Welcome to Saturday ...

open thread.jpg

When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

The portrait of Minnay, Marguerite Lathille’s pet dog; a previously unseen painting by Édouard Manet will be sold for the first time at an auction in Paris next month.

~

Young voices


~~


The wisdom of surrender


Samuel Beckett turned an obscure 17th-century Christian heresy into an artistic vision and an unusual personal philosophy:

"While it might be possible to find some fragments of theology in such exchanges – some musings on the nature of God or perhaps his absence – I suspect that the religiosity of Beckett’s work stems more from this preoccupation with salvation, from what we might call Beckett’s soteriology. The theistic religions are, of course, soteriological: for instance, Christianity preaches both being ‘born again’ at baptism and then inheriting eternal life after death. But soteriology is also found in non-theistic religions such as Buddhism, where the aim of religious practice is nirvana, both in this life and after death. And there are also soteriologies in various schools of ‘therapeutic’ philosophy: the Stoics, Sceptics and Epicureans, for instance, promised variations on ataraxia, a state of serene contentment immune from life’s vicissitudes. The common thread to all these soteriologies is the promise of an end to suffering. As the Book of Revelation puts it: ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." https://aeon.co/essays/how-samuel-beckett-sought-salvation-in-the-midst-...

~

Scientists working in the West African country of Guinea have discovered a new orange-furred species of bat. The rare discovery came while conducting field surveys in the isolated Nimba Mountain range. https://newatlas.com/biology/new-species-bat-west-africa-nimba-orange/

~~

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
This effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust,
for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be:
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the west.
We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,
our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

The Hill We Climb ~ Amanda Gorman

~

~~~

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phillybluesfan's picture

Nice start to my Saturday. I cross posted this essay to a FB blog where I share good stuff with a few fans:

Sharing Stories and Talking Poetry in Louisville

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Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

smiley7's picture

@phillybluesfan

Thanks for the cross-posting. Not a member of FB, so i can't read the poetry and posts, but that's okay, appreciate your passing these young, powerful voices along. And cheers for yesterday's Joseph Campbell; a guide to so many.

Take good care and be safe out there.

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smiley7's picture

Fell yesterday into a melancholic mood; later grew concerned that the sense of smell was missing; whoa, thinking this is it ... and it might be any given moment for anyone as that's a truth in life. There exists no guarantees.

The young voices featured in today's column excite me, fill me in knowing that's what it's all about, evolving; improving upon the wisdom bled for in centuries of humans paving the way.

Hope you've time to listen to the lyrics and they brighten your day as well.

Be safe out there.

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phillybluesfan's picture

@smiley7 @smiley7 Here is one of my cures for those melancholy times. Actually listening to today's SLEEPY HOLLOW as we speak. It is our go to onn Saturday and Sunday mornings. WXPN.FM in Philly makes archives available. Give it a listen.

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Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

smiley7's picture

@phillybluesfan

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Lily O Lady's picture

@smiley7

who used to post here have disappeared. Mark from Queens hasn’t posted since things got bad in NYC the first time. There must be others.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

smiley7's picture

@Lily O Lady

Many have walked on, more have gone missing. Hope Mark is okay.

Thanks for being here and caring.

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lotlizard's picture

(glances at link to Biden clip on same page)

Microsoft patent shows plans to revive dead loved ones as chatbots
(from the Independent, U.K.)

Also: “Cartoon Heroes” by Danish-Norwegian pop group Aqua as a metaphor for the inauguration ♫♫♫

 

We are the color symphony
Full of the fake diversity …

Here comes Biden-man, arachnophobian
Dems are now the Toon Town party …

What we do is what you just can’t do [such as, have good healthcare]

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smiley7's picture

@lotlizard

appreciate your take on it. Thanks for the vid.

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lotlizard's picture

@smiley7  
https://www.qwant.com/?q=white%20panthers%20mc5%20john%20sinclair&t=web

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Lookout's picture

Skipped trade day this AM...about 30 F and nothing really needed. I did take in the recycling and picked up a few grocery items. Been eating well...still some garden produce. Frosted cabbage and greens take on such a sweet taste...unlike spring and summer. Something special in every season...as Amanda says, "if we're brave enough to see it."

Thanks for the poetry and art. The Manet dog looks much like our dearly departed Augie dog...best dog we ever had...so smart and friendly. When out and about people I didn't know would speak to Augie...he knew more people than me!

Although it is chilly, the sun is shining. Flats of young seedling have emerged to grow into produce. There is hope if we look in the right direction.

Signed up for the moderna jab. Should get it early next month I guess. Thought I would wait, but I'm tired of missing music sessions and such. Even with that, it is my understanding the full 94% immunity isn't present for up to 8 weeks, so maybe in May we can start gathering again.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
Emily Dickinson

“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 be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Have a great weekend! Hope your smell and taste are back, smiley. If not you might want to get a test...take plenty of D and Zinc, and I would also include Quercetin.
Thanks for the OT.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lotlizard's picture

with big clusters of dry flakes coming down and everything cloaked in white, but now things have turned melancholy again with rain and sleet.

Winter moods …

’Tis now ten to four in the afternoon, sun will be setting in less than an hour here, Dresden being at 51 degrees N latitude –

I’d better head out to the Aldi and pick up a whole broiler for the weekend while it’s still light, despite the inclement weather …

Germany’s now in hard lockdown until February 14th.

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smiley7's picture

@lotlizard @lotlizard edit for sp

Happy to have Aldi's here in the US, now. A go to for many staples at the best prices.

Most snow on the mountain for years and i'm missing it, but loving the blue skies of the coast.

Son explains that Craft is an MC; an artist's expressing themselves live as the words come to them; today's improv, love it.

Be safe out there.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Change Will Open Your Eyes
Walking in darkness
brings the chances of
hitting a wall,
of tripping,
of falling.

We've all been there
against that wall,
over that curb,
onto the floor, face first.

What do you do?
How to proceed?
Give up or move forward?
Life is a choice,
every time.

Let the in the light,
away from darkness,
with open eyes,
choose wisely.

Loved the young voices.
Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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Fear is the opposite of love. "Ignorance creates fear. Fear creates hatred. Hatred creates violence. We fear that of which we are ignorant. Cure ignorance to cure fear. If there is nothing to fear there's nothing to hate." Daryl Davis

smiley7's picture

@Raggedy Ann

always a pleasure to read your poetry. Yes, as a professional in falling down, am very acquainted with the old dusting off and picking up, with no boot straps or boots on occasions, but for the grace of friends, would not have gotten back on any horses. Hey, recall the constant and multiple warnings in my youth from folks telling me to avoid my dream of a career in theatre; glad i didn't take their advice; though often broken and grown defensive from hearing next and living hand to mouth; the journey took flight anyways and i feel better for having had, even privileged to have had the experiences. And i would do it again; choices indeed.

Have a great one, poetic friend and be safe out there.

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smiley7's picture

Another splendid day here, hard to move, get away to Mabel, but have to go up before month's end to get car inspected and so on; hoping for a vaccine apt at the same time of trip, still waiting. Cheers for the tips.

Manet apparently whipped the painting out in a short time:

The French modernist artist dashed off the small work in 1879 as a present for Marguerite Lathuille, the daughter of a Paris innkeeper whose portrait he painted around the same time.

For the last 140 years, the work has remained within the Lathuille family, which has refused previous offers to sell it.

The art expert Frédérick Chanoit said the painting, measuring 32.5cm by 24.5cm, had been produced in 20 minutes and is an example of Manet’s technical skill.

“It is not one of his chefs-d’œuvre [masterpieces] but it a marvellous interpretation of Manet’s skill; a wonderful symphony of tufts and touches that show his pure genius,” Chanoit said.

“It is different from his classic works, but it demonstrates his technical skill as a painter. The fact that in a short amount of time and brushstrokes, with minimum of means he could produce this picture of a little dog, that is a ball of fur but full of movement with living eyes is extraordinary.”

The young rapper, Craft, lays down complex thoughts for a young man, hope he receives more attention, at present only 100,000 followers.

BTW, didn't you mention you use a VPN; as i'm traveling, i need a way to secure financial transaction on wifi; will a VPN do that? Any advice from you or others on VPN's greatly appreciated.

Had turnip greens on Thursday, having collards tonight; love the winter greens, too.

Have a good one and be safe out there.

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even in this, the darkest of times.

I appreciate this booster shot to Inauguration Day. The Inauguration concert was a 90 minute dose of our artists infusing hope into the veins of those of us who always seek the half full glass and the candle in the darkness.

Thank you smiley7 for the reminder.

The Inaugural concert features Springsteen opening with "Land of Hope and Dreams" but an abbreviated version. I'm enjoying the extended version posted here.

the astonishing Amanda Gorman with her inspiring work.

Then we had Jon Bon Jovi doing the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun." John Legend, better than ever, sang, "It's a new dawn it's a new day and I'm feeling fine." Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons---"Better Days."

You get the idea.

I can only hope that the Biden administration began as he means to go on. I realize that that is optimistic to the point of delusional, but I will cling to the magic for as long as I can.

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NYCVG

smiley7's picture

@NYCVG

Hope is.

Yep, no need to let the usual get in the way of improving the condition of humans as i thought the other day: "Opportunities ripe for change rarely present themselves as history informs; make hay with this newly, hard-fought sun while it's shining."

Desperately wanting all tbtb recognize that without immediate wholesale change, at least laying the foundation for one, civilization as we've known it is doomed.

Incremental steps won't do.

Thank you for being here; comforting to know in this blizzard of misunderstanding and lies; folks find each other.

Take good care and be safe out there.

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@smiley7 Just need to add that "Amazing Grace" was sung at the Inauguration itself by Garth Brooks and again at the Concert.

Jlo opening with "This Land is Your Land" Lady Gaga making "our flag was still there" a big moment.

The message of hope was sent.

Now we see how it all unfolds.

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NYCVG

smiley7's picture

@NYCVG

Grew a deeper respect for her talent and technique in listening, simply extraordinary; let's play it. The clarity of a French horn, she has:

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@smiley7

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NYCVG

enhydra lutris's picture

the pivot of our week from whence we slide back into the same old, same old. How sorry is that. It gets more and more difficult to give a shit about all the pseudo-important stuff like politics even though it looks like there's a very good chance we are still rushing headlong toward disaster, a new and improved disaster, but yet again the same old disaster as many times before.

Thanks for the great column. Let's hope that we can at least save enough of the global ecosystem for the youth to have some sort of chance of survival sufficient to begin repairing it. If only there were more we and less me, but I don't see how to bring that condition about without taking a sledge hammer to what is. So here's to the new IP wing of the uniparty and it's turn at world domination (sigh)

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

@enhydra lutris

a sledge hammer to what is."

Well said, el.

Neither do i, old friend, neither do i.

The Gaye is perfect; thank you for it.

Be safe out there.

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smiley7's picture

Here we are
safe from swirling indignities
directed by digital Dracula's
pitching entrances to heaven, fame, money and
power

The guy next door, your friend, is your enemy
barkers so shrewd in analytic delivery
repeatedly horse whispering
personally suspending

All vanity
seen before on distant shores

Armageddon want-to-be's
may as well live in trees

These social savannas
with trouble stalking
yet worthy of walking
up right in talking
or reading for degrees.

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smiley7's picture

$2,000 to write for them."

Rolling Stone magazine is offering “thought leaders” the chance to write for its website if they are willing to pay $2,000 to “shape the future of culture”.

The storied magazine, which has published journalism by writers including Hunter S Thompson, Patti Smith and Tom Wolfe, approached would-be members of its new “Culture Council” by email, telling them that they had the chance to join “an invitation-only community for innovators, influencers and tastemakers”.

Emails seen by the Guardian suggest that those who pass a vetting process – and pay a $1,500 annual fee plus $500 up front – will “have the opportunity to publish original content to the Rolling Stone website”. It suggests that doing so “allows members to position themselves as thought leaders and share their expertise”. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jan/23/rolling-stone-magazine-cul...

Fuck-a-duck, the damn news always gets in the way ...

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smiley7's picture

Folks, thinking i've burned out on Saturday OT's and maybe it's best i return to the occasional vignette.

My thematic juices aren't flowing as they sometimes do for one thing, OT's need planning and hosting to succeed, the commitment excuse for another and OT's are by nature Open Threads and maybe it's here where i most wish to change the venue or delivery of my thoughts so as not to be hijacked as easily or have to pretend i don't mind the hijacking.

This is a few months coming; it's time. So, hoping someone has a burning desire to take over Saturdays. Please share your desire with the community and JtC.

In the meantime, i'll continue until an arrangement can be made.

Cheers.

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phillybluesfan's picture

@smiley7 You might think of a niche, like I did with "What are you reading?" Fridays, it keeps burnout a bay when I can sometimes just cut & paste book or magazine details. I do more than that if the muse grabs me.

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Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

travelerxxx's picture

@smiley7

Perhaps your calming contributions, which to me signal an end to the week and a time to clear the mind, can be sprinkled throughout the week - applied as needed or as you might desire. Time moves on. Whatever you decide to do will be right.

Your Saturday contributions have always been a gem on this site. Thank-you so much.

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smiley7's picture

@travelerxxx

personal chronology on c99 from the beginning was essayist and after a few months took an OT day during the week for a few months, began vignettes and then Welcome to Saturdays.

Time to let go, again. No biggie except i've a fond, deep, bond to Saturday regulars.

Thanks, as always for being here. Take good care and be safe out there.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7 Will miss your Saturday offerings and presence a ton and will, of course, be on the look out for any other offerings you toss up there from time to time. I do get it, when it's time, it's time, and that's that. Once it gets to be a chore you have to stop before you come to hate it.

So, you'll be missed on Saturdays, but you'll also have a guaranteed audience whenever you do post something,

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

I will very much miss your Saturday OT's. Sandwiched as they were between my workdays, they always gave me a different, often better, perspective on things. I am very grateful for all the work and care that you (and all our other regular posters) put into your essays. They were very often very beautiful. It is what makes this site such a 'must visit' place.

I look forward though to your up-and-coming essays in the non-OT category. Will see you there.

Thank you for today's OT and the bats! Those bats! Wow, so cool.

Take care and have a good one.

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smiley7's picture

@randtntx

thanks for you kindness and friendship. Yes to seeing you in your essays and daily OT comments and vignettes.

Feel a needed release, already, having made this choice. Been stepping away from the internet more and more and have ambitions to invest a little more in my local community and walk in nature more.

Thanks for being here, as always and for your special understanding.

Take great care and be safe out there.

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@smiley7 about the blue water sunset and all the rest.
Time "to walk in nature". Yup, a definite must-do.

Gratitude from here as well for friendship, kindness, and understanding. (Aren't we the sappy crew). Smile
But heartfelt smiley,
cheers to you.

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snoopydawg's picture

While I rarely comment in the AMs I do read every one of them daily. The art work. Music and things cheer me up. I skip the poems because they make my brain hurt. No seriously. Reading them is very unpleasant. I have been hoping for some photos of where you are now and hopefully they are still coming?

Anyway you take care of you and do what you feel is best. We’ll still be here.

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People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

smiley7's picture

@snoopydawg

Sitting at this table writing pleasantries as they come to me.

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magiamma's picture

howdy doo. Spent most of the day out in the bioswale prepping for the big atmospheric river coming early next week. Pleasantly tired. Foop to no more Saturdays via usted. Really marks my week. On the other hand I get it. I am on the edge myself. Not sure what to say or why anymore. Sledge hammer indeed. Thx for that el. Dayum. My hope for you is to land softly and to be happy and healthy. Do know that your contributions are very appreciated and my good thoughts travel with you wherever you go.

Play it safe and take good care...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

It sounds like a decision you are happy with
for which I am glad for you Wink
Many thanks for all of your support here
over the years.

Good Luck!!

qmess

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janis b's picture

Keep the faith.

I’m glad you feel resolved in your decision, which is easily supported. You have contributed so much beauty in the form of sensitivity and art and culture, for which I am truly grateful.

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