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It's one thing to have a few bitter cold days now and then: that's just part of living in the north. But the cold has been unrelenting up here for more than a month; I can hardly remember a winter... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at the cassandra pages
I've been drawing and painting more shells as the year begins. A friend asked why. I don't know exactly," I answered, and then thought about it... I think shells are related, in my visual language, to skulls and bones; I... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at the cassandra pages
In my studio, before the trip, I indulging in one of my life's pleasures, putting together art supplies for travel. This is a tiny kit of hard pastels, about the size of my phone, from a box of NuPastels I've... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2018 at the cassandra pages
Near Palermo, Sicily At the end of this emotion-filled year, the images that keep returning to me are of the sea. Jacksonville, Florida I'm not an ocean person; I've never lived near the shore. My home has been in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at the cassandra pages
The faces that launched 3,000 pages: Amitava Kumar with Karl Ove Knausgaard in Reykjavik. With the sigh that always precedes the first page of a massive reading project, I moved on from the final book of Elena Ferrante's sprawling, steamy,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2017 at the cassandra pages
The cathedral, however, wasn't open, and we began to internalize an important Sicilian lesson: shops, churches, and museums close for a long mid-day break. Instead, we took the opportunity to walk around the small town looking for a lunch place... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2017 at the cassandra pages
We took our first excursion out of Palermo on a bright November morning after buying a ZTL pass that allowed us to take our car in and out of the limited traffic zone for one day. This time, in daylight,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Next door to St. Cataldo stands the Concattedrale Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, also known as the Martorana. Its founding charter dates from 1143, written in Arabic and Greek, and the church must have been completed by 1151, when its founder George... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2017 at the cassandra pages
The obscurity of the previous night was banished by a glorious sunrise, and we stood on the balcony of the apartment, looking out over steeples and domes, tiled roofs, and below us, winding cobblestone streets where people began to go... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2017 at the cassandra pages
At the gate, leaving Heathrow. The plane from London dropped down over the dark sea, and barely before we saw any lights at all, we were on the ground at Punta Raisi, about twenty kilometres west of Palermo. I peered... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2017 at the cassandra pages
We've just come back to Montreal from an intense, eye-opening, two-week trip to Sicily. I'll be writing more about our experiences over the next couple of weeks, but first I wanted to say a few things about travel in general,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at the cassandra pages
I was sad to learn today of the death of Marianna Schaeffer, author of the blog "Hattie's Web," and a longtime commenter and friend of mine at The Cassandra Pages. Over the past months, she faced her terminal illness as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at the cassandra pages
The Orange Line has fancy new cars, and whenever I get on one of these shiny trains, I feel like I must be one of the first passengers. That's why when I sat down early yesterday morning, it was a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Last month I had a pastel selected for an international juried exhibition here in Montreal, sponsored by the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada, an organization I joined earlier in the year. The opening was last night, and I had to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2017 at the cassandra pages
I don't think any of us quite expected either the outpouring of #MeToo posts, the sadness and anger engendered by hearing stories from other people we care about, or the after-effect of being plunged back into memories we've suppressed for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Last night, a phenomenon unfolded on Facebook and Twitter, as one woman after another changed her status to "Me Too" or #MeToo, announcing publicly that she had at one time been sexually harassed or assaulted. I posted my own "Me... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Like everyone else, I've been dismayed, sad, and disturbed about the entire string of recent events, from the natural disasters in Mexico City and the Caribbean to the shooting in Las Vegas. I've started several posts here, only to abandon... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Yesterday the news came that we had lost Susan Elbe, one of the best poets I have known, a good friend, and a kind, loving, and deeply concerned person. Dave Bonta and I first met her through qarrtsiluni, published a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Knitting, while listening to music, has been my relaxation in the evenings after long days of writing and editing. I finished my green Gansey sweater a week ago, and started knitting a Brora shawl (it's a Brooklyn Tweed pattern) from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Block Island Yes, I've been scarce around here, and there is a good reason: I've been keeping my little nose to the writing grindstone, and not allowing myself to deviate too much. It's been surprisingly difficult not to draw or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2017 at the cassandra pages
Back in the city, waves of people -- soft folds of sand-colored hair pinned at a woman's nape, light glancing off phones. Flowers on dresses, swooping scooters instead of gulls, flapping orange wings of a cyclist's safety vest, the ceaseless... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at the cassandra pages
President Trump's remarks in support of the alt-right are worse than despicable: they signal what is to come if he stays in office. I've just written or called all the members of the Vermont congressional delegation, where I vote, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2017 at the cassandra pages
We've just returned from ten days on the New England coast, first for the wedding of J.'s sister on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, then a few days in Boston, and finally a reunion of a few of J.'s... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2017 at the cassandra pages
The earlier fancy varieties of clematis have gone past, here in Montreal, but the sturdy Jackmanii types are still blooming, and creeping into my studio and home. I have an established vine at my community garden, and brought a few... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at the cassandra pages