Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knit picker

Like the strange little creature in Edward Gorey's illustrated book, THE DOUBTFUL GUEST, I now have a nice little scarf. It is handmade, blue and green, composed of lots of tiny knitted squares and I found it waiting on a metal railing as I walked to work this morning.

It was colder than I had expected (but not too cold). Just about right for putting the little handmade scarflet to work.

Since I have decided to no longer bring precycled and found items to work, or to spend my own money baking stuff for the same place it's nice to adopt something for myself. Particularly something unique that didn't cost anything, was not made in China (I assume) and, no doubt, has an interesting history.

Lines written in the days of growing darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

-- Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author, most recently, of "Swan: Poems and Prose Poems"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shameful behavior

My level of disgust at the election process has reached new highs this year. I've avoided most of the stupidity because I got rid of the television and don't answer the phone in the evening. I voted early after educating myself by reading and checking up on the candidates. Good thing I did, because the two candidates for Governor gave us only ONE public debate. There should be a law against it . . . or a law requiring candidates for major political office to hold yeah number of public debates so that people have something to base their balloting on other than a lot of slanted ads and name calling.

At any rate, Oregon Public Broadcasting finally gave up expecting the candidates to agree to even one more debate and put up a "Virtual Debate" on its website. It includes questions that should be asked and comments by both candidates that relate to these questions. Its truly sad when a public radio station has to go to that degree of trouble to present information that candidates are apparently afraid to give us face-to-face.

The link is:

In case you have not held your nose and voted.

Can't think of English words to express that certain feeling?

L’esprit d’escalier: The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.” French

Waldeinsamkeit: The feeling of being alone in the woods. German

Meraki: Doing something with soul, creativity, or love. Greek

Forelsket: The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love. Norwegian

Gigil: The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute. Filipino

Pochemuchka: A person who asks a lot of questions. Russian

Pena ajena: The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation. Mexican Spanish

Cualacino: The mark left on a table by a cold glass. Italian

Ilunga: A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time. Tshiluba, Congo