Letting the days go by

End of the year; end of a decade. Happy New Year!

(via Miss Moss)

(via google)

(via Flickr)


The Birds of Shakespeare

Found here (via LuxLotus).

“Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood.”
[Macbeth – III, 2]
And you have to try this Crow Haiku Generator.


Last Christmas of the War

Good to read and remember to avoid getting caught up in all the consumer frenzy.

Primo Levi from the New York Review of Books, here.

(image via Pinterest.)


Good Yule.

 (via BibliOdyssey)

(and here)

Some good Yule history in this NY Times article.
We plan to light a fire and toast the lunar eclipse (it was too cloudy to see anything here).

Musical accompaniment can be found here.


Dancing the dark away

Amazing dance and costume creations! p.s. This is not the same Nick Cave as in the Bad Seeds.

found via shabd.


Quote of the day

Mark Vernon on Oscar Wilde and individuality:
Wilde’s individuality, then, is a synthesis of his dependency and independence. He called himself an individualist, but that is different from the individualism of more recent times. The individualist does not ride roughshod over others, like a self-sufficient patrician in his carriage who shows callous disregard for the plebs. Rather, the individualist is in the gutter of the age too, only he or she is working with the materials to be found there, and creating a way of life that shines like a star for others.
via The School of Life. Image of November Meteors via here.


Eisenhower's Farewell Address

Close to the 50th anniversary of this speech, a box full of drafts, research, and memos have been found by the son of Eisenhower's speech writer, Malcolm Moos. The New Yorker has a good article on the significance of this find-- this speech was not hastily written but a carefully edited, well-thought-out and crafted speech.

One core idea dominates every version: the first draft described “the conjunction of a large and permanent military establishment and a large and permanent arms industry.” Policing it would require “all the organizing genius we possess” to insure “that liberty and security are both well served.” It added, “We must be especially careful to avoid measures which would enable any segment of this vast military-industrial complex to sharpen the focus of its power.” Through scores of revisions, that idea persisted. As delivered, the speech memorably read, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2010/12/20/101220ta_talk_newton#ixzz17jW4WT9e

See part of the speech here:


Fundraiser for Sister Wolf


Self-explanatory fundraiser for blogger Sister Wolf of Godammit, I'm Mad! Wendy Brandes makes beautiful and fun jewelry and she seems to have a heart of gold as well.


The Last Irascible

 an early self-portrait, circa 1938-40

There's a wonderful story about the artist Hedda Sterne in the New York Review of Books.  She is 100 years old this year. An early Abstract Expressionist, except that she wasn't. Hedda Sterne made art the way she wanted to and watched her then-husband Saul Steinberg become famous. She kept working. The marriage ended without rancor in the 1960s. She kept working. As she aged, her eyesight began to fail. She kept working. In 2004, she had a stroke. She kept working.
When I was young, I tried very hard. I wept every day in the studio because there was such a distance between what I wanted to do and what came out. Now I’m at peace, because of old age. It flows calmly now. I meditate for a long time. I work against ego. I think ego is an obnoxious bother. To a great extent I have lost all interest in this fiction, Hedda Sterne.
Go read this and be inspired. Read another interview from 1992 with Hedda Sterne here. Find out more about her work here.


Happy Birthday, Rainer Maria Rilke

Born in Prague on December 4, 1875.

 via here.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. (as translated by Stephen Mitchell)
from Letter Four (16 July 1903), Letters to a Young Poet

(sorry, couldn't resist.) 

(And a confession: when I was in high school, I thought Rilke was a woman.)


The Sopping Thursday

My god, it's been wet, dreary, and dark, even for Portland.

Definitely Edward Gorey weather.  So I'm hunkering down with some Irish breakfast tea and a piece of homemade Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread (recipe here. Make this, you will thank me).