Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ten Lost Novels Rediscovered

From The Huffington Post: 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Poe's Bicentennial from Sappho, I should have Listened

How quickly time trickles away.  The red Japanese maple in my yard has finally shed its leaves.  It glowed like a ruby in the filtered, cloudy autumn light, and then the leaves danced their way to the ground, and formed a red carpet over the front step and the adjacent flower beds.  I pressed a couple of them, as well as other leaves I would like to paint on.
This blog has some trivia and memories, mental mementoes, of holidays gone by.   It has been a busy couple of months with MMLA and the drastic illnesses/situations of October, ironically my favorite month.  My hand still does not work right, and I've learned more than I want to about arthritis and all the related maladies.  My answer is "keep moving."
This Thanksgiving, my dad finally agreed to let me do something, so I brought family favorites, cliche, but comforting, and will make oyster dressing.  Maybe next year, we might be allowed to take out a few decorations, though I sneak miniature ones onto the dresser of my old room.
I've always lvoed Thanksgiving; it was a time we were together, and made Turkey, with treats for our dogs, and called family.  In California, we had our own family Thanksgiving on Friday, and then hit the stores.  At home, we drove to one of the big malls, to grand stores now long-gone, and did Christmas shopping, though minor, and bought yule log cakes, and hung out at Laura Ashley. 
This year, I've noticed Parents and other magazines promoting green toys, and there are more green household products and storage options even at the big box stores.  Some, like the green kitchen sponges are pricey, others are not.  Look at your local Radish or health food store, coop, etc., for green bargains.  More than ever, now when Ceres gives up Persephone to Hades, I'm aware of the planet.  I'm working on a research project involving water and the environment, and I find it fascinating.
Our new little cat continues to amaze us; she knows her name, where the fridge is, and how to flirt and "sweet talk" my husband.  Animals are in our hearts more than ever this time of year, and I watched a PBS special on Crows, that was amazing.  They have their own customs and language, and are very, very bright.  I've always loved their lore, and the lore of ravens and corgies, but who knew?  I have a mechanical raven with a recorder I programmed to say "Nevermore!" and several little statues and even crow dolls.  One wax sculpture stays out all year on a pile of books.  He is very realistic and reminds me of Poe. 
Here is a poem I wrote in honor of my mother and Poe's 200th birthday.  My mom was a graduate student when she and a friend went searching for his house one dark night, and it was, indeed, " dark and stormy night," and found it on skid row.  To Mom and Edgar, from my collection, Sappho, I should have Listened:
On Poe’s Bicentennial; For my Mother, who walked through bad streets and dark alleys to find the home of Edgar Allan Poe one night when she was a graduate student.
A solitary raven flew
Over my lonely door.
It was looking for my mother,
But would see her nevermore.
For the girl who walked  out late
At night to find the poet’s grave
With only an intrepid friend
To guide her lonely way,
Had grown, and moved, and gone to school.
Long after Edgar died.
She walked and walked that lonely
Young, vibrant, and alive.
No black cats crossed her happy
No pits and pendulums hung.
Ligia  rested in her tomb,
And Ushers’ house was one.
These many years that passed
Were often happy, but now they’re gone.
And with them, now my mother’s dust
Has mingled with poets’ all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Journals for Holidays

If there are writers in your life, great gifts include handmade journals, pens and pencils of all types, vintage blotters and papers, crayons and paints, stamps, magazines about all these and calligraphy, blank books and journals, kits for making one's own journals, albums, files, acid free archival supplies, just plain notebooks and blank cards, file foldrs, plain or fancy, filing cabinets, fancy desks, lap desks, book lights, desk lights, memoirs of famous people.  Check the used book and library stores, as well as any thrift shops.  I recommend David Reese and his Relaitionshapes web site, for those who love humor.  Happy Thanksgiving!
Quilts also tell stories; they are a great medium for memoi.  I will attempt to include my latest newsletter from Quilters World here:

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The British Museum Newsletter

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Museums and Dolls at Ground Zero

Photographer Gary Marlon Suson says he was inspired by a visit to the Anne Frank House to create the Ground Zero Museum Workshop.
By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press
Published September 9, 2005

[AP Photo]
Gary Marlon Suson sits beside his photographs inside the Ground Zero Museum Workshop. Suson spent eight months as the only all-access photographer at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks. His museum also has artifacts recovered at the site and video.

[AP Photo]

A star of David and a cross that firefighters working in the ground zero recovery effort cut from steel are among the museum artifacts.

[AP Photo]

An ash-covered doll is one of hundreds of artifacts collected by firefighters and Suson.

NEW YORK - Two days before the fourth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, a photographer is offering intimate images of death and love inside ground zero at a new museum that brings you nose-to-nose with the smoldering pit.
"If people want to come past the security gates and see what our world was like down in the hole, this is as close as they can come to it," said Gary Marlon Suson, the ground zero photographer for the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the city firefighters' main union.
Suson spent eight months at the site with recovery workers searching for the remains of the 2,749 people who died on a sunny September morning, including 343 firefighters. His time in "the pit" comes alive at the Ground Zero Museum Workshop of photographs, videos and artifacts, which opened to the public on Thursday.
Last year, Suson, 33, went to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and visited the home of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who wrote a diary of her life before the Nazis sent her to the Bergen Belsen death camp.
"Within two hours of being in there, I felt like I'd come to know this little girl. It put a face on the Holocaust," Suson said. "I went back to the hotel and cried."
The experience inspired him to create the 1,000-square-foot museum, whose rooftop he stood upon in 2001 to take images of the trade center collapse.
"I felt, if I could create something that would have an effect on people similar to the one the Anne Frank museum had on me, it could help people connect more to 9/11. If you can't connect, you can't heal," he said.
At the second-floor museum in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, visitors are met by three-dimensional displays of photographs that pull the viewer close to the terror, dirt, sweat - and death.
Suson took one of the first photos of the firefighter honor guard that carried remains as they were found. He shot the scene in close-up, as he did other moments, such as a firefighter helping carry out the remains of his own son.
The museum has tangible vestiges of the twin towers, including pieces of window glass, lobby marble and jagged beam steel. One display case holds a beer can from 1971, when construction workers building the new towers shoved it between two steel beams before sealing them. The can was pried from the metal at ground zero, twisted and rusty.
One jarring item is a frozen clock, its simple black hands stopped at 10:02, and the small one at 14. The south tower collapsed first that day, at 10:02:14 a.m. The clock came from a room with a weightlifting bench used by PATH train workers.
Suson, an actor and playwright, contributed thousands of dollars toward the $60,000 museum; the rest came from private donations. Proceeds from the $15 entrance fee ($12 for seniors and children) will go to six charities linked to 9/11, some benefiting families.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop: