Thursday, May 30, 2013

flock-swooping in NYC

In Manhattan the other day as we approached Central Park, a large group of birds was swooping up, around, forward and back again, several times; it was so fascinating and I really tried to get a good photo of them. This was the best I could do, but they were closer than appears here. The next day I encountered this passage in the book I've been reading:

"The 'flock-swoop', as I think of it, is one of the magnificent natural sights of the city. And it is a sight that repeats itself daily, even hourly, in every sector of every city - in high-rent and low-rent districts, over empty lots and between skycrapers. Even as I write this, my peripheral vision notices motion: out the great long windows of Columbia University's library the white of the sky highlights a flock of pigeons arcing gracefully south to land on the ledges above the windows."

                                       -   Alexandra Horowitz,   On Looking

This book is so interesting - Alexandra Horowitz goes for a walk around a block in each chapter with a different "expert" - and she learns to notice different things, because everybody's got their "thing" they're interested in, don't they?

"Watching the birds soar, pitch and roll, and feeling happier just observing them, it occurred to me that one of the reasons that it is hard to pinpoint the function of this behavior may be that it is functionless. And the most classic functionless behavior, seen in all mammals and most vertebrates, is play. Might these birds be soaring for the mere pleasure of it, a communal recess run to nowhere in particular?"
                                                     -  On Looking  (chapter entitled, The Animals Among Us)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a day in New York City

Our cousins live there, and Sunday we went to see them.

The train station

and here I am waiting for the train.

We went to Mass at St. Patrick's,

and then headed up Fifth Avenue, my favorite street.

You can walk pretty far in New York without realizing it, and soon enough we found ourselves in Central Park.

Sir Walter Scott was there. (so was Robert Frost)

The Park has entertainers everywhere you turn and they kept us occupied but eventually we hopped on a downtown bus for a delicious dinner at a place called Basta Pasta (go there!), then took a cab back toward Grand Central.

But first my cousins insisted we see Chelsea Market and taste all the flavored olive oils and specialty salts. I splurged on a small jar of Murray River salt, which I later found out is from Australia!

my stylish cousin

Loads of fresh air and smiles. (some photos by my brother)

Monday, May 27, 2013

resurrection and life

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
   You tell me of our future that you planned:
   Only remember me, you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
   For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
   Than that you should remember and be sad.

Remember  -  Christina Rossetti

Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise. Martha said to him, I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day. Jesus told her, I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

                                                       - John 11:21-26

Memorial Day blessings!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

the music lover

listening to Sinatra and Jobim - my absolute favorite collection of hot weather music.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

far better than I imagined

I recently put together a quilt top - here it is in strips, before being sewn together. My intent was to use greens, blues and yellows, with a bit of warm pink here and there. As I was cutting I wondered how it would look with so many pea greens next to cooler greens, aquas near dark blues. I had my doubts. But one thing I've realized I'm not good at, is imagining how something is going to look.

Anna has many times exclaimed over the transformation which takes place after quilting - how the whole thing seems to come alive. But I'm already amazed at how pretty this is  - so much better than I imagined!  It's off to the side while I sew something else, but not for long; I look forward to finishing this patchwork quilt.

Monday, May 20, 2013

starting again

Well, the other evening I had big piles of fabric fall down on me, off the shelf. I started to put it back, then just pulled it all down, folded it neatly, and made new piles.

It wasn't the first time. After working all day, it was the last thing I wanted to do. But it's so nice and neat now.  You know how it is - you take pieces down, and before long the whole thing is messed up and looks terrible. So I throw it on the floor and start again. Oh, may the neatness last!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

joy that never ends

O Spirit of the living Lord,
You blow across the waiting world:
You cleanse and heal earth's wounded face
With balm poured from the cross of grace.

O Spirit, from Christ's heart thrust through,
You wash parched earth with welcome dew;
You wake to life the buried seed,
You give new bread: the starved you feed.

O Spirit, burning in us still:
You melt the frozen, warm the chill;
You cool us in the day's long heat;
You send, at nightfall, rest most sweet.

O threefold God, this festive day
Send forth your Spirit as we pray.
Before you the redeemed world bends:
You are the joy that never ends.

( Pentecost, by Istvan Dorffmaister)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"peaceful resting places"

"[When] the spirit from on high is poured out on us. Then will the desert become an orchard and the orchard regarded as a forest. Right will dwell in the desert and justice abide in the orchard. Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and security.

 My people will live in peaceful country, in secure dwellings and peaceful resting places."

                                                     -  Isaiah 32: 15-18   (reading from the vigil of Pentecost)

Friday, May 17, 2013

cherry blossom retrospective

The blooms on our lovely tree are almost gone by, but I took many photos with different cameras and using different effects -

So, one more time

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

pretty floral shelf paper

Now that I've put away the Cuddle Duds and tights, there's breathing room in my drawers again.  I'm determined to empty each one, give it a wipe and freshly arrange.

Well, hello shelf paper -  I'd forgot you were in there!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

the best kind of friend to have

My friend Viola called me after Mass last Sunday - had I left my prayer book at church? Well, yes - I guess I had! How she figured out it was mine, I can't guess.

She brought it right over.

photo by Viola

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

clean window, crisp curtains

And this is for Val, whose birthday was today, and who seems to find hearts wherever she goes -

Monday, May 6, 2013

too many radishes

for two people.

But I seem to forget that every now and then.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday praises

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
Bright seraphs, cherubim and thrones,
Raise the glad strain, Alleluia!
Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers,
Virtues, archangels, angels' choirs:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O higher than the cherubim,
More glorious than the seraphim,
Lead their praises, Alleluia!
Thou bearer of th'eternal Word,
Most gracious, magnify the Lord..
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
Ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
All saints triumphant, raise the song.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O friends, in gladness let us sing,
Supernal anthems echoing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One..
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

because rough winds may shake the darling buds of May

and "spring's" lease hath all too short a date, you can expect pictures of this tree often until it's "fair sometime declines".

These were taken today in the last golden moments of afternoon

and you have this person to thank, who said to me yesterday, Why aren't you out here all the time with your camera?

Yes, you were right.

and thankful for Shakespeare's eighteenth sonnet

Friday, May 3, 2013

what I came home to

I don't know how I'm going to resist putting up pictures of this tree every day it's blooming!  Yes, I guess this is an ad for an ornamental cherry: beautiful shape, grows pretty fast, lovely smooth bark, breathtaking blossoms every spring.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

warm evenings

One of the great pleasures of  life - being able to go outdoors after dark with wet hair.