around 150 million years ago
Solnhofen, Bavaria, Germany
Outside the Burke Museum
Newspaper on Sidewalk
around two days ago
Seattle, Washington, North America
sketch: susan wray, abandoned factories in Allegan, MI
"People come--they stay for a while, they flourish, they build--and they go. It is their way. But we remain. There were badgers here, I've been told, long before that same city ever came to be. And now there are badgers here again. We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be."
- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 4
pastel: Susan Wray, Lute player, Jerry Wray
Close to the edge. Almost
bunch up and boil down
from the north of the white bear.
This tree-splitting morning
I dream of his fat tracks,
the lifesaving suet.
I think of summer with its luminous fruit,
blossoms rounding to berries, leaves,
handfuls of grain.
Maybe what cold is, is the time
we measure the love we have always had, secretly,
for our own bones, the hard knife-edged love
for the warm river of the I, beyond all else; maybe
that is what it means the beauty
of the blue shark cruising toward the tumbling seals.
In the season of snow,
in the immeasurable cold,
we grow cruel but honest; we keep
if we can, taking one after another
the necessary bodies of others, the many
crushed red flowers.
photo: e.bouman, son Johnny in Winthrop WA, 2007
FIRESTARTERSince this morning he's gone through
an entire box of Safeway matches, the ones
with the outlines of presidents' faces
printed in red, white and blue.
He's not satisfied with one match at a time.
He likes to tip the book over the ashtray
and light them all up at once, the flame
less than an inch from his fingertips
while the fathers of the nation burn.
He doesn't care about democracy,
or even anarchy, or the message inside
that promises art school for half price
if he'll simply complete the profile of a woman
and send it in. The street address burns,
zip code and phone number, the birth
and death dates of the presidents,
the woman's unfinished face. I'm afraid
he'll do this when I'm not around to keep him
from torching the curtains, the couch.
He strikes match after match, a small pyre rising
from the kitchen table. I think I should tell him
about Prometheus and the vulture, the wildfires
now burning in the Oregon hills.
I want to do what I'm supposed to
and make him afraid, but his face
shines, bright with power,
and I can't take my eyes from the light.
pastel: Susan Wray
'The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell -- as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world.'(13)
E.B White, (p.13) Charlotte's Web
photos: e.bouman, south lake union, 2010
- Did you know:
- That litmus, the dye used to indicate acidity and alkalinity, is extracted from a lichen? (And another lichen fact: A lichen is a symbiotic reaction between fungus and algae. Who knew?)
- That the branch of a tree is buried deep in the tree’s trunk—not some appendage stuck on merely from the bark outward. Knots in lumber are actually slices through the bases of a branch.
- What the word is for the oozing that happens from the stump when a herbaceous stem is severed, or that you sometimes see exuding from leaf margins? It’s called guttation, and is caused by root pressure. (I just love this word, now that I know it.)
from Botany for Gardeners, Brian Capon
Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend—
Bed awaits me at the end.
Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall—
I'm a fool to rise at all!
Here is a short excerpt from Eudora Welty's short story Livvie:
"Out front was a clean dirt yard with every vestige of grass patiently uprooted and the ground scarred in deep whorls from the strike of Livvie's broom. Rose bushes with tiny blood-red roses blooming every month grew in threes on either side of the steps. On one side was a peach tree, on the other a pomegranate.
Then coming around up the path from the deep cut of the Natchez Trace below was a line of bare crape-myrtle trees with every branch of them ending in a colored bottle, green or blue.
There was no word that fell from Solomon's lips to say what they were for, but Livvie knew that there could be a spell put in trees, and she was familiar from the time she was born with the way bottle trees kept evil spirits from coming into the house - by luring them inside the colored bottles, where they cannot get out again.
Solomon had made the bottle trees with his own hands over the nine years, in labor amounting to about a tree a year, and without a sign that he had any uneasiness in his heart, for he took as much pride in his precautions against spirits coming in the house as he took in the house, and sometimes in the sun the bottle trees looked prettier than the house did..."
I am so pleased with the contributions that my fiber arts group created in response for homemade valentines from several local facilities. They will be given to the patients this week and are designed to hang from a door knob.
The Seaview Weavers Guild produced handmade, wondrous hearts...enough for Gen Care (nursing home) 50 people...Fircrest (home for disabled) 90 people and 30 left over for another convalescent home.
These hearts are quilted, beaded, felted, rug punched, sewn, knitted, painted, crafted of paper, wood, bubble wrap, and many other techniques.
Pictures above and below....enjoy the love.