For this day, a painting, and a poem by
lying down at dark,
my waking fits your sleep.
flares the slow-banked fire
between our mingled feet,
curved close and warm
against the nape of love,
who holds your dreaming
shape, I match my breathing
to your breath;
and sightless, keep my hand
on your heart’s breast, keep
on your sleep to prove
there is no dark, nor death.
For this double celebration, a sketch, and the first verse of a poem by
Celebrate this unlikely oracle,
this ball of fat and fur,
whom we so mysteriously endow
with the power to predict spring.
Let’s hear it for the improbable heroes who,
frightened at their own shadows,
nonetheless unwittingly work miracles.
Why shouldn’t we believe
this peculiar rodent holds power
over sun and seasons in his stubby paw?
Who says that God is all grandeur and glory?
—from “Groundhog Day” by Lynn Ungar
…and a celebration for Colette, Elijah Wood, and Jane Austen’s
Pride and Prejudice (published on this day in 1813).
I think my family enjoys the dinner candle more as a capricious beeswax waterfall.
One of my resolutions for 2022. And beyond, I hope! May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year, everyone. May it surpass the last two, a pretty low bar.
Getting in on the ground floor.
For the first day of fall, a poem by Paul Verlaine. Translation by Arthur Symons.
Les sanglots longs
Des violons De l’automne Blessent mon coeur D’une langueur Monotone.
Et blême, quand Sonne l’heure, Je me souviens Des jours anciens Et je pleure
Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais Qui m’emporte Deçà, delà, Pareil à la Feuille morte.
—Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
When a sighing begins
In the violins Of the autumn-song, My heart is drowned In the slow sound Languorous and long
Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when The hours tolls deep. My thoughts recover The days that are over And I weep.
And I go
Where the winds know, Broken and brief, To and fro, As the winds blow A dead leaf.
What a joy to see longtime friends in person, after months of deprivation. It feels reasonably safe to gather outdoors, and what prettier setting than
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, at the peak of bloom.
…Trying to find something to appreciate in the midst of dreadful heat.
A day in Alexandria donating art supplies, recycling electronics, delivering a cat cushion—during a pandemic, we get our dates however we can. A more romantic conclusion, though: together we admired the river from a bench in Founders Park, with coffee from