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March 20, 2016


I really like the direct quality of your drawing..

"A calm, steady place" -- yes, and thank you for that. Happy thirteenth, Beth!

I hope you two might find your way out West one day.

Happy blogday Beth and may Cassandra Pages keep on providing calm, peace and beauty to this corner of cyberspace for a long time to come. These lovely drawings are a perfect accompaniment to the expression of your thoughts

Indeed these are troubling and troubled times everyhere in the world, impossible to ignore, impossible not to feel frightened, angry and desperately sad about the plight of some many of our fellow humans. Blessed be the peacemakers, however we each can interpret those words.

Your blog is indeed a calm, steady place of beauty -- it has been a haven for me these many years, and I am so glad that you are here.

Thank you for sharing your bouquet- and your other bouquet, to the country that welcomed both of us, decades apart, but for similar reasons. Thirteen years is a constant contribution; thank you for your writing and for showing what you have painted, printed, knit, quilted, and collected.

And thank you all so much for stopping by and leaving a message - they are all deeply appreciated!

Happy Blogiversary, Beth - belatedly, I think, by now! Hard to take in that you've been creating words and pictures here for thirteen years, and I've been reading them for eleven or twelve. But what a resonant record it is of the passing of daily life - like the paper diaries and commonplace books of earlier times that now feel so precious.

I've been thinking a lot about what you wrote in recent posts about creating art in these times - challenging and fragmented thoughts that made it difficult to formulate the response I meant to post before this.

I loved the sculptures of Marin, and your photos of them - very glad to know his work. At the same time I found myself bristling a bit at some of what you wrote, but it's a kind of provocation that's ultimately only positive, and the direction of my thoughts was really a lot like yours in your second post.

I appreciate and respond to lots of writing, music and visual art that is overtly political and lots that isn't. The bristling, I guess, came down to: well, one might criticise Vermeer or Morandi, for example, for the quiet interiority of their art in a brutal and tumultuous world. But I think one would be wrong because what they depicted is the very texture of life and of perception, and that is no retreat from anything.

In terms of my own creative expression, for the past nine months - suddenly and surprisingly - it's been mostly writing and translating poetry, and being so new to this it's been mostly, and justifiably, experiment, play, and all over the place. But continuing beyond this stage means changing and developing, writing stuff that is both more personal and more political. And that can mean so many different things and take so many forms.

My reflections end, for now, very much where yours do - with questions and openness to what Korean Zen practitioners call "don't know mind", which can be hard for your average Protestant, or someone who is, like me, from that background.

These are fruitful thoughts. Thank you for provoking them. I look forward to seeing what you will create next, but today I find the daffodils just right and not "just daffodils".

Joyeux bloganniversaire! Merci de continuer!

Thank you, Beth, for continuing to create Cassandra Pages. It's the best! xo

Happy Blogday, Beth! Glad you're still blogging - I have enjoyed your posts this past year from your travels, and of course also following your blog over most of the 13 years. Best wishes for another year of splendid posts!

To chime in with another happy blogday (!), Beth. I rarely comment but always appreciate your considered and well expressed thoughts, and you sharing your art and slices of life in Canada with us. Thank you.
And throughout the year I always consider your end-of-year reading lists and often refuse to start a book knowing that I wouldn't be able to justify it (to myself) when sharing the list. I still read nonsense, just not as much as I would otherwise!
Best wishes,

Belated congratulations on your blog's anniversary, Beth! I'm so happy to have discovered it many years ago when I started blogging and it is always on my reading list, always inspiring in many ways. All good wishes for more, with thanks!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.