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rossetti paolo and fransesca da rimini

Loreena McKennitt, “The Lady of Shalott”

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the Wold and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road run by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The Island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
The Lady of Shalott.

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
Down to Tower’d Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers “Tis the Fairy
The Lady of Shalott.”

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue
The Knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal Knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro’ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro’ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The Curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance–
With a glassy countenance
did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burger, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”

Parole de chanson Miséricorde

Plus jamais ne prierai,
Plus jamais ne rirai
Avec leurs boniments.
Ils ont tué mon amant.
Le bourdon peut sonner,
Le curé, marmonner.
C’est pas ça qui le fera
Revenir dans mes bras.
D’un petit air réfléchi
Et la voix décidée,
Il a dit : “Allons-y !
Faut défendre ses idées !”
Mais, malgré sa grande gueule
Et ses yeux qu’il planquait,
Je n’étais pas toute seule
A chiâler sur le quai…

Miséricorde !
Miséricorde !
Les petites croix blanches
Ont des dimanches
Qui ne sont pas gais.

Le ciel bleu d’un petit bal
Du côté de Bougival
Dans mes yeux étonnés
Continue de tourner…

Rien qu’à voir les péniches,
On rêvait de voyager.
Pour ceux qui ne sont pas riches,
Il suffit de rêver :
Le jardin qu’on aurait
Serait plein de lilas…
Et le gosse qu’on aurait
S’appellerait Jean-François…
Les beaux rêves sont gratuits.
Moi, le seul qui me reste,
C’est l’odeur de sa veste
Quand je dansais contre lui.

‘y a plus que ça qui me rapproche
De celui que j’adorais
Mais la vie est si moche
Que même ça, je l’oublierai…

Miséricorde !
Miséricorde !
Miséricorde !

No more smiles, no more tears
No more prayers, no more fears
Nothing left, why go on
When your lover is gone

Shout with one
Ring the bells
Throughout the towns
And the farms
Will the shouts and the bells
Bring him back to my arms

Must each man go to war
Evermore, evermore
While some lone woman stands
Empty heart, empty hands

When the time came to part
And he kissed me goodbye
From the depths of my heart
Came a great lonely cry:

Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!

Miners came
They carved his name
Upon a cross…

I remember the dance
Where we first fell in love
How we whirled ’round and ’round
While the stars danced above
We would walk by the shore
Watch the ships sail away
Lovers need nothing more
Just a new dream each day

So we dreamed of a home
With a garden so fine
And a son with his eyes
And a nose just like mine

Now it’s done, why be brave?
Why should I live like this?
Shall I wait by the grave
For my lost lover’s kiss?

Stop the bell! Stop the bell!!
I’ve no tears left to cry
Must I stay here in hell?
Lord above, let me die…

Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!

Some alternate translations…

With an air of having thought it over,
His voice confident,
He said, “Well, after all,
you have to fight for your ideals!”
But for all his big talk
(And his hiding his eyes)
I wasn’t the only one crying
[When we said goodbye] on the quay.
Lord have mercy! [2x]
The rows of white crosses
Know no Sunday holidays.
And before my astonished eyes
The stars continue in their courses,
Over the little dancefloor near Bougival.

Nevermore shall I pray,
Nevermore shall I laugh;
With their spiel, their smooth talk,
They’ve killed my lover.
The bell can toll,
The priest can mumble–
It won’t bring him back to my arms.

from When We Emerge With Our Choosing Done, a posting by Dreaming in the Deep South

dusk at port tobacco

dusk at port tobacco

Consider this from Thomas Merton:

“There must be a time of day when the man who
makes plans forgets his plans,
and acts as if he had no plans at all.

There must be a time of day when the man who has
to speak falls very silent.
And his mind forms no more propositions,
and he asks himself:
Did they have a meaning?

There must be a time
When the man of prayer goes to pray
as if it were the first time in his life
he had ever prayed,
when the man of resolutions puts his
resolutions aside
as if they had all been broken,
and he learns a different wisdom:

distinguishing the sun from the moon,
the stars from the darkness,
the sea from the dry land,
and the night sky from the shoulder of a hill.

“Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. Childlikeness has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness. When this is attained, man thinks yet he does not think. He thinks like the showers coming down from the sky; he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean; he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens; he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze. Indeed, he is the showers, the ocean, the stars, the foliage. When a man reaches this stage of spiritual development, he is a Zen artist of life.”

– D. T. Suzuki

“There is tremendous power in unearthing, in recognizing distracted, scattered mind, the mind which would rather be anywhere but here, and spending some time there, with that mind. Rather than being an anonymous voice from the dark bossing you around, scattered mind is someone you can sit down and hang out with.”

– Jusan Ed Brown

Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God.”

~ Quran, II.115

“In youth we believe what the young believe, that life is all choice. We stand before a hundred doors, choose to enter one, where we’re faced with a hundred more and then choose again. We choose not just what we’ll do, but who we’ll be. Perhaps the sound of all those doors swinging
shut behind us each time we select this one or that one should trouble us, but it doesn’t. Nor does the fact that the doors often are identical and even lead in some cases to the exact same place. Occasionally a door is locked, but no matter, since so many others remain available. The distinct possibility that choice itself may be an illusion is something we disregard, because we’re curious to know what’s behind that next door, the one we hope will lead us to the very heart of the mystery. Even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary we remain confident that when we emerge, with all our choosing done, we’ll have found not just our true destination but also its meaning.”

from Bridge of Sighs
by Richard Russo

“When Moses conversed with God, he asked, “Lord where shall I seek you?”

God answered, “Among the brokenhearted.”

Moses continued, “But, Lord, no heart could be more despairing than mine.”

And God replied, “Then I am where you are.”

-Abu’l Fayd Al-Misri

Thanks to Beth!

Some of you know that our family spent my sixty-fifth birthday at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  All in all it was a great day.  It was wonderful watching the twins take in all the sights and sounds and my own grown sons and their partners seemed to enjoy it just as much.  As for me, I was delighted over and over again.

5891_102dolphin in air

taken by my son

taken by my son

new bracelet....

new bracelet....


amazement (son's photo)

higher and higher

higher and higher

jellyfish (son's photo)

jellyfish (son's photo)

dolphin upclose (son's photo)

dolphin upclose (son's photo)

fishscape (son's photo)

fishscape (son's photo)

b's family outing in dragon craft

b's family outing in dragon craft

making faces at the aquarium

making faces at the aquarium

Today I was sharing with my office manager about it and began to google around to show her some of the pictures and came upon this wonderful you tube experience of a recent dolphin birth.  I want to share it with readers.  You must click over to youtube to see it.

Foster:  born in 2007

Name Meaning: Nursed by three “foster moms”

Sex: Male

Weight: 120 pounds and growing!

Birthday: September 9, 2007, at the National Aquarium

Family Tree: Son of Jade (dam) and Sebastian (sire)

How to Recognize Me: Light in color, few rakes, slight underbite like his mom’s

Appetite: 17 pounds of fish eaten per day

Fun Fact: Foster had a very unique upbringing. Since Jade was a first-time mother, experienced moms Shiloh and Chesapeake helped her raise Foster. All three females nursed Foster when he was a baby. Now he’s a healthy, growing dolphin who eats up to 17 pounds of fish a day!

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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July 2009



On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory