Behind the house, there are two kinds of white birch. One is the papery kind that sheds scrolls which look to me like ancient texts or musical scores. Its leaves are fewer and larger, and they fall much earlier. The other has a trunk that’s more rough and grooved. Its leaves are much smaller; there are thousands and thousands of them, and they fall like pale-yellow snowflakes well into December, […]
Penny Thoughts and Photographs
A long, dry fall. Almost November, and we still have dahlias. Cool, smoky, misty mornings. Spiders asleep in their chosen colors. The other hand clapping. Want less, want not, want nothing at all. Dahlias Sunday evening after the flower show I dream of two dead uncles. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, September 1, 2009
I know little about Eliza, except that she was my mother’s mother’s mother, and that her husband, Henry, who was born in 1835 and much older, died after a fall from a horse. This picture of her was taken when she was sixteen, around 1880 or a little before. My guess is that it was done somewhere in the East, before she and Henry settled in California’s gold country. After […]
This is my father’s father, from a large photo-portrait taken when he was twelve, about two years after his arrival in this country. Since to a surprising degree this picture shows the way I think, I might attempt more of these strange collages.
Penny Thoughts and Photographs, August 6, 2009
This is a detail from an untitled painting by a close friend of mine, Glen Ragsdale. It was done in 1973 when the artist was seventeen, about a year before he died of cancer. When he finished the painting, he framed it and sold it to my parents for forty dollars because he was short about that much money for his car insurance. After he passed away, a showing […]