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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

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New Features, Articles & Columns


O Citoyen!

Four Pennies

Robert Oeser


With Prejudice

Flesh of My Flesh:  Reflections on Prejudice & Love

Shanta Lee Gander


With Prejudice

Finding America

Vincent Panella


Story Page

Matinicus The Marvelous Cat

MM Kizi


Meanderings

White as Snow

Charles Monette


Love In Action

People Power in Pink

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Populism

Offie Wortham


Witness

Teaching Again

Mac Gander


Ponder me

The Unexpected Gift We All Received From President Trump

Shanta Lee


Meanderings

White Buffalo in the Sky

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

Venus Smiled

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A resolute spirit

Nanci Bern


StudioTWO

The Owens


Ponder me

From Self-Immolation to Hashtag Activism:

Shanta Lee


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


Chess

“The Mating Game”

Phil Innes


Overheard

Literacy

part 1, the USA


Witness

Code-switching

Mac Gander


Ponder me

The Cautionary Tales of

Shiny New Places

Shanta Lee


Love In Action

New Year’s Reflections on

“Charlotte’s Web”

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey


Ponder me

2016:  The Year of

It is What it Is

Shanta Lee


SCREENplay

Manchester by the Sea

Lawrence Klepp


Witness

Street Life, New York City

Mac Gander


Meanderings

White Mountain

Charles Monette


The First Glass

San Diego, Ocean Beach – November 17, 2016

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Allied

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

Oh, Holidays

Nanci Bern


Witness

Wake Up Call

Mac Gander


Old Lady Blog

Gone/ All Gone

Toni Ortner


Ponder me

Intangible Things =

Intangible Human Relationships

Shanta Lee


An A-musing Life

Mushroom Soup with John

Nanci Bern


Ponder me

We’ve Come Undone: 

Our Gender Problem

Shanta Lee


in between

FEAR

Julia Ferarri


Post Oil Solutions

Integrity in the time of

climate change

Tim Stevenson


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Last leaves leaving

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Braveheart

Elizabeth Hill


Ponder me

Moonlight or “I, too, Am America” for a New Era?

Shanta Lee


Urban Naturalist

Hogle in Fall:

a Subdued Sanctuary Hunkers Down for Winter

Lloyd Graf


Guest Article

Trimalchio in the White House: The American Dream Comes True

Mac Gander


Vermont Diary

Quality of Life


An A-musing Life

11/12 and Counting

Nanci Bern


World & US Energy News

Nov 15 Just one day in the energy life of the planet

George Harvey


Meanderings

As if

Charles Monette


Open Mind

What Will Become Of The Trump Faithful?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Clouds

Charles Monette


Write On!

Castle Dor


Vermont Diary

Words or Deeds


SCREENplay

Sully

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Living in the Twilight Zone

Elizabeth Hill


100 Years Ago

Births

in 1916


Chess

Susan Polgar:

Little Known Feminist Icon

Alicia Colon


Natural Inclusivity

What is ‘Natural’ Science?

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Evil frog monsters

Charles Monette


Special Feature

Halloween

Robert Burns


SCREENplay

The Girl on the Train

Lawrence Klepp


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Who Sleeps Daily in S.C.?

&

S.C. City Council

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Why just now

Charles Monette


Returning To Place

PRIUS

Brian D. Cohen


in between

After a Fire Puja

Julia Ferarri


Vermont Diary

Out of the closet


Old Lady Blog

LESBOS, GREECE

Toni Ortner


The First Glass

Journal Entry –

October 3, 2016

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Another way up

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

The Light Between Oceans

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Déjà Vu at Asteroid Chasm

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Café Society

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

A Snow Bunny in Summer

Nanci Bern


Meanderings

The mountain was soft

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Malaise

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Out of time


The First Glass

Who Art In : Moment : Youth

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

THE HOGLE PANORAMA

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

The Pony Man

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Lots of words to it


Monkey’s Cloak

Beyond the pale

Charles Monette


Chess

World Chess Championship to take place in New York

Phil Innes


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of observations and poems by Alan Rayner, part 7

‘Bridestones’


Love In Action

“The Missionary of Water”

Dr. Masaru Emoto

Elizabeth Hill


Selected Letters

Marbles

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

from a forthcoming work...

Toni Ortner


in between

A QUIET RAIN FALLS

Julia Ferarri


STORY PAGE

Rose’s Spring

A graphic novel in slide show format by MM Kizi


World & US Energy News

Just one day’s energy news, July 2016 “Setbacks

George Harvey


Open Mind

The power of “Instant” News in producing stress and anxiety

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Frost in the Summer

Nanci Bern


Returning To Place

Emblem

an essay and 5 images

Brian D. Cohen


Vermont Diary

Birthday boy


Love In Action

Neptune and Jupiter

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of poems

by Alan Rayner, part 5

Howard’s Castle


Selected Letters

In Memoriam

Dorothy M. Rice, 1919 - 2016


Open Mind

Malcolm and Ali

Offie Wortham


Vermont Diary

SHOCK of the Present


Open Mind

Can we bite the bullet until after November?

Offie Wortham


Returning To Place

Interlude, New Book & Kickstarter

Brian D. Cohen


Monkey’s Cloak

SHAVUOT

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

five directions, five fingers, five roots

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

US Politics for Forns from Yurp [part deux]


Monkey’s Cloak

UP NORTH

Phil Innes


Write On!

Women of the Mounds

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Colleges where your child can earn a Degree for Free

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Ticks and Tourism


World & US Energy News

Just one day’s news

in early May

George Harvey


Untitled Work

Hitler’s Secret Diaries, Or, Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere

Mac Gander


Old Lady Blog

Lights out or the weather of the apocalypse

Toni Ortner


Write On!

Daniel Berrigan

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Over the Mountain


Love In Action

The First Lady of the World

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

May I

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Is the experiment with republics now over?


Post Oil Solutions

Tipping Point

Tim Stevenson


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“How Drumpf wins”

Jeri Rose


The Great Adventure

The Fairer Sex

Terri Kneipp


Vermont Diary

WEIRD WYOMING — A LETTER TO ENGLAND


OVERHEARD

O say can you see...

A test severe of on-line language translators


Returning to Place

Angel

Brian D. Cohen


Vermont Diary

QUINTISH


Love In Action

THE DANCING FOOLS

Elizabeth Hill


REAL FOOD !

Parsnip Soup


Vermont Diary

PC, Euphemisms, including death and toilets


Urban Naturalist

AMPHIBIANS AND OTHER CRITTERS COPE WITH EQUINOCTAL CONFUSION

Lloyd Graf


Selected Letters

Tennessee Tensions

Rob Mitchell


Vermont Diary

Couple pointers

for President Trump


Old Lady Blog

Call from a Scientologist friend

Toni Ortner


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

The Hinge of Perception

Jeri Rose


Returning to Place

Adam and Eve’s Lament. Etching and letterpress,

11” x 15”, 1997

Brian D. Cohen


Monkey’s Cloak

Bird of transcendence

Matti Salminen


Vermont Diary

FLIGHT PATH OPTIONS


Monkey’s Cloak

Tibetan dream song

Charles Monette


in between

One hundred and twenty six years

Julia Ferarri


CURIOUS TOPICS

Gull Summit — Prime Minister concerned over Hitchcockian behavior


View From A Bridge

Golgonooza

Brian D. Cohen


Love In Action

SUMMER, 1947

Elizabeth Hill


Weekly Feature

In conversation with

Archer Mayor


Overheard

“REVENANT”

Which turns out to be very old


Returning to Place

Tree Trunk (Douglas fir)

Brian D. Cohen


Wondering Tales

The Cat’s Whiskers

a feline alphabet

MM Kizi


Overheard

Honkie Dilemma

A quiz


100 Years Ago

Major Literary Events


Monkey’s Cloak

Einstein’s Eyes

Charles Monette


Chess

The Silence of the Pawns

Paul Truong


100 Years Ago

A chronological overview of the year 1916


Returning to Place

The Wood

Brian D. Cohen


Natural Inclusivity

A new understanding of the evolutionary kinship of all life on Earth.

Alan Rayner


Vermont Diary

Featuring the numbers 7, 40, 911, 12, respectively


Write On!

Faery Stories 6,000 years old


World & US Energy News

Just one day’s news

in early February

George Harvey


Vermont Diary

Paint, peeling; plus more news of White Men


Monkey’s Cloak

Momentarily

Charles Monette


Love In Action

HOME

Elizabeth Hill


Urban Naturalist

Season of the Fox [part 3 of 3]

Lloyd Graf


in between

“There comes a moment in life when the dead outnumber the living.”

Julia Ferarri


CURIOUS TOPICS

No screaming — we are the police!


Open Mind

“Who would Dr. King support in 2016?”

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Entering a moonlit forest

Charles Monette


Chess

Saudi’s, Satan and so on


Vermont Diary

The British Aren’t Coming


World & US Energy News

Just one days news in the life of the planet

George Harvey


CURIOUS TOPICS

We shouldn’t laugh


Selected Letters

Robert Oeser with Fire Chief Mike Bucossi


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Attempts at Transport

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

What Do We Want?

Jeri Rose


O Citoyen!

Community survey on future fire and police buildings

Robert Oeser


Vermont Diary

Weeding out the truth about “It”


Monkey’s Cloak

Awoke in the starless hour

Charles Monette


CURIOUS TOPICS

All washed up — Global trash


Monkey’s Cloak

Okay, we’ve looked there

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Reflections on Grandpa Ross Turning The House

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

A strange accounting


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Inklings of Immortality

Jeri Rose


Curious Topics

Raining Cats and Dogs

& Jack the Psycho Rabbit


Monkey’s Cloak

Broken Promise

Alan Rayner


Vermont Diary

Come to think of it


100 Years Ago

November & December

From nude cinema to Einstein, to sinking of hospital ships in WWI


Vermont Diary

Notes from underground


An A-musing Life

The Hebrew Month of Kislev and Chanukah

Nanci Bern


Old Lady Blog

Omyra Sanchez

Toni Ortner


REAL FOOD !

Secret History of the Pasty


Monkey’s Cloak

Looking back dark

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Dear England, Please Send Me A Redheaded Boy

Elizabeth Hill


Write On!

Castle Freeman, Jr. 

The Devil in the Valley.

A review by Laura C. Stevenson


Studio 4

Now Showing

December Works at

Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts


Vermont Diary

Hunger’s Ground-Zero

in Our Town


Monkey’s Cloak

The Back-up Bird

Charles Monette


Guest Article

The Angels of Reinca

A Compleat Graphic Novel Story

M.M. Kizi


Monkey’s Cloak

Snake

D. H. Lawrence


Chess

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts

and other matches


Post Oil Solutions

Climate Change Café Hosts Carbon Pollution Tax Presentation

Tim Stevenson


Vermont Diary

On Aggression


Write On!

Singing with Bobby Fischer

Patti Smith


Monkey’s Cloak

CARACOL OF SOULS

Terry Hauptman


World & US Energy News

Just one days news

in mid-November

George Harvey


Urban Naturalist

Introducing...

Lloyd Graf


Selected Letters

Qi Gong on Black Mountain

Ken Masters


Old Lady Blog

Strike out

Toni Ortner


Love in Action

“All is Very, Very Well.” ~Eileen Caddy

Elizabeth Hill


StudioTWO

Featuring Cai Xi

November Paintings at Vermont Artisan Designs


Monkey’s Cloak

Five Haiku

Andrea Wallens Powell


An A-musing Life

Draped in Time

Nanci Bern


Open Mind

The New Israel

Offie Wortham


If You Lived Here

Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market


O Citoyen!

Restorative Justice

Robert Oeser


Monthly Feature

Picasso sculpture at MoMA

Marnie Innes


Love In Action

Boy With Many Hats

Elizabeth Hill


APPRECIATING ART

In the eye of beholder

Terri Kneipp


OVERHEARD

Have no truck with


An A-musing Life

A Penne for your thoughts

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

Something wonderful just happened


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

The Incense of magic

Jeri Rose


100 Years Ago

Edith Louisa Cavell

Pioneering nurse executed October 1915


Weekly Feature

In conversation with Kathy Leo


Chess

Review of The Immortal Game: A history of chess

Lawrence Klepp


in between

Developing trust

Julia Ferarri


REAL FOOD !

Tomatoes galore

Phil Innes


APPRECIATING ART

In the eye of beholder

Terri Kneipp


Love In Action

The Language of Form

Elizabeth Hill


Studio3

Strolling with Bernie

Photographic Essay


Consolation of History

A hundred things to hide

Martha M Moravec


The Great Adventure

What will your daughters see?

Terri Kneipp


StudioOne

The Plains Indians, America’s Early Artists, at the Met

Marnie Innes






Vermont Views Magazine


A unique community supported cultural magazine exploring Quality of Life and Spirit of Place in our bio-region, with extraordinary photographs, 22 regular columnists plus feature articles, galleries & essays, new articles and photos every day. 100s more articles in the Archive.






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"The Blind Masseur"

 

In Passing

publisher’s notes

on current contributions

with extracts





Robert Oeser

O Citoyen!

Four Pennies





    A friend, Susan Wilmott, has recently been donating pairs of boots and shoes for use by visitors of the Loaves & Fishes kitchen.  One of our volunteers, Ken, had been looking out for folks whose footwear is less than adequate for the winter weather and figuring out whether we had the right size. This Friday, Ken was ill and was absent from the kitchen, but in true Loaves & Fishes style, another volunteer, Diane, happened to show up to take his place. She pointed out to me a man I have seen walking, almost constantly, around town, always carrying a shopping bag. She said he was wearing “flip-flops”  --- meaning not the sandals, but that the soles of his shoes were becoming detached from the uppers. I took him aside and asked if he could use a pair of shoes and then found one in his size.  He tried them on, gave me a thumbs up, and reached in his pocket and gave me four pennies. He kept one back for himself, as a lucky penny, flipped it in the air and caught it on the fly. We both laughed.

Read on>>>



Shanta Lee Gander

Flesh of My Flesh: 

Reflections on Prejudice & Love

With Prejudice





With Prejudice

Project One

investigates the sometimes darker side of our feelings about each other

personally and in our society


I’ve often asked myself if my choice of life partners is linked to some form of internalized racism.  In between marriages, a friend once asked, “Have you tried the dating site Black Planet?  You tried a White man, but you know how that went!”   Is my choice of partner and other life choices linked to some indication that I am out of touch with a true love and acceptance of my own racial group?


Throughout my experiences in public school in Hartford, CT I faced constant ridicule.  “You talk [or act] white” or “You are just a tanned white girl.” My mother often called me an “Uncle Tom” and used racial slurs to illustrate that I was outside of the black norm.  In my mid-twenties, my boyfriend often stated that I was better suited for a white man because I was “so white.”


One of the first boys I tried to kiss at seven years old had blonde hair and blue eyes.  My first kindergarten crush was a Puerto Rican boy named James.   In many ways, I never thought that my choice of a partner had to match my skin color.  In fact, I extended coloring outside of the lines to everything including my style of music to my fantasy wardrobe (Victorian please).  Does this qualify me as being white washed?


Most of my husbands have been white.  I know how to make my husband’s Italian grandmother’s meatballs.  I often make jokes about how I can out –WASP him on any given day (speaking to his mix of WASP and Italian ancestry).  My second and current husbands added more knowledge of my own culture than any of the boyfriends of color that I’ve had.  A White ex-boyfriend once lectured me about my hair exclaiming, “I prefer your hair natural without all of that extra shit.”  He was referring to my choice of adding extra hair to give length.

Read on >>>>



Vincent Panella

Finding America

With Prejudice





With Prejudice

Project One

investigates the sometimes darker side of our feelings about each other

personally and in our society



   <extract>  Ethnicity is our history, written about by each generation as they saw what was going on around them: James T. Farrell, Henry Roth, Pietro DiDonato, Richard Wright, Sherman Alexie, and now the Asian-Americans. The American story is an ethnic story, and the going was rougher for some than others. When one of our my sisters married a black man the reaction of my father and his Italian cadre was shameful, but they soon came around and welcomed a new member of the family. Why was that? Because they were immigrants too. I’m in the process of composing an email to some cousins in Sicily who want to know what I think about Trump. When I previously called him a Mussolini they weren’t so sure. Overwhelmed by refugees from North Africa, their city of Palermo has neither space nor money nor jobs. They want the refugees gone. When I answer their e mail I will explain that here in America we do have space, we can make space, those who come now will be no different than those who came before – those who made us stronger, more interesting, more daring as we learn to live with each other. There’s no backing away from that.


Read on >>>>



MM Kizi

Matinicus — The Marvelous Cat

Story Page




A full graphic novel

in slide show format


   Read On >>>



On the trail with Charles Monette

White as Snow

Meanderings




Halfway up the mountain, I stopped and stared at a lone white birch tree set back in a grove of pines.  It had a distinct lower branch jutting out horizontally, perpendicular to the tree for about 7 feet.  Then it rose vertically at a right angle.  I watched and thought I detected something moving on the branch near the trunk…  movement ever so slight.


Then it moved again.  A white creature nestled its rounded white head slightly down and left into its chest.  His head came up in alert.  An owl, white as snow, perched demurely, concealed in the camouflage of a white birch, returned my gaze.  


My surprise and wonder moved me as I slowly left the trail to approach this snowy bird.   A few steps… a stop… a few more steps.  As I drew closer, I was dumbfounded by his yellow eyed, black-beaked, empty-noddled espial of me.


He was a big bird, standing two foot plus on the branch.  Pure white plumage marked his maleness.  Dressed for winter, his snowiness blended his secrets without a care.


Another step, my boot cracked a dry branch under snow, and he took flight.  He flew straight at and just above me.  A magical, magnificent snowy owl!  I was awestruck by his size and fluid flight as if all motion had slowed.  My carpenter’s eye measured his wingspan to be at least 4’.  Flying overhead, he made a clicking, almost quacking, ‘creak, creak’ sound, derisive in dismissal, as if barking, “so long, sucker.”  I felt honored by his insulting regard of me as he made a right turn at the trailhead and flew up the mountain.  Damn, that was something! 


And then it started to snow…

those big slow gently floating flakes

as if standing in a topsy-turvy snow globe 



Read On Here >>>



Elizabeth Hill

People Power in Pink

Love In Action




“Women are like teabags. You don’t know how strong they are

  until you put them in hot water” 

~ Eleanor Roosevelt


The millions of people who participated in the Women’s Marches throughout America and around the globe on January 21st gave the world powerful images of what our forefathers meant by ‘We The People’. Most importantly, these marches launched a global Resistance Movement to counter the tyranny now coming from the White House.


On that day now two weeks ago, my three daughters and I marched alongside 50,000 others in Philadelphia, Pa. Marchers were an array of every possible color, creed, class, age, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and ability. The crowds were entirely peaceful, and the atmosphere was filled with an abundance of camaraderie.


For me, the weeks leading up to the march were surprisingly meaningful as I knitted seven pussycat hats, one for each of my family, one for a friend, and a few extras to give away to others that might want them. While knitting, I became aware of being part of a vast energy I can only describe as Love. I could feel a connection to past hard-fought resistance movements for which countless people had given their efforts and too often, their lives. Though the hats were pink, cuddly, and mildly humorous, I envisioned them as our battle helmets as we marched into The Resistance.


Along with handmade signs, we carried a simple puppet I’d put together using a paper mache’ head I found stored in my basement. A young girl with special needs had created it a few years back in one of my classes. Because of illness, she hadn’t been able to finish her puppet. It seemed a most appropriate image to use as an ambassador for all the wonderful special children I’ve been privileged to work with over the years, both as a nurse and an artist. I felt proud to dress this child’s puppet with a pussycat hat, matching pink stuffed gloves for hands, and a shirt emblazoned with the words “Love conquers Hate”.

Read the full article.



Offie Wortham

Populism

Open Mind




Our generation, like every generation, has the opportunity to help this country become a democratic one where our voices are listened to, and our votes actually count in electing officials on a local and national level. Both Sanders and Trump preached a form of populism that appealed to millions. Sanders populist solutions were more liberal and from the left. Trump used a conservative populist approach coming from the right.


Let me define populism for you from Wikipedia: "Populism is a political style of action that mobilizes a large alienated element of a population against a government which is seen as controlled by an out-of-touch closed elite that acts on behalf of its own interests. The underlying ideology of Populists can be left, right, or middle. Its goal is to unite the uncorrupt and the unsophisticated (the 'little man') against the corrupt dominant elites (usually the orthodox politicians) and their camp followers (usually the rich and the intellectuals). It is guided by the belief that political and social goals are best achieved by the direct actions of the masses. Although it comes into being where mainstream political institutions fail to deliver, there is no identifiable economic or social set of conditions that give rise to it, and it is not confined to any particular social class."


The above definition was long, but necessary. Read on >



Mac Gander

Teaching Again

Witness





<extract>

It is a very strange circumstance to be a college teacher in the current environment. It is a bit like Edgar’s lines at the end of Lear—one feels compelled to speak what one feels, not what one ought to say. Or Ezra Pound in the end of the first movement of Mauberly—“liars in public places.” I suppose the world has always been more or less the way it is now. No one woke up on 11/9 to discover suddenly that there are deep threads of misogyny, nativism, racism, and homophobia woven through the nation. But most people are better than that, and I suppose one hopes, teaching again another semester after so many years, that there is some purpose in the enterprise.

This is the strangest time in which I have lived, and my memory includes Kennedy’s assassination and everything since then—I was paying attention all that time. I really cannot imagine how things will turn out, and I worry a lot about the world that my daughters will inherit. Most people I know feel the same. A very strange time, and we that are old must continue to do our best, however wearying this long battle may feel. I was glad to be back in the classroom this week, and I chose Jackson’s “The Lottery” for a reason.

   Read On>>>



Shanta Lee

The Unexpected Gift We All Received From President Trump

Ponder me 




It is inevitable to not think about the reality show and horror unzipping on our political stage in America.   But perhaps the good that comes out of Trump’s presidency is a connection with that we’ve lost long ago… community.  Community is a concept that has become a wraith due to changes in American life throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  However, I’ve noticed a rebirth over the past couple of months given our mass disillusionment.


“Don’t Talk to Strangers” & The Dismantling of Community


As a young adult I made the promise to break the “don’t talk to strangers” rule that was drilled into me as a child. I have often enjoyed sharing laughs, listening to stories, or just having a random exchange as I went about my day.  Admittedly, most of theSE exchanges happened between myself and a store clerk, a barista, or with individuals as we journeyed to our separate destinations.  


At some point, most of those engagements with passers by stopped.  Either we were each in our own world, or became subconsciously infected with the post 9/11 world.  Even if you are not a news junkie, most of us noticed how we became silo’d over time based upon our changing society. My parents always talked about the all-seeing eye in their generation within the context of a neighborhood. Read on here >



The Owens

StudioTWO




Every now and again I send people one of these images, and recipients are entranced, or more than that, fascinated.


Here is a selection of the overused word ‘unique’ work, but in this case entirely justified.  What follows are images, contact information with a few notes on the artists.


The Old Chapel is the home and studio of artists F. John  and Fiona Owen.

Each year, for three weeks of the summer, the two painters exhibit their paintings in their  studio. It is an annual Midsummer Celebration - a visual journal of their year, recording their travels and their daily walks.

This year will be the 29th year at the Chapel, and at the exhibition  the  three  year  project   "Weeds in the Heart" -

"A Five Valleys Herbal" will be launched - this is an  illustrated book by Nathaniel Hughes and Fiona Owen. The new book is 176 pages,  an A4 book with full colour throughout , with gilded paintings, illuminations & drawings. 

Their hillside garden is spread over an acre of terraced cliff, with a Gothic tower, pond house and box hedged potager.

Every June, the studio becomes an exhibition space for their paintings. It is twenty-nine years since they moved to the Chapel and they have brought up their two children, Laurence and Meredith there  -  both are now practicing artists .


Read more Here



Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey

Vermont Diary




It’s been a difficult year to publish this magazine. Many columnists have been angry, enthusiastic and despairing per lunar phase, and writing upon election themes the whole time, and at too considerable a length.


2016 as the Year of the Monkey seems to have fooled even the New York Times who in an article dated as late as October 13th 2016 confidently wrote about what it was going to be like with a female president.


It is as if we as individual citizens had no nous, no power, no other orientation than to give it all up to one pole of the duo — that politicians could do something for us for which our own souls played no part. They stole people’s power, like sly wizards whether of the Bernie, Hillary or The Donald, kind.


Promises made were not only difficult or impossible to achieve, but could sensibly only be achieved by consensus in local communities, and enacted from our very souls — World Affairs have indeed become soul-sized.


Read More



Lawrence Klepp

Manchester by the Sea

SCREENplay




All three of the acutely observant and deeply engaging movies written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, You Can Count On Me (1999), Margaret (2011), and his new film, Manchester by the Sea, have tragic loss in their background and moral confusion in their foreground. Characters do impulsive, irrational things. They intersect at odd, incommunicative angles. Their urgent or mundane or half-finished sentences get nowhere, and so, often enough, do they. 


Yet despite the impasses and dark undercurrents, these films don’t offer depressing tours of unrelieved damage and defeat, or (what would be even more depressing) patented inspiring, heartwarming resolutions. They’re resolutely unresolved.


The result is the opposite of melodrama. There are no cinematic italics or exclamation points, no conspicuous arcs or crescendos. Lonergan’s characters don’t fall into categories like good and evil, hero and villain. Some are more decent or reliable or responsible than others, but all are complex and all are in the throes of muddling through.

His movies are about the irreducible complexity of the human condition, a complexity that includes plenty of oblique comedy as well as muted tragedy, since both are woven into the tangle of ordinary life that he makes his touchstone. Lonergan could use, as epigraph for any of his films, Kant’s aphorism: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity nothing straight can be made.”


At the beginning of Manchester by the Sea, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck, in an appropriately subdued performance) is seen working as a janitor in a Boston apartment house, shoveling snow and fixing people’s toilets, fielding impatient complaints and accepting an occasional tip, living in a dismal little basement room. We sense that this life is a kind of resigned self-punishment before we find out, almost halfway through the film, the reason for it. Read on>>>>



Julia Ferarri

Fear

in between




Recently I’ve been reminded of the power of fear—our collective and our individual fears: of moving forward, of the unknown, of change. Trauma in life hits us with such unexpected force, catching us unaware or unprepared and sometimes leaving us seemingly incapable of dealing with the after effects: the path ahead, the new normal. Are there ways we can steer ourselves ahead within a state of uncertainty, and still manage to steady ourselves (and others) without putting the brakes on and abandoning our reality? Can we take small steps forward and even watch our potent reactions and aversions to our circumstances?

 

Life keeps changing, nothing we relied on in the past can absolutely be relied on in the future, because everything in the universe moves, spins, unfurls, closes, disappears, reappears—without our control. Beloved trees are cut down, sources dry up, hopeful candidates lose, and people die, but just as importantly, new seedlings survive and grow, new sources of inspiration or substance appear, and new people or opportunities enrich our lives.

 

Life hits us, life hurts. … it can’t be avoided. Sometimes our physical selves just want to stop us from moving on. Armies within us who want to protect us cry out, we panic, we cry, we can’t breathe, we face what seems like the end of the world … we step on the brakes… Read On >>




 

Passages

Kurt Vonnegut

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True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.


We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.


What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.


It may be that the most striking thing about members of my literary generation in retrospect will be that we were allowed to say absolutely anything without fear of punishment.


There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.


During most of my freelancing, I made what I would have made in charge of the cafeteria at a pretty good junior-high school.


I get up at 7:30 and work four hours a day. Nine to twelve in the morning, five to six in the evening. Businessmen would achieve better results if they studied human metabolism. No one works well eight hours a day. No one ought to work more than four hours.


There is never a shortage anywhere of lawyers eager to attack the First Amendment, as though it were nothing more than a clause in a lease from a crooked slumlord.


Not Quite Daily

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Image Notes — Feb 19

Louise Farrenc (1804-75)




A woman in 19th-century France equaled her male peers in composing music. What can we learn from her career about how to close the gender gap today?


“This ain’t no special pleading,” wrote Tom Service when he put Louise Farrenc's Third Symphony into his invaluable guide to the 50 greatest symphonies. This piece, he said, “deserves a place alongside Mendelssohn’s symphonies in the repertoires of every orchestra.” And Farrenc was no one-hit wonder: she also wrote great chamber and piano works. They were performed even outside of her native France and won praise from people who were not easily impressed, like Hector Berlioz and Robert Schumann. In our own time, she’s been called “arguably the greatest woman composer of the 19th century," and if you ask me, you don't need the qualifier. The ranking is obvious.


It’s also obvious that in an ideal world the classical pantheon would have been as open to women as to men - and that in reality her ascent was a rare exception. Yet it sheds light on how we could make it normal. Farrenc’s case also clarifies why gender balance matters for classical music: not because women write music differently than men (there’s nothing “feminine” about her music, as Service and her contemporaries noted), but because excluding half the population means excluding half the genius. The 19th century’s musical legacy would have been even more towering if women hadn’t been so discouraged from adding to it.


The discouragement ranged from the informal to the systematic. In Farrenc’s day, only 10% of the faculty at the Paris Conservatory was female, and until 1870, women could not even take its courses in composition, much less teach them. She became the Conservatory's second woman professor in 1842 (the first, an aristocratic founder in 1795, left after two years), but during Farrenc's 40-year tenure she taught only piano, never composition.




Art & Soul

Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack


The New Subject Matter, A Problem OF Transcendence

  




Christian Renaissance art dealt with transcendent images. The Resurrection, the Ascension, the Baptism — these images were uplifting. Tintoretto, Reubens, Piero, Raphael, and Michelangelo had their imagery clearly cut out. Live and death, heaven and hell, were depicted in subjects like the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Last Judgement. Transcendence was built in; it was often almost literal.

Veronese, Poussin, and Puvis de Chavannes dealt with mythology and allegory, still an attempt to work with heroic and transcendent subject matter.

In surrealism, transcendence occurs when one shifts from the conscious object tot he subconscious.

Impressionism, in dealing with the common man and common objects used in everyday life, is no longer heroic or transcendent in terms of specific objects and ideas. Transcendence is transferred from subject matter (the object) to the actual paint itself.

This leas to modernism — as exemplified by Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko [Illus.]— in which paint and transcendence are merged, and the object has disappeared. The subject matter is now the fusion of transcendence and paint.

This fusion resulted in a distancing from emotion, and encouraged a cool dispassionate art, in which sentiment, romanticism, and passion were dismissed.

The current return to representation art brings with it new subject matter, as strong reaction to the formalist and modernist past, and a reintroduction to emotion, through the artist’s personal statement and mythology. This sets the stage for a new transcendence.




Now, here, this!  Feb 11


Short & Long-term forecasts




Very significant snow storm now being measured in feet for Sunday & Monday, with high winds on the coast could bring traffic to standstill.


There is a useful on-line resource which tracks real-time lightning strikes here

http://www.lightningmaps.org/




To This Degree

An image a day every day of the year



 

Photos of the Day


Vermont as a state of mind

&

Another kind of landscape