Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings   3 comments

Fancy Dancer by Ethel Mortenson Davis

. . . I have been following Thomas Davis’ blog since 2012, and feel so fortunate to have found his blog.
“With billions of humans on this earth, it’s not easy to connect with poets who express the
human experience so worthy of being a poet’s poet. Thomas can open the door to why we exist!”

Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings — The Tribal College and World Indigenous Nations Higher
Education Consortium Poems was recently by Tribal College Press. Davis sees the book of poems as
“an introduction to the tribal college movement and the world of Indigenous nations.”

These poems tell the story of the tribal college movement. Davis writes, “They record history in a different way.
History is not just made up of facts and events, as momentous as those events may be, but also of
emotions, dreams, striving, failing, tragedy, struggling against long odds, laughter, joy, and
personalities that make significant differences even as those contributions are lost when
historians begin to shuffle through dust bins of primary sources.

In March, 2003, Robert Martin invited Davis to Tohono O’odham in southern Arizona.
While there, he wrote “A Visit to Tohono O’odham Community College
as It is Being Born, 2/6/03.”

Thomas Davis Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette

The poem begins:

Perry Horse said,
looking out to saguaro cactus, palo verde trees, bone-
white trunk of an eucalyptus tree, brown dryness of
desert, steep dirt sides of an arroyo,
“can you smell this place?
It smells different from your country with its trees, big
water, and winter’s deep cold.”
The arroyo channeled toward large skirts of a
mountain
that raised brown earth, dark rock into rare clouds
that looked as if they might hold rain.
Green smells of Tohono O’odham Nation were as
pale as trunks of the palo verde trees.

The last paragraph in the poem reads:

American has always been a nation of peoples, of
nations.
In desert air at night
stars hover bright and close to dark mountains
that shine and breathe
as we sing
into another time.

Davis, 74, lives in Sturgeon Bay and is the author of the award-winning novel 
“In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams,” and other works.
He still serves in leadership roles at several tribal colleges.

— kenne

Bookstores Can Survive By Being Creative   1 comment

fitzsimmons1David Fitzsimmons,Tucso Arizona Daily Star — Source: CagleCartoon.com

Recently, Joy received a Bookmans gift card. Bookmans is more than just a bookstore, it’s an entertainment exchange with a commitment to the people and communities they have served for over forty years. While there, I selected three books: Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist — The Life and Legacy of Edward Abbey by James Bishop; The River of Doubt by Candie Millard; Spanish Essentials for Dummies, the last two in preparation for my August trip to the Amazon in northern Bolivia. — kenne

“I’m alright. It’s the world that is dysfunctioning.”

— from The Fool’s Progress by Edward Abbey

Street Magic   2 comments

Street Magic-2-72Street Magic In Las Vegas — Image by kenne

Everywhere you look
Vegas is an illusion
Running from the truth.

— kenne

Study Bookshelf — “I cannot live without books.”   2 comments

Book Shelf-2-art-blog.jpgStudy Bookshelf — “I cannot live with books.” Photo-Artistry by kenne

Son of a reader
I grew up a non-reader
Just a “slow bloomer.”

A high achiever
Branded as low potential
In school early on.

As a survivor
Libraries became my home
Learning about self.

— kenne

What Price Human Dignity   5 comments

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

— Bertrand Russell

This Old Porch Lincoln (1 of 1)-3 b-w blog“This Old Porch” — Image by kenne

At What Price Human Dignity

Our world is complex and confusing; actually, it’s a crazy world out there. Part of the craziness is the tendency to label and patronize groups in ways of lacking human dignity.  Such acts toward others deprive them of their dignity, the one thing that belongs to us.

“When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is sacrificing ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men!” Ceasar Chaves at the end of a fast and a Mass of Thanksgiving.

Being a rural Alabama child in the 1940s, I was nurtured by a southern environment still recovering from the Great Depression.  To this day, I possess images of poor working people who own little more than their dignity, each day a struggle not to lose.

Later, in my twenties, I saw some tenant farmer families’ photos and immediately identified with the people in the images.  Walker Evans, who, along with James Agee, was assigned by Fortune magazine in 1936 to document the lives of tenant farmers in Alabama took the  photos.   When Fortune declined to publish their work, Agee and Evens published a book entitled “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” in 1941.  Although the original edition only sold about 600 copies, it is considered a classic in American art. Many credit their work, along with Roosevelt’s New Deal, to help address the depression era issues of social responsibility and human dignity.  Like so much art, especially that which affectively captures life’s anguish, this recognition came only after death.

Agee and Evans tried to distinguish between what was real and what was actual by avoiding judgment by a commitment to interaction — doing as they would be done by. 

It’s not always easy to make sense of what we may see while trying to learn what we believe and where our ethical concerns might require us to go. In doing so, we are drawn not to an explanation but the profound compliment dependence and use.

“Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.” — Erik H. Erikson

— kenne

Alabama2006-11-13-25Lincoln b-w blog“Rural Alabama” — Image by kenne

(First Posted October 8, 2008)

Western Smoke BBQ   1 comment

Western Smoke BBQ, Tucson, Arizona — B&W Image with Some Color Masked Through by kenne

“We shall not cease from exploration, . . . “   2 comments

Ventanna Canyon  (1 of 1) blogVentana Canyon Panorama — Image by kenne

We shall not cease from exploration,

and the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time.

— T. S. Eliot

— will affect me like music   3 comments

Sunset Table (1 of 1)_art blog

“Tell me what you think Art is” — Image by kenne

Tell me what you think Art is — of you can

— ask a lot of people — and see if anybody knows . . .

You asked me about music — I like it better than anything

in the world — I like it better than anything

in the world — Color gives me the same thrill once in

a long long time — I can almost remember and count the times

— it is usually just the outdoors or the flowers — or a person —

sometimes a story — or something that will call a picture

to my mind — will affect me like music — 

Georgia O’Keeffe — Words/Works

Capturing The Moment — Stagecoach Driver   3 comments

Tombstone & Bisbee May 18 2012Stagecoach Driver — Image by kenne

Westward the wagon jolted
along the ruts and trails,
along the interminable course of empire,
while the sun took a long time going down in the fields.

The earth was slow and hard
and there was nothing to see but land:
it was not a country at all
but the sketch of a country,
the material out of which countries are made.

— from “Nebraska, 1883,” by Edward Hirsch

The dust of travel still clings to his body,
and particles of sunlight fade on his skin.
What has happened to the eternal presences?

— from “The Renunciation of Poetry,” by Edward Hirsch

 

Capturing The Moment — Zydeco Dots   Leave a comment

Zydeco2006-09-24-13 B-W blogThe Zydeco Dots at The Continental Club, Houston, Texas — (09/24/06)

Roger Wood  and James Fraher

Roger Wood and James Fraher

Roger Wood writes in the Introduction to his 2006 book, Texas Zydeco:

“No matter where you may have lived or traveled or what your tastes in music might be, somewhere along the way you have likely encountered the uncanny sound of zydeco. For many people it is but a fleeting moment of exposure, leaving them slightly confused but somehow enthused by their sudden involuntary foot-tapping. For certain others it is an even more visceral awakening, the start of an ongoing relationship with a potent force. For some, there is no memory of their first encounter, for they have known it all their lives — the phrase ‘Texas zydeco’ is not an oxymoron but a cultural fact.”

kenne

Zydeco2006-09-24-29 B-W blogBar at Houston’s Continental Club — Images by kenne

Capturing The Moment — Wolfgang, Peter And The Navajo Woman   7 comments

Wolfgang P. Theiss

When Wolfgang and I first met by the pool two years ago, we would talk about philosophy and share other common interest topics. Often, conversations would begin on whatever book he was reading by the pool.

Two years ago, Wolfgang spent about three weeks here in southern Arizona, enjoying the hot summer sun. It was not his first time visiting Tom in Tucson, and he indicated he would be visiting again next year. But, that didn’t happen – I didn’t ask why distracted by the pleasure of seeing him again.

Since Joy and I had just returned from vacation, I assumed he had just arrived. However, he had come while we were gone, during which time he and Tom made a road trip to northern Arizona and southern Utah and was now in his last week here in the states. 

Wolfgang was anxious to share the time they spent in the Navajo Nation territory, taking in some of its natural beauty. However, his most memorable moment was a conversation he had with a Navajo woman, whom he greeted in Navajo. Although his Navajo vocabulary is limited, she seemed to be impressed. Upon departing, she told him that he would speak in Navajo when he comes back. 

“No, I won’t,” Wolfgang said.

“That’s the right answer,” she replied.

Now Wolfgang has a kindred spirit in the Navajo Nation. 

As in the past, I was curious as to what Wolfgang’s poolside reading was. As the title was in German, I only know the author’s name; Peter Sloterdijk. I now plan on reading some of Sloterdijk’s work, especially learning more about his theory of the human as a practicing, training being, which may give me additional insight on why “becoming is superior to being,” and the process of becoming (improving) as individuals and groups can result in a more convivial society.

Related to this thought, I shared a poem I first heard in the late ’50s from my high school English teacher: 

“Good, better, best,

Never let it rest,

Till your good is better,

And your better is best.” 

This little poem has been my life’s anthem.

(Until recently, the author of the poem was unknown, but a recent Google search gives credit to professional basketball player Tim Duncan. Look at what media exposure can do for you!)

We also talked about the concept and philosophy of “feathering,” which I will post later.

Keep on feathering, my friend.

— kenne

 

Wolfgang P. TheissWolfgang P. Theiss — Images by kenne

Not so the evening primroses . . .   2 comments

Kickback Rock 07-30-12Cutleaf Evening Primrose — Image by kenne

Full
by Wendy Barker

Light splotches on the bed,
mesmerizing the morning.
Why rise from this dazzle?

But outside the kitchen door,
the first time in years, flickering
in the pittosporum’s froth, a dozen

dozen Monarch butterflies ignite
the green, their white freckled patches
shifting, rapid as a blink, and gone.

Not so the evening primroses
that open as the light is leaving
and remains even as the moon lifts

from the trees, even as you sit
steady above your book, until
you rise, and bring me your hands.

(Windy Barker is a poet and critic, and teaches literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Windy has been involved in several “Writer’s In Performance” events over the years.)

Capturing The Moment — Little Snow-Covered Tree: “Noel Noel”   3 comments

Little Tree In Snow blogMt. Lemmon, December 22, 2011 — Image by Kenne

New snow-covered tree

Dressed white in forest shadows

Stood bent before me.

kenne

little tree

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

little tree

little silent Christmas tree

you are so little

you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest

and were you very sorry to come away?

see i will comfort you

because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark

and hug you safe and tight

just as your mother would,

only don’t be afraid

look the spangles

that sleep all the year in a dark box

dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms

and i’ll give them all to you to hold

every finger shall have its ring

and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed

you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see

and how they’ll stare!

oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands

and looking up at our beautiful tree

we’ll dance and sing

“Noel Noel”

4th Avenue Street Fair Fall 2012 109 blogImage by kenne

 

Flowers On The Oracle Ridge Trail — Lack Of, That Is!   5 comments

Blue Flax — Images by kenne

Yesterday’s SCVN Mt. Lemmon hike was on the Oracle Ridge Trail. The trailhead is on the north side of Mt. Lemmon, just off the Control Rd. and includes part of the area that was in the 2003 Aspen Wildfire. This trail is usually a great trail for observing wildflowers in the summer on Mt. Lemmon, but we were probably too early since there were very few flowers along the trail. One that was spotted at about 7,000 feet was one that Karen, Maribeth and I were not able to identify. (In my case that’s to be expected.) However, since the three of us were riding in the same car and Maribeth had a copy of the Frank Rose book,  Mountain Wildflowers of Southern Arizona, we knew we would name it during our return trip to Tucson. It turned out not to be as easy an identification as we thought. Although the flower looked like a Blue Flax, the plant had so few flowers and leaves, making it difficult to decide. It did, however make for a very interesting discussion. (More to come on the Oracle Trail hike.)

kenne

We Received A Holiday Card Today, The Old Fashion Way   1 comment


We received this card today from our dear friends, Kuyk and Dianne Logan in The Woodlands, Texas — the old fashion way! Not only did it come through the postal service, but the card was printed on Kuyk’s 1902 Chandler & Price letterpress printer. Some people collect stamps, he collects printing supplies. Kuyk, retired Houston Post managing editor, loves spending time in his workshop, which he calls “Prints Charming Ink.”

Tucked in this year’s card was a bookmark, Letterpress Bookmark* — the asterisk notes: “Not compatible with e-reader formats.”

The Dickenson reference on the card is to the annual Emily Dickenson birthday celebration organized by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MCLAC), which Joy and I have missed the last couple of years since we moved to Tucson. We hope to get together with Kuyk and Dianne the next time we are in the Houston area. We miss all out MCLAC friends.

kenne

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