Do you remember?

The sentiment behind this remembrance, a play on Delft blue porcelain, made me smile. I love the feel of the memory. It was featured on an AirBnb blog post from London today, but I wish I knew more about it (is the artist Robert R—-? is it a print or a plate? where is it […]

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“The Lanyard” by Billy Collins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khQ9e0QpEM8

Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins first captured my attention with his wry reading of “The Lanyard” delivered at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and recorded for PBS’s Poetry Everywhere. His deadpan delivery cracks me up.

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

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Originally posted on NBC Latino:
When you think about boxing, you don’t necessarily think beautiful. But in the case of Olympic hopeful Marlen Esparza, that’s exactly what CoverGirl thought when they saw her in action. Houston native Esparza will be making a slash in two fronts as the first woman boxer for the U.S. Olympics team…

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Previous Post

Originally posted on parlafood:
One of the reasons I love farmers’ markets in the Bay Area is that they remind me of the базары I knew and loved in Ukraine. These images remind me of those markets…and of the бабушки at the train stations selling cметана thicker than the richest crème fraîche I’ve ever had in the States. I […]

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Originally posted on Flandrum Hill:
Whether you’re six or sixty, if you don’t already have a secret place where you can be uninterrupted by yourself, perhaps it’s time you found one.  Either in nature or near it, such a place offers you the opportunity to escape from the world for a few minutes and just……

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Dutch baby

On my lesser bucket list I’ve had “try a Dutch baby” for a long, long time. Look at it. It’s just so golden and puffy and eggy, with crisp edges perfect for melting a little whipped butter and a dusting of powdered sugar, then dunking into some syrup. So today, after a dental check-up no […]

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A Collection a Day

Speaking of Lisa Congdon and her project 365 Days of Hand Lettering, I also like her Collection a Day series. First became acquainted with it through 20×200, when her print Day 256: Vintage Airline Tags caught my eye. I bought an 8×10 copy and propped it up on one of my bookshelves at work. It appeals to my inveterate […]

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