"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

28 February 2022

Happy Birthday, Wilson

Speaking of music and dancing, Cindy Wilson was born on this day in 1957.

The B-52s, "Legal Tender" ...

Happy Birthday, Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne was born on this day in 1533.

There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

Michel de Montaigne,

27 February 2022

The Oyster Months Notebook, (rev. February 2022)

REVISED February 2022 ...

Jacon van Eyck: Der Fluyten Lust-hof
Erik Bosgraaf

Marin Marais: Pieces de Viole de Cinq Livre
Jordi Savall, Ton Koopmann, Hopkinson Smith, Christophe Coin, Anne Gallet

The Cosmopolitan: Songs by Oswald von Wolkenstein
Ensemble Leones, Marc Lewis

Toys for Two: Dowland to California
Margaret Koll and Luca Pianca

REVISED January 2022 ...

Scheidt: Ludi Musici
L'Acheron, Francois Joubert-Caillet

Handel: The Complete Sonatas for Recorder
Marion Verbruggen, Ton Koopman and Jaap ter Linden

Buxtehude: Complete Chamber Music
Ton Koopman

Songs of Olden Times: Estonian Folk Hymns and Runic Songs

Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Mi-Mi; Missa Prolationum
Hilliard Ensemble


Holborne: Pavans and Galliards, 1599
The Consort of Musicke & The Guildhall Waits, Anthony Rooley & Trevor Jones

Purcell: Sonatas Of 3 Parts, 1683
Pavlo Beznosiuk, Rachel Podger, Christophe Coin, Christopher Hogwood

Telemann: Trio Sonatas
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder), Dmitry Sinkovksy (violin)

German Lute Music of the 18th Century
Alberto Crugnola 

REVISED November 2021 ...

Masters of the Baroque Hurdy-Gurdy
Matthias Loibner

Weiss: Sonatas for Transverse Flute and Lute
Duo Inventio

Holborne: Pieces for Lute
Federico Marincola



O'er the wood's brow,    
Pale, the moon stares; In every bough    
Wandering airs Faintly suspire. 
O heart's-desire!   
Two willow-trees    
Waver and weep, One in the breeze,    
One in the deep Glass of the stream. 
Dream we our dream!   
An infinite    
Rains where the white    
Mists opalesce 
In the moon-shower.
Stay, perfect hour!

Paul Verlaine


Reed, Ojibwe Woman on the Shore, Ponemah, Minnesota, 1908

Her mind in childhood had been thoroughly imbued with the lodge-lore, imaginary legends, and the traditions of the forest which cover the whole aerial sphere of the heavens, and render the doctrines, the existence of gods and spirits familiar to the youthful ear and eye.  They were to her familiar as household work.  She could look into the bright tracery of the stars and clouds, and read them in the sublime pictography of the wise men and sages of her forest ancestry.

Jane Schoolcraft on her mother's storytelling, from The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

Elgar, Lux Aeterna

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam
dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord, with Thy saints forever,
for Thou art kind.
Eternal rest
give to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

VOCES8 performs ...



It’s a small spit of land in the ocean so blue
But we must have it, it’s what we’ve come to do
We crawl ashore at this isolated place
And the tropical sun burns hot on our face

The sand is black, crafted in hell
The whole place is covered with a terrible smell
The enemy hides out in caves underground
It’s impossible to see them sneaking around

They hit us with guns, with artillery, and fire
Still, we blast up the hillside, we won’t retire
Men fall around me, blown all apart
We must reach the top, we must not lose heart!

Suddenly, I see something through the hellish smoke
Something I know, my passion invoked
There it is! Old Glory, waving on a flag pole
At the top of Suribachi, we’ve done it! Our goal!

But that glorious flag is the last thing I will see
Because it was then that the grenade with my name found me
Blasted me to pieces, I’m lost in the heat
Carry on Marines, for we do not retreat.

M.B. Henry

Lest we forget.

26 February 2022


Get it before it gets you ...



Gently, let us steep our love
In the silence deep, as thus,
Branches arching high above
Twine their shadows over us.
Let us blend our souls as one,
Hearts’ and senses’ ecstasies,
Evergreen, in unison
With the pines’ vague lethargies.
Dim your eyes and, heart at rest,
Freed from all futile endeavor,
Arms crossed on your slumbering breast,
Banish vain desire forever.
Let us yield then, you and I,
To the waftings, calm and sweet,
As their breeze-blown lullaby
Sways the gold grass at your feet.
And, when night begins to fall
From the black oaks, darkening,
In the nightingale’s soft call
Our despair will, solemn, sing.

Paul Verlaine

Happy Birthday, Cotton

Paul Cotton was born on this day in 1943.

Poco's "Days Gone By", recorded live on the patio at Casa Lupita...


Judas Priest released Point of Entry on this day in 1981.

"Desert Plains" ...

Justin Adams & Juldeh Camera, "Kele Kele"

Da pacem Domine

Sung by Giovanni Vianini ...


The only true freedom for an individual is to have the opportunity to act independently.  There is no such thing as an individual until a person can act by himself.

Maria Montessori

Dona Nobis Pacem

Yo-Yo Ma performs ...


Discipline is born when the child concentrates his attention on some object that attracts him and which provides him not only with a useful exercise but with a control of error. Thanks to these exercises the child becomes calm, radiantly happy, busy, forgetful of himself and, in consequence, indifferent to prizes or material rewards.

Maria Montessori

Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves, and each time that we try to teach them something too quickly, we keep them from reinventing it themselves.

Jean Piaget

Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.

Alfie Kohn


For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.

Rainer Maria Rilke


somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will enclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain,has such small hands
e.e. cummings



An excellent album ...

Justin Adams performs the album with Mauro Durante ("Volos" is at 15:13) ...



Among twenty snowy mountains,  
The only moving thing  
Was the eye of the blackbird.  

I was of three minds,  
Like a tree  
In which there are three blackbirds.  

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.  
It was a small part of the pantomime.  

A man and a woman  
Are one.  
A man and a woman and a blackbird  
Are one.  

I do not know which to prefer,  
The beauty of inflections  
Or the beauty of innuendoes,  
The blackbird whistling  
Or just after.  

Icicles filled the long window  
With barbaric glass.  
The shadow of the blackbird  
Crossed it, to and fro.  
The mood  
Traced in the shadow  
An indecipherable cause.  

O thin men of Haddam,  
Why do you imagine golden birds?  
Do you not see how the blackbird  
Walks around the feet  
Of the women about you?  

I know noble accents  
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;  
But I know, too,  
That the blackbird is involved  
In what I know.  

When the blackbird flew out of sight,  
It marked the edge  
Of one of many circles.  

At the sight of blackbirds  
Flying in a green light,  
Even the bawds of euphony  
Would cry out sharply.  

He rode over Connecticut  
In a glass coach.  
Once, a fear pierced him,  
In that he mistook  
The shadow of his equipage  
For blackbirds.  

The river is moving.  
The blackbird must be flying.  

It was evening all afternoon.  
It was snowing  
And it was going to snow.  
The blackbird sat  
In the cedar-limbs.

Wallace Stevens

24 February 2022

Ssssssssstones, "Slipping Away"

Like Mick never happened ...


Technique is the proof of your seriousness.

Wallace Stevens


The Kinks, "Stormy Sky"


To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In
[Walter] Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography.

Rebecca Solnit, from A Field Guide to Getting Lost


"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington" 

For best results, listen to this ... Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker, "Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll" ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day.

Umberto Limongiello


Hansen, A River, Forest, and The Wanderer, 1976


Bramble stream, white rocks jutting out.
Heaven cold, red leaves scarce. No rain

up here where the mountain road ends,
sky stains robes empty kingfisher-blue.

Wang Wei


Borrell, Escaping the Critics, 1874

What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen?

Henry David Thoreau


The chok chok of an axe, on a winter evening, 
the sun having set over the snowy earth, 
the new moon beginning to shine.  

Man has evolved into this social, technological, intellectual animal, 
but perhaps another development is possible, in another direction.  
He need not modify and subdue the earth, his home, 
nor forget that he is a part of the natural system.

Harlan Hubbard


An excellent album ...

23 February 2022

Handel, Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351

Denner, George Frideric Handel (detail), 1728

George Frideric Handel was born on this day in 1685.

HervĂ© Niquet conducts Le Concert Spirituel in a performance of the Music for the Royal Fireworks ...

22 February 2022


It’s about everything, from birth to death to eternity and God – whatever that is – and the eternal battle between fate and the human will. It contains the answer to the meaning of life. It’s my "To be or not to be."

21 February 2022


Bad Co. released Run With The Pack on the day in 1976.

"Run With The Pack"
You try to keep me in cages,
But baby, you got to catch me first.
You think your law is contagious,
I'll do my best, you can do your worst ...

Happy Birthday, Roger

Ranking Roger was born on this day in 1961.

The Beat, "Ranking Full Stop" ...


Cease the following immediately ...
  • Beginning sentences with, "So, ...," "Yeah, so ...," and "Like, ..."
  • Ending sentences with "..., right?"
  • Any use of the words "epic" and "beast."

Happy Birthday, Auden

W.H. Auden was born on this day in 1907.


Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

W.H. Auden


An excellent album ...

20 February 2022


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from The Secret of Goresthorpe Grange ...
Mr. Abrahams smiled a smile of superior knowledge. "You wait," he said; "give me the right place and the right hour, with a little of the essence of Lucoptolycus"—here he produced a small bottle from his waistcoat-pocket—"and you won't find no ghost that I ain't up to. You'll see them yourself, and pick your own, and I can't say fairer than that."

As all Mr. Abraham's protestations of fairness were accompanied by a cunning leer and a wink from one or other of his wicked little eyes, the impression of candour was somewhat weakened.

"When are you going to do it?" I asked reverentially.

"Ten minutes to one in the morning," said Mr. Abrahams, with decision. "Some says midnight, but I says ten to one, when there ain't such a crowd, and you can pick your own ghost. And now," he continued, rising to his feet, "suppose you trot me round the premises, and let me see where you wants it; for there's some places as attracts 'em, and some as they won't hear of—not if there was no other place in the world."

Mr. Abrahams inspected our corridors and chambers with a most critical and observant eye, fingering the old tapestry with the air of a connoisseur, and remarking in an undertone that it would "match uncommon nice." It was not until he reached the banqueting-hall, however, which I had myself picked out, that his admiration reached the pitch of enthusiasm. "'Ere's the place!" he shouted, dancing, bag in hand, round the table on which my plate was lying, and looking not unlike some quaint little goblin himself. "'Ere's the place; we won't get nothin' to beat this! A fine room—noble, solid, none of your electro-plate trash! That's the way as things ought to be done, sir. Plenty of room for 'em to glide here. Send up some brandy and the box of weeds; I'll sit here by the fire and do the preliminaries, which is more trouble than you think; for them ghosts carries on awful at times, before they finds out who they've got to deal with. If you was in the room they'd tear you to pieces as like as not. You leave me alone to tackle them, and at half-past twelve come in, and I'll lay they'll be quiet enough by then."

Mr. Abraham's request struck me as a reasonable one, so I left him with his feet upon the mantelpiece, and his chair in front of the fire, fortifying himself with stimulants against his refractory visitors. From the room beneath, in which I sat with Mrs. D'Odd, I could hear that after sitting for some time he rose up, and paced about the hall with quick impatient steps. We then heard him try the lock of the door, and afterwards drag some heavy article of furniture in the direction of the window, on which, apparently, he mounted, for I heard the creaking of the rusty hinges as the diamond-paned casement folded backwards, and I knew it to be situated several feet above the little man's reach. Mrs. D'Odd says that she could distinguish his voice speaking in low and rapid whispers after this, but that may have been her imagination. I confess that I began to feel more impressed than I had deemed it possible to be. There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world. It was with a trepidation which I could hardly disguise from Matilda that I observed that the clock was pointing to half-past twelve, and that the time had come for me to share the vigil of my visitor.


The Smiths released their first album on this day in 1984.

"This Charming Man" ...


Technique is the proof of your seriousness.

Wallace Stevens