Thursday, April 20, 2017

Peach Blossoms and Dogwood

"They looked out across the endless acres of Gerald O'Hara's newly plowed cotton fields toward the red horizon. Now that the sun was setting in the welter of crimson behind the hills across the Flint River, the warmth of the April day was ebbing into a faint but balmy chill.

Spring had come early that year, with warm quick rains and sudden frothing of pink peach blossoms and dogwood dappling with white stars the dark river swamp and far-off hills. Already the plowing was nearly finished, and the bloody gory of the sunset colored the fresh-cut furrows of red Georgia clay to even redder hues. The moist hungry earth, waiting upturned for the cotton seeds, showed pinkish on the sandy tops of furrows, vermillion and scarlet and maroon where shadows lay along the sides of the trenches. The whitewashed brick plantation house seemed an island set in a wild red sea, a sea of spiraling, curving, crescent billows petrified suddenly at the moment when the pink-tipped waves were breaking into surf. For here were no long, straight furrows, such as could be seen in the yellow clay fields of the flat middle Georgia country or in the lush black earth of the coastal plantations. The rolling foothill country of north Georgia was plowed in a million curves to keep the rich earth from washing down into the river bottoms."

- Margaret Mitchell
Gone With the Wind

Monday, April 17, 2017

Michelangelo Bio Update

Michelangelo the sculptor/painter was the Raphael of the Ninja Turtles -- solitary, anti-authoritarian, combative, self-destructive. Willing to stand up to the pope when literally no one else would. Like me.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Sailing to Philadelphia

I am Jeremiah Dixon
I am a Geordie boy
A glass of wine with you, sir
And the ladies I'll enjoy
All Durham and Northumberland
Is measured up by my own hand
It was my fate from birth
To leave my mark upon the earth

He calls me Charlie Mason
A stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
To chart the evening sky
They'd cut me out for baking bread
But I had other dreams instead
This baker's boy from the West country
Would join the Royal Society

We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line

Now you're a good surveyor, Dixon
But I swear you'll make me mad
The West will kill us both
You gullible Geordie lad
You talk of liberty
How can America be free
A Geordie and a baker's boy
In the forests of the Iroquois

Now hold your head up, Mason
See America lies there
The morning tide has raised
The capes of Delaware
Come up and feel the sun
A new morning has begun
Another day will make it clear
Why your stars should guide us here

- Mark Knopfler

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Michelangelo's "Bacchus," the Greek god of wine

"Because [Michelangelo] would take no time off for friends, rest or social life, Balducci accused him of trying to escape the world by fleeing into marble. Michelangelo admitted to his friend that he was half right -- the sculptor carries into the marble the vision of a more luminous world than the one that surrounds him. But the artist was not in flight; he was in pursuit. He was trying with all his might to overtake a vision. Did God really rest on the seventh day? In the cool of that long afternoon when He was refreshed, might He not have asked himself, "whom have I on earth to speak for me? I had best create another species, one apart. I will call him artist. His will be the task to bring meaning and beauty to the world." 

- Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

She was fair skinned and golden haired, full-blooded Italian. The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves.

- Dylan, Chronicles Volume I

On This Date in History

My family's comically oversized computer, brand new in 1994, came with a complimentary Sports Illustrated: 1993 Year in Review CD-Rom. The images from that video compilation are as fresh in my mind today as they were in '94, for I watched that video hundreds of times, truly fascinated with this sports thing: Bama's George Teague stripping the ball from Miami in the Sugar Bowl -- "He takes the ball away from him! He's got the ball!"; Mario Lemieux announcing his diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease; "Marty McSorley has been playing with an illegal stick"; America's Team, and the team of grade school boys across America, The Cowboys, winning the Super Bowl. But most prominent is the incredulous cry of the announcer, "He takes a timeout! They Don't Have any timeouts!" as Chris Webber found himself trapped in the corner amidst defenders cloaked in Carolina blue. The seconds ticking away on the Fab Five era and on the national championship game, Webber had formed a "T" with his hands whilst tucking the ball under his arm. "Technical Foul! Technical foul!"