Skip to content

Mountain

Indira Ganesan, One Day's Close, 2014

Indira Ganesan, One Day’s Close, 2014

How do you celebrate a life passed? On May 19, Dr. Vincent Harding, noted historian, civil rights leader, educator, peace activist, passed away at age 83. July 25-26 was declared the Vincent Gordon Harding Memorial a Weekend in Colorado, marking what would have been Dr. Harding’s 84th birthday.

I met Dr. Harding in 2003 I think when I traveled to Denver to meet my dear friend Rachel. Her mother, the late Rosemary Freeney Harding, and I had been Bunting Fellows together in 1997-8, although that commonality between us seems hardly believable, given the wealth of Rosemary’s talents and wisdom. Rachel had accompanied her mother that year, and the three of us spend good company that year in Cambridge, working in colorful Victorian cottages, and attending afternoon seminars given on art, science, and peace work.

“Hello, my sister,” was Dr. Vincent Harding’s usual greeting, and I immediately became family.

The first part of the memorial began with prayers in , and I could have been listen to a priest chanting in Sanskrit, the same reciting of words in a cadence that was steady, sonorous, and ancient. English does not have this power, because it lacks invocations, and even its prayers have a passion that is more be searching than declarative. Kodo drummers led us out in fierce, loud drumbeats into the night. Yesterday, Aztec dancers began a four-hour long interfaith service, with a choral counterpart, and testimonies of the enormous influence Dr. Harding had not only Martin Luther King’s life, but in the lives of his numerous students, “nieces and nephews” who learned non-violent communication, community-building, and the use of tools to build a more just and peaceful society.

My memories of Dr. Harding are vivid from a trip his family and I took to Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. In the mornings, we sought American-sized cups of coffee, to the consternation of hotel staff, and Dr. Harding sang a song about “an awful lot of coffee in Brazil. Singing was instrumental to his work, and song and dance was an integral part of his workshops on black power and freedom. Singing also eased his way to the next life, aided by his daughter and son. My deep respect to a great man whose loss will be felt heavily in this world.

 

Izzy Turns One, Ocean might be Two

Indira Ganesan, Mother & Daughter, 2014

Indira Ganesan, Mother & Daughter, 2014

So, my cats. As many of you know, I fostered a family of four kittens and their mom for a few months last fall. They lived at first in my separate studio while making sure they were not infected with ringworm( they weren’t) before moving into my home. And move in, they did. Scrambling onto the computer, checking out the windows, the sofas, claiming spots, developing personalities. One liked to sleep on the upside down lap desk propped against my table; another slept with her sister head to foot. One liked to hide in boxes, and their mom sought refuge in spaces near the ceiling, atop the kitchen cabinets, or the transom of the window. They wriggled, purred, fought and cuddled their way into my heart. As they were adopted, my heart would give out a little. My sweet allergic niece decided she liked Izzy’s photo the best, and so I kept Izzy, and her mom.

20140718-163920-59960737.jpg

 

20140718-163921-59961229.jpg

I am still not sure how I wound up with the mom, but her name is Ocean. From five felines to two, my days spin around them. I wake at four, battling with Izzy who is busy tearing up the lining of my box spring. It is a task she looks forward to. We go back and forth for an hour and get up at a more respectable hour.

20140718-163921-59961703.jpg

They have grown this past year, Ocean filling out, and Izzy as well. Now Izzy will be a year old, and my teen-mom Ocean might turn two Sunday.

20140718-163922-59962184.jpg

 

 

20140718-163923-59963483.jpg

 

 

 

20140718-163923-59963004.jpg

It’s mostly about food, and napping, and sleeping.

20140718-163924-59964910.jpg20140718-163925-59965198.jpg20140718-164746-60466012.jpg

There is also the adorableness factor.

 

 

Sunset, moon, and whales

Indira Ganesan, Humpback fin, 2014

Indira Ganesan, Humpback fin, 2014

 It was a perfect outing.  The Center for Coastal a studies held a sunset/moonrise whale watch the other night.  I attended with friends, met other friends on board,  and had friendly conversation throughout, interspersed with gasps of amazement as whales waved, rolled, and breached before our eyes.

we could on this trip never see all of a whale, only parts.  First, a flipper, a back, then a blowhole, and a tummy.  One mother appeared to train her young calf on how to slap the water and roll effectively.  Later, as the moon rose, a magnificent, as if overcome by the beauty or energy of the tides, as if moon-caught, moon-cow, breached the water, again and again.  I didn’t.t see his tail emerge, only most of its thirty-five or thirty-six foot body, and then with a splash of sea spray, the tail flicked and disappeared back into the sea.

if I am in the little plane from the Cape to Boston, I try to spot the whales.  I imagine them as large shadows.  Only once did I see one, and now I can’t recall if I just saw the blowhole spray, or if a part of it emerged.  There is so much we cannot fully see, and we are so much like the story of the three blind men touching an elephant and deducing that it’s part was the whole.

When we left the boat, we walked in and out of stores, and walked through the summer crowds.  On occasion, we would stop what we were doing, and exclaim, ” we saw whales!” We did.  We saw whales, a magnificent sight. We saw whales.

Indira Ganesan, whale spotting,2014

Indira Ganesan, whale spotting,2014

Indira Ganesan, Up!, 2014

Indira Ganesan, Up!, 2014

Indira Ganesan, splash, 2014

Indira Ganesan, splash, 2014

Indira Ganesan, adieu, 2014

Indira Ganesan, adieu, 2014

Indira Ganesan, That Moon, 2014

Indira Ganesan, That Moon, 2014

World Cup; Quidditch

Wildflowers© Jinyoung Lee | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Wildflowers© Jinyoung Lee | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Let me be honest: I am not a contact sports fan.  American football makes me think of brain injury, and hockey makes me think of ice blades slashing faces.  To be even more honest, I do not really think of contact sports.  Ann Coulter’s recent statements, baffling as always, about how the good sportsmanship displayed by soccer teams upends the spirit of competitive sports made me especially happy to watch a few games this weekend.  Brazil vs Columbia and Netherlands vs Costa Rico.

I watched with family who were more interested than me, but the enthusiasm is infectious. It is hard not to root for the small soccer ball driven towards the goal. The first game brought the heartbreak of smashed ribs, and Brazil’s loss of a star player. The second was a firm stalemate until the penalty kicks.

That was how I meant to start the post this week, but my ideas fizzled out. That was all I watched of the World Cup, proportionately hardly worth many more paragraphs. I did though finish all of the second Robert Galbraith ( who the world knows as JK Rowling. Does everyone know that as RG she sold about 1500 copies of her book until her identity was revealed? Doesn’t quite seem fair, but then after reading most of a borrowed copy, I found myself downloading a copy to finish. The upshot was that it was a not really very good read, but strangely compelling.

World Cup, Quidditch; Quidditch, World Cup.

The clamor of morning birds

 

Indira Ganesan, dawn/sunset, 2014

Indira Ganesan, dawn/sunset, 2014

 

At three? At four? When do the summer time birds begin their strident songs, their call to territory, food, enemies? It is as if I am in a jungle full of toucans, parrots, and peacocks, but it is the call of owls, finches, cardinals, and jays outside. Just now, they have quieted, but it is a  trick, for they begin again, warbling as the sun rises, as my coffee gets cold.  The birds wake the cats who in turn wake me.  I tell the cats it is too early for food, but they ignore my logic. They want to eat birds, I suppose, and poke me.  It is hours before the Sunday Times’ arrival.  In the early light, I decide to identify the tall, strong grass that has been rising steadily on the balcony.  It is quack grass.  Of course it is.  A noisome sound, an irritant to sleep. In the end, they will win, with luck, the birds and the weeds, while insomnia will fell us. Best have another cup in the face of it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 553 other followers