Billy Bragg's "Tooth & Nail" · Wednesday September 18, 2013 by Janet
Sit down. Kick off your shoes and listen. For those of us of a certain age, and of a very particular kind of experience, the playlist of “Tooth & Nail” will feel familiar and sound throughout our souls. You may at first be attracted by the rousing “There will be a reckoning”, but you will want to stay for the funny and poignant messages portrayed by Bragg as he paints a portrait of a poetic handyman or prepares for the funeral of a loved one. The romantic loveliness of “Your Name on My Tongue” will linger in your heart, accompanied by a musical arrangement that will send that same heart soaring. Bragg is a craftsman musician and songster. These songs will break your heart – and I mean that in the best of ways.
Reading Books · Saturday August 31, 2013 by Janet
Maybe I read it before.
Perhaps it was one that was assigned in high school English.
It might have been on the required reading list.
There is much to be said for reading books when you are grown.
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953.
I am reading it in 2013.
Horrified at the flat screen reality he described then that has become reality now.
Earbuds firmly in our ears. As Faber says they did not need to burn the books. People weren’t reading them anyhow.
No need to close the universities. No one was taking the courses on English literature or Greek philosophy.
People are not talking on the porches.
Watching alligator hunters in the swamps is not reality.
What does it matter who is chosen on “The Voice” when no one is listening?
At Home with the lights turned off · Wednesday May 23, 2012 by Janet
I sit at the window to witness the lightning and rolls of thunder.
The drama of the storm has loosened adrenaline
and made the dog nervous and eager to be near.
Once my son died, I wondered what else could hurt me.
The numbness that held my heart seemed impenetrable.
Until the undertow at the beach threatened to make my numbness a moot point.
I made it out of the water.
Until the suspicious mammogram left me crying on the examination table.
I’ve already been through so much, spare me an ignoble battle with cancer.
The results were “benign”. Such a strange word.
I still had to find reasons to go on living without the child with whom I shared the excitement of thunderstorms.
Poetry Month 2012 · Monday April 30, 2012 by Janet
I have not written a poem.
April is national poetry month.
My writing languishes.
My friends wait for letters.
My cats and dog go un-petted.
Then you send me this photo of birch trees that can only be European and my head spins to another continent.
Shall I never be rid of Dr. Zhivago riding through the snow in a cold I felt in my toes for years?
Lately I dream of living in Portugal or Morocco – away from the drones of indifference of the peace president.
Instead I deal with the daily debris of too much stuff but not enough cash, of work that is putting in time and mindless data entry.
I did not plan well for retirement.
I did not buy the new used car while I still had health insurance.
But I did escape insanity and the awful sameness that was making me ill.
And now I occasionally have a morning for me.
I can savor the beauty of the morning light and actually feel how different it is when I am not rushing to go to work.
I can look out over the pond and observe the cows and allow myself the luxury of reading a book just because I want to.
So I take this as a sign that the world can spin out of control but I will still be fighting for understanding and
wondering why there is never enough time to encourage friends who need it.
“Zweiundsechzig und kein bisschen weiser?”
Na ja – mal sehn.
Love and Light.
Dillwynian Communications · Thursday November 17, 2011 by Janet
German Instruction and Tutoring
Content Analysis and Strategy
For Tim Davis, WNRN, and for Patrick · Saturday April 10, 2010 by Janet
After the Silver Sun Pick-ups
and the Kings of Leon:
Shot in the back to fall
hard among the rocks and trees,
Tim never had another chance to
greet that sweet sunset
or his gathering listeners.
I mourn his death as I still do
that of my own son;
almost the same age – give and take those 10 years
since I began practiced grief
made just bearable by poetry and
music and the love of my companions.
These hearts do love and break again
as once again we must let go
and as quickly as we can
find more love and poems and
music to live with and to carry on –
forever changed and always the same sadness.
"I see you" · Sunday January 24, 2010 by Janet
I was skeptical about “Avatar” – the new James Cameron movie. I thought just another computer-generated science fiction movie. Then I heard the Chinese had banned the movie because too many Chinese were drawing parallels between Pandora and conditions in China.
If you haven’t been to a movie theater in years, this movie is a good reason to go to one. It is well worth seeing. The story line has some weaknesses but the overall quality and underlying core messages are well developed and interesting.
If you only go to be entertained, you will be. If you go because you are weary of the destruction of life on our planet and the blindness of those in power, this film will speak to you.
The Damage Done · Sunday August 30, 2009 by Janet
I’m making progress: I no longer know his cell phone number.
It did not come to me as I dialed, it wasn’t stuck in my numerical memory.
I heard he thought the third wife he is divorcing, “was the one.”
And finally I can see his modus operandi: he changes women like he changes cars.
Oh, he will make a few statements before about how unhappy he is, how he wants something more. She can’t say he didn’t warn her.
He’s made up his mind to trade up, to go with a newer model.
No discussion or partner counseling will change that.
He’s moved on and I, she, they were forgotten in the dust of the new convertible.
I had not understood before how disposable I was.
He sought a new partner: younger, hungrier.
The damage done was only to me.
Without emotions, all he had to do was get seduced by the new gadgets and the fat motor under the hood.
Afterword: today I saw he was driving a new car.
High Fidelity · Sunday August 23, 2009 by Janet
I spoke with my ex about real estate.
Then I asked about his mother and others I had been thinking about.
He then assured me he had never cheated on me while we were together.
I did not explain how I had become a detective after he dumped me.
I did not tell him the first time I knew he lied to me. I had asked about a house he had sold. He answered, “I think her name is Nancy.”
I did not tell him how his refusal to talk with me after he left me made me examine all those things he had done I did not understand at the time.
It really does not matter whether he had sex with her while he was technically still with me.
His voice already had given him away.
It’s not high fidelity that gives one away.
It’s the low tones, the things left unsaid and sitting in the dark with her hatching his plans to leave me.
Julie and Julia movie (2009) · Sunday August 16, 2009 by Janet
This is a fun film that examines two women whose ambitions and lives become intertwined. Julie is a writer who is stuck in a frustrating job and is feeling rather unsuccessful. She is a writer but has been unable to finish a book or to get it published. She casts around for something to do – something she can complete without getting distracted. Her husband asks her what she would like to do. She finds that learning to cook like Julia Child is something that can excite and challenge her.
The life of Julia Child is shown as she discovers the vibrant life of Paris. Out of sheer boredom, Julia looks around for something to do while her husband is working at the embassy. She tries making hats and learning bridge before she finds that learning to cook as the French do is something that excites and challenges her.
Julie undertakes learning to cook as Julia Child and posting her experiences as she masters each recipe in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, setting a year as a deadline.
The flashbacks of Child’s life are interwoven with Julie’s life as she attempts each recipe with all of the successes and failures, and all the strain she imposes upon herself and her husband with this undertaking.
The film is funny, well-done, and entertaining. And it inspires us to try our hand at one of those recipes we’ve always been meaning to try. Stock up on butter, fresh ingredients and get cooking!