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I don't use sketchbooks to make a record of my life, though of course they become that to some extent. For me, sketchbooks are a way of working out ideas and techniques, exploring compositions, and delving deeper into what I... Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at the cassandra pages
When I began writing this blog, eighteen years ago today, it seemed appropriate to name it after the Trojan princess Cassandra, cursed by her spurned lover, Apollo, to utter prophesies that would always be accurate but never believed. That was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2021 at the cassandra pages
What do we do -- what do I do -- after a year of this? The past week has not been easy. Everyone is fatigued. The vaccination program is aggressive here, finally, with large sites in convention centers, shopping malls,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Today, I learn, is #WorldBookDay. Who makes up these things? (And immediately hear a response in my head: "Publishers like you!") Be that as it may, in my life, every day is book day, and it's been so practically ever... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Pandemic notwithstanding, this has been one of the loveliest winters in Montreal, weatherwise, that I can remember. We've had two months of velvety snow, temperatures mostly in the 10s or 20s, lots of bright sun and blue skies, and essentially... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Still life with shells, orchids, and bowl. Fountain pen in sketchbook, 9" x 6". The ceramic bowl was made by my mother when she was around 20, long before I came along. I use it most days for my cereal... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Interior with rubber tree and straw angels. Sailor fude-nib fountain pen on paper, 9" x 6". I've been trying to draw and paint more regularly. It's therapy, and it's a joy, and it's a way to remember who I am... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Every morning when I get up and open the blinds near my desk, I take a moment to peer into my terrarium. It's changed since I planted it in the fall: some of the mosses have died back while others... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2021 at the cassandra pages
I'm thinking tonight of particular photographs of yesterday's storming of the U.S. Capitol: the image of the burly white guy carrying a confederate flag through the Capitol rotunda. The image of a blonde white woman and her friend, seated on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at the cassandra pages
It snowed last night, softening and muffling the city on an already quiet New Year's Day. This morning the roads and sidewalks had been plowed, but the park was covered with six inches of soft new snow. I put on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Roberto Bolaño and Fyodor Dostoevsky Books of 2020 (list at the end of this post) Books have been my salvation during the months of isolation. I know many people have said they've had trouble concentrating on reading, but my situation... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Oh, how I long for that day too, Rachel! And I wish I could be in Mexico City, eating tamales, sold by a tiny Nahuatl woman and her family who make them from the freshest chicken I've ever tasted. We have the same issues with our groceries, and have come to almost enjoy the "surprises." I hope your black-eyed peas bring you good luck, and that God's eye is there for you always.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2020 on End of December at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply
Here are two musical offerings for this Christmas season by the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral Montreal -- a lullaby written by our director of music, Jonathan White, and a lively carol. As always, I'm delighted to be part... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Christmas in my house would hardly be Christmas without a paper project or some sort of ornament-making, and this bizarre year is no exception. A while back, I became fascinated by mathematical origami models which are constructed using identical folded... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at the cassandra pages
There is nothing greyer than a northern November, before it snows. And then, when the dark days and long nights of November stretch into December, and the sun feels like it's on permanent holiday in Patagonia, so far away that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2020 at the cassandra pages
I made this little video in response to a prompt: What are the talismans that have gotten you through these months? What will you be taking with you into the New Year? (Thank you, wmc.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Growing up in central New York State conditioned me to fields, forests, lakes, hills and river valleys. I was five when I had my first glimpse of the ocean, from New York harbor, but I wasn't actually on the ocean... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2020 at the cassandra pages
I've made terrariums since I was a little girl. These miniature worlds fascinated me, perhaps because they reflected the natural places where I often played with my dolls: the mossy crevices between tree roots; the lush gardens of moss and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2020 at the cassandra pages
When coping with this interminable disruption to our lives, daily routines help -- so say the psychologists. I've tried. Predictably, some routines have been more successful than others. Daily exercise gets maybe a B, that is, after my Achilles tendonitis... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2020 at the cassandra pages
We call him "Mr Fang" The days are getting shorter, the nights are colder, and there's already been a frost out in the countryside. This past weekend we disassembled our terrace plantings, and brought most of the plants inside. For... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Greek Hillside with Blue Agaves. Watercolor in sketchbook, 11.5" x 8.5". This is where I ended up after working more on the previous sketch (below). This sketch seems to be another example of my lifelong obsession with the thorny problem... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2020 at the cassandra pages
I can't leave Montreal, at least until the end of the month, because a new lockdown was imposed on October 1, so there is no question of driving out into the country to see the fall foliage, visiting a natural... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Tonight I'm reeling with anger at the despicable remarks of the desperate and reckless narcissist who is president of the United States. Apparently, to him, people who have died of COVID are like those dead, maimed and captured soldiers he... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Like everyone I know, I've been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg: saddened by her death, immensely grateful for her life, concerned about the future. If there's one legacy I'm sure she wanted to leave with us, it is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Yesterday I was reminded by Teju Cole that it was the anniversary of the death of Seamus Heaney. This morning, as I sat with the cat and the peaceful light, I took down my copy of Heaney's North (1975), which... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at the cassandra pages