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Vermont Views Magazine

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New Features, Articles & Columns


100 Years Ago

January 1918


Monkey’s Cloak

Untitled

Phil Innes


Darkest Vermont

Better the dog?


Vermont Diary

Like a Dan Shore Report


Love In Action

My Weekend with Lenny

Elizabeth Hill


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 7

The Male Gaze

Mac Gander


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 6

Context Clues Upon Buildings & The Human Body (Part 1)

December 29-30

Shanta Lee Gander


Chess

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts

and other matches

Frank “Boy” Pestaño


The First Glass

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Lady Bird

Lawrence Klepp


Special Feature

REFLECTIONS ON AN EVENING WITH LINDSAY CLARKE AT BATH ROYAL LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION, 6 SEPTEMBER 2017

Ken Masters


Monkey’s Cloak

Whither the storm?

Todd Vincent Crosby


Urban Naturalist

“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Women,

you can’t get there from here


Selected Letters

Who do fools fall in love — Letter from a friend

Offie Wortham


Open Mind

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

The Fruitcake Caper

Elizabeth Hill


in between

OUR EXPECTATIONS

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

Cut To The Core

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

75 at tea

Todd Vincent Crosby


Darkest Vermont

Meanest Place in the USA


SCREENplay

Wonderstruck

Lawrence Klepp


Darkest Vermont

Dark Flâneurs


Monkey’s Cloak

All souls’ elegy

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Little Miss Buster

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Gapstow Bridge

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Slow Day at Hogle Sanctuary is Salvaged by a Furry Visitor's Aquatic Star Turn

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

You cancelled your vacation

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Thay

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Light footprints

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A Remembrance of Yom Kippur Angels and the Dancing Rabbi

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Bread and Circuses 

Jeri Rose


The First Glass

DEMOLITION

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

Nighthawks

Lloyd Graf


SCREENplay

Wind River

Lawrence Klepp


Old Lady Blog

A Cross By The Sea

Toni Ortner


Love In Action

A Man Named Shin

Elizabeth Hill


Guest Article

Highland Fling

A series of articles, part 3

Tyndrum

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Full Circle Meander

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

A Rational Solution to our Dilemma in Afghanistan.

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Charlottesville

The Heart of the Serpent

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

Malvern Hill

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Dunkirk

Lawrence Klepp


Open Mind

So Who Came

To Your Funeral?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Cicero’s Hands

Mike Murray


Open Mind

2030 — a short story

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

How To Fold A Presby Cap

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

A July summer’s midday morn

Charles Monette


in between

Reflection

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

The Art of Flight

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

For The Birds


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Jumping Through Time

in My Life

Jeri Rose


Love In Action

Baby Buddha

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

A Transcultural Awareness Experience

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

A Blackbird with Snow Covered Red Hills 1946

for Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


Monkey’s Cloak

overflowingly so

Charles Monette


The First Glass

John Dante’s Inferno,

A Playboy’s Life -

by Anthony Valerio

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

From the Hands

of Our Fathers

Elizabeth Hill


As I Please

The Black Place II 1944

Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


SCREENplay

Their Finest

Lawrence Klepp


As I Please

The Langlois Bridge at Arles, 1888

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Rights and privileges 

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Does Lifestyle Matter more than Race?

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Robin in the rain

Elizabeth Hill


As I Please

Bansky

Robert Oeser


The First Glass

Luck

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Change of Season


Selected Letters

Immigrants in Vermont

Philip B. Scott, Governor


Old Lady Blog

The language I speak

is a language of grief

Toni Ortner


As I Please

Homage to Milton Avery

Elizabeth Hill


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Tarnished Gold

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Other voices

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Elle

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

The Great Exodus-Salamanders and Passover Crossings

Nanci Bern


An A-musing Life

One Sip at a Time

Nanci Bern


Love In Action

This Land

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

The British Aren’t Coming — Alas


Open Mind

But The Goalposts Keep Moving!

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

‘Beware the ides of March’

Charles Monette


Write On!

Grey Tower

Phil Innes


The First Glass

Writing like a Painter

Vincent Panella


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Ice floes slow

Charles Monette


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 2 —

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

Mein Yertle

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Lion

Lawrence Klepp


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 1 —

Lloyd Graf


100 Years Ago

Births Jan-Jun 1917


With Prejudice

With Prejudice — 4 topics

Elizabeth Hill


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


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


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


Chess

“The Mating Game”

Phil Innes


Overheard

Literacy

part 1, the USA


Love In Action

New Year’s Reflections on

“Charlotte’s Web”

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey


SCREENplay

Manchester by the Sea

Lawrence Klepp


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


Old Lady Blog

Gone/ All Gone

Toni Ortner


An A-musing Life

Mushroom Soup with John

Nanci Bern


in between

FEAR

Julia Ferarri


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Last leaves leaving

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Braveheart

Elizabeth Hill


Urban Naturalist

Hogle in Fall:

a Subdued Sanctuary Hunkers Down for Winter

Lloyd Graf


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


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


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


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


Open Mind

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

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Frost in the Summer

Nanci Bern


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


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


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


Vermont Diary

WEIRD WYOMING — A LETTER TO ENGLAND


OVERHEARD

O say can you see...

A test severe of on-line language translators


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


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


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


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


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


Vermont Diary

Come to think of it


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


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


Chess

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts

and other matches


Vermont Diary

On Aggression


Write On!

Singing with Bobby Fischer

Patti Smith


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


An A-musing Life

Draped in Time

Nanci Bern


Open Mind

The New Israel

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Boy With Many Hats

Elizabeth Hill


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


Chess

Review of The Immortal Game: A history of chess

Lawrence Klepp


in between

Developing trust

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

The Language of Form

Elizabeth Hill


Studio3

Strolling with Bernie

Photographic Essay





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.






Contact the magazine HERE


Major Sponsors


Vermont Artisan Designs

Brattleboro Food Coop

Delectable Mountain Cloth

Emerson’s Furniture

Friends of the Sun

Zephyr Designs

Neil Taylor

"The Blind Massuer"

 

In Passing

publisher’s notes

on current contributions

with extracts






January 1918 

100 Years Ago




January 4 – The Finnish Declaration of Independence is recognized by Russia, Sweden, Germany and France.


January 8 – Woodrow Wilson delivers his Fourteen Points speech.


January 9 – U.S troops engage Yaqui Indian warriors in the Battle of Bear Valley in Arizona, a minor skirmish and one of the last battles of the American Indian Wars between the United States and Native Americans.


January 12 – Finland enacts a "Mosaic Confessors" law, granting Finnish Jews civil rights.


January 19 – Russian Constituent Assembly proclaims Russian Democratic Federative Republic, but is dissolved by Bolshevik government on same day.


January – 1918 flu pandemic: "Spanish 'flu" (influenza) first observed in Haskell County, Kansas.


Read On >>>



Vincent Panella

Wonderful Letter

Selected Letters




[Editorial Note: I received a request from Columnist Offie Wortham to connect him with another columnist who knew about Sicily, here is the wonderful reply by Vince Panella.]


Hello  Offie - I had a note from Phil about your trip to Sicily so I’m cc-ing this to him to acknowledge his request.

         I don’t know your interests or how much time you have. My maternal side is from a little mountain town called Petralia Soprana, the highest town in Palermo Province [Illus.].  If you draw a straight line from Cefalu to Agrigento, Petralia  is about halfway in between.  Rural Sicily is full of such towns, interesting to sight see, the people friendly and not jaded by tourists, but then again I can speak fairly well and can always claim I’m one of them. I find southern Italy more comfy than northern —— but here are my favorite places.

        Cefalu is  tourist and fishing town on the coast about halfway between Palermo and Messina. Good for walking  through the old town and visiting a dramatic Norman church with a famous Painting of the Madonna inside. At this time of year it should free of tourists.  The town is built under a massive rock and there’s a temple to Apollo (I think) on top and a path you can walk up to with spectacular views of the ocean - and I believe the Lipari islands in the distance. The there isn’t much left of the temple but the walk and the view are salutary and to me unforgettable.

        A little east of Cefalu is Santo Stefano di Camastra - a pottery town which I haven’t visited in a while but full of pottery shops with original work….good for gift buying.

        Palermo itself has many churches which were formerly mosques  — beautiful places —  I had a cousin give me a tour but I’m sure the guide books can provide you with info.

        One of my favorites  is Agrigento where the Greek temples near the coast are pretty well preserved and you can get a hotel such that you can walk out the door and you are right there.

        Taormina - at the base of Mt  Etna - is a favorite tourist spot but I can take it or leave it.

        Cefalu is probably my favorite — the fishing pier, the old town, the big church, the rock, and like all of Italy good restaurants everywhere.


Read on >>>>



Phil Innes

Untitled

Monkey’s Cloak




No more black nights on

Forgotten promontories

Other vigilance


Read On >>



Better the dog

Darkest Vermont




January 11 2018: I sent a letter to The Commons newspaper for their ‘Voices’ column who rejected it in favor of a dog in Putney and a thousand dollar vet bill before the owners pulled the plug. $1,000 dollars would have bought a lot of chicken this week for hungry folks: I had mentioned in my Commons letter a lack of protein-meat from any source of supply for 3 weeks to 40 needy kids, plus 100 others and their families, the Commons chose instead to put up the dog piece, and a trust-fund gal on spiritual survival in these times, as if that were separate from material matters — like getting off your key board and pitching in somewhere was actually not part of spiritual. They also ran another long piece about their frequent contributor Joyce Marcel about Joyce Marcel at SIT, written by Joyce Marcel, but not quite as we who knew her at SIT remember her.


The ‘liberal’ Commons doesn’t publish this material since implicit in the message they reject is their own record of never actually attending to things: They were invited to attend an event over a year ago which selectboard and town manager attended, and also state representatives, about representation and misrepresentation of the needy, but couldn’t make it the three hundred feet from their offices to the soup kitchen, offering instead that, ‘they had reported on this before’ as if they actually knew everything — whereas they could make it all the way to Boston to accept ‘awards.’ Their last report eighteen months ago was about our kitchen and an ambulance-chaser one about someone once worked in the soup kitchen who died.


Read On >>>



Like a Dan Shore Report

Vermont Diary




It’s been a rough year down in the soup kitchen, three of our staff people have died. We have been flooded in our basement, the walls fell in in our cool room, and most recently in the cold weather an inexplicable lack of meat for two weeks.  A direct supply link to a supermarket has gone astray, and Foodbank have no meat-protein to offer us — and the weather ‘brutal’. We carry on with what we have.


A tedious thing to go through is being thanked for what we do. No one actually knows what that is since we never see any press nor politicians, even at the town level, and at the personal level one wonders why people thank us? Don’t they contribute anything of themselves such as to make what we do exceptional? Apparently not.


Apparently volunteerism is in severe decline in our aging community and what used to make the fire departments work for 100 years no longer pertains. Though the work of volunteers actually makes life in and out of our town possible at a certain level of quality and assurance.


There you are, the Dan Shore annual look at ‘if things are better than last year’. For a dozen years he didn’t think so, until he hated making the assessment.


This writing is not to seek money or promote a cause. It is more about a sense of things being driven increasingly into a shade for volunteer workers, and their clients. It is a sense of a declining social ethic about contribution — and it used to be around here that if you had it you would share it — instead of increasing social rhetoric about how things are, which, I can tell you, does not peel any carrots, and neither does it have anyone meet their less fortunate neighbors and treat them like citizens for as much as an hour at a time.


Read More Vermont Diary >



Elizabeth Hill

My Weekend with Lenny

Love In Action





New Years Day 2018, I returned from an inspirational four day weekend of Leonard Bernstein’s music at a nearby retreat called Pendle Hill—gifted to me by my eldest daughter, Christina—with whom I’ve enjoyed many memorable musical moments.


Maestro Karl Middleman—a man with an encyclopedic mind and a heart as expansive as his illustrious subject—facilitated this fascinating course. He made the music and the man come alive, using remarkably descriptive, mindfully chosen words. At one point, he surprised me by delivering a string of what came to be meaningful jokes—seemingly out of nowhere—crafted with perfect timing and the impishly droll expression of a stand-up comic.


Maestro Middleman showed us numerous videos of performances throughout the weekend. One, for me, was no less than life-altering, in that it ripped open my heart to more fully understanding the soul and genius of Leonard Bernstein. It was his Symphony No. 3 Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the Dead. Kaddish—meant to be a collective prayer—is only to be spoken in the company of at least ten people.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnOObn3Eo0g


This particular performance took place at Hiroshima on August 6th, 1985. The chorus and orchestra were composed entirely of young people, with narrator and a soprano soloist. This work is one that Bernstein struggled with and altered repeatedly for many years before this performance.



Read the complete article



Mac Gander

LETTERS FROM CUBA #7

The Male Gaze

Guest Article




I leave my wife alone in the vast mid-town necropolis so she can shoot photos while I wander. When I find her again at least three men have hit on her, fingers to the lips to blow kisses, whistles, that sort of thing. She is lovely wherever she goes, but in Havana she seems like a scoop of honey to ants on a kitchen counter on a warm summer day.


Don’t leave me along like that again, she says, tugging on my hand. But she’s not freaked out by the attention, just worried about her belongings while she is distracted by taking pictures. I remember an editor at Newsweek telling me that the reporter’s main job in the field is to watch the photographer’s back. I promise not to wander again.


But it makes no difference whether I am there or not. No matter where we stroll together, hand in hand, she gets whistles and kissing sounds. It’s like I am invisible.


Part of it may be that the way Shanta is seen as beautiful here in a fashion that women with her body type in the United States are unlikely to experience, except maybe in the black community. Our images in the U.S. seem like a sort of thin-body pornography from this vantage.


I know about the male gaze, the crude imposition of a man’s sexual desire on a woman who is just being herself on the way to work. Here, the attention seems instinctual—is it catcalls or flattery? I hardly can tell. Cuba is a culture without sexualized images of women. There are no glossy magazine covers or Times Square electronic billboards. I doubt there is much bulimia or anorexia here.


I don’t quite know what to make of it—this insistent attention to my wife as we walk around. I ask her to decode it for me. Shanta is not offended. She doesn’t put it in the category of catcalling.  Why is it okay for us to admire the art hanging on the walls, she says, but we can never do it in the human form?


Read the Whole Article >>>



Chessmoso Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts

and other matches

CHESS





see http://chessmoso.blogspot.com


CHESS is the most popular pastime in the planet today with an estimated 600 million people—including a lot of celebrities—who play the game. Featured today are dream celebrity matches and my evaluation on who is the better player.


In Hollywood, the ideal match would be between the greatest entertainer of all time, Humprey Bogart and the most influential director of the 20th century, Stanley Kubrick. Both are rated about 2200.


Before he became famous, Bogart survived by hustling strangers at 50 cents per game in chess parlors at the New York Times Square. On the other hand, Kubrick’s lifelong obsession was chess and he supplemented his income by also hustling strangers in Washington Square Park and in various Manhattan Chess clubs. My assessment is that Bogart will be the victor by the tiniest of margins although George C. Scott will not agree as he has a minus score against Kubrick.


Among the ladies in Hollywood, nobody even comes close to the chess prowess of Julia Roberts and Madonna. A contest between the two would generate a lot of interest as both are good players.


In the Internet Chess Club, Madonna has played an incredible 19,000 plus games and the highest rating she achieved was 2003 in Feb. 16, 1999. She is being tutored by Scottish champion IM Alan Norris.


On the other hand, Roberts is a chess fanatic who has played over 10,000 games in the Internet. She attained a 2057 rating in July 22, 2002, her highest so far.



Read the Whole Article >>>



Shanta Lee Gander

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 6

Context Clues Upon Buildings & The Human Body (Part 1)

December 29-30

Guest Article




“Context clues can be the information before a sentence, after a sentence, or sometimes right within a sentence” said Mrs. Menefee, my seventh grade teacher at Fox Middle.  Perhaps she said it a bit more sophisticated than my recollection but I never forget the idea of context clues.  Earlier this month, during a lecture, I talked to a class about the idea that context is everything especially within a culture.  


The hissing sounds one makes to call attention, the way one ways their hand at the ground (ever so subtly) to answer the question “Do you want a taxi?”, or a conversation initiated by a woman on the bench of an alleyway known for Santeria rituals who wants to know if you have children all mean something specific to here.


The buildings alongside the work one witnesses here also have context to unveiling the snapshots of the history of Cuba.  The tall, stark Soviet Union-era buildings point to a post-revolution period which marked the 1960’s-70’s (and maybe 80’s) in Cuba.  Other types of villas and grand structures depict an imprint of the Spaniards which started in early 1500’s and lasted until the late 1800’s.   Around the mid-1940’s, after World War II, the mafia figures of America make their own imprint upon Cuba.  And of course, who can forget the abundance of American cars from the 1950’s alongside a growing motorcycle culture.  


While I have much more history to read about Cuba, the buildings and many other artifacts add to the complicated sense of place here.  Many once pristine and majestic villas and Soviet Union-era buildings either co-exist alongside small businesses or residences, or they have been re-purposed to fit these roles.  Some visibly show signs of age while others don’t try to put on any show anymore as illustrated by their crumbling structures behind the often locked rusty gates.  


I learned a lesson during my trip out West about the abandoned and Cuba is reminding me of the same lesson.  Many times, the abandoned isn’t a place you have to find.  In fact, some of these dilapidated structures often show signs of life with freshly washed laundry waving upon a clothesline outside of a ragged window.   Here, the abandoned isn’t something to admire from afar, but is just a part of daily life.  It isn’t beauty, or something to be titled or fetishize as “urban exploration.”


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Vincent Pinella

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

The First Glass





Twain didn’t like it when he had a situation but no story. Tell that to any writer.


As a college student I worked summers in my father’s bar in upstate New York. Newburgh was a poor Hudson River town with such social ills that my father’s business would soon become a victim of urban decay, which began on the lower part of town where the bar was located. Downtown Newburgh would become a plywood zone, the street corners gathering spots for drug dealers and prostitutes. While that process was taking place the business was still viable, and my job was to open the bar at eight a.m. on the dot. Three men awaited my arrival, bunched up inside the alcove to protect themselves from the blazing sun having risen over Mount Beacon. The first was the cleanup man, who without judgment and even with some pride, called himself Jake the Jew. Jake was a garrulous alcoholic who sang while he cleaned the bathrooms and swept the floor. He was paid two dollars and two free beers. I was strictly instructed not to give him a third.


The second man, looking impatiently at his watch, was a salesman in a wrinkled blue suit. I called him The Electric Bill. Smitty needed four shots of cheap rye before making his way down to the Water Street shoe store where he worked. I couldn’t be late or he would drink across the street in Santucci’s. I was reminded that over the course of a single month, Smitty’s weekday business would cover the electric bill, thus his nickname. I was also instructed never to leave the bottle on the bar while I was setting up or Smitty would sneak a shot.

Also waiting was Austin Bellows, an old man in a white golf cap. Austin’s job was to buy newspapers and Danish pastries while I took care of Smitty and made the coffee. Austin had a Boston accent but insisted he was from Woosta. He once played hockey for the Boston Bruins – something that in later years and after some non-extensive research I was unable to verify but had no reason to disbelieve.


Austin lived in a furnished room above Basso’s Lounge. He drank only once a month, on the first, when he would spend his check on the barmaid, Estelle Sparhawk, a drinker without limits who sat with him in a booth and kissed his forehead and rubbed his bald pate for as long as he kept buying.


Read on >>>>



Lawrence Klepp

Lady Bird

SCREENplay





The young Irish-American actress Saorise Ronan is always worth watching, bringing a certain understated edge of difference and distinction to every role she plays, and I have enjoyed seeing her in such contrasting movies as Atonement (which she did when she was about 13), The Way Back, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Brooklyn. The pleasure of seeing her in Lady Bird was a bit more tentative, not because of any flaws in her performance but because the subject, adolescence and its discontents, has been done and overdone so often. Ever since Rebel Without a Cause it’s been Rebel Without a Pause.


But she and the rest of the cast, spurred on by Greta Gerwig’s perceptive script and direction, carry the film, if not into new territory, into nuances of identity and relationships that you usually don’t find in these movies. Just about every character in it has enough ambiguity to dodge the usual stereotypes and clichés, not just Ronan’s restless, thwarted, baffled, yearning Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, of Sacramento, California, circa 2002.      


Like about half the students in any high school, Lady Bird feels she is somehow different from everyone else, but she doesn’t know what the difference might be, exactly, or how to express it, except for insisting on being called Lady Bird rather than Christine. And like other estranged teenagers afflicted with the “this isn’t the real me” syndrome, she feels her hometown, Sacramento, is a dead end in the middle of nowhere, and she plots, or at least dreams, her escape. At one point she says she wants to go east, to New York or Boston, where there is culture, or New Hampshire, where writers live alone in the woods. Her best bet, but it’s a long shot, is to get herself accepted by a good college there, instead of the affordable local state colleges her struggling family has in mind.

Read on>>>>



Ken Masters

REFLECTIONS ON AN EVENING WITH LINDSAY CLARKE AT BATH ROYAL LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION, 6 SEPTEMBER 2017

Special Feature




A long preface —


‘Hello everybody, assuming you can hear me! I am the ghost of Aristotle, and I haunt the Elwin room at BRLSI, especially when the Philosophers have their meetings and are in their full, satisfyingly “middle-excluding” flow, forensically objectifying, reifying, and literalising everything that their minds can come up with. I must tell you, however, that I am in “shock”!


‘Into this hallowed room (I remember a gratifying visiting Professor of Logic, who, whilst debunking “Eastern Philosophy”, and cutting short his fourteen pages of definitions of “consciousness”, waved his arms in the air, inviting in the energy to energise the very expression of his de-bunking – which intangibility I can not possibly recognise, classify, or exonerate) came one Lindsay Clarke, propagating one irritatingly intangible “(A Dance With) Hermes”, full of vital “presence”, whom I hoped I had seen off aeons ago. Give me Apollo any day. His Talk, (or was it a Lecture, or a Book-relaunch), had the normal BRLSI format of Introduction, Talk, and Questions – but how long would he go on for, with Questions, to give the audience time to sign that tall pile of books I could see, that they might or might not wish to buy?


‘My normal, space-excluding, rigorously defined categories, which allow no variation within them (for me, white is white, and black, black, rather than anything varying between), were challenged from the outset. So, a “A Talk is a Talk, not a Book re-Launch as well”, and I resent having my question-time squeezed! (I’ll have to invent another category, which will then also be “objecti-fiction”, but don’t tell anyone.) LC talked of Hermes as a “betwixt and between, THRESHOLD sort of creature; mischievous, equivocal and nonchalant about boundaries and definitions”. Ugh! (I once heard of an Anthropologist called Mary Douglas, who wrote a book called Purity and Danger. Plenty of impurity here! Of course, I must discount any emotional reaction I might have.) This trickster “god” already had us “by the goolies”, to use a metaphor that I shouldn’t. LC then went on to tell us that he himself had already received the same treatment! He explained that Hermes would never let him be pinned down (in any categorical system); so, were his “Poems” really poems, with or without the quotation marks, or were they verses, or “squibs” – “call them what you like”! If that was not enough, Hermes confused the rhyming schemes, again to defy the usual. Then LC mixed his talk with “poems” to illustrate just how far Hermes tweaks the “normal forms” and dancingly inhabits the “twixt thresholds”. 

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Lloyd Graf

“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Urban Naturalist





The Sanctuary has seemed mostly barren during recent visits, but on this late November (27) visit, 8:30- 9:30 AM a chill (25-27 degrees) patchily sunny, with shell ice out to 50 feet whitening in immediate shore area, things were downright lively. As I headed down the trail I was struck again by the contrast between maple oak and nut tree saplings, still tricked out in vividly green leaves while the mature trees towering above them were now stark in their barren-ness.


Where I'd been seeing perhaps 2 or 3 Bufflehead ducks in the pond or River (tentative id based on outrageous white cheek patches covering half at least of the Elvis-ish/flat-toppy heads on males, impressive power take-offs, zero to max in maybe 5 sec, the airborne ducks blasting through the air like little projectiles) -- today there were 60 that I counted in an area over toward the Marina, probably a hundred total in the pond and delta, ? filling the niche of seemingly departed geese? Chipmunks, needing a position suited for chastising the lumpen bipeds who invade their territories by walking the Sanctuary trail have dug a burrow right by the trail-head entry post, possibly to replace the trail-side burrows in the riser area, which had sealed off on November 11/12 by the treads of heavy equipment deployed to raze the wild flowers and brush of the Sanctuary's water-level fields down to the stubble level.


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Offie Wortham

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Open Mind





Problems with Multiculturalism

 

    1. Multiculturalism has become a buzzword all over the world and it has acquired mostly a positive connotation. Nevertheless, there are voices that point out the drawbacks of this policy.


    2. Many people think multiculturalism just means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths. But that's not what multiculturalism is at all. The end result of multiculturalism is the Balkanization of a society.


    3. To support multiculturalism we must recognize, affirm and institutionalize cultural differences in the public sphere. It describes a set of policies, the aim of which is to manage and institutionalize diversity through the public recognition and affirmation of cultural differences.


    4. Multiculturalism refers to the presence of diverse racial and ethnic minorities who define themselves as different and wish to remain as such.


    5. It seeks to Balkanize the curriculum by making it represent selected ethnic groups and certain other groups that supposedly comprise America's diversity.



That’s 5 points, Read all 22. >



Julia Ferrari

OUR EXPECTATIONS

in between



 


The towers of San Gimignano, visible across a half dozen miles of Tuscan landscape were an intriguing sight. We were in Certaldo for an unhurried daytrip from Florence. I remember experiencing a moment when a voice in my head said “why can’t we go there and have that experience,” and I had to wake myself and bring myself back to where I was, knowing that that would have to be saved for another time (which could be a long way off or never). I was on a three week journey in Italy, with visits to the cities of Florence, Genoa, and Venice among others, and as in all travel, one is limited to where one can spend time on any particular trip. The following day, thinking about that moment I again experienced a slight anxiety, as I imagined other travelers arriving in San Gimignano for the afternoon, having planned the perfect trip, from storybook situation to storybook situation. Dreaming of ideal (or perfect) vacations can prevent us from fully living in the world we inhabit.


Before traveling  I’d read about going to places such as the exclusive restaurant in Florence that one enthusiastic American blogger had written about, where one dined on a rooftop at night overlooking the Arno, stating that it was the place to treat oneself to the best and don’t we all deserve the best while on vacation… More thoughts came into my head from my pre-trip research, where I had read an advertisement about a tour to Venice on which vacationers would arrive at their luxury hotel “for a champagne evening, and be whisked away by private boat the next day to Murano” to buy glass… After reading those blogs and ads, I imagined recreating some of the described events on my own small budget…but what we actually had time for was another thing. What really mattered is that the things we stumbled upon had come to us unexpectedly, and were beyond my imagination. Real life is like that, in contrast to what we create in our heads. In fact my imagination could have gotten in the way of enjoying what was actually happening and consequently made me miss the moment.


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Nanci Bern

Cut To The Core

An A-musing Life



                  

It's raining. A lot. Outside. Inside. It is not. Inside it is dry. The steam from my coffee points its vapory finger at my comfy chair and pushes me into its waiting arms. I think I will stay home today. The cat is happy for this choice, because obviously I cannot bear to leave her. She purrs quietly by my side.


But, before I cocoon myself against the world, I suppose I should look at the news to see what has blown up while I was asleep. Whether the bombs are real or figurative, I know I will find something. These days it is par for the course. And also par for the course is to then sweep what has gone kaboom into a lovely antique canister once used to store flour and deal with it later. We all do this to some capacity.


I click on my regular news site and take a cursory scroll down the page. The usual suspects are up to their usual shenanigans when I spot it. It is tucked at the bottom. After the big guns have made their mess, I see it.


I never imagined that this would be there. It was an unexpected slop of an explosion. The headline reached out its virtual tendril like the hand of God in the Ten Commandments. Well, perhaps it was closer to a B rated Vincent Price horror flick. It was all like, "Just try not to read me. I have you now by your eyeballs, but I want a hold of your soul." I had no choice.


"And the headline is" (where is Richard Dawson when you need him. Look it up, or watch some SNL if you don't get this reference), "Avocados can kill, or at least maim your hands forever". I became stuck in a force field of utter despair, fear and yet vague amusement. I was befuddled.


Read on >>>>



Toni Ortner

Gapstow Bridge

Old Lady Blog




For Eli Bodi Enzer


You asked us to take you for a walk in Central Park because you wanted to see the change in season. By then you leaned on a cane and stumbled. We walked on either side. You looked like an ancient monk, but this was no Chinese painting.


The weeping willows bent low over the stream; you leaned over the edge of the bridge. The world was turning green. It had rained the night before, and the new leaves shone gold in the morning sun.  It seemed as if we were walking inside a dream devised by a demon.


We had stopped counting the days and months. There was no sum. It was the second spring, and in two weeks the third brain surgery would begin.  You said the brand new Nikon you carried on a strap on your shoulder was too heavy a weight to bear and accidentally left it on a rock. You asked us to go find it but could not remember where you stopped. 


I remember standing by your bed staring at your shaved head swathed in white bandages. Words were trapped inside your tongue. You assured us that consciousness continues after death.

                          It was not only the Nikon that was left behind on Gapstow Bridge.


Read on >>>>



Charles Monette

Light footprints

Meanderings




As you enter the trailhead on the east side of Black Mountain, there’s a sign that says, Mountain closed from 7:30pm till 7:30am. Fair enough.  I imagine the Nature Conservancy doesn’t want campers spoiling the pristine, or huddling around campfires with possibly catastrophic results.  Why, even Thoreau once set the woods on fire!


It was that cool sunny morning before the hot weekend.  The day of the Autumnal Equinox.  Equinox… equal night.  No one in sight.  I was prepared to expect wonders.  Shortly there in, I noticed a westerly curved path out to field with tips of green grass glowing through overspread fallen leaves... a last glimmer here!  To my left, sun’s bright light shone through shadows illuminating a lone white birch.  Its white-skinned bark was wrapped tight around… straight-lining up to sky.  A choir of silver birches arced above and behind in solemn accompaniment.


Leaves were falling at a leisurely rate like snowflakes before a coming storm.  As I was jotting some notes, a dead leaf landed gently on my forearm.  Amusing, that had never happened to me.  I let it rest, looked at it, felt its texture, then brushed it to the forest floor.  Silence would be my teacher this fine day…


thinking change without

change within

honoring connection

sun in balance

crossing earth’s celestial equator

rising due east, setting due west

the nature of truth, the truth of nature…



Read on >



Jeri Rose

Bread and Circuses 

Archetypal Hippie Speaks





Do you recall the Mary Tyler Moore show? At the beginning, she is shopping for food and she picks up a piece of meat on one of those styrofoam rectangles wrapped in plastic. She looks at it and kind of gives it a shake with her hand and throws it into her shopping cart while her face takes on an expression conveying disgust and boredom. NOTHING so exhibits the problem of our society for me as that depiction of our relation to sustenance in our lives.


There are people who are dying for the food that cow ate before becoming a dead piece of meat. There are people who can not even imagine the luxury of food available and delivered as presented. The styrofoam is bad for the planet, but we use it, ignoring the consequences.


A friend saw a mound of things on the sidewalk that were left by an eviction. There was a notebook...and in it written in a child's hand was a poem:


We have food today

O boy!

We have food today!


Read on >>>>


 

Passages

Paul Simon

Sponsored by the oldest furniture store in New England 

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I wanted to sing other types of songs that Simon and Garfunkel wouldn't do. "Mother and Child Reunion" for example, is not a song that you would have normally thought that Simon and Garfunkel would have done. It's possible that they might have. But it wouldn't have been the same, and I don't know if I would have been so inclined in that direction. So for me it was a chance to break out and gamble a little bit … The breakup had to do with a natural drifting apart as we got older and the separate lives that were more individual. We weren't so consumed with recording and performing. We had other activities … there was no great pressure to stay together other than money, which exerted very little influence upon us. … We didn't need the money.


There was always some kind of strain, but it was workable. The bigger you get, the more of a strain it is, because in your everyday life, you're less used to compromising. As you get bigger, you have your own way. But in a partnership you always have to compromise. … When you get into a partnership, you're not the boss. There's no boss. That makes it hard.


[Rock 'n' roll] really is not given to thinking — and resents thinking. Which I believe is the big error of rock 'n' roll. It's always aspired to be the music of the working class. And it's never been looked upon as a vocabulary for art and artistic thinking... We have to be able to expand the vocabulary to express more complex thoughts.


Not Quite The Thing

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Poem of the Day

Wendell Berry


For the future




Planting trees early in spring,

we make a place for birds to sing

in time to come. How do we know?

They are singing here now.

There is no other guarantee

that singing will ever be.


Image: Birth of Trees — Phil Innes


Image Notes — Dec 19

Falmouth (the original)

and ‘The Poly’




In 1832 the Fox family. a prominent Quaker business family of Falmouth, founded the Cornwall Polytechnic Society,to promote the ideas and inventions of the workers in their Perran Foundry. This was the first use of the word ‘Polytechnic’ (meaning "of many arts and techniques") in Britain.


In 1835 King William IV bestowed Royal Patronage on the Society, at the request of Davies Gilbert and it changed its name from the Cornwall Polytechnic Society to the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society.


In the same year the Polytechnic Hall was built, at 24 Church Street, Falmouth, being originally used for “objects connected with the sciences, arts and literature”, but not for theatrical purposes. This restriction was removed in 1889 to permit “dramatic plays”. The building was designed by George Wightwick.


[image above] Meteorological Observation Tower, built by the "Poly" in 1868.


By 1837, the Society had local Committees in Falmouth & Penryn, Truro, Redruth, Camborne, St. Day & Chacewater, Helston, Penzance & Marazion, Hayle, St. Austell & Fowey, Liskeard and Bodmin, as well as a Ladies Committee. In all, there were 98 committee members.


The Society played a prominent role in industrial development in the 19th century, being instrumental in the development of the “Man engine” in mines also improved drilling machinery, mine ventilation, the health and welfare of fishermen and miners – and explosives. At the 1865 Exhibition a first Silver Medal was awarded for Nobel’s nitro-glycerine, following a demonstration at Falmouth docks in which a wrought iron anvil of about three hundredweight was blown up by a small quantity, and a larger quantity scattered from forty to fifty tons of rock. Prentice's gun cotton was also demonstrated. In 1858 the Society founded The Miners Association to better aid the mining industry.


The first Secretary to the Poly was Thomas Brown Jordan.

In 1840, Jordan was succeeded as Secretary by Robert Hunt, who both organised the programme of Exhibitions and Lectures and gave fascinating lectures himself. [10] The Society benefitted from the availability of "star" scientific and technical speakers in its Lecture Programmes, thanks to the network of friends of Robert Were Fox, F.R.S. and his brother Charles Fox. The presentation of the cutting edge of scientific knowledge resulted in large and enthusiastic audiences.


The Society has had many notable presidents including the novelist Howard Spring who lived in Falmouth from 1947 to 1965 and served for eight years.


Art & Soul

Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack


Exhibiting Work

  




QUESTION: How Can I get my work out?


ANSWER: Find new sources for exhibiting. Don’t rely on the old power structure. Find new sources in the community. All artists cannot exhibit in New York City. Where you are is good. Build up your own area, particularly if there is a weak cultural community. They need you for their vision. All Italian artists did not go to Rome. There were Venetians, Florentines, Umbrians, Sienese. Regionalism is important.


    —From a lecture at

        University of South Florida,

        Tampa.


Now, here, this!   Jan 7


Short & Long-term weather forecasts





Before we get too cheeerful,


A useful on-line resource tracking real-time lightning strikes

http://www.lightningmaps.org/

 

Photos of the Day


Cold morning, Retreat Meadows


Dancing in the street