two by two

theodorkittelsen.may

“May” by Theodor Kittelsen

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We’re climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change
~ Dave Matthews
♫ (Two Step) ♫

Neu-Anspach

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…half-timbered house at Freilichtmuseum Hessenpark…

Neu-Anspach is a lovely town in a bucolic setting here in Germany, and is where we are visiting Tim’s brother and his wife. It has become apparent to me that there is no time to sort through pictures and write blog posts as I go, so… I am taking notes and will write about our trip and share pictures sometime after we get back in June. Besides Germany, we will be visiting Venice and then heading north to Norway. Looking forward to connecting with you all when we get home!

sticks, bells, ribbons

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Strike up a measure, sprightly this way
And we’ll dance an idle hour away
Dance in the garden, dance on the lea
To a Morris music light and free

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Greenly call the rushes
Budding is the willow
Spring now is here and all is fair
And she rides on the south wind
Sweet and warm with May
And a wreathe of hawthornes deck her hair

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Why not dance when happy songs resound
In the trees and hedges all around
Say farewell to toil and work a day
For the dance will drive all cares away

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Tim’s father, Karl Freeman Rodgers, Jr. (1930-1978), was a Morris dancer. Sadly, he died of cancer shortly after Tim & I were married so I never had much of a chance to get to know him or to see him dance, but I think of him every May Day, especially when we manage to drag ourselves out of bed to watch the Westerly Morris Men dance at dawn on the campus of Connecticut College.

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In 1964, Karl was one of the founding members of the Pinewoods Morris Men:

Karl Rogers was elected Squire at the 1972 Ale. Karl had many talents: racer, musician, singer, teacher, and he was among the best at all of these. In his year as Squire, he founded the PMM Newsletter, and pushed hard for the establishment of a PMM-funded scholarship to Pinewoods Camp for prospective Morris dancers.
~ Pinewoods Morris Men

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From the first, then, the Newsletter was intended not only to report PMM activities, but also to exchange views and ideas among all Morris dancers. Karl’s success in establishing the format led directly to the creation of the American Morris Newsletter less than five years later.
~ Pinewoods Morris Men

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In November (1978), we lost a valued friend and founding member when Karl Rodgers died on Thanksgiving Day, after a long battle with cancer. In his year as Squire, he started the Newsletter, and introduced the idea of a Pinewoods Scholarship. The Newsletter flourished, and spun off the American Morris Newsletter; at the time Karl died, Fred Breunig was well on the way to establishing AMN as the premier forum for Morris matters in this country. The scholarship had been established in 1975; it was only fitting that it be renamed in Karl’s memory.
~ Pinewoods Morris Men

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I am born on May Morning – by sticks, bells, and ribbons
I am the sap – in the dark root I am the dancer – with his six fools
~ William Anderson
(The Green Man)

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Happy May Day!

home

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“A Pair of Shoes” by Vincent van Gogh

Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.
~ Robert Frost
(The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems)

In memory of my father – a couple of lines of poetry he often quoted…

sweet saliva

"Elderly Woman" by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) Italian Early Renaissance Painter

“Elderly Woman” by Domenico Ghirlandaio

The physical atoms that make up your body have been completely replaced in the past nine years. Yet you remain. You may feel the effects of age, but your spirit is always renewed in each and every moment. Remember this when you are tired or ill. Let each breath renew your spirit.
~ William Martin
(The Sage’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life)

What a long and strange month this has been.

It all started in North Carolina during a conversation with a nurse, a friend of Dima & Larisa’s, about the side effects of statin drugs. Suddenly I had a hunch that all the increasing pain in my muscles in recent years was probably not due to aging but was related to taking one of these drugs since 2011. I stopped taking it and within a week the pain was gone.

So my thoughts turned to another drug – amitriptyline. After years of suffering chronic migraine that only got worse when I reached perimenopause, I was sent to a neurologist, who gave me a prescription for a relatively high dose of amitriptyline as a preventative measure, coupled with a prescription for Zomig, to abort the headaches that broke through that first line of defense. That was in 2006 – nine years ago!

The side effects of amitriptyline are well-known to me. The dry mouth, constipation and weight gain – 50 lbs in 9 years! – were all nuisances worth putting up with to avoid a migraine. But now I started thinking, I’m well into menopause, perhaps I don’t need the amitriptyline so much any more. And so began my unpleasant journey through withdrawal symptoms. I cut my dose in half for a couple of weeks and then quit it completely. Perhaps this was too fast and a little too reckless.

The first thing I noticed was a blessing – saliva production! Oh what a precious gift to be able to moisturize my mouth naturally again! Talk about a feeling of restoration and renewal…

But the nausea, malaise and fatigue have been most unwelcome and difficult to live with. Still, I’m determined to continue and to make it through this miserable ordeal. I’ve been allowing myself extra sleep and long naps, with the idea of healing this body. Less than two weeks remain before our trip to Europe and I do finally seem to be feeling a little better each day. I’m not getting any more headaches than usual and the Zomig continues to take care of them, so that’s a relief. That result alone has made this experiment all worth it.

Last night while reading I came across the quote above. It made me smile at the mention of nine years because that’s how long my physical atoms have had to grow accustomed to amitriptyline. Also, it makes me happy to know that they will steadily be replaced with a new set of molecules over the next nine years. Lots of time for regeneration…

hidden treasures

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…artifact…

The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;-
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.
~ Charlotte Brontë
(The Poems of Charlotte Brontë [Currer Bell])

appearances

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There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy.
~ Hippocrates
(The Mystic Vision: Daily Encounters with the Divine)

Last week Tim & I spotted this great egret fishing for its lunch on the west bank of the Mystic River.

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Life flows on within you and without you.
~ George Harrison
♫ (Within You Without You) ♫

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The appearance is ever-changing, but the beingness is ever-present.
~ Joan Tollifson
(Painting the Sidewalk with Water)

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deep sleep

theodorkittelsen.april

“April” by Theodor Kittelsen

Deep sleep, anesthesia, and death are temporary. So-called matter or energy continues endlessly. Consciousness always wakes up again.
~ Joan Tollifson
(Painting the Sidewalk with Water)