Well, it’s Thanksgiving. I hope we’re all surrounded by family and friends, allowing ourselves to feel gratitude for what we have and to gather strength from each other for the coming times. I’m grateful, among other things, for all of you. I’m grateful, also, to have a voice, and I intend to use it.
The haiku have been on hiatus (no, I couldn’t resist that line, would you have?) but now that we’re in for a long, dark time, I feel the need to write them again. So they’re back, now with photos.
Bright windless morning
Gulls cry, loud in the quiet
Sun glints on ripples
Hawk slides across moon
Circles up on rising drafts
A black speck, then gone
Patrol boat churns past
White wake rises, fades again
Glassy water shines
My grandmother was born in this country, where she could not vote. My mother, her second child, was born the year women got the vote, a few weeks after the first election women were allow to vote in. When I was a kid, my mother would wait to vote until my father came home. She’d have dinner all ready, but before we ate we’d all go to the local high school where we’d all stand in line together and then each of them would go in the voting booth. They wanted to make sure we all understood how special this right was. When I became eligible to vote I cast my first few votes in that high school.
I’m speaking now to women. If you’re so disgusted with both parties you’ve thrown up your hands and have decided the whole thing stinks so badly you’ll have nothing to do with it, that’s a healthy reaction. But not a practical one. One of these two people will be President. If you don’t vote for the woman, you’re voting for the man who pushes himself on women. The man who rates women on a ten-point scale and says women who have abortions should be punished.
You don’t have to love her. You don’t even have to like her. But you can’t sit it out. If you like him less, then get out and vote. Vote for your mother, your grandmother, all your female ancestors back through the mists of time. All those women who had no say. You have a say. VOTE!
Grandma says: VOTE!
Sunday, Oct. 16, the Hunter’s Moon rose over NYC. The Hunter’s Moon is the full moon after the Harvest Moon, which is the one closest to the fall equinox. The Hunter’s Moon is also called the Blood Moon, and this year it rose big and red. A bunch of us, led by the indomitable Keith Michael, wanted to see it from the Brooklyn Bridge, so we did.
Strolling over the bridge in sunset.
Just taking photos.
Just taking more photos.
Cables at sunset.
Cables after sunset.
Manhattan gets pastel at dusk…
…and colorful after dark.
Finally, the Hunter’s Moon.
It rises through the cables of the Manhattan Bridge, in the distance.
The higher it goes, the more color it loses.
In the cables, it looks doubled.
Then the Man in the Moon just looks confused.
Finally, peering into other peoples’ windows through the reflections in their glass, we head off the bridge and home.
Now that I have a little leisure — after the New Orleans/Mississippi trip there were Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, and the teaching semester started — I’m catching up on some photos I wanted to show you. At Dunleith Castle, a mansion we toured in Natchez, one of the rooms has absolutely sensational wallpaper. Les Zones Terrestres by the Zuber Co. is what it sounds like — all the climates of the earth, shading into one another in a 33-panel spread that wraps around the room. These are details. I was hoping to find more complete photos on the Zuber website, but no. The blocks it was printed from were destroyed during WWII, so it’s not made anymore. It’s astoundingly beautiful. The White House has a Zuber wallpaper, Vues de l’Amérique du Nord, in the Diplomatic Reception Room, and another Natchez mansion has a different set, Hindustan, along the gallery walls. I’ve never been a wallpaper fan, but these knocked me out. I wish I could show you more but I couldn’t back up far enough to take wide shots. If in Natchez, though, do not miss this!
Quick post because I’m supposed to be packing to leave New Orleans and go to Mississippi, but I wanted to show you the Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. I got this Friday night. Love to be a member of this organization, so LOVE this award. Thanks, guys.
…but the demarcation line really is Labor Day, isn’t it? I did the Facebook cover photo seasonal change, and I thought those of you not on Facebook might like to see the photo, too. This was shot late last fall from the native plant garden at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
Yesterday, the world lost a great woman, and I lost a good friend. Bea Kreloff died at 91. She was an artist, a teacher, a radical feminist, a very secular Jew, and a grand dame, one of the best storytellers I ever met. Even if she did tell you the same story a million times. She and her partner, Edith Isaac-Rose, co-founded Art Workshop International, where I teach in Assisi in the summer. She lived around the corner from me and I went over often for coffee (me) or martinis (Bea). One of her few regrets, she told me toward the end, was that she wouldn’t live to vote for a woman for President. There are better pictures of her — and certainly, ones she’d like better, with fewer wrinkles — but this is as I remember her best: on the terrace at the Hotel Giotto at cocktail time, looking splendid, laughing, and holding court. Bea, I will miss you.
And there’s more coming. This was dinner at the country home of my friends Mario and Marina. In addition to fabulous food — more than I photographed — we got the first lesson in wine that ever made sense to me; both Mario and Marina are sommeliers, amateur but certified. The house has been in Mario’s family, as has their home in Assisi, for, literally, centuries.
Table is set; Mario lights the mosquito candles. (They worked, too.)
Jonathan and Barb hang out before dinner.
Rolled meats, vegetables, and breads, skewered and roasted. Never had this dish before. Quite delish.
Cold rice salad.
Two colors of zucchini, one grilled, one marinated.
Plums, so sweet I’m wondering if these are the so-called sugar plums.
Inside the cake.
The house after dark.