Eleven Months Have Passed

I was struck with disbelief today by a post today of a photo of Bernie Sanders in his iconic large mittens at Joseph Biden’s inauguration. The caption queried, “Can you believe that this was 11 months ago?” I couldn’t. I searched up the date of Biden’s inauguration and found myself still in disbelief that his inauguration was less than a year ago.

Amanda Gorman took center stage on that Inauguration Day in her golden coat as she read her poem “The Hill We Climb.” Today I began reading her new collection of poems Call Us What We Carry. Her poems are helping me to reflect on this seemingly long year and the disruption that the Covid pandemic has caused in our lives.

I will say more of Gorman’s book when I finish.

Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists

I asked my wife for this book for Christmas because I have thoroughly enjoyed several other books by James Geary. Tonight I am starting it with my wife. It’s a perfect read aloud book for the two of us to share with its short entries. It starts off with Alan, Woody (Woody Allen) as the first entry in the opening section titled “Comics, Critics, and Satirists.” A perfect section to share with my witty wife.

And since I have stated my plan with such confidence, I should quote the aphorism from Woody Alan found on page nine, “Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.”

Looks like this book will keep me humble, which is exactly what I need to keep learning in the upcoming year.

Wild Embrace

I first heard Tim Hatch when he was a graduate student at Cal State SanBernardino and was impressed. Tim was a stranger to me then, whose towering stature made me feel small even though I am basically six-feet tall. The power and the coarse experiences Hatch’s poems often describe may not be unexpected from a man of such stature, but it is the profundity of his emotional insights that stick with those who hear or read his work. Many of the poems in this collection depict the trauma Hatch experienced as the son of an alcoholic father. The hope in these poems comes in the clarity with which the speaker portrays his experiences and the compassionate spirit that shines through in poems such as “Helping John Piss” and “Breathe Him Close.”

Postcard Joy

I received three postcards from the same friend today. She told me that it would take at least three postcards to “see” Joshua Tree National Park and jokingly called me The Postcard King, an honor I think better befitting many others, but one I relish with a smile.

My great-niece received the first of the animal postcards we sent her. Her mother sent this photo to show how she fulfilled my request to color the card. I love her exuberant strokes and bold color selections! I mailed her another card today.

Playing with My Christmas Presents

I received a letter-S sealing stamp along with an assortment of sealing wax cubes and a sealing wax melting spoon and stand for Christmas.

I had fun trying different colors and experimenting to see how many cubes I needed to make a well-rounded seal.

My letter-S stamp is rather large. I found four cubes to be the number I needed. I also found it effective to make a circle the size I needed for the stamp and to fill the center before pressing with the seal.

I have a lot to learn about wax sealing letters, but I am having fun along the way!