Saturday, January 9, 2010


I received a set of new journals as a Christmas gift, and, as every year, I've looked back through the old, finding thoughts and jottings and recipes and little snippets that I wanted to keep. Some of them are so hen-scratched, so uphill and down dale amongst the lines that I have to really read my scribbling carefully---those are usually lines I heard on TV, and I reached quickly in the dim room for the book, scratching down the thought or quote before I lost it entirely.

Some of the ones I found recently as I thumbed through the tattery tomes of yesterdays:

Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.
~Louisa May Alcott~

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
~Andrew Wyeth~

"There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable but then it wouldn't be half so interesting." ~Anne Shirley~

The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line. ~Alexander Pope~

The return to the seasonal and local is lesson number 1: food is remembering. What’s new is old. You may have arrived late, but welcome to the table.
~Jane of Little Compton Mornings~

Morning Song for a baby girl

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue,
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night long your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ears.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
~Sylvia Plath~

~A young woman named Chartreuse, on her armor for RenFaire:~
Plastic armor means I get to clank off, sounding like Tupperware in a dryer.

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.
~James Nicoll~

HOOP CHEESE,~ my own words~:

The cheese is made of no natural product known to man---it has the texture of Play-Doh and comes in a box. The box is round and pale, made of thinly-shaved wood, which over the days of its residence atop the butcher case grows greasily stained and takes on the appearance of a harlot's hatbox, roughly handled and none too clean.

~Tabris~, re: The theory that "I'll apologize when SHE apologizes."
It's these little gestures, where closeness could have been fostered and instead distance was formed, that are life's great tragedies because no one mourns them.

My friend ~Marty Kittrell~, of the magical lens and photographic eye:
I am a succinct writer. I just get to the point and move on. But you linger and savor the moments... stirring them like you do a glass of sweet tea, perfectly happy to wait for the sugar at the bottom to swirl around and dissolve.

And a song from years ago, when I took all those years and years of piano lessons. Our teacher, Mrs. Carpenter, was a town institution, and the Spring and Christmas recitals a social occasion. She sat at the piano with her beige lace Mother-of-the-Bride dress straining over her vast prow of bosom, playing as we always closed the Spring recital with the same song.

We were an amalgam of stage fright and absolute joy at the end of the ordeal, the end of school. We were all sopranos, I think, for the one or two boys were still young enough not to rebel against "taking piano." Every year, the program ended with our chirpy little voices floating past the fading, dusty maroon velvet of the stage curtains:

When you come to the end of a perfect day,
And you sit alone with your thought,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay,
For the joy that the day has brought,

Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray,
And the dear hearts have to part?

Well, this is the end of a perfect day,
Near the end of a journey, too,
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,
With a wish that is kind and true.

For mem'ry has painted this perfect day
With colors that never fade,
And we find at the end of a perfect day,
The soul of a friend we've made.
~Carrie Jacobs-Bond ~

Here's to all the different Annes in us, and to many, many perfect days in the year to come.


Indy Cookie said...

I just knew you were "of the race that knows Joseph!

Tonja said...

I love these! Especially the Andrew well as his art. The 'Annes' true! Also, sad, but true.

I enjoyed reading and thinking about these on this lazy Sat. afternoon. And, I think Marty Kittrell is right on target!

racheld said...

It shows, doesn't it, Indy?? Was there ever home so welcoming as Green Gables (at least after they got to know you). And I murmured "Avonlea" to myself when the hot, dusty Delta got to be just TOO MUCH. It just HAD to be always green and cool.


Chris passed by as I was looking at your pictures with First Cup this morning---he stopped beside me, and just as if the children had sent us a photo-file, I put the cursor on each face and named them off---their relationships and their names, and "And that's her SWEET Daddy!" And on you with the Bible, I told him how much your Sweet Spirit has taught me over this year we've known each other. It was just as if he would know you all as I do.

He said, "You really pick GOOD friends, don't you?"

And thank you---Marty has a way with words his ownself, doesn't he?

Kim Shook said...

I have learned not to be surprised when you 'know' one of 'my' authors! Gladys Taber, LM Montgomery, Dame Agatha. Not surprised, but very, very glad.

Keetha said...

I love those, especially the dear quote in the Anne of Green Gables books.

And I love the one by Louisa May Alcott - so true!