Off-subject but compelled to post …The Many Moods of Grandkitty

Gypsy Rose Grandkitty
Gypsy Rose Grandkitty

Gretchen Del Rio is a terrific California artist who finds her inspiration in nature and animals. Some of you will have noticed that thanks to Gretchen’s generosity, I sometimes use her work to illustrate my poems. Gretchen’s Native American spirit animals are the finest and I am enamoured of them.

“The paintings are from my heart and I always fall in love with the subject. I believe that we are all connected and, if an image touches you, it is because we all have the same heart even though our paths may be different.” Gretchen Del Rio

Recently Gretchen painted my grandkitty, Gypsy, in three of her many moods. Some of you know Gypsy from The Cat’s Meow. Though she hasn’t blogged for a while, her posts are still up for everyone to enjoy. She may  get back to blogging one of these days; but currently her plate is full to brimming while she organizes the CitySon Philosopher and the Girl from New Mexico in their new house in a different city. She takes her familial obligations seriously.

Gypsy – like most cats – is at home with writers. She expresses her critical opinion by sleeping on good manuscripts and coughing up furr balls on bad ones. In fine feline tradition, she likes to play the muse posing variously as lap blanket, printer cozy, keyboard duster, desk trasher and in much the same spirit apparently as Ray Bradbury’s cat  – a paper weight.

“I have my favorite cat, who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing.” Ray Bradbury

Here is Gypsy through Gretchen Del Rio’s eyes:

'GYPSY' 3 300 E

'GYPSY' 2 300 E'GYPSY' 1 300 E

© 2013, original watercolor paintings, Gretchen Del Rio, Gretchen Del

© Gypsy photograph, Karen Fayeth, Oh Fair New Mexico

This is post was pre-scheduled.

Causes for Celebration


“The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” Richard Bach (b.1936), American Writer,
the creator of Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Celebrating the wedding of two old friends and the graduation from a chaplancy program by another friend. Hooray!

So a couple of days off for me and wishing you all many blessings.

…back on Sunday with tips on writing: some cool and some quirky …

Photo courtesy of morgueFile

Mini (Two-Day) Vacation


“The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.”
Clarence Day (1874-1935), American novelist best know for Life with Father.

Back on Sunday with

Joy! Beauty! Delight! …. an evening with Maxine Hong Kingston


“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”
John O’Donohue (1956-2008), Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher

Photo courtesy of morgueFile.

Reading Rilke’s Swan

I think it was Borges who used to remind us that poetry began as an oral tradition and that in these days of print it is still meant to be read out loud. This hit home for me recently when a friend read one of my own poems at a funeral service and when British poet, John Anstie, recorded his reading of another of my poems. Even though I had written these poems and labored over their births, they gained a new dimension for me in the hands of these good poets who also happen to be good at oral delivery. On that note, I take special joy in the poetry of David Whyte and I particularly appreciate his skilled readings of his own work and that of other poets. In the video below David reads and interprets Rilke’s The Swan and Walcott’s Love After Love. I listen to his readings of these two renown poems several times a week and never tire of hearing them. Jamie 

LoResPublicityPoet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

The author of six books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.

An Associate Fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at the University of Oxford, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American and international companies. In spring of 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College, Pennsylvania.

In organizational settings, using poetry and thoughtful commentary, he illustrates how we can foster qualities of courage and engagement; qualities needed if we are to respond to today’s call for increased creativity and adaptability in the workplace. He brings a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual and organizational change particularly through his unique perspectives on Conversational Leadership.

portrait and bio courtesy of David Whyte

Video uploaded to YouTube by tjmjkm.