The Question of Light: Tilda Swinton’s speech at the Rothko Chapel

“Great art has the power to dissolve things: time, distance, difference, injustice, alienation, despair…”

Conner Habib

tildaBelow is the only place to read Tilda Swinton’s moving and radiant speech at the Rothko Chapel in Texas.

Why do I have it?  A brief explanation.

Last year, actress Tilda Swinton was presented with the Rothko Chapel Visionary Award at the The Rothko Chapel, which is home to fourteen of Mark Rothko’s paintings.  It’s also a spiritual and human rights center whose mission is “to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, to nurture reverence for the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum for global concerns.”

One of her friends (writer William Middleton, mentioned in the unabridged version of the speech) sent the speech along to me and my boyfriend.  We read it aloud to each other, we paused, we marveled at the wisdom: art and light and compassion.  Then we read it again, inspired by its unfolding grace.  

When I tried to locate…

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You Say Goodbye. I Say Hello

The new year. it comes and goes. This is my one year anniversary of not being here. A message from WordPress this morning said that “my site misses me.” So here I am back writing in space to the high C sounds of tinnitus. There is a new dog on the other couch. The old one died a few months ago. Sometimes I get their names mixed up.

But as the new year progresses, Ill call New dog the old dogs name less and less. But I will still remember Helen.

Helen is my best friend. I was pregnant with my son when I saw her off to Glendale on a Greyhound bus. He is fifty four years old. I haven’t seen her since. I searched for her over the issuing years, phone books, Facebook. I subscribed to People Finders and asked my PI brother in law to look her up…

more in the next installment

The Plot Is in the Beat


I am crafting my writing by breaking up my current work – a novel with the working title of  S E V E N T E E N – into tight excerpts. I find this method to be an effective way for fine honing my shit. It’s a necessary process for me because I am a persnickety writer. Tuning up passages as separate entities is one way I can craft prose into poetry as a standalone hybrid. Present day poetry dressed up as prose is too unusual as a writing genre to have a body of rules and that’s the thrill of it for me. People who write prose/poetry get to blaze their own trail. which also means it’s also a lonely trail.

Part 2 coming up: The Trick Is in the Words

His Head Was Found at the Driver’s Wheel

railroad lovers bl and wh

His Head Was Found at the Driver’s Wheel

Latest excerpt from my novel S E V E N T E E N/ Child of War 

alternative history of the 20th century written (Historiographical Meta-fiction)



S E V E N T E E N/ Child of war

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Rant and raves from grumpy rambly

Ramblings From A Mum

time for a rant & raves – which I swore I wouldn’t really I must be ‘in a mood’ tonight.

  • Political correctness…. I like many other Australians I am sure, are becoming increasingly fed up and irritated with lack of ‘ freedom of speech’ that we once had. Currently there are a couple of uproars in the media about ‘the wrong word/s’ being spoken. One by a 13 year old girl at a football match, who yelled out ‘Ape’ to an Aboriginal football player. She has been accused of racism. Is it just me or is this getting ridiculous?  This is what was said of her from the player – “Racism has a face. It’s a 13-year-old girl.”  This is her reply “I didn’t mean it in a racist way and I’m sorry to the club and the AFL.”  Would I be called racist if I called a caucasian…

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Mother’s Day – Good Riddance Dree in response

Mother’s Day – Good Riddance


Dree in response to your Blog on Mother’s Day

Many  thanks for your Mother’s Day blog! It’s comforting to know there are people out there who share my feeling about honoring mothers  – automatically. When my sister posted a picture of our mother crocheting hats as her Facebook picture and wrote an absolutely lovely few lines in praise of our mother aka her making Strawberry short cake etc, and crocheting hats. Leaving out, I might add, our mother’s real worth as a stalwart and persevering person, She was brilliant , classy, and charming…. I felt an inconsolable sadness mixed with a bit of rage.

Mother’s Day is the most depressing day of the year. Now that it’s over, I can recover my equilibrium as a person who reconciles the myth of my mother as a lovable person to my sister verses my reality that our mother thought I was unlovable. It saddens me to realize that my sister’s mother was different from my mother, even though one in the same person. It’s of great importance to me to be on the same page as my sister. I love her so much! Our only separation from each other is that unlike me, my sister played her part well in our mother’s play starring our mother the Queen. For her participation, my sister was curried and favored by our mother. My dear sister fashioned her life in the exemplary service of both our mother and father (who suffered from Parkinson’s disease) and then later in the service of her own daughter  – and in this case to good ends, because her daughter is so far happy and accomplished.

Our mother’s needs were not met by me, even though I tried valiantly to be the person for the part. I involved myself since the age of six in concern for our other sister who was profoundly handicapped by Cerebral Palsy and perhaps a genetic syndrome for which my mother blamed me, albeit indirectly. When it came time for a professional family portrait just before our sister’s death, I was not included even though I was a teenager and still living at home.

I had my own children, three of them. Our mother didn’t connect to them as her progeny. She was a grandmother only to my sister’s child. When our mother died the family house went to my sister as recognition of a mutual devotion..

But ironically,  I was more our mother’s child. I also became narcissistic. I treated my own children the way our mother treated me in that I used them to play minor characters in my play starring me as the brilliant unlovable genius.

I have been in therapy, for my children’s sake and for mine, for many years to learn to function from my authentic self. It’s been difficult to find out where and who that is. And still at 77 years of age, Mother’s Day gets to me. My goal is to leave my progeny a legacy of my love and not my persona. May they not celebrate Mother’s Day but celebrate daily the genuine compassion in themselves and others.

Today’s snippit Vilho Spills the Beans

Vilho who has escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto, continues to tell his story to Emmitt Till, a Unionizer, at the Golden Spike in Bulge, Montana 1942. Yes, it’s copyrighted.

(For more excerpts and blogs visit my WRITER’S NOTES site.

 from S E V E N T E E N / Child of War

“Eight days later the earth monsters arrived, the Panzers, gorgon tanks with no apparent humans to guide them. Der Grim Schnitter took up the breath of every boulevard, guided by guns turning in hydra like turrets a story high, this way and that whirring, stop, whir, aim, pause, incinerate. A classic image that defines perception, like all the hay stacks by Monet painted to get the light right at all times from dawn to dusk. Buildings dropped from the bombed roofs floor upon floor. If a front wall fell out first, you could see inside for several blocks, bedrooms with rose wallpaper and framed pictures askew, tables with cloths still on them. Where windows had been a moment ago, came alive with fire and certain suggestions of human life. The eternal beauty of the next month of lightning strikes colored our innocence and became classic to us as nightmares and flashes of terror out of nowhere. To you who were not there, The Rape of Persephone by Rubins comes to mind, the myth, the picture defines your perception. The original terror,  is lost to interpretation, you see. To you the real event never existed. Still I continue.

“The month’s Blitzkreig, exceeding wildest imaginations, had sprung from benign activity. Hitler bantered one day over map tables, designating Warsaw and this rest of Poland with his a sweep of his crop was at once both elated and disturbed, he being the greatest military genius since Alexander, who was, he relates to his lovely movie maker, Leni Riefenstahl in bed, a flawed mortal, blighted by homosexual troubles. ….”

And, Bill is it? You know this how? Posh art, queers, guns, and mayhem, and only a youth?

I will answer that this precisely is how I do know. We are sprung from war, you understand. Chaos swept in and now the world is clear. The young see what you cannot see.”

And do you, an Irish at the bar respond with, “Jesus Mary! Lad, you are full of malarkey. Go back to Germany or wherever you say you’re from!”