but sorrow is
I wish to believe
but belief is a
― Charles Bukowski
― Charles Bukowski
And the Eraser—born on this day in 1858!
In memory of, on this very special day, a friend in Colorado posted this to Facebook. A fun thing to know, yes?
And we all know how indispensable the pencil has been to writers of the world. Many writers, Hemmingway included, refused to write with a pen. Some—Papa as well—liked the feel of a pencil and also wanted to sharpen their own, using everything from a pocket knife to a hand-held sharpener.
The Blackwing pencil was often the instrument of choice as it could be sharpened to a long, strong point and lasted much longer than a standard #2 pencil. That eraser was also a bit different from the round one. It’s more of an oblong shape and again, lasts longer than the one on a #2 pencil.
For today, as it looks as if our stay-at-home can be with us for some time, we need to remember our beliefs, our foundations, our self-work. The Dali Lama has words to remind us.
And Fear. Let us not forget Fear. And let us also remember that Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is of the future, and the future never arrives. Of course we’re not talking about that flight or fight generated by the fear of a present danger. We’re talking about that fear that comes from sit-and-think about what can go wrong. The “what-if.” There is no what if. There is only now. The only real enemy is us. Remember Pogo!
It’s officially Spring, and on days like these, I recall my mother coming home with hot-cross buns. They were proffered with a flourish and the announcement that we could have them on that day, that one very special day. I don’t remember, however, why or which day was so unique. And we were indeed allowed to have the Hot-Cross Buns on that day alone. But those days, those days were Catholic days, and they held many a ritual glory. When I close my eyes I see white ribbed socks turned over to measured perfection above black patent-leather shoes, yellow tulips in the center of the dining room table, a decanter of coffee and small plates next to them.
The house would smell of Spring, of open windows and soft breezes, of the lace curtains that would dance in the sunlight. In those days Lent was taken seriously. Easter would be a celebration and an end to fasting and abstaining from meat. Thusly, on the Good Friday before Easter, before the celebration of the Messiah! we would acknowledge that day and the beginning of the end and the end of the beginning. We would have Hot-Cross Buns.
When Elizabeth the first ruled England (1592) it was decreed that hot-cross buns and other spiced breads were not to be sold other than at burials or Good Friday, or at Christmas. There was in fact a punishment for doing so—all of the forbidden baked goods were confiscated and given to the poor. James the first continued the tradition in 1603.
Poor Robin’s Almanac in 1733 published a London street cry, the first definite record of Hot-Cross Buns:
Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns.
Nothing can be found for earlier records or recipes.
The more recent recipes for the baked goodies can include descriptions for the meaning or symbolism held within the ingredients. The cross itself has evolved to mostly include a sugar frosting: confectioners’ sugar, milk, lemon zest and vanilla. This is how my newly purchased, boxed grocery-store treasure is completed. I’ll sing the song on Friday.
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
This photo is an almost exact rendition of the Mississippi slough where my first love kept his skiff, a fishing skiff. It was one of the first places we went together and we spent many days on the Mississippi, swimming, fishing, boating. It’s where our families gathered in boathouses for meals and drank not a few beers. (The river is a natural coolant in summer.) Our dogs ran on those beaches, our children learned to swim against the current, and we learned together how to launch our boats. The best of days—river born.
Once upon a time
when women were birds,
there was the simple understanding
that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk
was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember
what we have forgotten
that the world is meant to be
~Terry Tempest Williams
Scientists say because there are fewer cars and planes polluting the air -at long last Mother Earth is able to take a deep breath.
Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
– Mary Oliver