never found again

“In the Boat” by Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939) Russian Impressionist Painter
“In the Boat” by Konstantin Korovin

I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of reading something in a book which was significant to him, but which he could never find again. Sure he is that he read it there; but no one else ever read it, nor can he find it again, though he buy the book, and ransack every page.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson)

out flew the moon

KayNielsen.eastofthesun29
illustration by Kay Nielsen

Now, after a while, the Foster-mother had to go on another journey; and, before she went, she forbade the Lassie to go into those two rooms into which she had never been. She promised to beware; but when she was left alone, she began to think and to wonder what there could be in the second room, and at last she could not help setting the door a little ajar, just to peep in, when – Pop ! out flew the Moon.
~ from The Lassie & Her Godmother
(East of the Sun & West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North)

faerie for colorful autumn foliage

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
Autumnal Fortress created by Kristen Thornton
10.12.12 ~ Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut

Faellan is the faerie for colorful autumn foliage. His name comes from Old English and means an abundance of leaves, aka the fall! The many colors and textures of the leaves inspire the painters in so many ways. As the leaves turn from green to gold, they capture the creative imaginations at several stages. Whether held aloft in the tree top, dancing fancifully through the autumn air, or carpeting the ground below, Faellan’s leaves are the season’s showstoppers.
~ Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

Blind folk see the fairies,
Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
We do not wish to see.
They need not seek enchantment
From solemn, printed books,
For all about them as they go
The fairies flutter to and fro
With smiling, friendly looks.
~ Rose Fyleman
(White Magic)

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

Deaf folk hear the fairies
However soft their song;
‘Tis we who lose the honey sound
Amid the clamor all around
That beats the whole day long.
But they with gentle faces
Sit quietly apart;
What room have they for sorrowing
While fairy minstrels sit and sing
Close to their listening heart?
~ Rose Fyleman
(White Magic)

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

The fairies have never a penny to spend,
They haven’t a thing put by,
But theirs is the dower of bird and of flower
And theirs are the earth and the sky.
And though you should live in a palace of gold
Or sleep in a dried-up ditch,
You could never be as poor as the fairies are,
And never as rich.
~ Rose Fyleman
(Fairies & Chimneys)

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

precious resources

italian-girl-with-flowers-1886.jpg!Large
“Italian Girl with Flowers” by Joaquín Sorolla

If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature. Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination, – health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul.
~ John Burroughs
(Leaf & Tendril)

peach season

9.5.11 ~ Gales Ferry, Connecticut
9.5.11 ~ Gales Ferry, Connecticut

One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.
~ Jacqueline Kelly
(The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate)

Today we went to Holmberg Orchards to pick a few peaches for Tim. There were some nectarines ready to be plucked, too – lucky me!

9.5.11 ~ Gales Ferry, Connecticut
9.5.11 ~ Gales Ferry, Connecticut

On the way home Tim spotted a gnarly old tree sporting a few mushrooms!

9.5.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
9.5.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

And after a lot of fuss and bother in the kitchen, a portion of homemade peach cobbler for my honey!

9.5.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
9.5.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

sailboats and seagulls

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Earlier this year I read an utterly fascinating book, A Time for Everything, a historical fiction by multiple award-winning Norwegian author Karl O. Knausgård, a story unlike any I’ve ever read before. This is how the publisher describes his most unusual story:

Antinous Bellori, a boy of eleven, loses his way in the woods in the mountains behind his home. Unseen, he stumbles upon two glowing beings, an event that leads him to devote the rest of his life to the study of angels. Bellori reinterprets moments throughout the Bible where men confront angels: the expulsion from the garden, Cain and Abel, Lot in Sodom, Noah’s isolation before the flood, Ezekiel’s visions. . . .  Through his profound glimpses, Karl Knausgaard—an extraordinary storyteller and thinker—explores with spellbinding insight how the nature and roles of these intermediaries between man and the divine have shifted throughout history.

If I had to sum it up in a sentence I would say it is about the nature and evolution of angels and what day-to-day life might have been like for the various Bible characters mentioned above. And without spoiling the story, if you want to read it, I will just say that after reading it I will never look at seagulls quite the same way again.

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Saturday evening we went down to the beach for a hot dog and a sunset. As the various seagulls came by to see if we were offering to share any of our food — we weren’t, it’s not good for them, or us, for that matter — I studied them closely and kept asking them if it was true, what Knausgård says of them. Tim kept reminding me it was fiction. He doesn’t yet appreciate the power of this amazing storyteller, nor will he unless he reads it for himself. But he probably won’t because I’ve chewed his ear off about it for a couple of months now! The seagulls only looked at me as if the question I was asking them was far too personal and none of my business.

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

While I was busy photographing the uncooperative beings an alluring schooner appeared on the horizon. I’m pretty sure it was the Mystic Whaler. We watched her approach to the Thames River, spellbound. Many years ago my aunt and I sailed on her for a two-night cruise to Block Island…

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

There were other boats around, too. The Hel-Cat II, with the dubious distinction of being New England’s largest party fishing boat. Sport fishing, that is. And on board there was a party well under way, even before she reached Long Island Sound, music and revelry blaring across the water…

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Then there was the ferry, coming in from Long Island…

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

And then a smaller sailboat appeared, hugging the shore, stirring up memories for Tim of sailing with his brother in Provincetown Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

As the sailboat approached New London Harbor Lighthouse, across the Thames River, the light came on for the evening, “three seconds white alternating with three seconds darkness, with red sector.”

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

And then the little sailboat passed by the setting sun. Sweet dreams, dear sailors!

8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach
8.20.11 ~ Eastern Point Beach

After sunset, on the way home, we saw an amazing sight, a flock of about two dozen great egrets resting in the trees in the middle of the salt marsh, seemingly all spread out to be equidistant from each other, so far apart they wouldn’t all fit in one picture… At first glance we thought someone had draped white cloths on the trees. The pictures are disappointing…

8.20.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
8.20.11 ~ Avery Pond, Groton, Connecticut

But it was a sight to behold and a surprise ending to a lovely evening!

Some believe seagulls embody the souls of sailors lost at sea. Karl Ove Knausgård has some other ideas…

healing back pain naturally

7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
Tim calls this the Mr. Rochester house, Thornfield Hall
7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

It’s been a while since I’ve done any blogging, but my back has been getting better by the day. I spent a good deal of time reading Healing Back Pain Naturally: The Mind-Body Program Proven to Work, and Extraordinary Healing: The Amazing Power of Your Body’s Secret Healing System, both by Art Brownstein, MD. The good doctor’s advice and suggestions were just what I needed and were taken to heart.

One thing learned was that quite often a back will act up after a period of stress. That was certainly true with this episode. On the last day of June I reluctantly went in for a routine mammogram. But there have been three false alarms before, when “something suspicious” was seen and I had to go back for a stereotactic biopsy and ultrasounds. Each time there were days and days of waiting, not knowing, and all the waiting and uncertainty made worse by my family history. Happy to report that nothing new was seen on this mammogram, a sigh of relief for a change! But until I knew the result, my muscles must have been tighter than knots, and then trying to distract myself from anxiety by sitting and slouching in front of the computer for a couple of days – it was a perfect recipe for back pain!

So, now I’ve been introduced to my body’s healing system and we’ve been getting to know each other very well. It’s amazing what a shift in thinking can do for our bodies.

7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
the front door ~ 7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Yesterday the kids came over for dinner! Larisa & Dima are settled into their New York City digs and came up here for the day, and Nate & Shea will probably be here in town another month or so before they’re off to Georgia for good. We had such a good time! For some reason it seems that on both sides of our families it’s the men who are the ones who love to cook, and it’s proving true with the next generation, too. Dima made the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had, the filling had avocado, cilantro and lime in it, and a tiny strip of bacon on top. And Nate prepared a fruit salad for dessert, with cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, mint leaves and lime zest. Larisa and Tim did their best trying to help me salvage a creamy red pepper sauce (for the pasta) gone horribly wrong – my ineptitude in the kitchen is legendary – I should just buy it in a jar… And Shea kept everyone happy with a mixed drink (I forgot the name of it!) she learned how to make while they were on their cruise.

7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
something in the back yard ~ 7.4.11 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

We’ve had a couple of little thunderstorms and plenty of gloominess and rain today. Wish I could send some of this rain to the places that need it more than we do here…

a life story

“Symphony in White No. 3″ by James McNeill Whistler

Gather up your telegrams
Your faded pictures, best laid plans
Books and postcards, 45′s
Every sunset in the sky

Carry with you maps and string, flashlights
Friends who make you sing
And stars to help you find your place
Music, hope and amazing grace

Maybe what we leave
Is nothing but a tangled little mystery
Maybe what we take
Is nothing that has ever had a name

~ Mary Chapin Carpenter
♫ (Your Life Story) ♫