Friday, August 07, 2009

Kitty Foyle

Once upon a time I had a Kitty Foyle dress, - it was a lovely fine wool, - a soft shade of grey with white collar and cuffs. It came from Johnstone Walkers, in Edmonton, and I wore it to our mother's funeral.

It was a special dress, and one I loved and wore often, but somehow it disappeared from my wardrobe, sadly and mysteriously....

I ran into Kitty Foyle the other day, - do you remember her? There she was, in a used book store, folded between the pages of a sixty cent paper back (original price)!

What a lot of memories she brought back. I was young again, entranced with Ginger Rogers Oscar winning portrayal of Kitty,

And when I thought of Ginger, of course I thought of Fred Astaire.....

We are spending time together now, Kitty Foyle and I. We started off in Philly, and so many years have gone by since I first read Christopher Morley's book about Kitty Foyle that it is all a new adventure to me.

I would love to get the DVD and see the movie again, but old movies make me nostalgic and somewhat sad. It seems like another world. My imagination and Morley's writing will suffice.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Skywatch Friday

An angelic sort of sunrise in the Similkameen, Wednesday, August 5th, 2009.

A variety of beautiful skies from all over the world, - enjoy them at Skywatch Friday by clicking the link on the sidebar.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

ABC Wednesday

C is for Castaway

Robinson Crusoe, Gilligan's Island, Alexander Selkirk - all famous castaways, - some of them fictional but Alexander Selkirk an actual castaway from an English Pirate ship.

Three hundred years ago, after a disagreement with his Captain, William Dampier, over the seaworthiness of the ship he sailed on Selkirk demanded that he be set ashore. He was, and although he had second thoughts, the ship sailed off and sank.

Probably just around the next reef!

Selkirk remained in isolation on his island for two years, and was eventually rescued by his former Captain who had survived the sinking of his ship and was back to harassing the Spanish gold ships.

Selkirk went back to pirating, looting Spanish ships and profiting mightily from his activities. Eventually he left the sea and got married, but domesticity was not his cup of tea, and the adventures of the pirate ship lured him back to the waters.

News today of another volunteer cast-a-way. Smoker Geoff Spice is going to great lengths to give up cigarettes by casting himself away on the 40 acre island of Sgarabhaigh (scar'a vay) for thirty days. Other than some sheep Mr. Spice will be on his own and he will be searched to make sure he doesn't have any cigarettes before being let on the island. One desperate phone call will not result in his rescue, - nor two. It will take a third phone call to activate his removal from the island.

To stop him getting bored he will take a guitar, which he hopes to learn to play, an iPod, a mobile phone and a computer (powered by a photo voltaic solar cell with a wind-up handle as a back up to generate electricity.) A castaway on scaravay.......

Tomorrow I am going to work at The Bargain Centre, a place where castaways have another definition, more or less. Some pretty fine castaways from bulging closets are offered for sale at diminutive prices, and in these unhappy economic times the shop gives a whole new meaning to 'castaways'.

"The door to the past is a strange door. It swings open and things pass through it, but they pass in one direction only. No man can return across that threshold, though he can look down still and see the green light waver in the water weeds."
- Loren Eiseley, "The Snout," The Immense Journey

Loren Eiseley

Before Watson and Crick, but first in my affections!

Loren Eiseley, Lewis Thomas, Konrad Lorenz, Robert Ardrey, - these are the authors I was reading in the late Sixties and early Seventies at the time I went back to school to indulge in all the Philosophy courses I could manage.

Loren Eiseley seems passe now, as far as the library is concerned at any rate. He was still searching for the Secret to Life when he wrote about the endless mysteries in his own experiences, and meditating on the long past.

An anthropologist, an imaginative naturalist and a master of prose and poetry, Loren Eiseley fired my imagination and my searching soul.

"When the human mind exists in the
light of reason and no more than reason,
we may say with absolute certainty
that Man and all that made him
will be in that instant gone."

Loren Eiseley

From his Biographical Notes.....

"Loren Corey Eiseley was born on September 3, 1907, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Eiseley learned much from his parents, both of whom were descendants of pioneers. From his mother, Daisy Corey, an amateur artist, he gained an immense appreciation for the beauty of natural structures and creatures. From his father, Clyde Edwin Eiseley, once an itinerant Shakespearean actor, he acquired the sensitivity and expression of a poet. In addition, the Plains environment in which he spent his childhood stimulated his interest in anthropology with its salt flats, ponds, and the mammoth bones and fossil collections of the University of Nebraska museum.
The difficulties of the Depression led Eiseley from work in a chicken hatchery and sporadic attendance at the University of Nebraska to the life of a drifter and rail-rider, to fossil hunting and an academic career in science..... Loren Eiseley died on July 9, 1977"

Eiseley described himself as 'the fox that sits at the edge of the woods'.....

He was admired by W.H. Auden, described as a modern day Thoreau, and yet the discoveries of recent times have dimmed his light.

Only his "Immense Journey" sits on my shelves these days, - I have passed on to family all his other books, hoping to share with them his wisdom and philosophy.

But as I run my hand along the shelves, looking for something to read, invariably I pause at Loren Eiseley, and if I don't slide the book from the shelf I make a mental note to come back soon and read the wonderful natural philosophy he writes with such eloquence.

At the same time I was reading Eiseley 'The Life of a Cell" by Lewis Thomas was not far from my hands.

One of his quotes....

"The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers."
Lewis Thomas

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

William Blake

We are back to the heavy golden days of August.

The moon tonight is a great orange lantern swinging across the sky, coloured by the smoke of the forest fires that are causing so much distress in the southern part of the province.

The wind, which was cool and refreshing in the early morning, still blows hot off the rocky hills that have been gathering the heat of the sun to their bosom all this long, humid day.

The pair of goldfinch that haunt the sunflowers find a bountiful menu of dark and fulsome seeds. Yellow is the predominant colour in the garden, as a prelude to the rich autumn colours of the chrysanthemum and the sedums.

It is not the month for strenuous activities, and easy to slide into a lovely state of indolence! Afternoons are meant for nodding off, - meals are meant to be light and easily prepared. Enough to dream of the crispness of September and what wonderful things we will accomplish.

In the meantime the Sunflowers 'count the steps of the sun' - feed the little birds, and stretch magnificently into the blueness of the August sky.