Archive for December, 2011

Quote of the day: TOUCH

December 31, 2011


“The tao of touch”

What magic does touch create
that we crave it so. That babies
do not thrive without it. That
the nurse who cuts tough nails
and sands calluses on the elderly
tells me sometimes men weep
as she rubs lotion on their feet.

Yet the touch of a stranger
the bumping or predatory thrust
in the subway is like a slap.
We long for the familiar, the open
palm of love, its tender fingers.
It is our hands that tamed cats
into pets, not our food.

The widow looks in the mirror
thinking, no one will ever touch
me again, never. Not hold me.
Not caress the softness of my
breasts, my inner thighs, the swell
of my belly. Do I still live
if no one knows my body?

We touch each other so many
ways, in curiosity, in anger,
to command attention, to soothe,
to quiet, to rouse, to cure.
Touch is our first language
and often, our last as the breath
ebbs and a hand closes our eyes.

— Marge Piercy

Photo diary: last week of 2011

December 31, 2011

In this week’s New Yorker

December 31, 2011

The New Year’s issue includes three very different long reporting pieces that I read avidly. I never thought I had any interest in the IFC series Portlandia, but in “Stumptown Girl” Margaret Talbot, excellent writer that she is, succeeded in making it sound … well, more interesting than the small sampling I later tried turned out to be. Mostly, I was interested and entertained by the personality of Carrie Brownstein, whose music with Sleater-Kinney always interested me more in theory than in reality. Rachel Aviv contributes a long, sad, bewildering story about a 14-year-old in prison for life without parole for murdering his beloved grandfather. And then there’s Ariel Levy’s “Letter from Bangalore” about Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the pharmaceutical executive and health-care activist who is the richest woman in India, another peek into a world I would otherwise know nothing about. Mostly, I would love to hear Levy say aloud the name of a physician she interviewed: Dr. Prakash Sankalagere Chikkaputtaswamy.

Quote of the day: ECSTASTIC UNION

December 27, 2011


“Summer Story”

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine,
into the funnels

of the blossoms
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,

I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in this world

that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power——-
that nobody owns

or could buy even
for a hillside of money—–
that just float
in the world,

or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines,
and now here I am

spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling,
so that I feel I am myself

a small bird with a terrible hunger,
with a thin beak probing and dipping
and a heart that races so fast

it is only a heart beat ahead of breaking——
and I am the hunger and the assuagement,
and also I am the leaves and the blossoms,
and, like them, I am full of delight, and shaking.

— Mary Oliver


Photo diary: Christmas at Spa Castle

December 27, 2011

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