Monday, February 28, 2011

Letter Home

African-American woman looking wistful while stirring her coffee 



 
by Natasha Trethewey
--New Orleans, November 1910





Four weeks have passed since I left, and still
I must write to you of no work. I've worn down
the soles and walked through the tightness
of my new shoes calling upon the merchants,
their offices bustling. All the while I kept thinking
my plain English and good writing would secure
for me some modest position Though I dress each day
in my best, hands covered with the lace gloves
you crocheted--no one needs a girl. How flat
the word sounds, and heavy. My purse thins.
I spend foolishly to make an appearance of quiet
industry, to mask the desperation that tightens
my throat. I sit watching--

though I pretend not to notice--the dark maids
ambling by with their white charges. Do I deceive
anyone? Were they to see my hands, brown
as your dear face, they'd know I'm not quite
what I pretend to be. I walk these streets
a white woman, or so I think, until I catch the eyes
of some stranger upon me, and I must lower mine,
a negress again. There are enough things here
to remind me who I am. Mules lumbering through
the crowded streets send me into reverie, their footfall
the sound of a pointer and chalk hitting the blackboard
at school, only louder. Then there are women, clicking
their tongues in conversation, carrying their loads
on their heads. Their husky voices, the wash pots
and irons of the laundresses call to me.

I thought not to do the work I once did, back bending
and domestic; my schooling a gift--even those half days
at picking time, listening to Miss J--. How
I'd come to know words, the recitations I practiced
to sound like her, lilting, my sentences curling up
or trailing off at the ends. I read my books until
I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field,
I repeated whole sections I'd learned by heart,
spelling each word in my head to make a picture
I could see, as well as a weight I could feel
in my mouth. So now, even as I write this
and think of you at home, Goodbye

is the waving map of your palm, is
a stone on my tongue.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quiet Girl

black and white photo of hands holding hands 
     by Langston Hughes


I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you
To a sleep without dreams
Were it not for your songs.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

"An informed, intelligent, hothouse for black arts, thought and culture"


Clicking on the logo will take you to:
 


A bountiful source 
for 
and 
information of all kinds.



ANOTHER FROM A POET LAUREATE


The Bistro Styx
by Rita Dove

She was thinner, with a mannered gauntness
as she paused just inside the double
glass doors to survey the room, silvery cape
billowing dramatically behind her. What's this,

I thought, lifting a hand until
she nodded and started across the parquet;
that's when I saw she was dressed all in gray,
from a kittenish cashmere skirt and cowl

down to the graphite signature of her shoes.
"Sorry I'm late," she panted, though
she wasn't, sliding into the chair, her cape

tossed off in a shudder of brushed steel.
We kissed. Then I leaned back to peruse
my blighted child, this wary aristocratic mole.

"How's business?" I asked, and hazarded
a motherly smile to keep from crying out:
Are you content to conduct your life
as a cliché and, what's worse,

an anachronism, the brooding artist's demimonde?
Near the rue Princesse they had opened
a gallery cum souvenir shop which featured
fuzzy off-color Monets next to his acrylics, no doubt,

plus beared African drums and the occasional miniature
gargoyle from Notre Dame the Great Artist had
carved at breakfast with a pocket knife.

"Tourists love us. The Parisians, of course"--
she blushed--"are amused, though not without
a certain admiration . . ."
The Chateaubriand

arrived on a bone-white plate, smug and absolute
in its fragrant crust, a black plug steaming
like the heart plucked from the chest of a worthy enemy;
one touch with her fork sent pink juices streaming.

"Admiration for what? "Wine, a bloody
Pinot Noir, brought color to her cheeks. "Why,
the aplomb with which we've managed
to support our Art"--meaning he'd convinced

her to pose nude for his appalling canvases,
faintly futuristic landscapes strewn
with carwrecks and bodies being chewed

by rabid cocker spaniels. "I'd like to come by
the studio, " I ventured, "and see the new stuff."
"Yes, if you wish . . . "A delicate rebuff

before the warning: "He dresses all
in black now. Me, he drapes in blues and carmine--
and even though I think it's kinda cute,
in company I tend toward more muted shades."

She paused and had the grace
to drop her eyes. She did look ravishing,
spookily insubstantial, a lipstick ghost on tissue,
or as if one stood on a fifth-floor terrace

peering through a fringe of rain at Paris'
dreaming chimney pots, each sooty issue
wobbling skyward in an ecstatic oracular spiral.

"And he never thinks of food.I wish
I didn't have to plead with him to eat. . . . "Fruit
and cheese appeared, arrayed on leaf-green dishes.

I stuck with café crème. "This Camembert's
so ripe, "she joked," it's practically grown hair,"
mucking a golden glob complete with parsley sprig
onto a heel of bread. Nothing seemed to fill

her up: She swallowed, sliced into a pear,
speared each tear-shaped lavaliere
and popped the dripping mess into her pretty mouth.
Nowhere the bright tufted fields, weighted

vines and sun poured down out of the south.
"But are you happy? "Fearing, I whispered it
quickly. "What? You know, Mother"--

she bit into the starry rose of a fig--
"one really should try the fruit here."
I've lost her, I thought, and called for the bill.

Friday, February 25, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


I hope I am over wary; 
but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. 

I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; 
the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; 
and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. 

This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; 
and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, 
it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny.

  - Abraham Lincoln,
in Springfield, Illinois.


For A Depressed Woman


by James A. Emanuel

I
My friends do not know.
But what could my friends not know?
About what? What friends?

II
She sleeps late each day,
stifling each reason to rise,
choked into the quilt.

III
"I'll never find work."
She swallows this thought with pills,
finds tears in the glass.

SIMPLE PLEASURES . . .



t-shirt saying yay serotonin


Thursday, February 24, 2011

BELATED Happy Birthday WISHES TO EARNEST DOWSON, "They Are Not Long, The Days Of Wine And Roses."



To One in Bedlam
by - Ernest Dowson

With delicate, mad hands, behind his sordid bars,
Surely he hath his posies, which they tear and twine;
those scentless wisps of straw, that miserably line
His strait, caged universe, whereat the dull world stares,

Pedant and pitiful. O, how his rapt gaze wars
With their stupidity! Know they what dreams divine
Lift his long, laughing reveries like enchaunted wine,
And make his melancholy germane to the stars?

O, lamentable brother! if those pity thee,
Am I not fain of all thy lone eyes promise me;
Half a fool's kingdom, far from men who sow and reap,
All their days, vanity? Better than mortal flowers,
Thy moon-kissed roses seem: better than love or sleep,
The star-crowned solitude of thine oblivious hours!




Wednesday, February 23, 2011

POLITICAL MOMENT


Two months ago, a Tunisian fruit vendor lit a match, starting a fire that has spread throughout the Arab world. Muhammad Bouazizi's self-immolation prompted anti-government protests that toppled the regime in Tunisia and then Egypt. The demonstrations have spread across a swath of the Middle East and North Africa. - CNN World.

drawing of peace sign with the word revolution in front and flowers all around

Right now, so many people are fighting for their freedom, indeed for their basic humanity. Politicians and arm chair pundits around the world have weighed in on the whys and wherefores and whatnots; readily speculating and judging  from their relative safety and distance. In all this coverage they often overlook, downplay, and even deny the very heart of the protesters. 

These people are rightfully chafing against rulers that denied, humiliated, tortured, and suppressed them for generations.

I read the unfolding of these events with a mixture of joy, sadness, and trepidation. Joy at the opening of new possibilities, sadness at the loss of life and liberty during the protests, and trepidation at the thought of the struggles still to come. 

All these people deserve - at the very least - our prayers, our hopes, our positive thoughts.

OK. I'm off my soap box now. Thank you for your patience. 




IF YOU'RE INTERESTED:

Internet Resource Guide for the Middle East and North Africa.

Or this cool site, Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.


CHERNOBYL, More Haunting With Time


Chernobyl/Pripyat Exclusion Zone

Monument built by firemen 
to honor the memory 
of their fallen colleagues 
who died protecting the world.

Photos by: Pedro Moura Pinheiro.


For a haunting trip you will never forget, 
visit:




HAPPY BIRTHDAY B, WE MISS YOU






Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WHY BLACK HISTORY MONTH?


"If all records told the same tale — 
then the lie passed into history and became truth."
from 1984 by H.G. Wells.

Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson

"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."

- Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson.

In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History,
an ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House's Christmas tree each year.

Black History Pages.





SIGH . . . .



cartoon says antidepressant is a pill while depressant is the world



Nataliedee a sharing machine comic
(click logo to see more)



Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy PRESIDENT'S DAY!





If You're Looking To Keep On Celebrating . . .

here are a few more 
good reasons.




22 Be Humble Day

22 Walking the Dog Day

22 International World Thinking Day

23 International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

23 Tennis Day

24 National Tortilla Chip Day

26 Carnival Day

26 National Pistachio Day - it's a nutty day!

26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day

27 Polar Bear Day

27 No Brainer Day - this day is for me!

28 Floral Design Day

28 Public Sleeping Day

28 National Tooth Fairy Day - and/or August 22

POETRY CAN BE USED TO TEACH READING


Through most of her school career my daughter struggled to read because of a learning disability. Even the familiar stories that she loved were difficult for her.

Quite by accident, in a high school drama class, she discovered Shakespeare. While many students struggled with the bard's words, she found in them a doorway into the literary worlds previously denied her. Their rhythm was her key to unlock that door.


Poetry, with its meter, with its rhythm and rhyme, has been a gateway to the world of reading for about as long as reading has existed.

"Nursery rhymes" have made us laugh, taught us our colors and numbers, provided nurturing time with loving family as well as a blueprint of how to be . . . well, us. They can also aid students who struggle with reading.

Five little monkeys sitting in a tree
Little Monkey Little MonkeyLittle MonkeyLittle MonkeyLittle Monkey
Teasing Mister Alligator: "can’t catch me, can’t catch me!"
Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be and
Mister Alligator SNAP!


Four little monkeys sitting in a tree
Little Monkey Little Monkey Little Monkey Little Monkey
Teasing Mister Alligator: "can’t catch me, can’t catch me!"
Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be and
Mister AlligatorSNAP!

Three little monkeys sitting in a tree
Little MonkeyLittle MonkeyLittle Monkey
Teasing Mister Alligator: "can’t catch me, can’t catch me!"
Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be and
Mister AlligatorSNAP!


Two little monkeys sitting in a tree
Little MonkeyLittle Monkey
Teasing Mister Alligator: "can’t catch me, can’t catch me!"
Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be and
Mister AlligatorSNAP!

One little monkey sitting in a tree
Teasing Mister Alligator: "can’t catch me, can’t catch me!"
Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be and
SNAP!

Little Monkey
Missed me!
SOME SOURCES:
Poetry teachers dot com.
Giggle poetry.
Five Little Monkeys, courtesy of: Smart-Central.com.




Sunday, February 20, 2011

BREATHE DEEP






SOME INTERESTING THOUGHTS ON LANGUAGES and the BRAIN


                                                            IN:

  The Neural Nature of Thought & Language
Copyright  1994 by William H. Calvin and George A. Ojemann.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

QUOTE FOR THE DAY


"Show them a good man, and they'll ask you to bring in a thousand more to prove that good truly exists; show them an evil man and they'll tell you he brings all human evil with him."
- Jesús Blancornelas,
founder of the weekly news magazines ABC and Zeta

from: Reluctant Heroes, Lydia Cacho, eurozine.

WELL, MARX WASN'T TOTALLY RIGHT . . .



a crocodile coming out of a manhole and eating a capitalist
CROCODILE EATING A CAPITALIST
from: Village of Joy, 20 Strange Sculptures.


Friday, February 18, 2011

TEACHING ELA IS ALWAYS INTERESTING







Why "Motherhood can only be a volunteer army."



Before The Birth Of One of Her Children
- by Anne Bradstreet

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when the knot's untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my days that's due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you;
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interred in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue were in me,
Let that live freshly in thy memory
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harmes,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms,
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains
Look to my little babes, my dear remains.
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me,
These O protect from stepdame's injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honor my absent hearse;
And kiss this paper for thy dear love's sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take.


The rest of the quote: 
"We cannot ask women to go through something that can kill them,
just because it serves someone else's ends."  

- From a comment by Katrzyna

in response to the article:



ART TEACHERS REDEFINED, Exhibit


I found this quite disturbing:


During the summer of 2010, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), under the corporate management leadership of CEO Ron Huberman, gave local principals the unlimited power to dismiss 1,289 tenured teachers without due process.  Despite the fact that over 95% of the teachers had previously received “excellent” or “superior” ratings, to the media and public, these dismissed teachers were painted with the broad brush of “unsatisfactory”.  



That means that for no reason these teachers not only lost their jobs,
bad enough, 
but they also lost their reputations 
and ability to find another teaching position. 

Effectively, their teaching careers were destroyed. 
Who is going to hire a teacher rated "unsatisfactory"?



Art Teachers Redefined is the result of the displaced art teachers long, drawn out battle against the CPS system. They drew from the pain and anger of home foreclosures, bankruptcy, crushing medical bills, lack of insurance and loss of respect in the community. They drew from the trauma of being terminated unable to work in their chosen profession. But as creative people, they redefined what it is and continues to be for them as artist, teacher and now arts education advocate.

logo for Art Teachers Redefined exhibit

The event began Tuesday, February 8, 
and will run through Saturday, February 19, 2011.

I realize the time is running short, 
but if you are near the Chicago Teachers Union Offices, Merchandise Mart Suite 400
please stop by, 
enjoy the artwork, and 
support some dedicated educators who need it.

Exhibit Hours are: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat (11am-6pm); 
Thu (11am-3pm); Sun & Mon (closed)  

SOURCE: 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

UH OH.





-14
As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)




Not To Wax Pedestrian, But ANYONE WITH ASTHMA KNOWS THE BLESSING THAT IS AN UNFETTERED BREATH


The Blessed Virgin compared to 
the Air we Breathe
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

WILD air, world-mothering air,  
Nestling me everywhere,  
That each eyelash or hair  
Girdles; goes home betwixt  
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed          
Snowflake; that ’s fairly mixed  
With, riddles, and is rife  
In every least thing’s life;  
This needful, never spent,  
And nursing element;          
My more than meat and drink,  
My meal at every wink;  
This air, which, by life’s law,  
My lung must draw and draw  
Now but to breathe its praise, ...    


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

QUOTE FOR THE DAY


He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory is a benediction.
  
- often misattributed to by Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Louis Stevenson. BUT it's really by Bessie A. Stanley of Lincoln, Kansas, in 1905. She earned $250 as the first-prize winner in a contest sponsored by the magazine Modern Women.


SOURCE (for this & much more): Anonymous was a Woman by Fred Shapiro.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last FRIDAY, 11/2/11, A Blessed Palindrome. EGYPT Celebrated DAY OF THE MARTYRS.



martyr of Egypt revolution 2011

"Dirty politics and power struggles aside, there are innocent people who died over the course of Egypt's current revolution. These people died because they could see something most of us could not see. They died because they could see Egypt soaring high in a place of dignity and respect. . . .

Today is Day of the Martyrs. . . . Today I will go out with my people and try to make true the beautiful vision these martyrs died for. Because that's what all this is about."




WIKIPEDIA - FACT or FICTION?


OR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?

In a practical, immediate way, one sees the limits of the so-called “extended mind” clearly in the mob-made Wikipedia, the perfect product of that new vast, supersized cognition: when there’s easy agreement, it’s fine, and when there’s widespread disagreement on values or facts, as with, say, the origins of capitalism, it’s fine, too; you get both sides. The trouble comes when one side is right and the other side is wrong and doesn’t know it. The Shakespeare authorship page and the Shroud of Turin page are scenes of constant conflict and are packed with unreliable information. Creationists crowd cyberspace every bit as effectively as evolutionists, and extend their minds just as fully. Our trouble is not the over-all absence of smartness but the intractable power of pure stupidity, and no machine, or mind, seems extended enough to cure that.

For the Internet screen has always been like the palantír in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”—the “seeing stone” that lets the wizards see the entire world. Its gift is great; the wizard can see it all. Its risk is real: evil things will register more vividly than the great mass of dull good. The peril isn’t that users lose their knowledge of the world. It’s that they can lose all sense of proportion. You can come to think that the armies of Mordor are not just vast and scary, which they are, but limitless and undefeatable, which they aren’t.

- Adam Gopnik, The Information, The New Yorker.


Monday, February 14, 2011

SOME QUOTES FOR THE DAY



A guy knows he's in love when he loses interest in his car for a couple of days. 
- Tim Allen


A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt. 
- Spanish proverb


There is no remedy for love but to love more. 
- Henry David Thoreau


Sexiness grows thin after a while,
but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat! 
- Joanne Woodward


Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. 
- Martin Luther King, Jr.




Sunday, February 13, 2011

POETRY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD, Honest


Unprotected Poetry 


I had unprotected poetry last night
it was unexpected you know
spontaneous and we did not use anything
we just went at it to keep the mood.
It was incredible but not safe
and now I am worried
cause it can be infectious and dangerous
to say things without a condom.
It could be disastrous to speak without protection
A guy should not have unprotected poetry
he should take more responsibility than that
not just leave it up to the girl.
It was so irresponsible of me
to have unprotected poetry
to not even ask or consult
her about poetry control methods
she might be using or gulp not using.
What if she gets poetically pregnant
and wants to have my poem?
Or what if she has some kind
of poetically transmitted disease
you know PTD  –
and we have to wait
and see what happens
taking regular poetry tests
to see if we’ve got it.
But wow
we actually did it last night –
We had poetry…
How many people
in this day and age
have pure unprotected poetry?
We should be thankful for that
after all it was good poetry
we both really enjoyed it!
We soared like angels
without wings
never coming down
just coming
poetically, that is.
But what a high
to hit that climax
and feel like you
will never be mortal again…
Now that you’ve had
unprotected poetry
who can protect you?
Now that you’ve had
unsafe poetry
and want to do it
again and again
and again…
Cause it don’t feel
the same
with a poetic condom
blocks off the all feeling
and the flow.
And the words
the words
are stopped short
with safe protected poetry
and I will never
write that way again!

Copyright 2009.


Thanks to One Child Sold and Larry Jaffe’s poems- a victim of trafficking was saved




Friday, February 11, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY




"I can't tell you how every Egyptian feels today. 
We have been able to restore our humanity ... 
to be free and independent."

- Mohamed ElBaradei,
an opposition leader,
to Al Jazeera.



A Muse


He winds through the party like wind, one of the just 
who live alone in black and white, bewildered

by the eden of his body. (You, you talk like winter 
rain.) He's the meaning of almost-morning walking home 

at five A.M., the difference a night makes 
turning over into day, simple birds staking claims 

on no sleep. Whatever they call those particular birds. 
He's the age of sensibility at seventeen, he isn't worth

the time of afternoon it takes to write this down. 
He's the friend that lightning makes, raking 

the naked tree, thunder that waits for weeks to arrive; 
he's the certainty of torrents in September, harvest time 

and powerlines down for miles. He doesn't even know 
his name. In his body he's one with air, white as a sky

rinsed with rain. It's cold there, it's hard to breathe, 
and drowning is somewhere to be after a month of drought. 

from: Some Are Drowning. Copyright 1995


Thursday, February 10, 2011

"I WANNA NEW DRUG"



~ TRY IT ~

(You'll like it.)

NOTE: It's not as easy as it looks.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY.


drawing of balloons and confetti happy birthday 54


SOME OTHER FEBRUARY 9 BIRTHDAYS:

Travis Tritt * Mia Farrow * Judith Light (Who's the Boss) * Joe Pesci * Carole King * Smokey Robinson * Earnest Tubb * Gypsy Rose Lee * Wilhelm Maybach * William Henry Harrison (9th president)

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

In 1964, The Beatles made their first live US television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." An estimated 73 million people tuned in to watch the band perform five songs, including "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

In 1979, Kmart pulled Steve Martin's comedy album "Let's Get Small" for being in bad taste.

In 1997, "The Simpsons" became the longest-running prime-time animated series, beating the record previously held by "The Flintstones."

ALSO:

In 1995, the first British-born American to walk in space, Michael Foale, and the first black astronaut, Dr. Bernard Harris, tested a modified space suit and astronaut endurance from the open cargo bay of NASA's space shuttle Discovery. They spent 20-minutes in the coldest area of the spacecraft's shadow, motionless, to test the efficiency of their space suits' new insulation.

In 1971, The San Fernando earthquake ( 6.6 ) at 6:00 AM ruptured a segment of the San Fernando fault zone. 

In 1950, As a result of a voice vote made on this day, a bill was passed which raised the rate of postal card rates from one to two cents. Regular letter rates would stay at three cents. 

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin announced that 205 card-carrying communists had made their way into the U.S. State Department. 

In 1996, The legendary Russian Chess Grandmaster Kasparov loses his first chess game ever to IBM's chess computer Deep Blue. He did go on to gain three wins and two draws and easily win the match.  



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY - To Me, This Quote Encapsulates The Current American Political Landscape


In the case of U.S. policy towards Egypt, the dynamic is well beyond left vs. right. Instead we're seeing (a) those in the U.S. who support the protesters, their calls for sweeping democratic reforms, and Mubarak's ouster; (b) those who support Mubarak and fear his unknown replacement; and (c) those who believe caliphates run by zombie Islamists, the Illuminati, and the Loch Ness Monster are coming to steal your car.
- Steve Bennon, The Brewing Kristol, Beck Feud ... ,
The Washington Monthly.
I actually came across this on Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish.




TEA FOR . . . Well, THE WORLD




My granddaughters and I love to have tea parties.
 Here's a way to help girls around the world
and indulge in a timeless, endearing tradition.



  

Tea Party Angels is an exciting new fundraising program for mothers and daughters to help underprivileged girls around the world.

By hosting a simple tea party, you can raise money that will change a girl's life forever making you a Tea Party Angel.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Instructions to Be Left Behind

         by Marvin Bell

I've included this letter in the group
to be put into the cigar box—the one
with the rubber band around it you will find
sometime later. I thought you might
like to have an example of the way in which
some writing works. I may not say anything
very important or phrase things just-so,
but I think you will pay attention anyway
because it matters to you—I'm sure it does,
no one was ever more loved than I was.

What I'm saying is, your deep attention
made things matter—made art,
made science and business
raised to the power of goodness, and sport
likewise raised a level beyond.
I am not attaching to this a photograph
though no doubt you have in your mind's eye
a clear image of me in several expressions
and at several ages all at once—which is
the great work of imagery beyond the merely
illustrative. Should I stop here for a moment?

These markings, transliterations though they are
from prints of fingers, and they from heart
and throat and corridors the mind guards,
are making up again in you the one me
that otherwise would not survive that manyness
daisies proclaim and the rain sings much of.
Because I love you, I can almost imagine
the eye for detail with which you remember
my face in places indoors and out and far-flung,
and you have only to look upward to see
in the plainest cloud the clearest lines
and in the flattest field your green instructions.

Shall I rest a moment in green instructions?
Writing is all and everything, when you care.
The kind of writing that grabs your lapels
and shakes you—that's for when you don't care
or even pay attention. This isn't that kind.
While you are paying your close kind of attention,
I might be writing the sort of thing you think
will last—as it is happening, now, for you.
While I was here to want this, I wanted it,
and now that I am your wanting me to be myself
again, I think myself right up into being
all that you (and I too) wanted to be: You.