Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A seed hidden

A tree of rain
a rain of pods
a train of seeds
a reign of trees

* * * * * * * * * *

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.
~Welsh Proverb

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden,
but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.
~Minnie Aumonier

If the shoe fits...

If you Google "shoes," you’ll get over 250 million hits. Most of them are merchants selling shoes, blogs reviewing shoes, and podiatrists informing us about the good and bad of certain shoe styles and why you need bunion surgery.

My mother wore heels when I was a girl. Like many women, she had numerous pairs of shoes in different colors to match specific outfits. Many of the heels had small heel tips and were not very stable. She turned her ankle more than once. One time, the small heel tip wedged in a furnace grate as she walked across it, and it yanked the entire heel off of her shoe.

I recall having black patent leather shoes for dress-up. And oxfords, arch supports, special insoles, moleskin cushions. No penny loafers, no "slip on" shoes. No "kicky" sandals. No flip-flops. For some of us, shoe shopping has never been fun.

Yet our feet are our feet, and mine have hiked many trails, climbed the Rockies, walked beaches, rushed through airports, followed some people, lead others. And every day C and I continue our trek through the streets of our neighborhood.

Out of necessity, I create my own fashion, where shoes become my accomplices for the greater journey.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.
– Carl Jung

Monday, January 29, 2007

The first house

The first house: the upstairs of a farm house. Two small rooms for a young couple with an infant.

Meanwhile, in a nearby town, he is building their real first house. It will have two bedrooms, a den with pine paneling. The kitchen counters will not have sharp corners, but rounded ones. The cabinets will be of pine. The living room will have a large plate glass window looking out on the street, hardwood floors, a small dining nook in a corner. There will be no attic, but there will be a roomy basement with an extra shower, sink, and a wall of wooden storage shelves. The house has pine green siding and white trim. This is how she remembers it. Her father designed and built it during his spare time.

But they left her father’s house and moved back to the farm house—her grandparents’ house. It would be over 20 years before he built another house. After he’d found another place to call home.

Over the years, she has bounced from house to house; often reflecting on the difference between a house and a home.

+ = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

A house is no home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
–Margaret Fuller

It always amazes me to think that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways.
--Glenn Close

One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home.
--Pam Brown

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Last night, a bead on a page, a bead that becomes liquid and grows, strings across like the web of an invisible spider. The strings connect with each other to become letter, which become words, which become sentences, ideas, what you may be reading now…

Last night, a bead, many beads inside a box become a percussion instrument, a shaker. The rhythm of the shaker connects with music, which combines to become new music, which connects with the movement in your body, in our bodies, in what we are dancing now…

Last night, a bead of an idea, a bead that becomes liquid and grows, strings between your head and your heart. The strings of web connect with those of another to become plan, which connects with others to become endeavor, which becomes new architecture, a new innovation rising before us…

Tonight a bead casts its liquid strand from my being to the web of the world…can you catch it?

( ) () ( ) () ( ) () ( ) () () ( ) () ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )( ) () ( ) () ( ) () ( () ( )

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
– William Shakespeare

We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.
– Sandra Day O’Connor

Friday, January 26, 2007

Doorway to a birthday

May you have
a colorful door that opens
into a place where
you feel at home –

A sturdy mailbox for
connections with others;

a window to catch sight
of what’s going on in the world;

tools to clear your path and
to water the seeds you plant;

a porch to
welcome strangers;

a comfy chair in which to rest
after a day’s work --

And, most of all,
may you always feel

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Every wall is a door.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Two sides of a mirror

If you want what visible reality
can give, you’re an employee.

If you want the unseen world,
you’re not living your truth.

Both wishes are foolish,
but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is
love’s confusing joy.


* * * * * * * * * * *

My work is like a diary. To understand it,
you have to see how it mirrors life.
– Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A tangle of questions

A tangle of words, of thoughts, of circumstances. The "busy-ness" of too much, then not enough. If you find an end, grab it, follow it through. Is this what Jackson Pollock knew as he interlaced webs and lines and loops curling deeper into that space between paint and canvas?

A tangle of hair, of brambles, of dendrites while dealing with a vexing problem. Is the answer in mapping a way out of the maze, or seeking the sparks that ignite within?

What music goes with this?

===== ==== ==== === === ==

The first key to wisdom is assiduous and frequent questioning.
– Peter Abelard

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In a cat's eye

According to an article on Yahoo!, researchers are experimenting with "bionic eyes" for cats. Abyssinians sometimes suffer from a genetic disease which slowly destroys their retinas, leaving them blind. A similar disease affects some humans. So researchers are implanting special light sensitive silicone chips on the retinas of the cats’ eyes, and will be learning how to adjust and improve them, in hopes of helping both humans and cats.

How would the world look through bionic eyes? Shadows, light? Would shapes be foggy, blurry, clear?

How do cats view the world? How do we appear to them? And how would life change if, for one day, we saw everything around through the eyes of a cat…


In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats -- English proverb

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sacred cows

They come out at twilight—bovine spies of the night. Here’s one I caught planting an audio device in the chimney. The residents weren’t there, so I couldn’t warn them, and if I dared to leave them a note, the spies would surely destroy it, as they would any cud.

No, it was better that I "shot and ran" before they could nab me. I had to do some fancy footwork to lose them, for they were hot on my trail for quite a while. Fortunately, I know the neighborhood well; the alleys, the side doors that are unlocked, back yard gates that are left unlatched…

Our neighbors on either side of us have been wise to bovine spies for quite some time now. They’ve installed motion lights on their roofs—no cow wants to be caught like a deer in the headlights. So we are safe—for now.

What, you might ask, are the spies up to? A scheme to take back their milk? To blackmail vegetarians who secretly eat veal? A plan to take beef-eaters hostage? Bovine dominion over all? (don’t laugh; they’ve already taken India) Authorities aren’t sure. And the cows aren’t talking.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Cows have no business in horseplay.
–Jamaican proverb

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
– Mark Twain

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.
- Joan Gussow

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What souls desire

What souls desire arrives.
We are standing up to our necks
in the sacred pool. Majesty is here.

The grains of the earth take in something
they do not understand.

Where did this come from?
It comes from where your longing comes.

From which direction?
As ripeness comes to fruit.

This answer lights a candle
in the chest of anyone who hears.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Reflections and clouds

Cloud albedo: A measure of the reflectivity of a cloud - higher values mean that the cloud can reflect more solar radiation. – Wikipedia

What would it be like to ride these clouds? A rollercoaster? A parasail? Or soft, airy, like feathers? Would they loop you around and back, or send you to some new place? Which would you choose?
And how do you reflect on the reflections of clouds?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We'd never know how high we are,
till we are called to rise;
and then, if we are true to plan,
our statures touch the sky.
-- Emily Dickinson

Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.
-- Confucius

Piano song

She slides open the doors of her grandparents’ player piano, fingers the felt, the hammers, the tuning pins. Reaches down and strums the heavy strings, presses the piano keys so she can see how they work. Like magic.

Piano lessons, yes. Started at five; before she was taught to read. But the lessons and dreary teachers suck the life out of it. The only time piano really becomes alive is when she creates her own pieces. Pieces about dreams. Music of thunder, lightning, rain. A composition about the name of a lake she saw on a freeway sign. Songs about music she heard on the radio. Songs and songs—until the voice of her mother: "Stop playing around; practice your lesson!"

She later teaches herself guitar. No scowling teachers; no assignments of music she doesn't want to play.

But the piano remained a faithful friend, waiting. And now she plays her own music again. Coming back home after all these years.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.
--Joan Didion

Life is like a piano... what you get out of it depends on how you play it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Swings with which to fly

When I was a kid, I loved to swing. At the rural school I attended, the swing sets were made with old power poles with a heavy metal bar that ran across the top, and stood taller than a two-story house. Thick chains "tied" the wooden seats to the posts. If you had enough energy and strength, you could really soar, but you had to stand on the swing and really pump to do it. Or do a combo with a friend, where one of you would sit and the other stand and take turns pumping. It felt so powerful to swing so far and high that you could almost touch the clouds…

My grandfather made my first swing; he tied it to the giant Blue Ash tree in our front yard. This swing had a green wooden seat and was attached by two thick, scratchy ropes. It wasn’t quite as tall as the swings at school, but I could still fly.

Later, my mother bought a pre-fab metal swing set with a slide. The swings had small chains, yellow metal seats that burned your legs during the summer. It was so small compared to the swings at school or the swing my grandfather had made—which was taken down when the new swing set arrived.

The swing set at school was eventually taken down, too. And replaced by newer, safer playground equipment, with short swings that had seats shaped like cups. No more combo swinging; no more soaring far into the blue of a spring sky.
One can only hope they’ve been given other wings with which to fly…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.
~Cesar Pelli

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? - it is the same the angels breathe.
~Mark Twain, "Roughing It"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Listening for the stars

A headline on MSNBC news: "Superstrings might sing in gravity waves."

The article goes on to say:
"String theory posits that hidden dimensions are tightly wound in strings of elementary particles. An offshoot of this theory suggests that some such strings can form into narrow tubes of energy stretched across vast distances by the expansion of the universe. These theoretical cosmic superstrings, which researchers described as ultra-thin tubes filled with ancient vacuum created in the early universe, can coil into galactic-sized, vibrating loops that emit gravitational waves as they decay into oblivion.

"Sensing these vibrations would add the soundtrack to the beautiful imagery of astronomy that we are used to seeing," cosmologist Craig Hogan said. "All this time, we have been watching a silent movie."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I was a kid, I loved sky-gazing on summer nights. Because there were few lights in the country, the view on a clear night was brilliant with stars and twinkling planets.

A few times my father joined me, pointing out constellations: Orion the hunter, the Seven Sisters (Pleiades), the M-shape of Queen Cassiopeia’s Chair, and the Big Dipper. "Follow the edge of the cup and it points to the North Star," he’d say. "It’s useful to know, in case you ever get lost."

On nights I couldn’t sleep, I tiptoed from window to window as the rest of them slept, searching for the familiar constellations, and listening for the North Star.

* * * * * * * *

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
--Vincent Van Gogh

Check out the article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16653829/from/ET/

The meaning of minimal...

This could be a painting, sort of a "minimal" Mark Tobey. Minimal—where less is sometimes more. A minimal day; where there aren’t ten things to multi-task at once. Minimal actually means "least, smallest, the smallest amount." So, I’m stretching it a little.

Some older retirees lead minimal lives—call them on the phone and you’ll get the TV blaring in the background.

"Could you please turn your TV down?" you ask.
"WHAT?" they yell back.

So minimal has to be quality.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I was 17, a magnificent ice storm hit the Midwest. Ice coated everything. Trees bent, misshapen, branches encased in ice tubes. Limbs and whole trees splintered from the weight. Crashed down on streets, roads, and houses. Electric lines down.

That afternoon, I walked outside with my camera, an old Argus my father had given me. All was oddly silent, stilled by the ice; all white and silver under a pearl gray sky. I roamed around the farm yard, my boots crunching through the encrusted snow.

Suddenly sun rays burst from behind the clouds and everything shimmered, now sparked with tiny bits of color. A thousand rainbows set free. Scenes everywhere: pine needles flickering, icicles dancing from the pump handle and roof line, branch tips quivering, fence wire vibrating.
I shot photos quickly, but got only a few before the sun disappeared again, leaving me in silver-white silence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dawn itself is the most neglected masterpiece of the modern world
– R. Murray Schafer

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blue shadows

Winter shadows, like a ladder, piano keys, train tracks into the blue. How snow shadows look blue, unlike shadows during other seasons. Blue with cold, singing the blues, blue of winter.

Long ago during a blue January, she rode with her brother through the countryside. The sky, blue, sunshine glistening off the snow and icicles suspended from the edges of every roof. She took a photo of a plowed field, the blue-white curves, curling back and around. The form, the shape, the way it turned back on itself, like they would when they finally returned home. Father was already gone; moved to another planet--this one, of mountains. He’d left behind the farm and the plowed fields; the soil that had turned and curved into despair and hatred after so many years. And left them all suspended, like icicles melting in the sun.

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There is no blue without yellow and without orange -- Vincent Van Gogh

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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., check out "Black Gandhi" (and more) by Heidi Martin at: www.myspace.com/heidimartinmusic

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Unlike this photo, my great-aunt’s home décor was varying shades of beige; taupe couch, tan carpet, cream walls, fawn drapes. This from the aunt who in her younger days painted scenes of brilliant red poppies, tropical islands, gardens bursting with spring blooms, vivid orange sunsets. Wrestling with color, as if she couldn’t allow it in the living room, but could only free it to live on canvas.

Later she gave up her paints, stored her paintings, turned her back on color—except for her garden, where she grew red tomatoes, deep purple eggplant, green beans, yellow peppers. Gleaming color invading her back yard, and later, her kitchen counters. "Here," she’d say, thrusting bags of produce into our arms, "take this. It’s too much for me."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
~ Alice Walker

In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.
~ Marc Chagall

Check out: http://www.quiltsofgeesbend.com/

The art of critique

Now here’s some neighborhood art that takes a stand. An object that opens a philosophical discussion of solitude versus loneliness. The simplicity of its design emphasizes the primitive nature of human kind, and the kitschy red knob on the top; a nod to our fascination with retro culture. And being exhibited curbside—"found art"—with no indication of its creator, it is the ultimate example of outsider art. It asks the question: What does it mean to be off-center?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while milking a cow.
– Grant Wood

I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.
- Marcel Duchamp

I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like.
- Gelett Burgess

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cloud 9

Woke up to several inches of snow—and still snowing. But in the afternoon, the sun burst through, melted enough snow just to make it icy. And this cloud glided slowly across the sky. A ship across a sea of blue. A ship, a barge, a whale, a lizard, a reaching hand. Watch it slowly morph into sunset, into the night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The sky is the soul of all scenery. It makes the earth lovely at sunrise and splendid at sunset. In the one it breathes over the earth a crystal-like ether, in the other, a liquid gold.
~ Thomas Cole

Neighborhood secrets

Walking the neighborhood at dusk, watching the scenes through house windows; a couple arguing, another kissing, a tiny dog barking at a window, a man walking across the room, a mother soothing a child, TVs flickering neon. Smells of grilled steak, sautéed garlic and onions, stir fry.

And then you hear music. Not a radio, nor CD. No, it’s a band, a garage band, jamming. Practicing for a gig, cutting a CD, keeping their eye on the club marquees, dreaming of their name in lights.

But for now, it’s a secret, the neighborhood secret. A secret waiting to be told.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The real secret of success is enthusiasm
-- Walter Chrylser

Secrets are made to be found out with time
-- Charles Sanford

[In honor of another fine visit with Mr. Sands.]

Monday, January 08, 2007

Life with purple chair

On a Monday, start with a purple chair. Sit in it with your red hat on, holding your cup of green tea, nodding pleasantly to passersby, even if they stare.

Eventually, you’ll want a cushion, maybe repair that broken arm. Set up a small table with an umbrella next to it. Read the daily news, or a good book as you sip your tea, or maybe it’s a latte by this time.

Huddle under the umbrella as the rain steadily falls around you, write poetry in your blue notebook, have serious conversations on your cell phone. Text message your lover. Drink a good cabernet or single malt scotch.

Watch the sun set, then fold up the umbrella as the stars pop out into the sky. Tune into your ipod, and let music take you where it will, perhaps into a land of golden guitars, piano poetry, saxophones, trumpets, drums, a singer of honey or smoke or buzz.

And in your dreams you dismantle the purple chair, and rebuild it again and again, until you can call it your own.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When fortune calls, offer her a chair.
~ Yiddish proverb

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wheebarrows and beauty

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

~ William Carlos Williams

This isn’t quite Williams’ wheelbarrow and there are no white chickens in the yard. But the barrow is full of green, ready, even in winter.

There seems to be a dispute as to whether the first wheelbarrow was invented in Greece, China, or the Roman Empire. Maybe the idea channeled several places simultaneously, an "archetypal" inspiration.

The wheelbarrow on the farm where I grew up was not the picturesque barrow of Williams or this photo. It was cast iron with a large rubber tire, and was heavy and awkward to push. Its only colors were streaks of rust in varying shades. An industrial barrow for industrial times, when beauty was often considered a worthless frill.

Perhaps that’s why so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
- Chinese proverb

The importance of a leaf

Snowfall this morning, and we walk softly through the white.
Bouncing tracks of squirrels pattern the sidewalks around us,
human feet leave the designs on the soles of their shoes—stripes, curves, stars,
and the faithful dog leaves its tracks alongside.

A mother and her little daughter build a small snowman;
tangerines for eyes, carrot nose, broccoli mouth (mustache?), celery limbs.
It stares oddly as we pass by.

And then the sun bursts through the clouds
and the snow becomes a million mirrors, then a million drops of water;
glistening beads caught by a leaf
now magnify the wonder of the day
as we pass by.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day.
-Kenneth Patton

Birth, life, and death -- each took place on the hidden side of a leaf.
-Toni Morrison

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cactus and snow

Another dusting of snow this morning. This juxtaposition intrigues me; the soft, feathery snow on the thorny cactus.

It seems days are like that sometimes. The soft, the light, the humorous at one turn, and the scratch of thorns at the next. Laugh while you’re bleeding. (Could be a line from a song; maybe it already is…)

But cacti are very resilient plants; able to survive in deserts. The prickly spines are actually the leaves of the cactus. And their stems (bodies) are built to store water. An example of success.

And it’s the weekend, and C has made brownies, so the house smells of chocolate on this Friday night…

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The world is full of cactus, but we don't have to sit on it. ~Will Foley

Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles. ~Alex Karras

Friday, January 05, 2007


What is this? Is it a real object or an illusion?

Illusion is an old word, from 1340, and can mean "a mocking, jesting irony," or "to play with," "deceptive appearance", or later, used as illusionist, refers to magicians, conjurers.

Is a photographer or an artist a conjurer? Is an actor? A writer? A politician?

Does an illusion curve and curl around the truth, mirror it, or shadow it? Can you peel back an illusion until you hit reality, or does it just vanish?

Imagine a wall of mirrors in which you see yourself continually going back further, further. Dozens of you all moving in synchronicity. What if you could reach into the mirror and pull a few of yourselves through? Would they be like clones, or would they be different aspects of you? Who would be real; who would be an illusion?

And what if they didn’t want to go back into the mirror? Is Pandora’s box an illusion?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one – Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A crossing of shadows

A shadow. Something seen so clearly, yet so elusive. Can’t avoid your own shadow unless you step into darkness, becoming one with it.

Magical shadows with special powers, to slide in where a physical body can’t go and do what its owner bids it do. Or shadows that take on their own lives and fight their owners to remain free. Many stories and games include free-spirited, magical shadows, through alchemy of the imagination.

Our earth and moon play shadow games, eclipsing one another from time to time as they perform their celestial dance.

Is an echo an aural shadow? When you hear someone read a poem or play a ballad on piano; also aural shadows? Could a drawing be a shadow image of the artist’s state of mind? What is the taste of something? The flavor of deep chocolate upon the tongue, the fragrance of fresh rain. They only last momentarily, then are memories. Is that shadow? Is the memory of a loved one’s caress a shadow? Is memory sensory shadow?

Shadows are mirror images or stretched-out distortions, combinations of unrecognizable shapes, confusing us all.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one. A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

~ Wallace Stevens

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The art of flying ties

You’ve heard of fly tying—well this is tie flying. The latest from the "6th Street Dude," whose larger-than-life paper mache puppets I featured on this blog during October.

As I stopped to take a look at this installation, he burst out of the front door (even while in the midst of a cell phone conversation) and flipped a switch.

Voila! Performance art!

The attraction of the virtuoso for the public is very like that of the circus for the crowd. There is always the hope that something dangerous will happen.
– Claude Debussy

Monday, January 01, 2007

Through the doorway

Well, the holidays are over, spent. Now it’s on to the new year.

According to Wikipedia, January is named for Janus, the god of the doorway, or "the beginning" in Roman mythology, which makes January the door to the new year.

Historical names for January include Ianuarius (Roman); Wulf-monath, which means wolf-month (Saxon); and Wintarmanoth (winter / cold month), as it was called by Charlemagne. In Finnish, the month is called tammikuu, meaning "month of the oak"; and in Czech, it’s called leden, meaning ice month.

Other uses of January: There’s January Jones, actress; it’s the name of a pop-rock band from the U.K.; a blog featuring book reviews (januarymagazine.com); and a blog featuring art news and reviews (januaryblog.com). It’s also the month when C, my sister, and my mom celebrate their birthdays, all Aquarians.

So, through the doorway of January we go, day by day, step by step, hoping for the best.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Every doorway, every intersection has a story.
~ Katherine Dunn