Today is the birthday of Jana, the kind of person everyone ought to have for a friend and neighbor. Yet she remains genuinely unimpressed by her contributions to the world around her. Happy Birthday, dear Jana! Guess what’s in the bag.
This coming Sunday, October 28th, is the last day that Fletcher’s Boathouse will be open for canoe rentals. I had hoped for an end-of-season family excursion gliding up the Potomac River to gaze at autumn color, hawks and herons, and lichen-covered boulders reflected in the leaf-sprinkled water. However, it looks as if all will be rained out (or possibly snowed in) with the approach of Tropical Storm Sandy, which is already wreaking havoc further southeast. Let’s hope it’s short-lived.
Here is a poem for this bright and watery season.
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries—roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay—how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
Here is another of the paintings that I will be showing at the Corcoran Gallery’s Community Art Fair on Saturday, October 20th. (If it makes you hungry, take note that the Corcoran’s cafe will be serving a special menu created for this day.)
On Saturday, October 20th, the Corcoran Gallery of Art will hold its first Community Art Fair from 10am to 3pm, featuring fine arts and crafts by local artists; workshops and demonstrations on papermaking, bookmaking, ceramics, and printmaking; concerts; films; and tours. I will be participating, showing some of the work I have featured on this blog as well as a small number of printed cards of my paintings (for smaller budgets). Admission is free but book donations are encouraged, to benefit Books for America. I hope to see many of you there!
This is one of the new paintings I plan to show.
Here is a poem (author unknown) from our mealtime verse book, and I post it today in honor of the birthday of my cousin Dianne (which she shares with her twin Monica). Tuesday, October 2nd, marked the one-year anniversary of Dianne’s passing after a lengthy and painful struggle with two rare blood disorders, throughout which she remained, as always, the Merry Lass that her circle of family and friends knew so well and miss so much.
Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and in many places this is commemorated with an annual Blessing of the Animals in local churches. But Fluffy, Fido, and Goldie will have to wait until the weekend. Washington National Cathedral holds its ceremony on Sunday, October 7th, at 2:30 pm, on the west steps. In Woodley Park (our neighborhood) there is a choice between the front lawn of All Souls Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 6th at 3 pm, and St. Thomas Apostle at 10:30 am (where there will also be coffee and donuts for the people and treats for the animals). A Google search will undoubtedly reveal a blessing near you.
Today is also the birthday of writer and humorist Roy Blount, Jr., author of several books suitable for this day (as well as many other books on a wide variety of subjects): I Am Puppy, Hear Me Yap: The Ages of Dog; I Am the Cat, Don’t Forget That: Feline Expressions; Am I Pig Enough for You Yet?: Voices of the Barnyard; and If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You: True Portraits of Dogs. He is also a contributor to Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs, a gift for anyone who loves both dogs and poetry.
For a sketch, a riddle, and a mini-bio of Blount, please see Language Lover.