August 28, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009—The big news in Massachusetts is the death this week of Senator Ted Kennedy. The outpouring of people in Boston paying respects is quite moving (there’s the celebrity-gawker element, too, but I’m going to try to avoid cynicism and not dwell too heavily on that). I personally am grateful for the stance Senator Kennedy took on quite a few issues, as are many others, but, of course, not everyone got behind his views. Without turning this into a political posting, and not wanting to delve into all the business of “The Kennedys,” or Chappaquiddick, or healthcare reform, or the war in Iraq, etc., I did want to post this poem, which had me reflecting on the best that can come from spirited debate, and life’s journey once we move forward with the strength of our convictions. I’ve seen the poem attributed to Gwendolyn Brooks, though in a gift-book anthology I’m sitting with here at my desk, 100 Poems to Lift Your Spirits (edited by Leslie Pockell with Celia Johnson), the author is Anonymous:
CORNERS ON THE CURVING SKY
Our earth is round, among other things
That means you and I can hold
Points of view and both be right.
That difference of our positions will show
Stars in your window. I cannot even imagine.
Your sky may burn with light,
While mine, at the same moment,
Spreads beautiful to darkness.
Still, we must choose how we separately corner
The circling universe of our experience
Once chosen, our cornering will determine
The message of any star and darkness we
Check out the poetry roundup this week at Kate Coombs’ site Book Aunt.
August 23, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009—So how is it possible that our group made no official visits as part of the One-Card Library Tour over the summer? Well, we all made visits to different libraries, but not as a group. Some of the libraries were outside the Minuteman Library Network (for example, the wonderful Brewster Ladies’ Library on Cape Cod), so those visits don’t count officially as part of the tour (though do count for much-needed library fixes, even if the visits were brief). And, as relaxed as summer is, calendars still include work, family vacations, and other activities that kept us from getting it together as far as the tour is concerned. But—the adventure has resumed.
Stop # 5: Wayland Free Public Libary, founded in 1848 as Massachusetts’ first free public library and the second free public library in the United States. This I learned from the library’s Web site, which, in chronicling the library’s history, also discusses the influence of Italian art and architecture on the design by architect Samuel W. Mead of neighboring Weston. Three panels of the frieze located over the windows in the rotunda were modeled on Donatello’s Cantoria. Don’t let my inclusion of words like “rotunda” scare you into thinking this is some high-falutin kind of place; it’s a vibrant community library, not huge in size, but offering diverse treasures, literary and otherwise.
In the “favorites” category: 21 and Bubbles loved chatting and reading in the really low, green chairs in the kids’ area downstairs.
Lola, now known as Seaweed 7, had fun letting her fingers fly on the “fake” computer keyboard. Luckily, the libary is connected to real computers, which enabled one of the very helpful librarians to assist her in finding a copy of Tumtum and Nutmeg (which, as it turns out, was just up the street in Sudbury; a must-read, so a quick trip to retrieve it using, of course, the one Minuteman Library Network card).
Also joining us this trip was Clyde, who reports “the smell of books” as her favorite thing.
Virginia is looking forward to taking in La Double Vie de Veronique, which screens this Tuesday night as part of the library’s foreign film series.
My favorite part? Hmmm … well, you can survey the main floor from the balcony upstairs—people coming and going, browsing, reading—can’t help but think of who else over the years has come and gone with books. As with many libraries, historical portraits preside over today’s activity … bar-code scanners now used at check-out, but the books themselves are bundled in arms or loaded into tote bags, probably not unlike earlier times, to be taken home and enjoyed … so while some things change, others remain the same.
More soon from the tour.
August 14, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009—It’s been a mostly local summer for us, which isn’t bad at all–enjoying our recently adopted pooch, walking with friends, puttering in the garden, visiting the library, writing … Still, I have to say I’ve loved getting away to the beach a bit … floating in the waves, beachcombing. We don’t live so close that we can go anytime, but when work schedules allow, and weather cooperates, it’s not difficult to convince us to make the trip. It’s amazing the way a beach can change so dramatically, depending on the season, the weather, or the tide. Same place, different moods, different findings.
Here’s a kids’ poem I wrote a couple of years ago, when we visited the coast of Maine:
Where are the rocks we climbed this morning?
The snails and crabs that were here?
Where are the mucky pools for exploring?
The beach—it just disappeared!
By Martha Calderaro
Off for the weekend, but look forward to checking out all the other poetry links when I get back! This week’s roundup is over at a wrung sponge.
August 8, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009—While the PMC is a ride, not a race, Rob was pleased to beat his expected average speed of 15 mph and finished around 17 mph, taking less than 10 hours of actual riding time to cover the two-day course. This is starting to sound like a math problem involving a train leaving Topeka, so let’s cut to the chase—in the local parlance, we are all wicked proud of Rob!!
With thanks to Tom and Mike for their veteran-rider advice and invitation to join them for Day One; Tia and Jim for helping with car logistics and being with us at the finish; Bill and Mary for getting up early to cheer on the riders as they came along 6A; Corey, for watching the pooch so we could spend some extra time on the Cape; Stephanie, Ben, and Martha for watching the cats; and Dave for the phenomenal digs in Chatham, which we enjoyed very much this past week!!! And thanks again to all who sponsored Rob’s ride, and to Scott for riding in years past and inspiring Rob to try the event!
It was great to see family throughout the week, including Skittle Fingers (aka RayBeth and Cheliza) and The Sheriff!!! Penny candy, poker, and hide-n-seek are much more fun when you guys are involved (not to mention go-karts and trampolines)!
I think we had the best week of the summer weather-wise while we were down. Lucky us! I’m adding a couple of Cape Cod shells to the items on my desk that inspire me when I’m writing. (These include my Jane Austen action figure, cup-of-coffee Iwako Japanese eraser, and mini Ganesh statue from Kripalu yoga center.) During our beachcombing yesterday, I actually came across a small rock smoothed by the tide that is in the shape of a bicycle saddle. Whaddaya know? That one I’m giving to Rob. Or maybe I should keep it and start training, too??