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NauenThen

Andy Warhol

"Made in the early years of the ongoing AIDS crisis, the painting offers a meditation on militancy, spiritual sacrifice, and mourning." ~ from the info on the wall next to the painting. 

Somehow it was suddenly the last day of the big show at the Whitney. Good thing I'm a member & swept right in. Maybe it was because I'd been at the dojo before 7 a.m. to watch the final fighting of the new black belts & was sleepy, but I kept feeling I couldn't enjoy the work without being told what was good or important about it. On its own, it didn't engage me, & the explanations didn't do much for me either.

 

Almost the only painting I really liked was Camouflage Last Supper (1986). It seemed to have more than technique & an idea. I was captivated by knowing that he was a lifelong practicing Byzantine Catholic. In the midst of all the chaos of the Factory & the 60s, he (secretly) centered his religion. I think of a friend of mine, now long dead, who said the shema every night of her life. That means she never got too high or too drunk to attend to prayer. It made me have sympathy for Warhol in a way I never had. 

 

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Baseball's back!

Me in a Mary Engelbreit daily calendar from a few years ago. 

And the Yankees are the only undefeated team in the AL East. Much as I still want snow, spring does have one glorious thing: BASEBALL. 

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A bad start

Once again I forgot to take a picture of Gin, or me & Gin, & all I have is the MetroNorth stop. 

Such a great day yesterday, with a sleepy train ride, hanging out with my friend, lunch at a pleasant café, & plenty sleep. Today was time- and money-consuming dental new & some PITA work. Takes so little to dislodge my cheerful equanimity. Stay tuned—tomorrow I'll be myself again. The happy self. 

 

It didn't take till tomorrow, it took Horace's Ode 3 in Book 2: The path may rise up steeply or descend, / but you must learn to keep your spirit level / whatever terrain you find.... 

Right! Yes! Horace, my man! 

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A good start

... I got plenty of sleep (no telling why Buster didn't nibble or gallop me awake)... had a refreshing bath... a young man smiled nicely when I almost stumbled into him in the uffda sunbright... another young man went out of his way to drop trash in the can... found a chair & mirror right outside my office... the mouse was only a leaf... got some work done... all before 9:30 & now I'm off to see my friend in Connecticut for the day. 

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Frankie

The new Berrigan kitten, who gives herself over to petting like you wouldn't believe. She might be even sweeter than Buster, who is getting a patina of cranky age (like me). She's a hypo-allergenic breed, I forget what kind. She's much tinier than you would think from this picture & much less fierce.

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Monday Quote: "bread for all before cake for anybody"

 

Scratch a pessimist and find often a defender of privilege.

~ William Beveridge (1879-1963) Read More 

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Crime in Central Park?

A stabbing in last month's snow?

 

Or a mom helping up her sliding child? 

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In the neighborhood

In case you think the skies are always overcast in New York City, this is a photo taken a day or 2 ago across from the Flatiron Building, looking north. It's stunning how much life and nature we get here. Skies as big as Montana & all the glory of human brilliance. Some sign that people don't totally regret life.

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My own private Basquiat

Walked out of the Basquiat show yesterday & immediately saw this—something I've walked by a zillion times. Everything is art after absorbing the world through his eyes.

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Basquiat II

This was my favorite of the paintings. 

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Basquiat

The very high ceilings of the Brant Foundation building on 6th Street, former home of Walter De Maria & before that a Con Ed substation. 

My friend the wonderful artist Dot popped up with tickets to the Basquiat show, right around the corner from me. Cool building. Why didn't I marry Walter De Maria when he was living near me for 30 years, dang it. The Basquiats are pretty great—much better in person than in reproductions, which isn't always the case, or maybe that's because sometimes you are more familiar with the repro & the real thing doesn't look right? 

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Norsk in the news

The bridge to Pig Island, Solvær, Lofoten, northern Norway. 

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, IN, is running for president. He's also a Rhodes Scholar who served in the Navy. Best of all, he speaks Norwegian! (along with Arabic, Dari, French, Italian, Maltese, and Spanish).

 

Why? He read a novel he liked (Naive Super, by Erlend Loe), discovered none of Loe's other novels had been translated, & taught himself Norwegian in order to read them. He goes sometimes to a Norwegian church in Chicago to keep up his skills.

 

This makes him a serious presidential contender in my book. 

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Monday Quote

The last photo from my trip to Brooklyn. I mostly liked the straightforward font & all the windows. 

The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and a thousand other things well. 

~ Hugh Walpole

 

Poetry,

 

karate, Torah reading, toast, my husband, my friends, my cat, snow, my neighborhood, the Blue Sky Boys, Ford Madox Ford, the Yankees, my grandkids, breakfast, Bingelbumpf, fonts,

 

Should I really list the thousand things that absorb me? Only a thousand?

 

The whole secret?

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St. Paddy's day in Brooklyn

This was on 9th St in Brooklyn, taken on March 7 headed to Barbés to hear the wondrous Rachelle Garniez. That's how long Brooklyn celebrates. Will the display still be there next week? Next year? Maybe it's a year-round insistence on their love for the Ould Sod? Leprechauns are general all over Ireland...

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The saddest park in the world

Brooklyn.

 

This picture, if anything, makes the park look less grim than it is. It's under & next to highways, not near any homes, schools, or factories/offices. Who is it for? Apparently no one, as it looks like nobody has ever gone in. No trash even. 

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Walt Whitman's house

99 Ryerson Street, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Maggie & I went on a walking adventure to Brooklyn, to the house where Walt Whitman lived for a year (1855), when he was writing Leaves of Grass. It didn't have aluminum siding 165 years ago, of course, & while it was hard to truly feel his presence, to be walking the same exact sidewalks he walked was moving. 

 

Charles W. Eldredge told John Burroughs that Whitman had told him about the 1855 Leaves of Grass that it "was produced in a mood, or condition of mind, that he had never been able to resume, and that he had felt utterly incompetent to produce anything equal to it since.... That in contemplating it he felt in regard to his own agency in it like a somnambulist who is shown during his waking hours the giddy heights and impossible situations over which he had passed safely in his sleep."

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Edie

Happy birthday to my (late) sister, Edie (on the left in the photo). She loved & was proud of her 4 younger siblings & had a zest for life. 

 

 

I got married 3 times in Las Vegas, she once said. Vegas is lucky for me!

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Monday Quote

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
~ Steve Biko

&

something I saw on a card while waiting to check out at the Strand: 

It's not who you are that holds you back — it's what you think you aren't. 

 

Those are similar, right? I've been trying to reframe when I have negative thoughts or feel overwhelmed: I'm not too decrepit to do karate, I'm still doing it. That kind of thing. 

 

My cat didn't know it's Daylight Savings Time & so instead of waking me up at 4:30 like he does every frigging day, he let me sleep in till 5:30. I am so not going to tell him to change his clock. That was a spa hour, oh yeah!

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By 9 a.m.

By 9 a.m. I'd been to the market, gotten my haircut, arranged a meeting & done some editing. By noon I was ready for a nap but my day continues: more work, a second meeting, a few biz-type things to take care of, & more (it will come to me). 

 

And hooray for International Women's Day. And then for the next 364 days, it's International Men's Year. 

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More Ted

Nick Sturm sent me this page from a notebook of Ted's in his archives at Emory University. Where'd he get the picture? (He snatched it, for sure: no way he asked for it.) Where was it taken? (Rockaways or Florida.) Did he know I'd be perplexed 35 years later? Probably! That man was a mixer, that's for sure—someone who stirs things up! I bet he grabbed it one time when he came over to help me find some pills I'd hidden so well they were lost for a long time. If Ted Berrigan can't find pills, you know they're well hidden! (Ask me where they finally turned up.)

Now I'm remembering once trading baseball cards with Anselm, who was about 6 at the time, & Ted made us trade back because he thought I was taking all the good cards & leaving Anselm with the duds. I probably was, although I was more interested in cute than stats, & Ans didn't care. I wanted Jim Palmer, the Orioles' handsome Hall of Fame-bound pitcher who later on posed in his underwear. A dreamboat!

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Spring training!

How is it that I haven't said anything about pitchers & catchers (who show up on or near my birthday—part of the joy of my birthday) or spring training? It feels so un-springlike, given that I'm still waiting for snow AND we've had so much mean cold. But yes, somewhere men are throwing that perfect sphere, swinging for the fences, getting ready for the long season. For now everything & everyone is perfect. 

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Mood Buster

Buster, o Buster! He keeps figuring out ways to get closer. He sleeps right on my head or back or next to me, nestled between Johnny & me. My loving little man. 

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Monday Quote

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

~ John Steinbeck

 

And they're a dime a dozen, ideas. It's what you do with them that matters. I remember when I put together my anthology of women writing about baseball (Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend) & thinking that if I hadn't done it, at some point someone else would have. It wasn't a unique idea, just one that I carried through. I'm sure others thought of it before I did, for that matter. 

 

Every day I try to think of a project. Most I'll never do, but the more ideas, the more ideas. Multiplying like rabbits. 

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Missing Ted

I've been missing & reading Ted, or is it reading & missing him. Happy to run across this illuminating note of Johnny's in the Penguin Sonnets. 

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March comes in

It's hard to cling to the potential for lots of snow when the calendar has flipped to March. I've spent the whole winter waiting for winter. 

 

In other news: new (hand-me-down) refrigerator. With a freezer that works!

 

Hey! It's snowing! Hey, it stopped. I'm not asking for a little snow, I'm asking for a LOT of snow. Come ON.

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