Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thinking Hearts

I am long overdue in publicly acknowledging Ms Rebecca's "I Love This Blog" bestowal within the past few weeks. As with similar bestowals, this one comes with the invitation to pay it forward, which I shall do, but in a slightly abbreviated fashion.

It should go without saying that, if ye are on the old pbooker Blink list, you are loved - well, all but Flick Filosopher (here, I just upped her hits again by a point or two, darn!): narcissist that I am, I am still smarting from her boorish and ill-informed response to one of my long-ago comments. I leave her on the roll as a drive-through to the IMDB...

Down, Scrooge: this is about celebrations.

Anyway, as I was saying, love is as love does: on the Blink list, you are loved and cherished and visited often, whether you have the software to verify that or not (I do not). On past occasions, I have raved about the many blinkers, but there are three about whom I have not.

Rebecca at Just A Thought herself, for one. In addition to conferring her recent blessing upon me, she has blessed me with many appreciative comments and readings. In some ways, we are at opposite ends of the blogosphere, I with my surreal mania and she with her always thoughtful, penetrating writing. A passionately sane writer, full of an enormously compassionate heart, but capable, when need be, of taking up the sword of Archangel Michael when she has had enough of ignorance, cruelty, and brutality. Many's the time she's pointed me back to the heart of things I might rather not witness, but always with a love of her readers. St. Therese, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, Yemaya all rolled into one, but soil your knickers with reckless abandon on her watch, and you'll find Jonathan Swift's well-placed boot up your ass.

Ms Tammie Lee's gallery at Spirithelpers is a marvelous world of wonders. The crystalline brilliance of her photographic images seem like an enormous archive of lost treasures, as she lovingly documents her life as a traveling deva in Whitefish, Montana, easily one of my picks for heaven on earth, which I suppose makes Tammie the Angel at the Gates. I have this image of Tammie as an ethereal, elfin (Lord of the Rings elfin) woman, but her images bespeak a powerful, concentrated, passionate eye. If the gods did not create the world she captures, then I'm convinced that she did.

Anno at Anno's Place is the most recent addition to the roll, and there is never a finer day to introduce yourself to her writing than with today's poem: it is a long-legged stately beauty, but her long-running blog is filled with such gems. I'd tripped over her name several times in my Miss Alister visits, started paying quiet visits to her place, and then decided to let my loud self into the mix. We are co-travelers in the world of middle school education, which as we both know is anything but middling, we are both Scorpios (like a truer Scorpio, she kept that from me, right up to the very end; she got her Obama-present ON her birthday), and we are both (just now for her) in that glorious decade we call our 50s. Along with the passionate elegance of Anno's writing itself, you will also find that a visit to her place is like sitting in your favorite chair in your favorite room, the design of her site is so lovely.

In closing, I suppose I should give a shout out to my old buddies at The New Republic. When I left Cambridge and moved back to Tres Leches thirty-three years ago, I began my subscription to the fine old rag, largely for Stanley Kauffman's movie reviews (SK, still writing, must be 176 years old now) and the arts section. We parted ways, some time during my New Orleans days, I'm not even sure why (it was not because they had acted like the Flick Filosopher, I can assure you). Marty Peretz is passionately, partisanly, aggressively pro-Israel, and I'm sure Israel needs all the Marty's she can get, but it seems as if he is completely unable/unwilling to hear the passionately sane voices from the other sides of the Palestinian issue. He is also not above some heavy warmongering, if he deems the issue worth the fight. I suspect it was some drumbeating helped my subscription after many years to lapse. At any rate, I found myself back at the TNR trough several times daily in the run-up to the November 4th celebration, galloping through the archives, too, and greatly enjoying the quiet and measured confidence that was growing in support of Barack's (and we, the people's) victory.

Rebecca, Tammie, Anno, and yes, you too Marty: you all are loved. Thank you blessing all of us.

(While we're on all the love, Brother Teddy's "Love TKO," like manna from heaven, has arrived at the tail end of the playlist. I think this will get you there. Think I betta let it go...)



Blogger anno said...

Wow! An award is always lovely recognition, and receiving it from someone who is consistently warm, perceptive, lively, and lots of fun to visit... well, that's a real gift. You made my day -- thanks so much.

And now I'm off to explore your links!

7:20 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

You are most welcome, anno. Driving around the burg today, I was still marveling at that beauty of a poem you dropped on us today.

7:40 PM  
Blogger alister said...

Love love

Between the lovey and the howell, you know I’m dying to know what the offending FF comment response was... Do I live or die?

Kiss kiss

1:28 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A: It's been a long while since this narcissist was offended, but I believe the details went something like this. I commented on her review of Michael Moore's film Sicko, in which she pilloried managed care for its single-handed destruction of the American health care system. While I assured her that I had no problem with her throwdown on "man-care," I made so bold as to suggest that providers themselves bear a heap of the responsibility for the continuously upward spiraling costs that "man-care" was essentially invented as a response to, that our system was in essence an ongoing collusion between man-care, insurance companies, and providers, with each crying foul on the other, but with basically all in the same bed. My calling out the other co-conspirators was met with exactly the kind of fuming tirade that I'm capable of spewing when considering something as significant as, say, why Jill Clayburgh was ever considered a serious actor or how anyone can read a Jonathan Franzen book and not fall asleep or how FF herself could miss the fun and sweetness in Heath Ledger's A Knight's Tale or how Robert Urich was ever allowed near Duvall and Tommie Lee, as the third of the three great (male) characters in Lonesome Dove. Even though I was simply met with a dose of my own sometimes medicine (narcissistic insult runs deep), I concluded that Ms FF was either dating a doc herself or a insurance exec, or both. And now, to complete my shame, you will no doubt inform me that Nick is either one or both, in case of which, I shall start the measurements for the hair shirt muy pronto.

So much for my boorishness. For the record, I do still check in occasionally with FF. Up until our/my spat, I enjoyed her site for its archive of reviews. I found our tastes enough in synch that she was able to steer me towards several new flicks I'd never seen, though I have to say that, while I enjoyed Buckaroo Banzai's wackiness, it would not make my top 100, not by a long shot.

Good heavens, Christmas must be coming, the goose is getting fat...

5:32 AM  
Blogger rebecca said...


I'm so sorry I've taken so long to come here and leave a comment! I'm in the midst of taking a short story workshop that is killing all of my fun time and is literally kicking my arse...

That being said, thank you so much for that lovely comment! But you are way too kind. You've just raised my bar and now how can I ever live up to those expectations? If anyone is blessed, dear Paschal, it is me. I learn much from you and your words. You are an original, brilliant writer and even though you say you write surreal mania (I will not argue this point :) ), it is clearly written by a heart that is full of compassion and love... and, that is why I love you, dear Paschal.


10:02 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Rebecca: There is no bar (except perhaps the one you should be frequenting with you fellow short storyists) and there certainly are no expectations you have not already met, my dear. Here's to your class time and writing time being fruitful.

5:12 AM  
Blogger alister said...

If you were a CD or DVD I’d program you to play over and over. If you were video tape, I’d rig a loop. I’d stick your keys down so you’d go on and on. Fall asleep listening, wake up listening. You’d have to go on pause when I was writing, but other than that, bring on this one-and-only, sensible/nonsensical melee, this alphabet soup of hilarity, good points, camaraderie! A fat goose is a good goose. And don’t worry about the hair shirt. Nick is far from white collar.

11:30 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A: You know, of course, that there is such a thing as excess praise even for this self-absorbed narcissist, that even I can blush like a Ruby Red? To pick up this week's SS prompt straight, no chaser: I am assuredly blessed to have your spirit flowing through these pages over on Calle Pascal.

6:48 AM  

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