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Monday, October 30, 2017

Short thoughts

Cherokee black ware by Joel Queen.
Collection of potters Joan Byrd and George Rector.
Bardo Center, Western Carolina University
Thanks to Michael for the phone snaps!

Michael and I are in New York again after fifteen days in North and South Carolina (Cullowhee and Aiken, where I was born), in which we hiked, stared at art and scenery, visited my mother, feasted, and set a few disorderly things in order. I have been away a great deal this year--Paris, Worcester (a stay at the American Antiquarian Society, MA), three trips to the Carolinas, and Japan--and am glad to be back, stocking up on candy for All Hallows. May you all make it safely through that night to All Saints Day!

Writing news

News will be upcoming first in the next Rollipoke. Must say that I do like good secrets! And will share when I have leave to share.

The hinterlands

I've been thinking about what it means to be a writer in an isolated region. Most of my contacts with writers occur on Facebook or twitter. My close friends in Cooperstown have been painters.

Of course, a long-dead writer takes central place in Cooperstown. Tourists still troop over to Christ Church to stare at the tomb of James Fenimore Cooper and the stained glass in his memory. But even though many shops and locales are named for figures and locations in the Leatherstocking novels, it's not a particularly bookish village. That said, occasionally I am asked to read in the Village Library series or visit a book club. We do have some word-related events.

Cooperstown is more an opera-and-painters sort of place. Oh, and baseball, of course. The Baseball Hall of Fame. The BHF has its own little baseball arts gallery, so they support the arts to that extent. We have Glimmer Globe's summer theater by the lake, the Glimmerglass Opera, the Smithy Gallery, the Cooperstown Art Association's galleries, the Farmers Museum, and the Fenimore Museum. I'm glad of those institutions, though baseball is wasted on me. They are a great deal more than most villages of 2500 can muster.

But now that my third child is progressing through college, I have more freedom. Perhaps I'd like to go back to Yaddo again, or somewhere. Perhaps I'd like to feel that I am not the only one of my peculiar kind left in the world.

Thought on Ezra Pound's birthday, October 30th...

Though we would like to think it not so, artists are not immune from folly. The wielding of words is a power. Like all powers, it can be unstable and dangerous.

Robert Heinlein quote for the day

"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

"This is known as 'bad luck.'"

Triple Falls, DuPont Forest,
Transylvania County (no vampires observed),
western North Carolina

Friday, October 13, 2017

Handful of memories

Here's a peek at my recent travels--gardens, temples, castles, museums, and infinite Japanese pickles in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gero, and Sado Island. Sumimasen onegaishimasu, it seems I am inflicting a few images from my zillions of photographs on you...

detail, a Chinese-style gate

Baby octopi, Nishiki Market, Kyoto

hidden bridge

Matcha ice cream after octopus balls at the festival grounds
just in front of the marvelous Tokyo National Gallery...

Butterfly on a rain lily at Shouko-ji Temple in Shukunegi
(an old fishing village with a labyrinth of tiny crooked passageways between the houses)
on Sado Island, Japan.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017