppose that won't hurt.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL FATHERS.
P.S. I don't feel like reading this over again, excusez moi for left typos.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I planted butterflies, (the magic ones that light up in different colours from solar energy) and pansies, and geraniums. First there was a lot of tidying up to do, and weeding away what was not wanted. Now that it starts looking like something, spring is singing in my heart.
Monday, April 21, 2008
We don't do that this year, do we? From winter boots to flip flops. From winter coat to T-shirts. Oh, I like. I like it better than snow. But I look at clothing items in my closet. Some I would like to wear. But already too warm for them. Maybe next year? Mmmm, maybe not. I have lots of things to wear for in-between. They really never seem to make it out of the closet. Of course they don't wear out either. Maybe that's a bonus.
Was in the thrift shop in New Hamburg, Saturday. Wow, they have such good stuff, such good prices, and such a neat, friendly atmosphere. One could hang out there for hours. I think we did. Bought books of poetry, of old stories, looked at, and bought some of those great looking plants, donated by the community, planted by the thrift shop personal, lovingly, in recycled pots, artistically. Plants always fresh and cared for, to tantalize your green addiction.
And bought clothes. A change in summery things. I wear them today, proudly. Loose, light cotton pants. A great top that reminds you of a beautiful blue sky. Funny I do have quite a selection of shorts. But somehow I do not want them yet. From jeans to shorts doesn't work for me. I need transition. Don't feel like exposing white legs yet.
You may wonder what happened to all those in-between-fashion-items I was talking about that don't wear out. Well, somehow, especially pants, I always have a hard time finding anymore. I want simple. I want light. I want not to feel aware of what I am wearing. And that is hard to come by, unless, I guess you want to pay out-of-this-world prices. I don't. And the old cottonees have become beyond repairing.
This word program is so unpoetic. Doesn't recognize the word 'cottonees', doesn't like the word unpoetic... sigh! Hard to be original in the electronic world of conformity. But a great opportunity to be rebellious.
Well, time to get going. Have breakfast. Listen to bird songs coming in through wide open windows. Let the dog take me for a walk. Maybe have a sprint on my bike. It's waiting for me, aroused from hibernation.
Happy summer, all you blogger writers out there. Don't forget to smell the daffodils.
Oh, I forgot, have a series of musquito bites on arms and legs. They are out allready!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
A spider bit me on my butt while I was sitting on the throne. Suddenly I feel this lump rising, itchy like crazy. Now I am tolerant of spiders. Say 'hi' to them when they crawl by. Let them be. But when I rose from the toilet and saw this green culprit, I had murderous intentions. One swipe would have landed him (her? Naw I like to think it was male interest) in the toilet bowl swirled away with all that liquid. Would serve him right. But, although I am not Buddhist, I still think a life is a life. I couldn't bite him back on his butt, to teach him a lesson. But I didn't see him as a welcome guest in my house anymore either. I would never put a bug out in winter to freeze to death. Winter would have been a bigger dilemma. But hey, the snow bells and the crocuses are celebrating spring. Yesterday I enjoyed lunch and supper outdoors with friends at my picnic table. Under the umbrella for a bit of protection from that glorious sun. (This umbrella defuses light rather than blocking out the sun.) I brought a few plants out from inside, and a small pot with children-of-the-sun daffodils. I entertained some friends with lunch and with supper. What a day it was! But back to the spider. I picked him up, gave him a scolding, brought him outside, and told him to stay out and not come back with a whole spider family. Well, doesn't quite go with spiders that way, does it. Maybe there is a nest full of eggs somewhere in my house. I think I better check the toilet before I sit down, next time.
Friday, April 04, 2008
I had been afraid that that particular spring pleasure had been taken away from me. Late last spring, without my consent, while I was away, my flowerbeds had been dug up and over planted with things busy body neighbours thought would be more aesthetic to look at. But, o joy, the bulbs survived. Wild Thing happy now. In the wake of of robins and red winged blackbirds, my snow bells appeared again. I apologized to them for not having greater trust in their survival skills. They outsmarted human intervention.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tell you about my cat Yona. I discovered him to be my protector watch cat. He sat on the kitchen window sill, looking out. Being not quite there, I heard this deep, and threatening growl. I looked up. It came from Yona. I look out, a stanger was coming up the driveway. Wow, my cat was alerting me to danger!. It was only a postman, but not our regular one. Yeah Yona!!!
Simon who was outside, knocked on the door to come in. I let him in. Thought he'd stay. But he ran into the living room, picked up his rawhide bone, and wished to be let out again, to lay on the snow and chew.
My friend told me about a family in her church. the grandmother had died. They told the children that she had gone to heaven. Later they visited the funeral home, and viewed the body in the coffin. The youngest child, piped up, "Mommy, are we in heaven?"
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Our sun threw out materials of superheated gases that revolved around our star. Eventually these gases cooled to form a mass. After billions of years rain filled some crevice in a rock. The stagnant pool of chemical soup was then supercharged by lightening. From that rare combination of a spark of charged chemicals life began.
Just the right combination of chemicals held that charge allowing it to begin the first steps in writing the history of life in DNA code. A code that has evolved into three billion characters carrying with the message of a universal will to be.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Every measurement or observation carries with it uncertainty. If we require unequivocal certainty to make a decision about anything, we simply wouldn’t make any decisions.
Am I certain about that? Smiles, of course not.
Uncertainty is okay though. We can be certain about uncertainty.
In the late twenties and thirties much of the development in physics was lead and influenced by German institutions. It was an uncertain period of time where colleagues are friends one day and then sworn enemy the next day.
"The more precisely the POSITION is determined, the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known" WERNER HEISENBERG (1901 - 1976).
And no one will ever be certain of Heisenberg’s motives or intentions during the war. Perhaps his motivation was merely to survive.
In more recent times Colin Powell, I believe had good intentions. Mr Powell was unique in the sense that there was a high degree of confidence worldwide in his character as a man who spoke the truth compared to any other member of the Bush administration. He was given evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Likely a trusting man that couldn’t imagine that evidence was being manufactured for him to present to the UN. He was certain he was presenting credible information.
Perhaps the next US administration could be kinder if they are less certain and self-righteous. A scientist, a theologian, a politician or a reporter would have a greater degree of credibility if they expressed more doubts.
We don’t require certainty to make a decision. In that regards we would look at potential outcomes of decisions in terms of prediction and probabilities. Our concerns about the probabilities should contemplate whether an action would cause more harm than good.
Any planned action that may cause harm to people or to the planet lacks credibility.
Friday, February 29, 2008
She's in the kitchen. She seems to spend a lot of time there. I shuffle up and lean into her, while she's stirring something in a pot on the stove. She looks down. A smile on her face. She lifts my chin , strokes my hair, and asks, “What's the matter, don't you feel so good?” I shake my head. She feels my forehead. Wipes a tear from my cheek. “You must be tired. Maybe something is coming on. Come.”
She draws up a reclining chair from the other room, puts in a blanky, and settles me down. I lean comfortably into the cushions while Mommy starts to boil some water and fuzzes about. While she is cooking up things, she tells me little stories, and sings me songs. Songs are stories too.
She sings about the little cradle softly rocking in a tree. It has flower curtains. Two tiny birds built it together with love and expectations. And look how intricate and delicate. In it are two little eggs. Two baby birds are born. Mommy Jay sings a song in purest ecstacy, a song so very, very sweet . And the tiny cradle gently sways like a ship on the rolling sea.
She sings about a green valley full of little flowers gently swaying in the wind, to the sound of a murmuring waterfall. The water softly sprays every little flower, even the very smallest one.
She sings about a poor, little robin red breast in the snow coming from a forest, so hungry, knocking on a window of a house, and a little girl opens and feeds the little one sugar and bread crumbs It then flies back to the forest, but comes back every day.
Mommy comes to my chair and sits down on the arm. She puts a tray in my lap with a soft boiled egg in an egg cup, the one that is decorated with a yellow chicky, and a bowl with hot cream of wheat porridge with lots of sugar. Mmmmmmmm!!!
While this winter is dragging its feet, sending more frost, more snow, making walking into tricky exercises, me feeling tired, sluggish, stick in the muddish, wishing for sunny days when I can run out in shorts and a t-shirt, bare feet in flip-flops, hop on my bike...
This particular stubborn winter day, waiting for spring... not knowing what to wear, tired of all those winter outfits, not knowing what to eat, tired of winter dishes...tired anyway...
Is it a wonder that I want my “MOMMY?”
I send my writers friends this lamentation. I cannot read or answer comments. See previous posts for reason.
This is a leap year. today is February the 29th. Simon is butting my elbow. Thinks it is time to go for a walk. Brrrrr. I am holding off a bit. Yona is romping around in the snow. He goes out through the windows slightly left ajar. Brave cat. I closed the register so not too much heat will escape. It's freezing in my computer room.
Well, see if this will go out to my blogger friends. I be so pleased when it works.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
does it for you once you have pasted in the URL.
But what if there is no "Insert Link" icon? How do you make that go?
Like this. You must make an HTML code. The words and symbols for the code are so:
Insert Name of Site
Now, what Larry has just done here is demonstrate that you can't use the code (properly) in a demonstration, because the code will try to turn it into a hyperlink.
Larry must break up the code into bits to tell you. He must also use a different symbol at beginning and end so that it doesn't turn into real code. So Larry will replace these symbols: < > with [ ] OK?
ie: [ is the same as < and ] is the same as >
So, the first part of the code is this:
Next, insert the URL between quotation marks, followed by ] :
After that, you type in the name of the website, or the text that you want as the link:
Here I Am
And you end the link with:
[/a] (The slash always indicates "end")
So now Larry will show you the whole link, with brackets instead of <> :
[a href="http://www.mariannepaul.com/"]Here I Am[/a]
As soon as you put in the correct symbols you get the link:
Here I Am
Larry remembers that M@ showed us how to do this a long time ago. There are simple codes for bold, italics and underline.
Using the bracket version:
bold is [b]type what you want[/b] :
type what you want
italics is [i]type what you want[/i] :
type what you want
underline is [u]type what you want[/u] :
type what you want
Oh, one further hint. If, for example you make a post and put a link into it using the "Insert link" icon, you can then click on the Edit Html button and it will show you the code that makes that link. The a href stuff and everything.
And another piece of trivia. If you right-click on a website, the context menu will have a line that says View Source, or View Page Source. If you click on that you will get to see all the code that makes up that web page. Just what you wanted to know, eh?
That's all the code Larry knows. Go away now.
Anyway, here she goes, see if this will post.
One time I replied
writing is cursed.
African pygmy children emerge
from huts made of leaves
without knowing a single letter.
One time I replied
pygmy children are cursed.
Those children are cursed by their illiteracy
while I am cursed by my ten thousand books.
Ill-advised, those who think this world
(Poem by Ko Un from Songs for Tomorrow: A Collection of Poems, 1961-2002 published by Green Integer.)
Larry thinks the poem is a challenge. To what? Perhaps intellectual arrogance. To Buddhists, too.
In the Chan tradition, the phrase "ten thousand things" is often used to refer to...basically everything...the world of phenomena. Ko Un changes this to "ten thousand books". In the context of the poem, then, he gives it a double meaning.
Ill-advised, those who think this world is nirvana. Again, a challenge. The doctrine tells us this world is nirvana, if only we knew it. Un points to the answer, Larry thinks, because he realizes that at one moment he sees the curse of writing, the next he sees the curse of its lack.
Where is nirvana to be found?
The compulsion to choose steals nirvana.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Hello Dove Talers! A tip for tipplers:
Here's the article that link goes to:
The spirits behind the writers
February 27, 2008
Horace reports that the 5th century Athenian poet Cratinus, in a light-hearted defense of his famed intemperance, declared, "No verse can give pleasure for long, nor last, that is written by water drinkers." Cratinus wasn't entirely kidding: Legend says he died of grief upon seeing a full cask of wine break into pieces. And writers of subsequent ages have taken his sentiment to heart. Wherever you find the pen-and-ink set, drink is an emblem of vivacity and wit, at times regarded with semireligious reverence.
Why do scribblers make drinking their second art? For one thing, it primes them for their task. In 1714, a young
Drink rarely causes a writer to underestimate his talents. And tippling is a handy excuse: Inspired writing produced under the influence is still inspired. But you wrote a tissue of nonsense? Well, one overindulges.
Prudent writers learn to take more out of drink than it takes out of them. Kingsley Amis, in a 1975 interview, prescribed a glass of Scotch as an "artistic icebreaker." John Mortimer told the
Some writers have found even deeper use for alcohol. Tennyson, according to his friend James Knowles' 1893 reminiscence, would "look upon his bottle of port as a sort of counsellor." When the poet received the letter offering him the poet laureateship of Britain, he brooded inconclusively until finally composing two letters -- one accepting and one declining -- placing them on his table and resolving to decide which to send after finishing his bottle of port. He accepted.
The writer's life is solitary, but not the drinking writer's. In his 1975 memoir, "Here at the New Yorker," Brendan Gill portrays the magazine (where he worked for 40 years) as a society of first-class bingers. One colleague believed that vomiting was, like shaving and showering, a natural part of any morning routine.
But there can be a dark side. Booze was the downfall of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, after it “pickled their brains,” in the words of
Is there really a muse in the bottle?
Intoxication, if not the source of literary creation, creates a cerebral aura congenial to it. It recasts the glare of life in a softer hue. It soothes anxiety and other stultifiers of reflection. It warms the mind and thaws thoughts frozen in timidity. The fruit of the vine does not give us insight but aids our discovery of it; it can allow you to eavesdrop on yourself.
The trick is to find the golden mean between exhilarating and dulling the intellect. Cratinus' belief that only bad verses were written without wine seems too appealing to be untrue. But the best verses no doubt arise when, the wine low in the bottle, Dionysus is still steady enough to dance to the tune of Apollo's lyre.
Joseph Tartakovsky is associate editor of the Claremont Review of Books.
Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times (Larry sez: please note © !)
From Wild Thing:
Very funny, Larry! (Believe it or not) for me, wine and writing don't mix - kinda like driving. Too many accidents! But of the literary kind. However, editing circle's another thing.... *smile*.
Again from Wild Thing:
Well now you say so, alcoholic spirits make me feel tired and a bit dizzy. Never felt inspired to write, like when I am between sleeping and waking, and words and sentences just float in. You think it is a man thing? Do they need the courage, more so than a woman, to let go of their inner self? I knew a good guitarist and lyric writer, who I often invited to parties. He would not perform untill he downed a good amount of beer. Remembering writers/poets get togethers, it was mainly the men who were sauced already right from the start. I am open to be proven wrong about that.
POETRY NEWS? What exactly does that consist of? Of what, exactly, does that consist?
Seriously, Xena if you click on edit in the module on your Yahoo page, it should bring down a box that says "Email Module". Send me the link for those two modules, please. I missed them somehow in all the options for News, Sports, Politics, Useless Diversions...
Re: drinking & writing. Yes, it loosens the tongue, but tends to disorganize the thinking, no?
Re: online novels. I've downloaded gigabytes worth of online literature, plus other stuff, pages & pages, and it collects on my computer because I have difficulty doing sustained reading on the computer. Lots of reading, yes, but working thru a novel? Tough to do.
As for the other part, all my writing is free. So far. I've seen sites where people surround their material with copyright signs, dated, little messages saying, "This is my poem. I wrote it and it belongs to me. It's thin at the beginning, becomes much thicker in the middle, then thins out at the end. That is my poem, and it is mine." On the internet? Good luck! If you post it, someone will copy it, even if they have to type it out by hand.
Hey Wild Thing, you've thrown down the gauntlet to the men writers out there! LOL!
Larry will respond for the men. Is it an aspect of the artistic temperament? (What is the artistic temperament?) This phenomenon is not just confined to writing, of course. See my blog posts about Amy Winehouse. (And then there was Janis Joplin...) And you can see that it is not confined to men, although those two examples were musicians...
The artist struggles with two great difficulties...first, the battle to express accurately what one wishes to express...the personal struggle for self-fulfillment, let's say. And then second, the wish to share it with others...and have it accepted and appreciated. Failure in either one of these may drive you to drink. And success might as well, because success is the prelude to imagined failure to live up to both one's own and others' expectations in the next project...
Larry has a second thought: (his first second thought in decades)...
This is a discussion that should be going on on the much-neglected Dove Tale Blog! You writers, you!
I agree. Larry, do you want to translate it over? Post your email as a blog, and I'll translate Wild Things and my comments to the blog after? And everyone else, come join us!
And one final from Xena:
(Larry decides to do the whole thing himself, cuz he likes to be in control...plus, his Gmail gives him automatic easy-to-follow threads...)
- The question of drinkers who write, with all of the subtexts involved in that, including gender differences, and how useful is it to write while drinking...
- The question of online publication, giving it away for free...
- Why do writers write anyway? Is it just for the exposure? What constitutes pay?
- A "technical" Internet conversation about RSS feeds and Personal Home Pages and how do you get your news.
You may now comment or post your own post.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Larry luvs toys. Internet toys. Or what are currently being called Web2.0 toys. That means applications that run entirely on the Internet. Storage on the net. Working on the net. Bookmarks on the net. Networking on the net. Uploading. Sharing. Writing.
In fact, Larry's using an Internet toy to write this very post. It's called Windows Live Writer. And here's a screenshot to prove it:
Larry's not sure, but he thinks you can click on the screenshot to make it bigger. There, if that works, you will see an exact duplicate of what he's just written.
So now Larry has demonstrated two toys. Windows Live Writer and another program called Screenshot Studio.
Now, first, Live Writer. This is perhaps not strictly a Web2.0 device, since you have to download some kind of software, which installs easily. Then you can configure it to publish automatically to your blog.
Essentially, Live Writer is a WYSIWYG text editor, or word processor. But it goes somewhat beyond basic word processing. In fact, it has all the tools that the Blogger editing page has, plus a couple others. You can download plug-ins that expand the capabilities of Live Writer, such as "Insert SnagIt Screen Capture," which Larry guesses is a function similar to the Studio Screenshot application. (And here Larry has to say, he hasn't been able to get this plug-in to work, even though the program says it's enabled and he's downloaded it about 3 times and installed it just as many times, but when he tries to use it, a box comes up saying it's not installed. Conclusion: there are still bugs to be worked out.) One thing you can do with Live Writer that you can't on the Blogger page is to insert a table. Not the four-legged kind, but the tabular kind. Like this:
You can also insert events, maps, pictures, videos, hyperlinks, and tags (which this blog is not currently using, but could be.)
There are several of these Word-type applications available on the net now, including many of the Google applications like Google Docs, ThinkFree and Zoho. These latter two are in fact much more than mere word processors. They qualify as genuine office applications. And what does that mean? It means you don't necessarily have to spend the $700 that Larry spent on Microsoft Office. These apps are free! Did Larry say free? Yes, free! As in free. And speaking of free, if you want an office suite on your computer that's maybe not quite as powerful or flashy as Microsoft Office, but has the advantage of being free, check out Open Office.Org. Larry uses this all the time rather than Microsoft Office (which he paid $700 for...) This is not to say he doesn't use Office. He does. Just not for everything. Like, for example, creating pdf files, which you can do with Open Office!
These online applications have one big advantage. As long as you remember your login name and password, you can access them from any computer at all that has an Internet connection. All of them allow you to upload documents as well, and to share them. So, for example, you could do a collaborative writing project by establishing a group who all know the password, then edit the document online, save the versions and (in the case of Google, Larry believes) even publish it online. (And for this purpose, though there wouldn't be any money involved in the publishing, there is another site called Scribd, specifically for uploading documents which can be shared to a wide audience.
There is also one big disadvantage to these programs, however. Because they're online, and they're free, there is always the danger that the companies sponsoring these sites will one day go out of business. And then you're SOL, unless you've backed up your files. (Of course, you can always back them up on some other free online site!)
And speaking of backup. How about your bookmarks? Ever lost your bookmarks? Larry has lost his bookmarks. Suzy Homemaker has lost hers too. Larry has since learned how to back these up on his own computer, but he has also invested time (but no money cuz it's free) in an online bookmark service called StartAid. This is a cool bookmarking service, that loads into your browser as well as being accessible on a separate webpage. (Once again, accessible from any computer at all.)
Yes, Larry luvs toys. Actually, the one he loves most is his Firefox browser. If you are still using any browser other than Firefox, you are missing a whole world of functionality. Larry doesn't even know where to begin. So he won't. There are so many people working on add-ons and little improvements, pimping it up as they say, that it makes your head spin. All in the name of productivity, or functionality, or efficiency, or just plain fun and the sheer joy of surfing. Seriously, forget about Internet Explorer. Forget Safari. (Larry uses this too, but it just doesn't compete.) Forget Opera. (Larry just started experimenting with it, but it doesn't look like it quite makes it either...) Get Firefox. Do it now!
Larry luvs his toys. And he's now going to use his Windows Live Writer toy to post this on Dove Tale Writer. (Hope to hell it works...)
Friday, February 08, 2008
Change is the only sure thing. So Larry changed the template. The layout has changed. The landscape altered.
Is the change satisfactory? Does it meet with your approval? Only time and the comments section will tell. Many other changes may be changed. The change may even be changed back. No problem.
Larry likes the change. Why? Because the new layout is very clean. It's called Minima Stretch. And it is. Minimalist. But sophisticated. For sophisticated literary types. Dove Talers.
The look of the template is not the only change. The template is in fact the "new" Blogger-style template. Which is already not new, but about 2 years old. Users will notice some differences. Maybe. You still sign in and post the same way. However, when you are signed in to the blog, you will notice new little graphics on the blog. Like the wrench and socket wrench. Click on these and you will find yourself on the editing page. You need not concern yourself with these. Unless you feel like editing something. There will also be a link on the top right of the page that says "Customize". Click on this and you will find a feast of options and things you can add to the blog.
Change it. If you don't like it, change it back. Delete. Repeat. Edit. Alter. Customize. Preview. Experiment.
Or just write a post. That would make the Secret Bloginettes sing joyous hymns to the God of Bloggery.
Larry has finished now. Go forth, ye Bloggeroonies, and multiply.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Compared to Holland, where I grew up (did I?) libraries in Canada are superb. Yes, in Holland fees had to be paid to take out books. But even though we were poor, some money for borrowing books could usually be found. Buying books was for birthday presents, St. Nicolas gifts, or other special occasions. That wouldn't have filled my time spending in bed when I was ill and Mom had to go to work, asking the neighbours to keep an eye on me and see to my needs. Sometimes I managed almost three books a day, being deeply into the stories with blood-red cheeks, forgetting time, and discomfort.
Having come to Canada I was pleasantly surprised that books from the library were free to read. What a gift. With hardly any money to get by, most of the time, food for the tummy sparse, books, food for spirit and soul, were in plenty supply. What better way to learn about your new country, learn the language and feel the culture?
Yesterday, having chosen my books, checking out, I picked up a bookmark of an unusual big size. Ha, maybe I wouldn't lose that one so easily! (You wanna bet?) At home I read the bookmark. Discovered that it was a plea for money.
Apparently funding for libraries is not that generous anymore. They struggle. To accommodate all the new technology, all the new information, to expand the way they need to, they have to beg the public to “BE A FRIEND.” Being a friend means donating money from a suggested 50 dollar to 500 dollar or more. There is also a margin for less.
Same as with the theater. Always that cart in the mail for more money.
Same as with World Wildlife of which I am a member. No matter how much I donate, and how many animals I adopt, there is always that letter with a million thank-yous, and the card to please donate more. Oh how I would want to.
Same as with the Red Cross. They sent me a calendar. A thank you for past donations. An expectation that I donate more. I let it go for the time being, not exactly swimming in give-away money. Another letter came, expressing disappointment at me for not having reacted, and having received such a nice calendar. Well!!! I hadn't asked for that calendar. I didn't even need a calendar. They could've offered it for a price. I wrote a cheque for ten dollar, while worried about my shrinking bank account, sent it off and felt real cheap. Had to remind myself that every little bit helps and the money is really needed.
Then there are the phone calls. Nice policemen begging for money to sponsor poor kids to go to the circus. Pleas for children's wish fund...
I never give to causes that come over the phone. I deplore the pressure. No matter how heart breaking the story.
But somehow, one is always made to feel inadequate. Little guilt feelings try to dominate. Saying no to causes legitimately in need, causes tearing on your heart strings, causes you know are for helping the world, and peace, and loving care...
Not always in the way I believe care should be given. Somehow I don't see that a very sick child needs to go to Disneyland to feel cared for or have fun. Maybe for mom not to have to work, a warm, caring home surroundings, a pet to cuddle, a favourite meal, are better food for the little tyke craving love?
Much in the news now is the matter of weapons. People getting killed by gun-happy youths & adults, just like that. Roadside flowers, little altars, grieving crowds, wailing, helplessness...
So people stand up and demand to make it illegal to carry weapons. Good idea, I think. Won't cover the whole problem, but a good, worthwhile beginning of tackling it. Right?
So most Canadian politicians agree. So one stands up and says, “No, that is no good. We should extend jail sentences to discourage people from killing each other.
Pardon me? We should not take away the temptation, but use taxpayers money to lock away the person that was provoked, tempted, or just plain angry?
And what about so many voices speaking up now to protect the environment. How come most people seem to agree that drastic measures need to be put in place. Most countries, politicians, believe that doing sonic explosions in the arctic seas should be stopped to protect the whales that get confused, their own sonic communications being shattered, and they end up being seriously wounded, and dying. How come Bush can decide that, never mind, we should go ahead with the sonic try outs, never mind the whales? Same as how he didn't get most votes, and became president. Same as he bombed Iraq for unverified reasons, against the will of the United Nations, and destroyed cultures, people, environments...??? And all the soldiers going to war, killing, being killed, supposedly to make a better world, but for all eyes to see, the world, and life thereupon, is getting more unbalanced and poorer all the time?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
First I could get his mental blog page, no problem. Then came a time that I could not comment on his blogs. My comments just would not publish. Then after much brainstorming, I discovered that I could talk to him anonymously. So I sneaked through. Then Larry brought my attention to another sneaky device, “nickname”, Ha! Now I could finally publish my comments again as Wild Thing. Brilliant.
For a while that worked. Then, suddenly, every time I turn up that page, the whole program freezes. Cannot scroll down or up. Cannot click that page away. Nothing. Everything just stuck. Only thing left to do is to log off. Then log in again, and I can go to other programs. No problems with the dovetale blog or anything else.
I commented on one post, the third last, I think. I think that came through. Then the problem started. Every so now and then, when I try again, I can scroll down to comments, but when I click it, and the next page comes up, It won't budge. It freezes non-reversibly again. Sigh!!!
No trouble shooting has helped so far. M@ is puzzled, Larry is puzzled, Wild thing is puzzled.
Can there be a bug in just one program? Has a trickster placed him/herself placed between Larry and Wild Thing, laughing wickedly at my frustration?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
A blue jay has no pigment,
its feathers are filled with air,
and blue is just a figment
of the light refracted there.
If you were lacking colour
and people stared through you,
could life be any duller,
and wouldn’t you be blue?
It now becomes apparent
why jays are territorial.
Since they’re so transparent
they need boundaries arboreal.
Respect the jay’s contention
and see its point of view...
the right of its intention
to be both colourless and blue.
(Larry is too lazy to try and figure out the code that will correct the goofy line spacing.)