Friday, October 26, 2018

An autumn album

I love this season, it's textures, colors, scents and changing light.  Enjoy these images from Madera Canyon

Saturday, February 24, 2018

My front window

In this week's Writer's Digest Prompts, the suggestion is to write (daily) about a specific subject that allows me to observe and be introspective.  It's based on Mary Ruefle's essay "My Search Among the Birds". 

I love to look at birds, too.  Most times I watch them while I am at breakfast, looking out my patio window.  But I woke up at 6 a.m. today and saw dawn creep across the western horizon as I look out my front window.  Feng Shui suggests my desk face away from the window, toward a door, but I like to sit and watch the birds around the bird feeder, so I ignore that suggestion.

It's so early (and so cold in February--winter has finally come to the Sonoran desert) that the birds are not out yet.  So what I do see are a few cars rolling by and the color of soft pink lighting the sky. 

The mesquite trees are stilled in their winter dark shadows.  There is no wind so my sunburst chimes hang with no movement, no sound. 

I am not an early riser by nature.  But these past few days I  have had nervous energy at odd times of the day and evening and so here I am.  Not quite ready to face the day, but facing the dawn seems to be a safe place to begin.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's funny about Clouseau?

I am catching a Turner Classic Movie Channel viewing of "Shot Before Dark", one of the first Petr Sellars/Inspector Clouseau/Pink Panther movies.

What's funny about Clouseau?  His accent, his deadpan looks with rolling eyes, the hat and trench coat, with hand tucked into the coat pockets? The slapstick moves and sight gags?  Preposterous plots?  Inconcongruous pairing of Clouseau with a beautiful woman?

You tell me your favorite comedic element.  I like them all.

I don't laugh easily, but when I can catch some slow time with Inspector Clouseau, I make the date.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

900 years ago

Two pit houses, Walnut Creek National Monument, near Flagstaff, Arizona,  photo by anita c. fonte 7.4.17

I am awed by the reminders of how short a life span we have, how our time on earth, and in this land is brief.  Maybe we leave behind a few rocks to say "we lived here," or a poem, or a painting.  But all things eventually are worn down by time, and that humbles me, brings me to appreciate this moment, now.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Creative Clutter

Clutter has been criticized for being a messy collection of things that should be reordered, discarded, or avoided.  But I am arguing that clutter can be creative, too.  Having a collection of things that are bound together by a creative urge, idea or practice can be a stimulus to create.  At least, that works for me these days.  Walking the World by Julia Cameron and Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey led me to shop for small blocks of cloth, needles and pins so I can start a small hand sewing project.

What do you think?  Can creative clutter be a "push" for you to create something new? If yes, send me a photo and brief description of your creative clutter. and I will share it on my blog.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Creative Lives of my Mom and Dad

For most of my life I have not thought of my parents as creative people. Children of the Depression Era, they both worked hard in and out of the home.  But, as I reread Julia Cameron's book, Walking in This World..., I have come to understand a broader definition of being an artist.

My dad, while still in high school, made this cabinet.  First, for his mother, and then it became his wife's sewing cabinet.  The top drawer is still full of her sewing tools and the side shelves used to be full of patterns.  I recall her putting patterns for ballet costumes, dresses, and aprons into those shelves, the tissue paper rustling within the McCall's envelopes.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

play ball

Summer can be, and is, a tough season for those of us who live in the Sonoran desert.  I have found one way to beat the heat is to follow the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games on tv, in the comfort of my living room with good air conditioning, and, once or twice a season, I see them live at Chase Field. (I used to be a White Sox fan, but only check them out in the newspaper now, having left the Chicago area years ago).

My love of baseball started early with my dad tossing me the ball in our backyard on McClure Ave. in Elgin, and listening to the games broadcast on the radio.  He had a white and red transistor radio that now sits on a shelf in my husband's office, and it still works in a scratchy sound kind of way.  Once a year in the summer, Dad took my sister and me into Comisky Park.  I think, at some point, she stopped going, but I continued into my early teens.  It was a rare way for me and my dad to have a good time together and I cherish those memories.
Ralph Fonte, a White Sox Fan, two weeks before he died, 8/14

In my thirties, baseball became a conversation point that I had with Henry Kissinger.  Yes, I met the former Secretary of State at the LBJ Library and Ranch when I worked with the Kettering Foundation.  We talked about baseball as a way to find common ground on the issue of National Security which he and I definitely did not agree on in any way.  Years later, when Kissinger came to Tucson as part of a community forum, he crossed the yard at the resort, with local security tagging behind, and said, "Oh, my little activist!"  Then he proceeded to tell me how our baseball conversation earlier (he hadn't understood the game), eventually led him to have box seats at New York Yankee Stadium.

I don't pretend to be a political guru from that experience, but, as demonstrated at the recent moment of  a "coming together" baseball game between Congressional Democrats and Republicans, playing baseball, talking about baseball, watching baseball can move the needle enough to create space to share our uniquely American sport--between political parties, a liberal activist and Secretary of State, and a dad and his daughter.

On line coloring by Anita C. Fonte