Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Parting Glass and Broderie Perse

I am charmed by the words of The Parting Glass an Irish tune that I heard on the radio yesterday performed by the High Kings, complete with bagpipes.

The final phrase is “Then fill to me the parting glass, and drink to health what e'er befalls, good night and joy be with you all”. 

I was enchanted by this phrase and carried it with me most of the day. 

What a wonderful sentiment. You might want to listen to it @  The Wallin' Jennys also have a version you might consider listening to if you prefer female vocals.

Of course yesterday was a snow day for most of us in the Northeast especially after the Governor closed the highways. I delighted in spending the day stitching fabric. I want to create an art series inspired by the poems in Moth at the Window.

The work in progress below reflecting the poems Acquiescence (p. 32) and Longing (p. 101). The technique is broderie perse which in French means Persian embroidery.  Motifs are cut from one fabric and stitched onto another. Additional images will be added to the blog as this work progresses.

Initial stage

Next stage 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing for Life

Who doesn’t want to improve something or change something in their own life? Have any of you read “Writing Your Way to Happiness” the NY Times column by Tara Parker Pope? Here is a link 

The article indicates that writing, and then rewriting your own story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Ms. Parker-Pope reviews a few studies where college students who kept journals and wrote daily about their thoughts and feelings were better able to cope with the transition to and stresses of college.

We each have a personal narrative. That narrative not only shapes our view of ourselves, but also shapes our view of the world. It seems that by writing and then editing our stories we can change our perceptions of ourselves and remove obstacles to a better life. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reflections on a Life

For me, the first weeks of the New Year are a time for retrospection. What did I get right in the previous 365 days? What do I need to improve upon?

In 2014 I was pleased to complete Moth at the Window. This year I would like to get the photo albums organized and sort more of ancestral papers. Last weeked I discarded several handfuls of old newspaper clippings that included sports statistics from 1933-1937 that were in my father's collection of coaching memorabilia. I think I can do without them. I did keep his scorebook from the year he took the Coventry High School boys basketball team to the championships, as well as newspaper clippings that included him by name or photo. 

I continue to learn about G.W. Clayton every time I pick up another of his letters. And, believe it or not I am still finding new poems folded in correspondence that I am now reading for the first time. I love reading handwritten letters. I don't think there is anywhere else can you gain an intimate understanding of a person who is no longer alive. 
Cyrinthia and G.W. Clayton with baby Jean, circa 1920

G.W. was born in 1884, 19 years after the Civil War ended. Imagine that. Ringling Brothers Circus premiered that year. Alaska became a territory. The first roller coaster began operation on Coney Island and William Sherman refused the Republican presidential nomination saying, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected." How's that for decisiveness!

Check back tomorrow as I will post a poem from Moth at the Window, "Reflections on a New Year's Eve".

Tell me your thoughts for the new year. Do you have plans? Resolutions? Changes to make?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Moth at the Window - Author Event Announced

Guess what? The reference librarian at the Southbury Public Library has just invited me to participate in a Connecticut Authors Day on Saturday, May 2, 2015!

Southbury Public Library
100 Poverty Road
Southbury, CT 06488