Then and Now – Gettysburg and Beyond

Looking back,I first posted these words here in 2015 after an incident in Baltimore triggered violence and looting. I reposted them two years later, a month after this president took office and thinking about what it means to be American and what is worth fighting for.

Today is the anniversary of those words being said overlooking the battlefields of Gettysburg. Two minutes that sum up what is worth fighting for and why we must continue to fight for what we believe.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Advertisements

For the quote box – why poetry?

I do not believe that a violent imitation of the horrors of our times is the concern of poetry. Horrors are taken for granted. Disorder is ordinary. People in general take more and more “in their stride” — the hides grow thicker. I long for poems of an inner harmony in utter contrast to the chaos in which they exist. Insofar as poetry has a social function it is to awaken sleepers by other means than shock. — Denise Levertov

What You’ll See and Not See in 2017

So it’s a bizarre thing to be a blogger and an artist and writer. Part of the reason I blog is to share my process and work in progress along with whatever catches my eye or ends up in my camera. Sort of journal/diary-like but not too personal.

Truth be told though, part of being an artist and writer is getting your stuff out there into the public view and these days almost every single entry form says something like “cannot have been published, even on a personal website.” Just this year Quilt National relaxed its view on this but after all the years of such a big fuss being made over what constituted publication, I didn’t feel comfortable showing this quilt until it was done.

And frankly, the whole thing makes me laugh since on a good day I might get ten to twenty visitors and a few of them are my mother. So yeah, previous publication, big deal.

But, you have to play by the rules of others when you enter their arena. So you’ll probably be seeing more painting and photographs than poems etc for awhile anyway. More musings about process and life. Not like things will change that much but just in case you’re reading this and you’re wondering what’s going on.

Something Only I Knew?

If you’re like me, you often sneak off to Urban Dictionary and Google to uncover what various shorthand acronyms mean. I usually take a stab at figuring them out myself before looking. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes my guess is far off the mark.

The other day at work I said something like “don’t get snowed by that” and was met with puzzled looks and a “what does that mean?” I thought they meant what did I mean by the whole sentence but in fact they had never heard that bit of idiom. Ha! I said, usually I’m looking up those letters mixed in with tweets and posts to see what they mean – maybe you should look up ‘get snowed’!

We had a little discussion about it – snowed like “snowed in” covered with snow vs the cocaine-intoxicated-related references vs “snowed under“. I thought – wonder when that came about – surely it predates the cocaine-laden 80’s… Mainly though I was amazed that I could say something that made people wonder – what the heck does that mean???

for the record, from The Cambridge Dictionary, snowed:

snow  verb us
snow verb (DECEIVE)

[ T ] infml to deceive someone with charming, persuasive talk:
This guy is very smooth and can snow anybody.

Days Off

Yesterday Mom and I toodled around a bit. I wanted to wander around in the little corner of Boscov’s where they have really basic shirts and stuff, always for pretty cheap. Mom found a sweatshirt type jacket in a pretty color with a lovely embroidered design and I got an armful of long sleeve shirts for work and travel.

From there, we went to Eastern Mountain Sports so I could ponder the need for hiking type shoes/boots and the weight of said shoes. I’m really a Birkies sandals year round kinda gal, giving in to closed shoes as needed. And I recently got a pair of Birkies walking style shoes. Trainers as they say. But… November. Probably just cold and rainy. I think I’ll keep pondering. But times running out for breaking in anything new.

We stopped for lunch at Bountiful Bread while we were in Stuyvesant Plaza. Then we made a quick stop at the local art supply shop, Arlenes, so I could get a couple pads of the smaller watercolor paper I have been using.

Back at Mom’s house, we saw a deer eating Mom’s neighbor’s shrubs. Watched it for a long time before it bounded off to the ravine.

I stopped at Target and got a few things including a new Bodum electric kettle to replace my original Aroma one that died unexpectedly. Well, I had a $10 coupon burning a hole in my pocket. I really like my downstairs Bodum – it’s fast and quiet. Then to the store for some eggs, and a little cheese and some wine. That left plenty of time to finish my left over sandwich for dinner and get ready for the big event of the night, the debate!

Today I’m mainly looking at stuff about places to go and doing some reading for someone else and then I’ll have to settle down and get my stuff together for the workshop I’m taking in November.

How much stuff can your brain do?

I’m becoming convinced that quilting and the figuring and measuring and all that I’m doing in this part of it, knocks out whatever words might have come out of my brain. Getting anything down for today’s August Postcard Poetry Fest postcard was tough. So I wrote about this problem, LOL. Bleah, my brain is empty.

I have gotten eight lovely postcards so far, plus a bonus one from Mom sent while she was in Norwich VT (where we went for years to the Vermont Quilt Festival!). Thanks everyone! (And for the record, Mom’s postcard had a poem on the back!)

Increasing Your Vocabulary

Read the NYTimes, learn the occasional new word: