Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Pretenders take me to the night Specter beat Edgar

It started with hearing the news that Lou Reed had died and pulling out an old LP by the man (that also took me back to some old memories). But putting it back the next night is why I listened to The Pretenders.

I have only worked on one political campaign. I was fresh out of college. Bob Edgar lost. I was gathered with others who had worked on the campaign. A song came on the radio, and a woman next to me said, "They just don't spit vile like they used to."

I don't think I ever saw that woman again and her name is gone, but I so remember that quote. She needed music that was raw and angry that night.

Bob Edgar went on to do some fabulous things outside of politics.

Years later Arlen Specter would gain my respect for being a moderate in a polarized DC.

I had a student that once said, "Why jazz? Can't we listen to rock."

I said, "Sorry, I am no longer an angry young man."


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In Awe ~ Stained Glass and Sunrises at the Jesuit Center

When I said I wanted to continue to experience awe in my studio as I prayed in August and ever since, this is what I meant: please God, let the beauty of your light streaming through glass always amaze me. And, God never let me lose the amazement that friends and folk I have never met have trust in me to create unseen pieces of art for them.
I placed this piece in my room on the evening I entered silence in August. The plan was to give it to my spiritual director. But plans change if you allow them. The glass did not want to be in my room, so I moved it out to where folk wait to see their spiritual director. It faces east. It dug the sunrise.
Then an idea came to mind and I created a rather large and complex doodle for my spiritual director. On my last day, I handed the stained glass to a Jesuit and suggested a place it could hang. Today I got a post card from the Jesuit. They have decided otherwise, it will hang on the first floor, facing west. He invited me to come see it. That will happen. I dig sunsets too.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Delighted: Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

Back in the day, a biology professor handed me a book of short stories by Raymond Carver. It may have been the first collection of stories I ever read. I was hooked. Two years later, I met Mosaic Woman, who introduced me to many things Canadian.

There was a writer of short stories in that introduction, Alice Munro. Her stories amazed me. Someone once said that Munro did not have to write novels because she could get more into a short story than what is found in many novels.

I have at times searched through fiction settings in libraries and bookstores for stories. I find novels and novels and novels... and then at some point a collection of stories. The pressure must be intense. Forget stories. Write novels. Munro just kept writing stories and that impressed me.

So, I was delighted. An author, who tells stories in short splashes of color and who reminds me of those glorious days of falling into love with Margaret, was on the news. Good news indeed reached my spirit as I commuted this morning.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Beauty in the garden 2 ~> placing perennials

Our garden has witnessed my care on 27 of the last 33 days. It has been transformed, but as talked about in part 1, transformations take perseverance. I have pulled many more weeds, but I have taken the next step and have placed 30 perennials into the ground. I wanted some fall color in the front yard so this aster has been placed there. I am not much for garden design. I do know to plant tall things behind short things. But what I do is pick up a plant. Read the info on the tag. Find a place. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Things will die. Things will thrive. The garden will unfold. It will provide beauty.
The sunflowers are looking rather dead, but not completely and goldfinches have been around so these will stick around and provide comfort to the birds and my spirit this winter.

The dahlia,that returns each year, needed to be raised up from the ground upon which it had toppled. Blooms were broken off. This bud bloomed inside our kitchen. Pale in color but not beauty.

The first batch of perremnials came by way of Bowman's Hill over by New Hope. A place I had desired to see for decades and their fall plant sale got us there. This is how they looked on our porch.

So it was time to have my photo taken. New glasses, a transformed garden, a weeded patio/walkway. Now to keep those perennials alive. Who knows, with luck they will join this rosemary as plants that have thrived.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

A lunchtime moment in my classroom

Yesterday a student came in to my classroom. He had reached a level hat gav him the privilege to come to horticulture. His first words affirmed that it is quite the different place. One day it will be another's place to teach. For now, it is mine. And for that I am grateful.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My 1000th blog post: seeing the world through new glasses while hanging out with rosemary

sporting a new pair of glasses and one glove (?)
 and a most amazing rosemary bush

1000 posts on Stratoz, an enterprise started in 2007. I think a few were deleted, but most remain to help me reach a thousand ramblings shared on ~> God and Jazz. Glass and Science. Teaching and Gardening. Lansdale and Mosaic Woman. Food and Art. Probably some need some fixing up, but I am OK with an imperfect blog.

My posts are shorter these days but I think I still have the same focus. Celebrate the things I dig. Maybe it is a bit too diverse to get a rabid following from the masses, but I do have a fan base and for that I am grateful.  

I got new glasses on Saturday, much to the amusement of a friend at church. And considering the long week she had, I have no problem with bringing some joyful entertainment into her life.

This post does not show the 30 perennials I planted in the last few weeks, but it does show some Hostas that came with the house and may not be here when the next owner moves in. 

Violet and Green
Stratoz decided he needed some color