Friday, September 29, 2006

We're Not in Kansas Anymore . . .

Something about these great heaps of cloud-shrouded granite - here, Pikes Peak, that soothes - that affords a sense of perspective. Sunlight and clouds cross the face of the Front Range during the day. At night a Cheshire Cat moon smiles over the muscular silhouette that cradles the glittering city below. Stars glitter above. Constellations rarely glimpsed from my backyard in Ohio, sparkle through the thin, dry air at 6,500 feet. I love the Midwest, the nose-friendly moisture, the oxygen-rich air. Still, when we return home, I'll miss my kid sister's family and this dramatic three-dimensional world. I remind myself how lucky we are to live in an age where one can travel as we do and have the luxury of falling in love with new and exotic places on this remarkable planet. And lucky, indeed, to have beloved family and friends waiting at both ends of the journey.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


These pixes were taken the same afternoon in the neighborhood park. In my poem I tried to capture a bit of the sense of the different perspectives of youth and old age.


September is the month that chases
after the sun that leaves the harvest waiting
for the ruddy farmer to pick up the traces
of the plenty its heat and fiery graces strew
over the ground for the plucking and crating.

It's a dimmer month where a walk on the trails
finds the young runners running and blind to the sight
of the trees that are dusting their summer shelves;
the young are concerned with their green-leafing selves.

The crumpled are trampled and left to their plight
at the edge of the path where the berries are red
and the toadstools of autumn lean through the weeds
to tidy the world by recycling the dead,
who'd rather remain, but settle instead
to leave seeds.

I smile as they pass with their youth-scented breeze,
like an old ox adjusting its companionable yoke.
I've been admiring a great, ancient tree
they've missed while enjoying their sturdier knees,
for though they're the saplings - I've got the oak.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goin' Visitin'

We're headed for Colorado Springs to visit my kid-sister and her family. It's a good time of year to cozy up with friends and family. The lengthening evenings are not mood-enhancing. Time to start planning winter indoor projects to fill the many dark hours around the solstice. What better than to break bread with friends and family and cozy up on the couch with your best buddy (or as in the above picture - on the edge of the pond) and dream dreams of Spring? Happy Autumnal Equinox, all!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Last Blooms of summer

Walking, driving, putzing in the yard this time of year, you start to notice the last blooms on the ends of scapes, stalks, racemes. Summer is releasing the last of the sun's honeyed blessing back into the breezes of these shorter, cooler days. Really, it's all rather lovely and I try to resist the sense of endings and focus instead on the wonder of seed pods and the clever DNA conveyances that nature has assembled in the acorns dropping noisely on my skylights, the burrs sticking to people's pets as they enjoy walks in the meadows at the edge of the local park.

Monday, September 18, 2006

End of Summer

As I'm rallying from some unfriendly bug, it's been very pleasant to peruse this summer's photos. This was taken just as we were loading the car for the trip home from Cape Cod. I noticed that a sprig of leaf and stem had remained where they had rested, undisturbed, on a white Adirondack chair for several weeks. Notice the delicate tracing the former 'green' self left on the paint.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Kiss Tossed From An Arabesque

No matter how far away, the intended recipient will feel the fluttering at their cheek. This picture of this little girl tossing something into the wide ocean at the elbow of Cape Cod is a small bit of a telephoto taken on the beach beneath Chatham light. Look how her youth and grace flow into an arabesque. It's so lovely when children are free of the constraints of self-consciousness and move freely in the unfettered dance of themselves.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Practice Flying, But Don't Forget ToTake A Breather

The trick is to know when to stop flapping. Sometimes, you soar eloquently, and others, well - you just can't get off the ground. Then you need to reign in a bit, rest, reconsider and preen your flight feathers for another day, another try, in friendlier breezes. (The gals on the beach in Chatham, MA do Yoga every morning - I was always amazed that they could avert their eyes from the ocean and beach grasses whilst concentrating on their poses. A few days ago I watched this squirrel from my bedroom window. It was raining. I actuallly saw him close his eyes and nod off. Awwww.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tender Things

My brother and mother were taking a tour through his garden late in August. I took a series of photos as the two of them shared the bounty and fragrance of the sun's summer work.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Laugh & Play

Heading toward the autumnal equinox, leaving the pain of 9/11 behind - time to remember the sunny, happy days of summertime - the laughter of my kid sister as she tried on jewelry in Provincetown with the enthusiastic help of a fellow whose name I wish I could remember - two children doing what kids do best during a Chatham baseball game: having fun.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Smile & Dance

The anniversary of 9/11 left me melancholy and greatly in need of reaffirming my belief that life is beautiful and filled with wonder and the mystery of love, the blessing of beauty. My next few posts will be celebratory. So,I move on and try to leave the sorrow behind, while maintaining the memory of those 2,996 lives lost in the attack on this symbol of the modern, civilized world. I took this picture in August as the doe and her two spotted fawn left the apple tree in the pasture and danced toward their home in the forest.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

2,996 - Ronald Orsini - victim of 9/11 Attacks

As my eyes fell on the hand placed tenderly on Ronald Orsini's arm and looked into the smiling, happy eyes of his wife, Arlene, my heart broke with the implication of loss - of the hole in her life and her daughter's. Arlene wears a holiday sweater, festooned with snowflakes and a winter scene. Perhaps this picture was taken during the Christmas holiday. I see an aluminum foil covered casserole on her stove and tupper ware containers behind Ron. They were obviously happy and looking forward to the joys of the holiday and as I read below, toward a future that held the promise of grandchilden. On this anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I send a ripple through cybersapce that says his name, that says that he was, and that he was loved and will be forever remembered among the victims of that day of unthinkable pain. His grandson Zachary was born Sept.26, 2001. Zachary will never know the reassruing presence of his grandfather or learn how to swing a golf club at his side.

Ronald Orsini
Man misses grandson's birth

Nov. 28, 2001

Ron Orsini groused about the upcoming birth of his first grandchild. Don't expect him to cancel his golf outings to babysit, he kept telling his wife Arlene.But neither his wife nor his only daughter paid much attention to Orsini's bluster.The man who vowed never to babysit had already bought a crib and video monitoring equipment for when his grandson stayed at his Hillsdale, N.J., home. Zachary Matthew Ronald Pandolfi was born on Sept. 26.Zachary's maternal grandfather died Sept. 11 when a hijacked airliner crashed into the World Trade Center. Orsini, 59, worked as a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the north tower.Arlene, Orsini's wife for 34 years, says her athletic husband would have made a great grandfather."We joked that he would probably have little golf clubs made," she said, "when the baby was born."

--Fred Carroll (Daily Press)

Many people knew that he loved to dance, but not many were aware that he had won many dancing competitions as a boy, or that he had studied ballet.
It's no surprise that the dancing was a surprise to many of his friends. Arlene Orsini, his wife of nearly 30 years, describes him as being "kind of klutzy" when not dancing. "I used to say to him, what would you be like if you hadn't danced ballet."
Ronald Orsini's greatest talent, in his wife's eyes, was his unrelenting optimism. "I'm such a pessimist," she said, "and he would always turn to me and say: `Stop worrying about it. It's not that important.' He just amazed me."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on Sunday, April 7, 2002.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ghost Smiles

The photograph of my father is almost fifteen years old. It was only this week that I was finally able to display it on the shelf in the bay window. He was six months from death and had come to stroll with Mom and me through the spring gardens in Toledo. A gentler, wiser man never lived. He died within nine months of his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease (amytrophic lateral sclerosis).

As I photographed the photograph - I noticed the Muse of the Dance smiling above him and then discovered the ghost smiling rapturously back from the holly bush outside the window. (No. I don't believe in ghosts, but couldn't resist that gauzy reflection's implication)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Just Ducky

This summer produced a few poems - nothing too eloquent, but I like this one. Have you noticed the way ducks seem perpetually pleased? The expression on their faces is one of the sweetest smiles on earth. Yes, yes, just one of many. You probably have your favorites. Hmmm? :0)


The duck cradles water
on her breast.
Watch the way she smiles
as the crystal crest
lays its cheek against warm down
and lifts the lake,
without a sound,
then sparkles into Cupid's dart
beneath her little
bobbing heart.


I'm Baaack :0)

Wow. This is so interesting - having access to my blog again. Hmmm . . . the care and feeding of a blog . . . Hmmm. In a small way, its absence felt a bit like no longer having pets to fuss over. This is interesting. But, I'll treat it like the stray that shows up at my back door. I'll dig out the old dog dishes and start over. This picture is one of my summer favorites, taken at Gray's Beach, Cape Cod. I don't know this little boy, but I understand his longing.