I rediscovered one of my CDs that have been sitting around in my dorm. “The Complete Birth of The Cool” by Miles Davis. It was a compilation CD of one of Miles Davis’ Career during the 1950s and 1960s. I looked into his other CD “Kind of Blue” and…well….I am Blown away. “Kind of Blue” isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does “Kind of Blue” posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn’t quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they’ve memorized every nuance. My hat (and gratitude) is tipped to you, Davis.
After Horace, Odes, I, 34
Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well just now
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses
Across a clear blue sky.. It shook the earth
and the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
the winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest towers
Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one,
Setting it down bleading on the next.
Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle lid.
Capstones shift. Nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.
- By Seamus Heaney (2003, 2005)
“A satirical look at families and the trials they face in each of their own uniquely comedic ways.”
I adore Modern family. It feels like a sarcastic stretch of what a family is, yet, able to make it so unbelievably realistic on family interactions. The crazy antics don’t seem so crazy when you peer into your own family dysfunctions.
At home, my parents have a love-hate relationship with each other. One minute, they are yelling at each other, screaming at the top of their lungs. The next moment, they are sitting on the couch together, with my mother sitting on my fathers lap, as if they were hormonal teenagers waiting for the parents to leave the house for some alone time.
Oh, what a family.
It’s funny how the sound of construction works so well with its pseudo natural environment filled with trees, pavement & bunnies. I’m sitting in my living room, with the Tv turned on and watching the sunset happen at the same time.
quiet, but not lonely. sick, but still healthy. Nothing like a dose of medication & a good book to keep you company.
From The New York Times:
“Vancouver will celebrate the body in sport, as well as art, during the 2010 Winter Olympics next month.
A rare collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of the human body will be on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery from Feb. 6 to May 2. Admission is free during the 17 days of the Games (Feb. 12 to 28).
The exhibition marks the first time that the artist’s anatomical drawings, “Anatomical Manuscript A,” will be on view in their entirety since they were drawn in the early 1500s, said Ian M. Thom, a senior curator at the museum.
The drawings, which feature da Vinci’s unique mirror-image script, are on loan from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.
The museum is offering other free exhibits during the Games, including a show of contemporary art based on the human form and a survey of art from British Columbia. The gallery has also produced three major public art installations in downtown Vancouver.”
I always enjoyed people watching, especially from windows. I finally decided to meander across the street and people watch from inside the coffee shop windows. I’m quite serendipitous, amorous and smitten with this place. I just can’t get enough of the tuscany inspired villa, or the harmonious combination of traffic noise and the conversations that brew in the coffee shop.
I sit right in the center of front window, just drinking my coffee & writing gibberish in a notebook. I’m left with my thoughts. Ruminating thoughts of anything and everything that flow from one idea to the next. As I watch people pass by the window, I ever wonder if I am just another observant of life, instead of a participant. As people move and go on with their lives, I just sit and stay stagnant at this point. Is this really what I do? I settle and stay as so?
I’m contemplating that this is a stage everyone has felt or is going through. An individual goes through revelations all the time about themselves, but I don’t think it happens while sitting still.
- I: Death.
- HT: Death made me grow up.
- I: Love.
- HT: Love made my endure.
- I: Madness.
- HT: Madness made me suffer.
- I: Passion.
- HT: Passion bewildered me.
- I: Balance
- HT: Balance is my goddess.
- I: Dreams.
- HT: Dreams are everything now.
- I: Gods.
- HT: Gods cause me to be silent.
- I: Bureaucrats.
- HT: Bureaucrats make me melancholy.
- I: Tears.
- HT: Tears are my sisters.
- I: Laughter.
- HT: I wish I had a splendid laugh.
- I: War.
- HT: Ah war.
- I: Humankind.
- HT: Humankind is glass.
- I: Why not take the shorter way home.
- HT: There was no shorter way home.
- By Anne Carson (2001)
- Hara Tamiki - Japanese novelist (1905 - 1951), a survivor of the atomic blast at Hiroshima in 1945, who described his experiences in the novel Summer Flowers (1947). He committed suicide in 1951.
Liked to use dashes
Instead of full stops.
Nowadays, faced with such
Critics and editors
Send for the cops.
by Wendy Cope (1986)
You travel from one place to another, almost equally comfortable. The first place is my parents home; I guess it would be my home as well. We moved in 2.5 years ago as a family who needed more space, to be less cramped. I finally embraced my house as my home, as soon as my bedroom started to look like my own again. A place to think, contemplate & meditate. I’m more than content to what my room looks like. My parents, and sibling know me inside and out. our blunt attitudes toward eachother makes me realize that at the end of the day, we’re still together as family.
Now there’s my other home: my dorm/apartment. I’ve only lived there for about 4 months now. It’s small, but its my own place to wallow in when I’m in school. I’m pretty much allowed to do anything I want to do, no limitation to my actions. It ranges from making breakfast at 2am in the morning or collaging a whole wall of 8-bit post-it notes in our living room. Sure, we’re strangers living together, but now we’re basically family.
Its hard saying goodbye to a home, only to lead to another home. Its hard to remind myself that home is a state of mind. Its a bittersweet feeling.
By A Foreigner
I like Canadians.
They are so unlike Americans.
They go home at night.
Their cigarets don’t smell bad.
Their hats fit.
They really believe that they won the war.
They don’t believe in Literature.
They think Art has been exaggerated.
But they are wonderful on ice skates.
A few of them are very rich.
But when they are rich they buy more horses Than motor cars.
Chicago calls Toronto a puritan town.
But both boxing and horse-racing are illegal In Chicago.
Nobody works on Sunday.
That doesn’t make me mad.
There is only one Woodbine.
But were you ever at Blue Bonnets?
If you kill somebody with a motor car
in Ontario You are liable to go to jail.
So it isn’t done.
There have been over 500 people killed
by motor cars In Chicago So far this year.
It is hard to get rich in Canada.
But it is easy to make money.
There are too many tea rooms.
But, then, there are no cabarets.
If you tip a waiter a quarter
He says “Thank you.”
Instead of calling the bouncer.
They let women stand up in the street cars.
Even if they are good-looking.
They are all in a hurry to get home
to supper And their radio sets.
They are a fine people.
I like them.
by Ernest Hemingway
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
By Robert Frost (1920)
he lay, skin down in the moist dirt,
the canebrake rustling
with the whispers of leaves, and
loud longing of hounds and
the ransack of hunters crackling the near
She muttered, lifting her head a nod toward
I shall not, I shall not be moved.
She gathered her babies,
their tears slick as oil on black faces,
their young eyes canvassing mornings of madness.
Momma, is Master going to sell you
from us tomorrow?
Unless you keep walking more
and talking less.
Unless the keeper of our lives
releases me from all commandments.
And your lives,
never mine to live,
will be executed upon the killing floor of
Unless you match my heart and words,
saying with me,
I shall not be moved.
In Virginia tobacco fields,
leaning into the curve
pianos, along Arkansas roads,
in the red hills of Georgia,
into the palms of her chained hands, she
cried against calamity,
You have tried to destroy me
and though I perish daily,
I shall not be moved.
Her universe, often
summarized into one black body
falling finally from the tree to her feet,
made her cry each time into a new voice.
All my past hastens to defeat,
and strangers claim the glory of my love,
Iniquity has bound me to his bed.
yet, I must not be moved.
She heard the names,
swirling ribbons in the wind of history:
nigger, nigger bitch, heifer,
mammy, property, creature, ape, baboon,
whore, hot tail, thing, it.
She said, But my description cannot
fit your tongue, for
I have a certain way of being in this world,
and I shall not, I shall not be moved.
No angel stretched protecting wings
above the heads of her children,
fluttering and urging the winds of reason
into the confusions of their lives.
The sprouted like young weeds,
but she could not shield their growth
from the grinding blades of ignorance, nor
shape them into symbolic topiaries.
She sent them away,
underground, overland, in coaches and
When you learn, teach.
When you get, give.
As for me,
I shall not be moved.
She stood in midocean, seeking dry land.
She searched God’s face.
she placed her fire of service
on the altar, and though
clothed in the finery of faith,
when she appeared at the temple door,
no sign welcomed
Black Grandmother, Enter here.
Into the crashing sound,
into wickedness, she cried,
No one, no, nor no one million
ones dare deny me God, I go forth
along, and stand as ten thousand.
The Divine upon my right
impels me to pull forever
at the latch on Freedom’s gate.
The Holy Spirit upon my left leads my
feet without ceasing into the camp of the
righteous and into the tents of the free.
These momma faces, lemon-yellow, plum-purple,
honey-brown, have grimaced and twisted
down a pyramid for years.
She is Sheba the Sojourner,
Harriet and Zora,
Mary Bethune and Angela,
Annie to Zenobia.
before the abortion clinic,
confounded by the lack of choices.
In the Welfare line,
reduced to the pity of handouts.
Ordained in the pulpit, shielded
by the mysteries.
In the operating room,
In the choir loft,
holding God in her throat.
On lonely street corners,
hawking her body.
In the classroom, loving the
children to understanding.
Centered on the world’s stage,
she sings to her loves and beloveds,
to her foes and detractors:
However I am perceived and deceived,
however my ignorance and conceits,
lay aside your fears that I will be undone,
for I shall not be moved.
by Maya Angelou (1990)
We did not anticipate you, you bright ones
though some of us saw you kneeling behind our bombs,
we did not fervently grow towards you
for most of us grew backwards
sowing our seed in the black fields of history
avoid monuments, engrave our names beneath your own
for you have consumed our ashes by now
for you have one quiet mighty language by now
do not excavate our cities
to catalogue the objects of our doom
but burn all you find to make yourselves room
you have no need of archeology,
your faces are your total history
for us it was necessary to invent a darkness,
to subtract light in order to see,
for us it was certain death to know our names
as they were written in the black books of history
I stand with an animal at my left hand
And a warm, breathing ghost at my right
saying, Remember that this letter was made
for you to burn, that its meaning lies
only in your burning it,
that its lines await your cleansing fire—
understand it only insofar
as that warm ghost at my right hand breathed
down my blood and for a moment wrote the lines
while guns sounded out from a mythical city
and destroyed the times.
- Gwendolyn MaCewen (1969)
The bells ring more than Sunday; Eve,
orchards and high wishes meet the bells
with grace and speed. The staggered
clocks only cousin the bells; after
the timed food, the urgent breakfeasts,
we lean to other seasons, seasons
of the first temple
of a basic Babel
of meek amoeba
Clocks count forward with craze, but
bells count backward with sober grade.
Tell us, in the high minute after they
sing, where the temple is, where
the bell’s beat breaks all our hour-
glasses, where the jungled flesh is tied, bloodroots
- Gwendolyn MacEwen (1961)
1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “breakup.”
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”
10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog “Science Diet” instead of McDonald’s leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at three in the morning would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A four dollar bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good shit.”
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”
23. Ninety percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking “Oh shit what the hell happened?”
These poems, these poems,
these poems, she said, are poems
with no love in them. These are the poems of a man
who would leave his wife and child because
they made noise in his study. These are the poems
of a man who would murder his mother to claim
the inheritance. These are the poems of a man
like Plato, she said, meaning something I did not
comprehend but which nevertheless
offended me. These are the poems of a man
who would rather sleep with himself than with women,
she said. These are the poems of a man
with eyes like a drawknife, with hands like a pickpocket’s
hands, woven of water and logic
and hunger, with no strand of love in them. These
poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant
as elm leaves, which if they love love only
the wide blue sky and the air and the idea
of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said,
and not a beginning. Love means love
of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.
These poems, she said… .
You are, he said,
That is not love, she said rightly.
By Robert Bringhurst (1982)
December 24th, 2009:
The family and I ended up being split up during the Christmas mass. Dad, Mom & sibling sat together while I gave up my seat for a younger family to sit with each other, and I ended up sitting across from them, a few rows behind.
A sweet old husband and wife were also split during the mass, the wife sat beside me, while her husband sat on the opposite end of the church. I was between her, and a family of 6 all in a row. For whatever reason, the elderly woman told me that this was the second time in fifty two years. I wanted to give up my seat for her husband, so did the family on the other side of me were willing to shuffle some children around on there seats to let them sit together. She wanted neither of those options, and didn’t mind talking to new people.
Throughout the evening, I saw a glimpse of who she was with the way she poised herself and how she treated the others around us. Her kindness only enhanced her spunky personality.
As she told me “Merry Christmas,” I said to her “Happy Holidays. I hope you are able to find your husband in this crowd!” and her only response “Don’t worry, I’m eyeing him like a hawk lurking for prey.”
Seeing family today was a breath of fresh air. They still treat me the way I always remember them treating me: respect, humor & offset awkwardness. Interesting how we still all work together; we know our place in the family.
You forget that babies are people, with there own personality. A.L.K. is a perfect example: she adores attention, being the epitome of feminism & giving unsurmountable level of love. I forget she’s only 2 years old sometimes with the way she acts.
None the less, I’ll just keep it short and sweet today. I have a long weekend in front of me with travelling back to UVIC & some major grocery shopping.
Happy new years.
- You’ve have been on my mind alot. The fact that you aren’t around as much as you used to be saddens me, but as well as confusing on why it might end this way. I’ll admit, I haven’t gone out of my way to do anything with you, but I feel like there’s a barrier between us. Why? maybe because we caught you in a full blown lie today. You should have honestly just told us the truth. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I’ll forgive, but not forget.
- As they said, “God is testing your will & strength”. I wish the new decade is much more kind to you than it has been. This year is a start of cleansing a soul, and starting over. Open wounds will become ugly scars, but it is a reminder of the events that have completely shaped you to who you are today. You have lived a second life in comparison to mine; innocence was taken from you at such a young age. In contrast, I wish I could have lived your life just to understand you more, and not deal with the emotional roller coaster. Keep your mind at peace, and your mind will follow.
- So much has changed since you’ve been around. I’ve changed, You’ve changed - maybe we just ended up changing eachother. I wouldn’t trade the memories for the world. You’ve made me realize so much about myself I otherwise wouldn’t have known. I can’t wait to explore new & exciting things into the new decade with you. young forever - forever young.
- I can’t believe its been months since I’ve seen you. Over the phone, you made my heart smile with your rendition of a literary classic. It shows me how much you’ve grown without me. You don’t realize it now, but so many people love you unconditionally, and I hope that never changes for you. Don’t try to grow up too fast.
- Where would I honestly be without you in my life? I wouldn’t have done half the stupid, idiotic things without you. We’ve had FMLs & IMMDs, all in between TFLN. You remind me that living is worth while with you. You’re my second sober thought, even if you’re drunk. Firsts and Lasts will always be between us. I hope we stay this way for as long as the clock strikes 1:19.
I’ve been thinking about this for days: What did I learn this in the year 2009. It is to forgive, but to not forget.
"Secrets" is a daily word Yet does not exist— Muffled—it remits surmise— Murmured—it has ceased— Dungeoned in the Human Breast Doubtless secrets lie— But that Grate inviolate— Goes nor comes away Nothing with a Tongue or Ear— Secrets stapled there Will emerge but once—and dumb— To the Sepulchre—
- Emily Dickinson (1385)