my teammate for these postings, she is fine. No nefarious deeds have been committed by the robotscout or shady users of this site. Kate decided to delete her 43T account, though, because she needs to be distraction-free as she studies hard for her M.A. exams. Now that’s dedication to one’s goals!
Posting these images was fun. I’m retiring the goal, but I may post another picture from time to time.
For a while I’ve been meaning to hunt down the name of this instrument. It’s a string instrument played with a bow; the musician plays sitting down, with the sound box sitting in the lap & the long, very thin neck standing straight up. I’m not sure it’s exactly the instrument (erhu) in this image, but it’s something like it.
There’s an elderly Asian busker (she could be Chinese or maybe Vietnamese) who makes beautiful, haunting music on an instrument of this sort. So far I’ve heard her playing in two different train stops in Chicago. She plays with confidence & verve. I’m always glad to drop a dollar in her bucket.
but here’s a link to a whole series of wonderful images in a multimedia piece on San José de Apartadó, one of the Colombian communities that we support & are rooting for:
I am always inspired by this community’s nonviolent commitment & dogged courage.
The multimedia accompanies an excellent April 1 article by Gary Marx (published in the Chicago Tribune).
sang at the HotHouse last night with her band Palenque. These New York-based musicians are fusing traditional Afro-Colombian songs and beats with jazz rhythms & nueva canción. Though none of them are Afro-Colombian (of those present last night two are white Colombians, two appear to be puros gringos, & one is Japanese American!), they love this music & perform it with passion & excellence.
I found myself weeping during several songs—not because of any personal struggles but because the music borne on Lucia’s voice seemed freighted with all the centuries of suffering of Afro-descendants in Latin America. Just that afternoon I had finished reading the final volume of Eduardo Galeano’s trilogy focused on the history of the Americas, Memory of Fire, & I needed a desahogo, a release for all the outrage, pain & admiration I felt as I read.
It was an incredible experience.
We went to hear this Colombian band last night—a concert scheduled for the ungodly hour of 1:00 a.m. at the House of Blues! Fortunately it’s a nonsmoking venue, even though there’s a bar on each level, & we found good seats. We thoroughly enjoyed the music, which I guess could be called Latin alternative/pop with some social consciousness & often a touch of humor. The hand drummer is an especially amazing musician, switching among many instruments in the course of any given song.
Something amazing happened too: we were on the balcony, & D. went downstairs to take a photo or two with his cell phone. Suddenly a young woman shouted out his name, ran up & engulfed him in a long hug. He had no idea who it was until she looked up & showed her face: his niece M.A. from D.C.! She & her fiancé had just arrived to spend the weekend visiting a good friend; it was such a quick trip that they hadn’t expected to try getting together with us too. So they came upstairs to our table & I got to meet them both for the first time. We had a great time chatting.
It was the most fun night out we’d had for a long, long time.
I shall post no public statements—just say that for those who need them, these are very nice to have.
(This is a sample image plucked from the web.)
but I have to show everybody at least one of the “yellow doors” photos Aimee bombarded me with in the last couple of days. They were in response to the title of my book of poems, Yellow Doors, & the flood of images tickles me because I interact with visual art & music in a lot of my poems, & generally seek to make them very sensory.
I love images of windows & doors because of the possibilities they suggest: change, commitment, newness, transformation.
This is a region of northeastern Spain—I’ve never been there but would love to go! It has its own language, Catalan, which is a Romance language with similarities to Spanish, Portuguese, & French. Recently I’ve been editing the first-ever translation into English of a wide selection of the poetry of the 19th-century Jacint Verdaguer, who contributed to a renaissance of the local language & culture.
(The work of editing in another language is of course very limited. But the translator & I have a good rapport, & I am suggesting very occasional tweaks of the English to provide better meter or just make it sound better. Then there is all the introductory material, headnotes, & endnotes, which are in English & subject to the usual editing. A very cool experience!)
at the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago. This was taken at the end of a delicious January afternoon immersed in art with two of my sisters (you can barely see the tops of two of our hooded heads at the bottom of the picture).
Years ago I was standing by this same lion when I first met the guy who would eventually become my husband. So Northern Lion & I have a special bond.
of doing chalk-pastel portraits when I was staying with the Cacarica community in Colombia . . . The girl whose portrait I was beginning here was a bit difficult, though I recall no details. The image came out great, though. Heh.