Weekly Photo Challenge: Color/Colour

The earth has music

“The earth has music for those who listen.”-George Santayana


“Flowers…are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who contemplate

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature –the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”-Rachel Carson



Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

An engagement, a marriage, a fantastical blooming: this apartment building has silently witnessed it all. After six years, we are moving. After six years, we are ready to go forward. Into the next phase of our lives. Into the beautiful unknown. After six years, we are saying goodbye to our flat, our neighborhood, our first real home as a couple. The future awaits, somewhere across the river.

Exit Sign

Exit Sign

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”-Kierkegaard

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”-Poe

“I don’t fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.”-Patti Smith

My Velveteen Chair, or: Why I’ve Given Up on the Idea of a Perfectly Curated Reading Nook

I’d like to think that I’m a relaxed, purposeful, and serene-looking reader,  a leisurely woman out of a nineteenth-century painting. Cushioned in velvet and satin, a pile of books, a pot of tea, and a vase of flowers artfully arranged on an elegantly draped table near-to-hand. Like this, more or less:

Louise Tiffany Reading by Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1888

Louise Tiffany Reading by Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1888

My delusions are so humble, aren’t they? The reality is a bit different. Okay, considerably different. For starters, it involves backaches and too much dog hair. I live in a sea of language, a blizzard of words. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. The former is done at the desk in my studio with neatness, solitude, and organization. The latter is a haphazard affair. I hunker down with a book or three in, on, or beside whatever can pass for a seat: my swinging sixties swivel chair; the bathtub; my too-lumpy bed; on the dining room floor; or, somewhat claustrophobically, on the couch crushed beneath a pile of scratchy dog paws and icy snouts. My solution? A dedicated reading space, of course!

We’ve been in our huge flat for 2 1/2 years, and my studio has been used as such from the get-go. Why am I so late to the party with this? I’ve always been a wallflower but this, this, is ridiculous. I spend far too much time on Pinterest to be ignorant of or  immune to the sweet siren call of The Perfectly Curated Reading Nook. The concept makes my heart sing with girlish enthusiasm. The effort required to make this over-the-top idea come true? Not so much. In fact, it makes me think of this:

John Everett Millais-Ophelia

My girl Ophelia knows how I feel.

What’s a writer-reader with bohemian taste, an absurd imagination, and lazy tendencies to do in lieu of actual work? Drag an old chair that has been in the family for 40+ years to the middle of her studio and call it a day.

Communing with the chair in the late 1970s.

Before: Communing with the chair in the late 1970s.

The Gold Chair is older than I am. It’s now missing a few buttons and is slightly threadbare in spots; it reminds me of a passage in The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) by Margery Williams: Continue reading

Daily Diversion #70: A Life of Lumpy Leisure

When I’m not writing or reading, I’m taking snaps of the boys. Crosley and Duncan are truly my wet-nosed, slobbering, warm-eared Daily Diversions. Cros shows up on the blog more frequently because he spends most of his day sleeping on various lumpy things, his head on a pillow. It hasn’t been tested but I’m confident that Duncan has enough energy to power, at the very least, a four slice toaster. He doesn’t sit still for more than a few seconds. Today’s diversion features you-know-who, doing you-know-what. Imagine that.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."-Groucho Marx

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”-Groucho Marx