Thursday, July 29, 2010

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happiness is a Butterfly

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Armful by Robert Frost

                                          Robert Frost
For every parcel I stoop down to seize

I lose some other off my arms and knees,

And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,

Extremes too hard to comprehend at once.

Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.

With all I have to hold with hand and mind

And heart, if need be, I will do my best.

To keep their building balanced at my breast.

I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;

Then sit down in the middle of them all.

I had to drop the armful in the road

And try to stack them in a better load.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Crabby Old Man, Is That What You See?

What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking ... when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .... with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food ... and
makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice ... "I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing ... A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ... The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse ... you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am .. As I sit here so still,
As I do ! at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten ... with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen ..with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now ... a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty .... my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows ... that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now ... I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide. And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ... My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ... With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me ... to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, ... Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children ... My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me ... My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ...I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. young of their own.
And I think of the years ... And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man  and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age ... look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles ... grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone  where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass ...
A young guy still dwells,
And now and again ... my battered heart swells
I remember the joys ... I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living ... life over again!
I think of the years ... all too few .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact ... that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ... open and see..
Not a crabby old man. Look closer .. see ... ME!!

From an anonymous internet author.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Latest Melange Team ETSY YouTube Video

The Color Purple

Purple is a color with it's own distinctive personality. The uniqueness of the hue reflects the creative aspects of the color, as well as the metaphysical, meditative, spiritual and psychic connotations. The exclusivity concept of purple comes from it's limited availability and affordability to only the most elite and wealthy people in ancient times. The purple for the dyes needed to fashion their regal purple garments was extracted from tiny mollusks of which 336,000 of the snails were needed to yield just one ounce of dye.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Sanctuaries, Dreams and Shadows!

My blog, Sanctuaries, Dreams and Shadows, is one year old this week, and I am so very proud of that! I never imagined I would have a blog. I even thought that the word "blog" was silly, or to say you were a "blogger"! And the whole idea of web diaries basically seemed narcissistic, as does the entire social networking craze in some ways! Besides, who cares what I am doing every minute of every day? And why is that important? Yet I do go to Facebook occasionally, and Facebook Networked Blogs and I use Twitterfeed for my blog, and Zimbio, Blogflux, Creative Souls, Indiepublic and others, and sites like Pingoat to ping my latest blogs. So why do I do it?

I write because I am, just as I make art and garden because I am. I have always written, from journaling and poetry to personal interest stories for newspapers, including hockey stories in regional newspapers when my son was playing hockey. Initially I chose to blog as a way to promote my shop. But very soon, I realized I was blogging because I loved it and the sense of being connected to a larger consciousness it provided.

Being an artist or a writer is solitary, isolated work by it's very nature. It draws people who are content in spending long hours alone with one's muse. As a child, making art was an essential escape from an abusive home life to a world of my own making where I felt safe and secure. In my fifth decade I learned that no place is really safe from heartbreak, no solitary life isolated enough to hush a grieving soul. But my art allows me to tell my stories, guides me through the dark times, and express my true self - as does writing. It has awakened my voice, it feeds my soul and say's, "Here I am!"And that's why I do what I do - because I can't not do it. I seek out the timeless, beautiful, miraculous moments of life to eclipse the darker places, the moonless shadows that surround the edges of our existence.

One of my passions I have chosen to share with you is my love of poetry. Poetry can be a window to the soul. It can be the sound of a heart breaking, a lover laughing, a child weeping, or a lonely spirit entreating. It can be the sound of the wave washing upon the shore or the reflection of sunlight in the tiny mirrored surface of a dewdrop. Art and Poetry both give us that - the joy and sorrow, pain and healing, and the transcendence over life's adversities. It is the voices of those who came before and who steadfastly still hold a lantern up high to light our way in every generation. I hunger to learn about the people behind the words or the images, to understand why they did what they did. They too probably couldn't not do it.

Blogging is about sharing - one's fascinations and ideas, passions and joys, pain and sorrow. It suits one like me with a solitary life who still has a need to relate to other like-minded individuals. I've always believed my audience would find me for that reason: like-minded individuals reaching out from around the globe. That more than anything is what has kept me blogging. I eagerly anticipate my second year in this endeavor and thank you for joining me along the way! I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lily Elsie, le Belle Epoque Beauty no.3 in my series Beauties of le Belle Epoque

Lily Elsie had a flawless face, true perfection in my estimation. She was one of the most photographed women of le Belle Epoque. She was born Elsie Hodder on April 8, 1886 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. On her birth certificate, her mother, Elizabeth Hodder, was listed as a dressmaker. There was no father recorded. Then in 1891 her mother married William Cotton and Elsie took the Cotton name at that time. William Cotton gave his occupation as a theatrical baggage master. By the 1901 census Elizabeth Cotton the dressmaker was listed as an actress. Elsie herself began acting as a child and soon the precocious yet painfully shy child became known as Little Elsie in the world of music hall and theatrical entertainment. She traveled from theater to theater throughout England as she grew starring in many popular shows of the period including, The Arabian Nights, Little Red Riding Hood,  King Klondike,  as Aerielle, the Spirit of the Air, McKenna's Flirtation, Dick Whittington, The Forty Thieves, Blue Beard, The Silver Slipper and the Three Little Maids. From about 1900 she adopted the name "Lily Elsie", not too different from her previous Little Elsie. Having grown into a beautiful young woman, Elsie joined a company at Daley's Theater in London as a chorus girl. Soon she was acting again appearing in fourteen musicals from 1900 to 1906.

Real success did not come to Elsie until she appeared in the starring role in The Merry Widow at the operetta's London premiere in June 1907. The hit show ran for 778 performances at Daley's Theater. The show was a triumph as was Lily Elsie. Overnight she had become a legend. Her face was soon featured on many products  and advertisements from chocolate and biscuit tins to cosmetics. Magazines produced special supplements about her. Clothing designers sold more when their garments were associated with Miss Lily Elsie. Every fashionable woman of the time wanted the plumed hats she wore in The Merry Widow so much so that they became an extraordinary fad. After The Merry Widow, Elsie appeared in 16 more shows always receiving many accolades.

Many of the most prominent, wealthy would-be suitors, mostly from the nobility of London, were met with a casual and elusive disinterest that just fueled her beguiling sense of mystery and nevertheless, did not stop them from sending her the most exquisite gifts of jewelry emblazoned in diamonds and rubies and more. Elsie was quoted as saying, "I have never been fool enough to give my heart to one of them, and so they think it must be worth having!" and "I'm always rude to men. And the ruder I am the more they like me!"

After just a few short years of fame, Elsie married Major Ian Bullough, the twenty-six year old son of a millionaire textile manufacturer in November 1911 and relished spending time out of the public eye. She did return to the stage periodically for roles in Malvourneen, The Admiral Chrichton, and Pamela. She appeared in 2 films, in 1918 a cameo in The Great Love with Lillian Gish, and in 1919 in the silent movie Comradeship. Then in 1920 she and her husband moved to a village in Gloucestershire for a number of years away from the stage enjoying social events and fox hunting. In 1927 she appeared in The Blue Train and in 1928 her last show, The Truth Game. Her health was said to have been poor throughout her life and she reportedly had several operations during her life on stage. She found the eight performances a week of The Merry Widow especially grueling and found excuses for not appearing in matinees. She was said to have become "difficult". Speculation exists about possible problems with anemia and/or an early onset menopause at age 22. Her husband had problems with alcoholism. She and her husband divorced in 1930.

In her later years she was said to have become a hypochondriac and spent much of her time in nursing homes and Swiss sanatoria. She was said to have become so quarrelsome that even her most devote supporters left her. Luckily, she had the finances to be cared for in style for the rest of her life. Her mental health seriously deteriorated to the point that she underwent brain surgery, a frontal lobotomy, a practice common at the time but since then considered barbaric. She spent the last two years of her life living at St. Andrew's Hospital in London happy in her anonymity. She died December 16, 1962 at age 76 of heart failure and bronchopneumonia.

You have now seen 3 of my Belle Epoque beauties. Does anyone have a favorite so far? Evelyn Nesbit? Lina Cavalieri? Or Lily Elsie?
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