Posts Tagged ‘DCS’

Duck, North Carolina, Part III

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Starry skies, sunrise, and sea maidens.

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Johanna

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Karuna

CakeStrawberries

Katherine

Duck, North Carolina, Part II

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Creatures of air, land and sea; and a search for gifts.

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Yahrzeit2

Bill Elvin

Duck, North Carolina, Part I

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Watermelons and wild waves.

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CakeOranges

Marta

SuperPen

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Frosting as an art medium. For my son’s birthday, I decorated his cake with some of his lifelong favorites: dinosaurs, Lego, and Superman, who is demonstrating the mighty power of the written word, in deference to his current pursuit of an MFA in writing. My son’s, that is, not Superman’s. Superman already has his.

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CakeTRexDevin

Waiting

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Must post my annual tribute.

SeasonOfWaiting

CakeSnowmanLeah

Until we meet again

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

A traditional blessing, along with a page from my Ireland sketchbook. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone.

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May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon your fields,
and, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

—Irish blessing

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Man of Steel Meets His Match in Birthday Pizza

Friday, February 15th, 2013

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My son with two of his life-long (though not exclusive) interests.

CakeTRexDevin

Breakfast With Superboy

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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Here is a portrait painted many birthdays ago. But my son still requests the same birthday breakfast—pancakes (for which he stopped by this morning)—and he still shows up in an old Superman T-shirt once in a while. (“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” Thoreau.) Well, he’s faster in thought than a speeding bullet, more powerful in his will to travel than a locomotive, and, metaphorically at least, can occasionally leap tall buildings with a single bound. Happy Birthday, Super-son!

CakeTRexDevin

Maid of Orléans

Friday, January 6th, 2012

No one really knows precisely when Joan of Arc was born. But January 6, 1412 is traditionally recognized as the date, making today the 500th anniversary of her birth, the quincentennial celebration of her mysterious, heroic, and too-short life.

DomremyHouse

The outlines of the story are generally recognized: A pious girl from a rural family, in response to visions and voices she explained as those of saints and angels, approached the Dauphin, the future Charles VII, during the Hundred Years’ War, and convinced him to allow her to aid France.

Given a suit of armor and a banner with fleur-de-lis, she led newly-inspired French troops (who had formerly declined to follow the feckless and irresolute Charles into battle) to expel the English and Burgundians from her then-small country. Her successes in battle, and in eventually arranging for the coronation of the Dauphin in Reims, greatly encouraged the French, but alarmed the Burgundians and infuriated the English, who, when they finally had Joan in custody, burned her at the stake as heretic and witch and raked her ashes into the Seine to prevent the collection of relics—an indication of awareness that they had murdered an innocent. She was nineteen. Detailed records of her trial, painstakingly kept by the court, reveal to us Joan’s simplicity and humility, in contrast to the narrow-minded and vengeful scheming of her assorted judges.

These same records were made use of to acquit her posthumously later under Charles’ rule—for him it was politically expedient to have been crowned with the aid of a courageous maiden instead of a condemned witch. During the acquittal process the testimony of numerous witnesses reveals the original trial’s illegal and corrupt maneuverings.

How was an untrained teenage country girl able to lead dispirited soldiers in the wake of a string of defeats (notably Agincourt in 1415) to win a series of battles and break through enemy lines to see her king crowned? What was the nature of Joan’s voices? To this day much of her story remains unknown and a subject of speculation for historians, psychotherapists, artists, novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers. Statues of Joan are to be found all over the world, including here in Washington, DC, a gift from the Ladies of France in Exile in New York in 1922 and the only equestrian statue of a woman in the city. (There are actually only a handful of equestrian statues of women to be found anywhere, and probably more of Joan of Arc than any other.) As of 1920, Joan became—after five hundred years (the Catholic church moving with its customary excruciating slowness)—Saint Joan.

The image of Jeanne d’Arc has been co-opted, ironically, by the French extreme right, who more properly ought to take as their symbol a 15th-century right-winger: the manipulative and self-absorbed Duke of Burgundy, who turned Joan over to the English to maintain his power; the misogynist cleric Pierre Cauchon, who was fixated on Joan’s wearing of male attire; or the avaricious English themselves, whose desire for the French throne had been humiliatingly waylaid by an upstart female. The ultra-conservative Front National is no place for unconventional Joan, who defied societal expectations, suffered in battle and in prison, and died for her efforts.

The sketch is from a visit to the house in Domrémy thought to have belonged to Joan’s family.

Today is also the Feast of the Epiphany, the day on which, according to tradition, three wise men from the East carried gifts to the infant Jesus. For another take on this event, please see The Three Wise Women.

The Feast of the Epiphany is also the birthday of Carl Sandburg (1878-1967). For a comic and a poem, please see Poetic Journey of the Magi.

CakeStarsNathan

St. Nicholas’ Eve

Monday, December 5th, 2011

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This is what my children will find when they awaken in the morning. I remember when their shoes were so tiny that it was difficult for St. Nicholas to tuck in the little gold-wrapped surprises.

CakeSnowmanDavid

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