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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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

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!”

Excerpt: Tunnelman

I’m writing a book. It’s a history book about the last century written in the prose/poetry genre. For more about that go to WRITERS NOTES.

Here’s Today’s Excerpt from S E V E N T E E N / Child of War. Yes, It is quite copyrighted.


At dawn he emerged down from a place of wonder through the Topside entrance of his choice making the way unseen to his network adjacent to a New York City subway station on a side line forsaken since he arrived from Wiemar Germany without a Visa.

Normally he was naked, and walked with the devine thingy going doink doink doink,  except for the fedora that was never removed. It was believed that this fedora housed the spark of Tunnelman’s great enlightenment and even in the abysses of the networks lit his way. All others needed artificial light. Mostly it was cooking fires for pilfered eggs and ham. The Eskimos lit hunks of left over blubber the rest of which they attached to the ends of matches for their babies to suck.

Our people came to the subway underground from the accretions of many wars to be free from upheaval. A  communist society of like and peaceful souls. our group comprised the Irregulars, the Children of War. There were seventeen of us, specifically from Poland and Montana, to find beatification by the clackety winds of the express trains in the chartlessness of dark lit by The Spark.

I’m Walking Here Part 2

mail from my sister re: I’m walking here blog.” She says,
“Hilarious!  Glad to see you back in print ..  I’m your#1 fan 🙂  xox”

Aw thank you so much my beautiful sister!! You are my #1 and only fan. Seems I am writing just for you, poor thing. I do so like to complain, as you know. So thanks for your listening skills. If I have a beef  in my craw, then that’s inspiration to get it out to the ether. Dismantle those Life in Outer Space probes. There’s only one sentient life form out there. That’s my sister!!

Back on Terra Ferma, one of my acquaintances has a blog on WordPress, a confessional so to speak, to the point of Oh my! titillating. It’s about her emerging as a “poly-amorous” person which she likens to being gay, in that you “come out” as a “poly.” My definition of “poly” is someone who fu… around, however that is very crude and insensitive of me and so unevolved.

The evolved definition is more like someone who loves more than one person as a romantic interest and they both know what the other one is doing, such as in an “open marriage” in which both partners fu… around, er excuse me can amour more than one person, sort of like a rainbow rather than one color, which is inevitably grey. So that’s her blog. I’ll send you the URL. Actually it’s very good writing. It doesn’t indulge much in unnecessary words to get to the “good” parts which in itself makes it exciting because you know you’ll be through reading the damn thing sooner rather than later.

So, I added my own blog on WordPress, not an easy thing to do if you don’t pay for the “upgrade.” The fonts are aggressively ugly and you can’t change them unless you pay $99 a year. Word Press is set up as a blog community of sorts in that you can suffer er trade blog reading and make mutual comments that say, “I feel your pain.”

I get a “feed” in my email from a blogger called something like, “thoughts from a Mother.” Which is often about her father who is dying and how she mows his lawn and leaves daughter to dad sad but loving and appreciative notes on his pillow which he reads and then cries.She cries. It’s sad. However, he is not dying today exactly. He is old which seem to be the same thing, but here I go again being insensitive. I like the Mum in her blog and think it’s a miracle to be able to be completely devoid of snarky artifice in life, so I read on, marveling, sort of like visiting a lion preserve on the Sahel. Those lions are oblivious to the child bully problem and issues of co-dependency. Artless lions are sort of the opposite side of the coin from artifice free people.

Mother and it seems everyone else who writes a blog uses the contemporary way of writing or saying one’s innermost thoughts. It’s an odd discipline – quite odd actually – because it’s completely devoid of anger, antagonism, or irony. I don’t know how they do that. I think there is a book, perhaps by someone translated from the original Urdu. I can hear a raga in my head.

It seems that anger is no longer an emotion but sort of a mutation of a recently sanctioned emotion – as evidenced by fear biting dogs, I imagine, but I’m still confused. The polar opposites of love vs hate come to mind and I can’t think of a mutation for either of those except you are not supposed to hate these days because it causes wars.

I have felt fear and I have felt what I thought was anger and these are definitely not the same. Although I’ll admit fear may bring on a defensive response that looks like anger to the outside observer. To the inside observer pure anger is more fun. It’s well, artless. To me it’s a creative force, but then I harken from the old days when anger was still a useful emotion.

I have no comments posted on either blob except yours. (except that one by someone who doesn’t like my “fat slob” blog. Although I have 970 hits since I started my other blob (Weebly)  I have no idea who these people are. I assume they are people. According to the “stats” most don’t go past the “home” page. Maybe they were looking for a bathroom. I think it’s my Twitter postings that got me my “hits” I have no idea how that works. I have so much to find out. What about your mini web class, did it go into “hits” and such? Maybe you can tell me.

Love always

Your Snarly Sister Paw