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Category: Arts and Aesthetics

All things creative. All things beautiful, profound, and moving.

Indulgences on the road to Armageddon

This afternoon I poured myself a glass of a lovely white wine. Then I just sat. First I sat in the newly finished screen porch contemplating the bank of ferns behind Mo Saoirse Hermitage. When it got too chilly I came inside and slipped into a big bentwood rocker that has a view out the south windows. A few stalks of Crocosmia Lucifer were beginning to open their exotic flame-red blooms. Beyond them lies my 1/4-acre park-to-be, which is about halfway done and is now pastoral and pleasant after seven years of fitful labors. I so seldom do this, just…

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A brief retreat to the peace of Mo Saoirce Hermitage

With all the crazy in the world — you know, the destruction of Western Civilization and all that — I thought it was time for a brief blogging retreat to the former Ye Olde Wreck, now known as Mo Saoirce (My Freedom) Hermitage. So here are some moments of peace and beauty for you. The hermitage in morning light and shadow The light gray gravel heaped beside the driveway will soon go on the top of the slope in front of the house as part of my nefarious campaign to rid the world (at least my world) of lawns. It’s…

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Wednesday links

Been a while since we had a simple links post … Tomorrow is “Take Yourself to Work Day” in Michigan. 🙂 Eric Peters says reopen and reject. The great Paul Rosenberg: Nothing changes as long as we obey. Still waiting for that $125 Equifax was going to send you for sloppily letting your personal information be grabbed by identity thieves? You aren’t getting it, but banks are getting their share. Wearing a mask, are you? Not to worry; this company thinks it can help Big (and Little) Brother recognize and track you via your eyes and eyebrows alone. And this…

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Happy little house project

I’ve been mulling a longer, seriouser blog post, but not (yet) writing it because I’ve been occupied with a happy little house project. Two of them, actually, and as it happens I finished both today. Only one is photo-worthy, but I admit I’m quite proud of that one. When I bought Ye Olde Wreck, two attractive but misshapen archways (clearly the work of Jim Beam and Jack Daniel) opened from the living room onto the long, crooked wreck of a former covered porch. I’ve been trying to make something of that porch ever since. One part of the “something” is…

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A Tuesday ramble including more somewhat random thoughts on Outsiders

Since December of 1989, I’ve walked my dogs (anywhere from one to six of them) a mile or so every morning and every afternoon. Every day unless I’ve been too sick or the weather has been downright dangerous. Yesterday we had our first frost. I bundled up, but the breeze was just stiff enough to pierce my clothes, redden my cheeks, and set my nose dripping. Ava seemed to enjoy herself, but all I could think was, “I can’t face another long winter of bone-chilling morning walks.” Ava, even at 14, has boundless walkie energy and will stare at me…

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Civilization: An exercise in 4:00 a.m. thinking

One recent Saturday I slumped under a cloud of doom. “You have nothing left to say. You’re a failure. You might as well close up shop and slink away.” I felt capable only of staring at the walls or losing myself in a Downton Abbey marathon. Even lying down to take a nap seemed like too much effort. Nearly all writers know this mood. It’s often the precursor to a burst of productivity; but when we’re in it, we never see that. When we’re in it, it’s always The End. Sure enough, the next morning I snapped awake at 4:21…

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Tending to my (experimental) knitting

With company gone, life back to normal, and too many rainy July days, I finally decided to haul out, assemble, and learn something about those knitting machines I scored early last month. The days I discovered, researched, and bought the machines, I was hot to try them out. By the time they’d sat for weeks, my attitude was merely dutiful. Sigh. I already told the blog I have these machines. Somebody’s going to ask what I did with them. I better do soooooomething even if I don’t feel like it. So Thursday morning the Toyota KS650 knitter wasn’t the only…

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Lookin’ out my back door

For anybody who wonders why I live here … … that’s 12 feet from my back door. Of course, sometimes the vegetation does get carried away. Between morning glory, ivy, alder saplings, and the omnipresent blackberry vines, you can almost watch the grow-y things growing. Summer may not be sunny, but it’s one long struggle to keep plants from taking over plants. This is what that big fern in the right foreground looked like 10 minutes before I took the above shot, being strangled and consumed by morning glory tendrils: Beautiful, cannibalistic vegetation. We have everything a rain forest has.…

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Walls, vegetation, and motivation

One day last week, I couldn’t bear being inside my house or inside my own skin. Normally, solitude is joy, but there are certain days — and I’ve had a lot of them, this gloomy spring and summer. I wish I could tell you I get through such times by meditating or some other spiritual practice worthy of a true hermit. Ha. Truth is, at the itchiest of those moments the only cure is to escape from the hermitage. And usually to shop. Oh, not for designer shoes or fancy clothes, unless I can get them from a thrift store.…

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