Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miss Thing is not paying attention to you.

Solstice Sunrise, Stonehenge 2008

The BBC has pictures from this year's Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. A bit cloudy, but still lovely. Also, today's Google logo has a big, bright sun.

Even more, here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Poem For The Longest Day

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
Or many gods.
I want to know if you belong – or feel abandoned;
If you know despair
Or can see it in others.
I want to know
If you are prepared to live in the world
With its harsh need to change you;
If you can look back with firm eyes
Saying “this is where I stand.”
I want to know if you know how to melt
Into that fierce heat of living
Falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing
To live day by day
With the consequence of love
And the bitter unwanted passion
Of your sure defeat.
I have been told
In that fierce embrace
Even the gods
Speak of God.

~ David Whyte ~
(Fire in the Earth)

Art found here.

Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith

I read, well, this is an understatement, a lot of poems. I've never found a better poem for the Summer Solstice than this one. When you read it, it helps to know that Oliver's talking about corn, although corn is not the subject of the poem.

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun's brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can't hear

anything, I can't see anything --
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker --
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing --
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet --
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.

From West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems, by Mary Oliver. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Copyright 1997 by Mary Oliver.

Picture found here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie, That's An Illusion

There's a full moon tonight and it's going to be giant! Go see it!

The full Moon of June 18th is a "solstice moon", coming only two days before the beginning of northern summer. This is significant because the sun and full Moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week's high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging Moon and a strong Moon Illusion.

Sky watchers have known for thousands of years that low-hanging moons look unnaturally big. At first, astronomers thought the atmosphere must be magnifying the Moon near the horizon, but cameras showed that is not the case. Moons on film are the same size regardless of elevation. Apparently, only human beings see giant moons.

Are we crazy?

After all these years, scientists still aren't sure. When you look at the Moon, rays of moonlight converge and form an image about 0.15 mm wide on the retina in the back of your eye. High moons and low moons make the same sized spot, yet the brain insists one is bigger than the other. Go figure.

More here

Hat tip to R.

Image found here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blessed Summer Solstice to You II

I said this last year and I'll say it again:

This week, I believe that I can state unequivocably, is my favorite week on the wheel of the year. This is the last week during which the days grown longer. Next week, we come to the Summer Solstice and, immediately thereafter, the days begin to grow shorter and shorter again, leading inexorably to the freezing dawn when I will stand with the wonderful women of my circle, bang pots, shake tamborines, yell, and generally make as much noise as possible to wake the Yule-time Sun. We drink schnappes or whiskey or some other throat-burning booze from glasses made of ice and then we throw the glasses on the frozen ground to shatter into a million diamond shards before heading off to a greasy-spoon on Capitol Hill or a pancake house in Arlington for a v. hearty breakfast.

But, for now, the sunlight pays the world the great compliment of lingering until almost nine o'clock in the evening, the flowers bloom, the grass grows, and the lightening bugs remind me, if I ever forget, that I live in an enchanted forest, full of mysteriously-blinking lights, leading me into shadowy and deep mysteries. The herb bed swells with herbs, the farmers' market bulges with riches from blueberries to tomatoes to cucumbers, the birds flit and float about, and, and, and, there's lots and lots of daylight!!!!

. . .

I know that I should be equally happy to see the beginning of Fall and Winter, and, yet, I cannot help but to rage, rage (a bit) against the dying of the light.

Happy Summer. Happy sunlight. Happy long days of summer. Enjoy. It's everthing. It's all real. It's all metaphor. There's always more.

Art (and more by this amazing artist) found here.

What Is Your Basis?

What lovely poetry.

Art found here.

No North Pole?

Freeway Blogger Rocks. That is all.

Art by J.R.R.T. But then, you knew that.

You Can't Have Him

More. Like. This.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blessed Summer Solstice to You

From Wikipedia: Bloomsday (Irish: Lá Bhloom) is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, and 16 June was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

I love flowers I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven there’s nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying there’s no God I wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why don’t they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves first then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because they’re afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they don’t know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a woman’s body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn’t answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didn’t know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the Jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharans and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

What Would A Patriot Do?

The Virginia Coordinated Campaign is the campaign arm of the Democratic Party of Virginia, working to elect Barack Obama, Mark Warner and our slate of congressional candidates. Its McLean office, located at 1575 Anderson Rd, opens today, June 16, and is ready for volunteers. Bring your friends and family and come help take back the White House. For questions, call Bridgit Donnelly at (703) 261-7300.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My New Name For A Blog

What Chidyke Said.

Spade up some grass. Fill a couple of pots. Head over to a community plot, or just create one on some unused land in your ’hood. It’s not too late

Lady, I love you.

Picture: Tarragon from my new herb bed.

Spaces for Foxes

The lovely men doing my landscaping recently put up most of a cedar privacy (I'm a witch, after all) fence around the Eastern, Southern, and Western sides of my backyard.

They left special spaces underneath the Southern fence to allow the fox to visit me in winter, as is her wont.

Wiccan Landscaping.

The Longest Week

So, here it is. Summer. Only a few days away and, as always, amazing.

Young feminists moving in and out of my guest room, lavender and sage and tarragon taking root in the sun-warmed soil of my herb bed. Mints growing in the backyard. A tiny young boy who teases me with the mad teasing skillz that are the surest sign EVER that he's his father's son. Cats thriving in my dining room. Briefs blooming in my office, Magic happening everywhere.

Blue weed flowers beside every road. Sun setting later everyday.

Poems exploding in my inbox.

May it be so for you.