Entries from December 2008

‘Hope is the thing with feathers’

Comments   1   Date Arrow  December 31, 2023 at 9:06am   User  by Mark Willis

The stalwart, raucous chickadees at my bird feeder this morning reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s poem. Let it be my blessing as one year ends and another begins.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must [...]

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Rusalka’s Song to the Moon

Comments   0   Date Arrow  December 30, 2023 at 8:14pm   User  by Mark Willis

Rusalka by Russian artist Konstantin Vasiliev, 1968. [Source: Wikipedia]
Ms. Modigliani found this image while searching for clips of the Song to the Moon aria from Dvo?ák’s Rusalka. According to Wikipedia:
In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural:rusalki) was a female ghost, water nymph, succubus or mermaid-like demon that dwelled in a waterway.
According to most traditions, the rusalki [...]

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Window-Shopping on Fifth Avenue

Comments   0   Date Arrow  December 28, 2023 at 9:49am   User  by Mark Willis

Bill Cunningham’s On the Street photo essay surveys holiday window displays on Fifth Avenue. He says he’s never seen the likes of these opulent scenes in his 80 years, and worries that with the financial downturn, their likes may never come again.

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Julius Block at the Dawn of Recorded Music

Comments   0   Date Arrow  December 26, 2023 at 7:33pm   User  by Mark Willis

NPR Music:
John Maltese and his father spent years tracking down the wax cylinders recorded in the 1890s by businessman Julius Block. Maltese finally found them in St. Petersburg, Russia, and traveled there with record producer Ward Marston. The fruit of the long, careful process of restoring the recordings, The Dawn of Recording, is available [...]

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Mahalia’s Gift: “Go Tell It On the Mountain”

Comments   1   Date Arrow  December 23, 2023 at 8:57am   User  by Mark Willis

Mahalia Jackson soars in a performance photograpghed by Lee Friedlander. [Source: NPR]
Once upon a time, I ran as fast as I could to get away from Holiday Muzak at the shopping mall. One of my earliest newspaper columns railed against the psychotropic effects of hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” twenty times a day. I risk convulsions [...]

Tagged   Art · Bob Willis · Café Mouffe · Flaneur's Gallery · Playing by Ear · fashionista · memoir · poetry · politicsComments  Add Your Comment

Luciano Pavarotti & My Mothers Still Small Voice

Comments   0   Date Arrow  December 21, 2023 at 9:07am   User  by Mark Willis

I walked to the nursing home with a boom box in my back pack and a sprig of dried lavender in my pocket. That is what I could give my mother on what turned out to be her last Christmas.
At the end of her life, she was demented and paralyzed and nourished with a gastric [...]

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The Multiple Meanings of Orwellian Xmas

Comments   0   Date Arrow  December 20, 2023 at 9:12am   User  by Mark Willis

Nominal social obligation toolk me to a holiday office party at a restaurant in one of those nouveau shopping malls built to resemble a faux urban center. The blind flaneur appreciates the fact that these places have storefronts and sidewalks but is not deceived by the surrounding sea of desultory parking lots. The place felt [...]

Tagged   Orwell · Tutelary SpiritsComments  Add Your Comment