Roasting

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(or listen here)

Chestnuts were roasted on an open fire at an outdoor gathering we attended for charity just before Thanksgiving. Sans Bing, a piano, belted fluffy robe, fire-hazard Christmas tree, or racist trope Mamie – sincere apologies to Louise Beavers and the young actors who portrayed her children. “I knows Miss Linda likes I knows my own children.” Her character roasts up old Jonesie the turkey for Mr. Jim who cannot eat Mr. Jones because, “a slicker stole his gal.” Man, we are oftentimes a shitty race. Back to chestnuts, which is a hilarious compound word. Who came up with that? Etymology says it’s derived from the old English via Latin via Greek words for the tree – some form of chesten, plus “nut” for the fruit. It is thought that the Greeks cultivated and popularized the tree and fruit after bringing seeds from Asia a few millennia or so ago.

Which reminds me of the time I invented a similar compound word. It was a lifetime ago when I first noticed I was over-gifted in the upper area of my body plus sweat patterns therein and began referring to that area as my chesticles. I thought I was SO funny until BrotherHerisme reminded me that testicles aren’t just sweaty orbs, but also hairy and was that how I wanted to refer to my chest. Hard pass – at least until I age enough out of estrogen to where this becomes an apt description. But by then, I think, the moniker won’t be as funny. I’ll just be a saggy old lady with actual chesticles, if I roast and sweat… which I will… once I pop into my sauna post midwinter inground heated salt water swimming pool dip. I asked a contractor about putting in a pool once. He offered to grab a shovel out of his truck and dig a big hole for me that I could throw money into from time-to-time and save us both a lot of trouble. C’mon man, if I’m biologically doomed to have actual chesticles, at least indulge me with this dream. *Sigh*

Try again – back to chestnuts. I’d forgotten how fun and tasty roasted chestnuts are! Yummmm We ate them out of an insulated little pot a young woman with an awesome wrap-around thick braid, was carrying around. SonHerisme ran off to the adjoining field for an impromptu pick-up football game with buddies (known and unknown). The money raised from the event, sponsored by a group of female family law attorneys, was for a local organization helping domestic violence victims. We have domestic violence victims in every community – please find your local dv support organization and help them too. Being a dv victim is unsettling to say the least. I am so very extremely lucky in my circumstances, where many/most are not. It is odd that we do not have a better collective plan for preventing and supporting domestic violence victims since it’s such a ubiquitous human issue. It’s always somehow “shocking!” Everyone knows someone who was molested, raped, financially/emotionally/physically abused. Its what the humans do. I wish we did not, but we do.

And yet, we can also find beauty, comfort, warmth and satisfaction in a little brown, hard crusted, hairy lined, potato consistency, smokey flavored, hot, fragrant chestnut in a pot shared with friends.

Love Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. We watched Holiday Inn again this weekend. SonHerisme wants to know why I want to watch it every year when it is so racist. For the music, the shoes, and the reminders of how racism was a culturally acceptable popular way of life, despite lives sacrificed for equity, not that long ago.

Un Petit Exposé

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(or listen here)

Nous avons peut-être été exposés au covid.

Posiblemente hemos estado expuestos a covid.

Wir waren möglicherweise covid ausgesetzt.

meh – it doesn’t matter how you say it. Last week we spent a day in tentative quarantine to wait for test results when we had been exposed to an active positive COVID friend through a mutual buddy. What a weird day to wait and see if we had to cancel our hosting Thanksgiving for 10 – some of which were traveling over 8 hours to visit. Spoiler – everyone who interacted with the positive COVID person has fully tested negative, so we were in the clear and proceeded with the things of the Thanksgiving with our group of 10. LUCKY for sure.

This was a wake-up call to reign in the slack. We’d been at a few primarily unmasked outdoor social events recently and hugging friends. Unless they are medically unable to receive a vaccination, or an under-5, most of our social circle are vaccinated with at least one jab/shot/inoculation. The day our visiting Thanksgiving people left, I received my booster. My body tends to react to any vaccine, and the booster remained on point with this trend. About 48 hours of fever, headache, swollen/red/tender arm and neck, red cheeks, nausea, debilitating joint pain, and extreme exhaustion. You know what I didn’t have? COVID requiring hospitalization or death leaving my 13-year-old parentless. You’re welcome, community/world – I am not deliberately leaving a vulnerable child subject to further trauma and he still has a chance to be a productive empathetic contributing member of our human society. So there’s that. At least for today, we are okay.

Over this past week, I thought a lot about how many people are struggling this time of year. The people who cannot be with loved ones for whatever reason. The people who came before us who we pretend to venerate on Thanksgiving but who we stole lands from and committed genocide on. The people who did not receive good news about being infected with COVID or some other scary diagnosis. I don’t bring this up it’s because I feel the need to tamp down any positive experience with tragedy. I do think it is more difficult to appreciate the wonder of what is when we fail to recognize the reality of how we got here or what is happening around us.

The Piscataway, Iroquois, Susquehannock, and other woodland native tribes once moved through the area where I live. The Iroquois nation developed and negotiated agreements between tribes through a vast council where all tribes could be represented (but not necessarily have a say in decisions), including European settler representatives. Of course, when decisions were made that did not suite us (my settler ancestors), we used force and viral warfare. That’s right, we deliberately sent infected people, blankets and other trade items into native tribes so that the tribe members would become ill and die.

There isn’t any chance that we did not understand this was morally reprehensible and wrong. Deliberately sending infections into places where we knew people did not have any immunity build-up or access to any cures. *sigh* Now we pretend our motives for infection spread are about our personal freedom and liberties to conduct our bodies as we see fit even when we know there are those in our communities who cannot receive immune support. Despite having access to better, faster, and more information about diseases and human behaviors, along with technology support, it turns out we aren’t that evolved from our European colonizers in the 17th/18th centuries. Freedom, personal agency, liberty does not extend to putting someone else’s life on the line when you exercise your rights. Hello seatbelts, speed limits, drunk-driving rules, no-smoking zones, vaccine requirements, food labels and regulations, water contaminate disclosures, hazardous waste disposal rules, OSHA…

In this country, ages 5+ have easy ready access to a COVID vaccine and ages 18+ have easy ready access to boosters 6 months out from vaccines. We all have easy access to masks. Our government has treated non-white people like crap. We must do better to earn respect, gain trust through accountability, and recruit everyone who is able to receive the vaccine. We also need to wear masks inside and outside in crowds at all times for the next year at least. Our vulnerable populations depend on those of us who can to do what we can. Exercise our freedom, personal agency, and liberty by doing our part to take care of our community, if for no other reason than that when we are in need (and all of us are at some point) our community can be there for us too.

That’s my two cents on the COVID shiz.

The chestnut oak I had cut down almost two months ago probably saw a Piscataway family heading down to one of the Chesapeake tributaries to gather water or follow deer and turkey for a tasty feast, as they prepared for wintering. I thought about them as I sat with my sweet SonHerisme and family as I ate my little plate of green beans, mashed potatoes, and vege dressing and gave thanks for all of the things.

I am very thankful for you. Thank you for sharing this space with me and for “liking” and commenting as you can when you can. I hope that you are more often surrounded by health and comfort than not. And fairy lights.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. In other news, I am once again re-reading A New Earth. It turns out, I can’t not do the things of the efforts and trying for something, anything, no matter the pain it brings from the inevitable disappointments. So there it is.

Whistle-Stop Meditations

“All these people will live as long as you remember ’em” Ninny Threadgoode of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Although this Whistle Stop Cafe is from 1920’s rural Alabama, I think the threads of families and communities is probably universal to rural American culture at the young times of our David and Emily.

This post is meant to be a one-stop capture of the thread links in order as well as all of the audio files. My hope is that if David and Emily’s baby girl (hello there if this is you reading!) is interested in my posts, sending her one link will be easier to follow than eight. Also, I am whistling today and eating a tomato-based veg dinner. Building up before the Thursday mashed potato throw-down of the year! THIS this this is how my brainiac works.

In order:

The EBB
The Flo
Carolina Portuguese
MEDITATIONS part 1
MEDITATIONS part 2
MEDITATIONS part 3
MEDITATIONS part 4
MEDITATIONS part 5
Meditations Epilogue

Anywho, again, THANK YOU ALL and I am sending you the very best wishes for a safe, healthy, and joyful start of the winter(or southern hemisphere-ites, summer) holiday seasons!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

From the Apple Music Thanksgiving Dinner Playlist: Jack Johnson’s Better Together

It's not always easy
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing
It's always better when we're together

Meditations Epilogue

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(or listen here)

Oh, we’re going to talk about ME, are we? Goody” (goodie, goodey?). A quote from Ms. Tracy Samantha Lord in The Philadelphia Story. Ms. Lord is portrayed by Katharine Hepburn and Grace Kelly in film versions based on the 1939 Broadway play written by Phillip Barry. The play starred, and was financed by, Katharine Hepburn. Phillip Barry specifically wrote the character Tracy Samantha Lord, based on his friend, Philadelphia socialite Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, to be played by Katharine Hepburn. I also happen to love this movie (Hepburn’s film directed by George Cukor is the best). And I adore CK Dexter Haven, along with Mr. Connor, Ms. Imbrie and of course sassy little Dinah Lord!

My point being that I wanted to title this “ME” for “Meditations Epilogue” and instead titled it as is and added a favorite (or favourite) line from The Philadelphia Story which is from the same love era as our David LS and Emily BA.

Confession – I tried to write a sonnet and failed.

For catch up reading: The EBB, The Flo, Carolina Portuguese, MEDITATION 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This is what I have:

On June 30, 1942, in expectation of another wan moon that night, Emily B Anderson and David Lee Stewart were married in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. David, a dashing 40-year-old southern gentleman, and Emily, a southern beauty at 27. David probably wore his very best seersucker suit, white short-sleeved shirt, summer fedora, and tie.  Emily probably wore a pale colored smartly satin-belted strapless dress, sassy little lace fascinator, with a modesty shrug as required by those who cared about that sort of thing. They were married in the church by a Baptist minister. Emily's paternal grandparents were witnesses, along with Ms. Pearl Fisher. The wan moon most likely saw the new Mr. and Mrs. Stewart dancing away to Moonlight Cocktail by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. Couple o' jiggers of moonlight and add a star ... 

In 1942, the United States was involved in World War II and had recently banned the sales of new cars in order to conserve steel for the war efforts. Coffee and gasoline were also rationed.

About 55% of U.S. households had indoor plumbing (defined as a flushing toilet, a sink with faucet, and a bathtub or shower).

The U.S. President was Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He ordered the seizure of all Japanese-American's properties and opened Japanese-American internment camps.
He ordered the military to define and guard "exclusionary zones" on the West Coast, where any Asian looking person was not allowed, and on the East Coast, where German and Italian Americans were not allowed.
The Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and used a submarine to bomb Ft. Stevens, Oregon.

Bambi and Casablanca were released that year, and Bob Hope was very popular. Bing Crosby starred in a little film titled Holiday Inn, and released a recording of the hit song of the year from that film, White Christmas.

David Lee Stewart registered for the military by completing a United States World War II Draft Card.

Not long after their wedding, David and Emily Stewart moved to Norfolk, Virginia. There is a naval yard in Norfolk, so perhaps David was assigned somewhere near or around there. His brother, Paul, was a mechanic, making it likely that David was called to the war effort to fulfill his draft obligation as a mechanic.

The Stewarts lived in the Washington, DC/Norfolk, VA area for six to seven years. During this time, Emily worked for a large department store. On July 2, 1945, two months before President Truman declared the end of World War II, Emily gave birth to a squeezy squishy bundle of love baby girl, Nellie. It seems as though they must have had a very loving, high regard for and tight relationship with David’s former childhood neighbors, the Hunters. Both the grandmother and granddaughter were Nellie Hunter. Nellie Hunter, the granddaughter, was about 6 years younger than David, and lived nearby with her grandparents throughout David’s childhood. I love the idea of loving memories being bequeathed to the future with namesakes. This is so very poetically sweet.

A few years after the war ended, the Stewart family returned to Edgecombe County where Emily worked in a local sewing plant. With cotton as a staple crop in the area, I imagine our Emily was busy with a variety of cottony softness items. David’s story is proving to be more elusive.

In 1986 there is a deed recording of transfer of property from the estate of Emily’s mother, Fannie Bond Anderson, to Emily and David.

Sometime in 1990, 88 year-old David became ill, relying on Emily for his care-giving.

On October 20, 1995 there is a deed recording of David and Emily transferring the Anderson property back to Emily’s remaining siblings.

Two days shy of seven months later, 
on May 18, 1996, 
David Lee Stewart, 
94-years-old, 
beloved husband to Emily Bond Anderson for 54 years, 
while waiting for a waxing crescent moon in Gemini (which manifests itself by the need for change), 
crossed the Tethys sea back to the land of dreams 
as his soul left his body and he died.

After nine more Valentine's Days 
(or 8 years, 10 months, and 20 days later), 
on April 7, 2005, 
back to the Aries wan moon (which manifests itself by uncertainty and quick problem solving), 
Emily Bond Anderson Stewart 
also crossed the Tethys sea back to the land of dreams 
as her soul left her body 
and at 90 years-old, 
she joined her David in death. 

As described in her obituary, "Emily truly exemplified the meaning of steadfast, unfaltering love and care," and I believe it. The second child in a family of ten children, a life partner, a mother, retail professional, seamstress, caregiver to her mother, caregiver to her husband - all steadfast and full of love.  

David and Emily’s little Nellie Nell grew up, married, had children and grandchildren. I am carefully packing up the little book as I found it with the sonnets inside, and sending it to Nell with a note and regards. I am grateful that it came to visit me. I am grateful for the moments of magics and imaginations. I am grateful to hold space for the witnessing of big feelings, deep love, creativity, and moving human souls.

Thank you for witnessing with me.

Go, lamp of the night - go to the West,
And take your joy, and your pain:
But the doubt and the hope that stir in my breast
Will linger, to struggle again.

(MEDITATIONS Series to E. p.5, David Lee Stewart, 1936 1:00 am In the Country)

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Goodbye David and Emily and Elizabeth and Robert

MEDITATIONS part 5

(Photo by cottonbro on P)
(or listen here)

Here you are, Peter!*

If you are looking for how we all ended up here with notable reader Peter, you may find parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 helpful – or not. You do you, boo.

Series to E.          5

I am myself a little one
Bewildered in this mystic land,
Feeling so helpless and alone
Because I do not understand.

Hold me, dear powers of Love and Good,
In the quiet arms of oblivion’s rest,
As a gentle loving mother would
Hold the infant on her breast!

***

Look! How the curtains of the night
By the pink fingers of the day are drawn!
The pensive moon her paling light
Merges with the fringe of dawn.

Sleep on, little One, till the grey is gone!
Dream, dream away the memory
That you have ever, ever known
A heart so weak as mine can be!

Go, lamp of the night – go to the West,
And take your joy, and your pain:
But the doubt and the hope that stir in my breast
Will linger, to struggle again.

          END 

Our deeply sensitive David is feeling insecure, in love, worried, protective, and all of the things an expressive handsome man of 34 feels for an engaging 22-year-old beauty. I think he probably drank leftover after dinner champagne and coffee while fashionably smoking cigarettes throughout the night of sonnet writing. No Oscar Wilde-ism here though – rumored to have only consumed champagne, coffee and cigarettes in the last days of his life. Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends! No Fall Out Boy in 1936, of course. Our Em and Davey had opportunity for sweet luscious slow dances to Billie Holiday’s Summertime or Fred Astaire’s The Way You Look Tonight (Ginger Rogers is also the goat) or Pennies from Heaven (Bing is meltingly heavenly) or or or…

David clearly pines for, fervently loves, and adores Emily. But, what about our dear Emily B? As mentioned previously, the book appears to have hardly been opened, and the 5 page sonnet possibly never opened. I did not procure the book in North Carolina or North Carolina adjacent. What happened to our gallant hero and sonnet inspiring heroine?

This is the end of the DL to EB sonnet, but not the end of the tale just yet…

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

*Peter Reference: possibly my (paraphrased) favorite line from Hook which is a must for all of you Peter Pan fans. Earworm day for me as I will now sing to the Rubberband Man song, “you’re bound to lose control when the Peter Pan fans start to jam!” tra la la Brains are a blessing and an occasional flat-tuned curse *sings anyway* Peter is the name I bestow upon any reader from England when I say, “hello,” to my stats monitoring page. “Hello, Peter!”

Peter Pan was originally produced on stage in London on December 27, 1904. David was 2 years and 10 months old. A very merry toddler Christmas! Except that David was in North Carolina at the time, Pan-less (and pants-less if potty-training), I assume.

When David was 9 years old, Peter Pan and Wendy was published in illustrated book form for children. Maybe he received a copy of the earlier version from 1906 (meant for adults), Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, as a gift and it helped spark his creative imagination. Maybe he had his own bookshelf in the family lounge area with Peter Pan, The Red Fairy Book, The Wizard of Oz series, Alice in Wonderland, Old Mother West Wind, Just So Stories, The Dutch Twins, The Secret Garden, The Ransom of Red Chief, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, The Call of the Wild, The Wind in the Willows, and Five Children and It! Confession: I am a librarian by study and trade. To be more specific, a children’s librarian with a life-long obsession for popular and classic children’s books. 398’s and 811’s rule! And now you know.

MEDITATIONS part 4

(Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Welcome to this tiny moss piglet’s eyelash’s undetectable speck of dust quantum universe’s teensiest inhabitant’s space on the Internets! If you might find parts 1 (with backstory links), 2, and 3 of interest, please clickity clack on back and take a peek. Or rebound to do a your version of a dive-in here:

Series to E.      		4

Oh, weak and selfish I have been!
I who pronounced my conscience clear
But heaped my wrath on other men
Who held no girl’s affection dear!

But no! – no man can say of me
I ever played the cruel part
Of him who voluntarily
Would break a trustful maiden’s heart.

Yet I am guilty! – O strange, strange sin
Which being kind is cruel instead!
And I am the worst heartless of men
Following my heart where it led!

***

Relentless doubt obscures my eyes
And opens my heart with icy pain, - 
Till the sweet waters of hope arise
Warming and healing the wounds again.

O cruel doubt! O wavering hope! – 
Tossing my reason to and fro-
What can I do but blindly grope
And follow my heart where it would go?

O strange, strange life! – Dear Powers above,
Beyond the moon and the pale starlight,
Fold, Fold me in creation’s love,
And the soft curtain of the night!

End page 4

to be continued…

Oh sweet David Lee! You are one smitten kitten for sure. Or passionate pup? Either way, I am certain you were the bees knees and the goat at wooing beautiful Emily B. in the gorgeous rural countryside of Edgecombe County, North Carolina.

Prior to the 19th century, this area of North Carolina was home to the Tuscarora Native American tribe who began departing once English settlers appropriated lands for their private use. There are local records of: a John Stewart (Stuart/Steward) in 1674 bequeathing a frying pan and other items upon his death, a Richard Bond in 1728 bequeathing assets to Sarah Bond, and in 1752 a Joseph Anderson bequeathing 15£ to a number of people upon his death.

73 years prior to David penning love sonnets, Union General Edward E. Potter entered Edgecombe County, destroying supply chains for the Confederate militia (Potter’s Raid). Many local enslaved people left the area during the Civil War to fight with the Union Armies in all-black regiments. Two years after Potter’s Raid, in 1865, the first all black incorporated town of Princeville was established by former enslaved people in Edgecombe County. In 1936, at the time of David’s love sonnets, Edgecombe County was about 50% white and 50% black, with crops of cotton, tobacco, wheat, peanuts, and corn along with cattle and chickens with a booming population (up 26% from the 1930 census). One year after David’s sonnets, in 1937, the first new-deal electrical cooperative began generating in the area. Today’s Edgecombe County is about 60% African American and remains primarily rural.

We have one page remaining, y’all. Let’s just take a moment to savor that July 4th full moon booming economy optimistic deeply felt passionate pain of love from August 12, 1936. I bet they carefully carved their initials into some tree with a heart around it.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Hello. How are you? Do you wish that your name was Felix Mittermeier or that you could have drinks with someone named Felix Mittermeier? Just me then? Alrighty… makes sense. But if Felix lives in a house with the number ’27’ in it, then we are all in (unless there is a leather sofa of dubious color or colour, like blue).

MEDITATIONS part 3

(or listen here)

For catching up, please take a hop, skip, graceful leap over to Meditations part 1, Meditations part 2, and associated links in those post toasties, as your needs must… my current need? Tea. Always tea. And a generous in-ground heated saltwater pool, cabana with composting toilet, and outdoor shower, natch. YES, even in the winterings. (please and thank you) Other stuff too – but, for now, onwards with the things.

Series to E.                  3

-Fears I have yielded to a force
My heart but not my reason guides;
and on the sea of life, my course
Is strown with rocks and counter-tides.

-Fears that my heart has grown too fond
Of one whose world is not my own:
Who could not to my soul respond,
Leaving me lonely and alone.

Fear too list when we come to part,
So fondly she has thought of me,
Pain like a sword might pierce her heart,
For what she might have hoped would be.

If I should break her heart, O God,
Let burning shame consume my breast!
Let grief become my chastening-rod – 
But give her own heart peace and rest.

O why, why did I ever come
To rest in this quiet country place?
Why not have wandered far from home
And never seen this maiden’s face?

‘Twas but a few short weeks ago
I went in peace where’er I would:
No thoughts like these disturbed me so,
Nor did I mean they ever should!

O God, I trust thee: good thou art,
And only merry thy design:
If there must be a broken heart,
The guilt, the blame, alone is mine.

O let the pain be all my own,
And all the loneliness she must bear!
Let her be happy when I am gone -
This is my hope, and this my prayer.

End page 3

Now we know that David met Emily a few weeks prior to the writing of this sonnet. Maybe they met at a 4th of July celebration! Maybe he wore breezy light linen pants, a short-sleeved white shirt with red, white and blue paisley patterned bow-tie, a seer-sucker jacket, pale blue socks, dusty brown shoes, and a straw bowler with plain blue ribbon. Maybe she wore a sleeveless pale red dress, with tiny blue ribbons on the pockets and scattered on the neckline, with a matching blue ribbon in her hair to hold it up and off of her neck because of the heat. I’m pretty sure she left her shoes somewhere and was barefoot on the porch swing, drinking lemonade she’d secretly slightly spiked for her own amusement. Their initial conversation might have been about the community’s annual 4th of July scavenger hunt, Carole Lombard, William Powell, and My Man Godfrey. Plus phases of the moon, which was an absolutely glorious full moon on Saturday, July 4, 1936. I’m sure that was what happened. Love at first sight by the light of a full moon and dreams of the treasures promised by Lombard and Powell.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

"A scavenger hunt is exactly like a treasure hunt, except in a treasure hunt you try to find something you want, and in a scavenger hunt you try to find something that nobody wants." 

"I wish I had a sense of humor, but I can never think of the right thing to say until everybody's gone home."

both quotes from Irene Bullock (portrayed by Carole Lombard), My Man Godfrey

"Godfrey:  May I be frank?
Molly: Is that your name?
Godfrey: No, my name is Godfrey.
Molly: All right, be Frank. "

Please, please, please watch My Man Godfrey. If you can, as you can. It’s delicious (well, the lovely bits are, but the times were different of course).

MEDITATIONS part 2

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(or listen here)

If you would like a catch up : Meditations part 1 with lead in links at the top of that post.

To sum up: 85 years ago, DLS wrote EBA a 5-page MEDITATIONS sonnet, found folded inside an EBB book of sonnets.

Series to E.                                             2

Cold silent orb that from the sky
Hath watched a hundred thousand years,
Hast thou learned wisdom to reply
To one poor doubting mortal’s fears?

For surely since ascendant man
First felt his soul within him burn,
You have found why, in that eon-span,
The hearts of men and maidens yearn?

Yes! Forty thousand years ago
Some fierce barbaric man of yore
Lifted his mute eyes to your glow
As he trod the sands of the ocean shore.

O fierce and mute and savage man
Beating your breast by the Tethys Sea.
Whose blood with fiercest passions ran, -
I am come from you! you are come to me!

All the wild longings in your blood
As you stood on that moonlit shore
Came back again like a mighty flood
And surge – in my breast – once more!

Wan moon! Could but thy beam impart
The answer to my spirits tears, 
And lend some solace to a heart
That burns with longings and with fears!

to be continued….

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Tethys Sea is lovely to think about imo. Not only is it an ancient salt water sea from hundreds of millions of years ago, but also carries the name of the sister/consort of the Greek G-d Oceanus. Tethys and Oceanus were Titans, children of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven). Back in the day when the Earth was thought to be flat, Oceanus was the river flowing around the Earth, separating Earth from the underworld and the land of dreams. Tethys was the Greek G-ddess of all freshwater – rivers, lakes, streams, rain, clouds and could manipulate all water forms at will, natch. Tethys birthed 6,000 children and was the grandmother of the G-ddess of war, Athena. I do NOT have an unusual obsession with Stephen Fry or his books or listening to him read or listening to his podcast appearances or anything like that at all never ever ever… ever… maybe just a teensy passing brainiac admiration.

Apropos of nothing related to this, I welcome you to pizza Friday with 85% potential screaming sonnets on tonight’s set list.

MEDITATIONS part 1

(Photo by Jessica Lynn Lewis on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

If you need a catch up – The EBB, The Flo, and Carolina Portuguese are linked here.

I feel the need to all cap MEDITATIONS, to honor a man of certain distinction: Mr. D.L. Stewart

Series to E.
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1936, 1:00 A.M. - 
In the Country

MEDITATIONS

Rise, golden orb of the midnight skies,
And show me with your mellow beams
The window where a maiden lies
Dreaming sweetly - pleasant dreams.

'Tis one o'clock: your golden rim
Reflects its final-quarter glow
And lends a mystic radiance dim
To the tired sleeping world below.

Sleep, tired world, both beast and man!
The hands of yesterday need rest:
And sleep your tired bodies can,
But, not the struggle in my breast.

Thou silent orb - whence comes the power
Inherent in your mystic glow?
And why do you, in this dim hour,
Disturb my throbbing spirit so?

Is it because in former tide
Beneath your full-resplendent charm
She walked, so meekly, by my side
So soft her hand within my arm?

End page one, y’all. Sheesh to the woosh. Mr. DL gots the pinings of the heart loves something fierce for Miss EB. At 1 am.

to be continued… but first I must digest page one.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I KNOW that I just lost any librarian credibility by using a few (out of approximately bazillion) rocks from SonHerisme’s rock collection to gently hold the papers open. I know. I know. I know. I also know that most likely I will continue to make sketch decisions like this, so if this image burns your librarian curator conservationist historian sensitive eyeball brains (which I ADORE but blatantly disregarding consideration for atm), then now you know to avert your eyes on at least the next four MEDITATIONS posts. Fair warning and you’re welcome.

Carolina Portuguese

(Photo by thevibrantmachine on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

David Lee Stewart and Emily Bond Anderson certainly knew each other in 1936.

Emily was 22 that year and her David was 34. Census records show Emily Bond Anderson born 23 October 1914 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and David Lee Stewart born 14 February, 1902 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Our prose prone Carolina gentleman was born on Valentine’s Day!

On Wednesday, August 12, 1936 at 1:00am, when David wrote his 5-page sonnet for Emily, he had already celebrated his birthday in February, and his Emily was waiting to turn 22 that upcoming October. David Lee was 12 years and 8 months older than Emily Bond.

David’s neatly written, tidily folded, 5-page sonnet was safely tucked inside of a copy of Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This particular edition is believed to have been published around 1932.

On page 14 of the book’s introduction, Mr. David Stewart has underlined in red:

  • “There is, of course, no Portuguese original for them.”
  • “had called her his ‘little Portuguese.’ It has been suggested that this may have been the origin of the purposely misleading title.”
  • “the finest Sonnets written in any language since Shakespeare’s.”

The book was given by David Stewart to Emily Bond Anderson with “Best Wishes for Valentine’s Day.” This might suggest that Dave, Davey, David, Dada diddle cheeks is underlining these phrases in red to emphasize his admiration for Emily, Em, Emsters, Eba darling’s talents as well as his devoted love for her. Perhaps like Robert Browning’s for Elizabeth Bennett.

Then again, he did only send “Best Wishes,” and not, “all my love,” or some other gooey sentiment.

Using red pen might be due to Valentine’s Day, or might also be an emphasis on 1930’s mansplaining to settle a point or disagreement.

Either way, I think that Mr. Stewart went to a lot of trouble to get attention from Miss Bond Anderson. I prefer to think that our pal David was nervously attempting to express his deep regard for beautiful Emily.

He uses full names in the inscription:

TO Emily Bond Anderson
FROM David Stewart
WITH Best Wishes for Valentine's Day

He uses red pen on Valentine’s Day for “TO,” “FROM,” and “WITH.” His writing is very straight, cursive, neat and precise. His cursive capital letters at the beginning of the proper nouns are just textbook lovely.

I bet David wore a tie, matching vest, and pleated ballooned out in the frontage area pants when he delivered the book. I bet she had on a well-appointed dressed-for-work outfit of matching untucked belted blouse/skirt when she answered the door. I bet they had a lot of fun and trying times figuring each other out but never reaching the thankfully elusive I-know-everything-about-you times of boredom. I bet they had days they wished could last forever and days they wished they could forget. I hope that they mostly had ultimately satisfactory lives full of love.

Let’s choose mischievous green eyes for both. Darker brown hair for our David and reddish brown hair for our Emily.

Census records show both David and Emily coming from farming families with neighbors like Hill, Crickmore, Pittman, Bryan, Pope, Gavin, Price, and the Hunters. The Hunters are listed as a black family with a grandmother and granddaughter (6 years younger than David) named “Nellie.”

to be continued…

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

I tear up every time I look at this inscription. Is it tear worthy? Is it the intention or mandala-type impermanence that hits me? Fleeting feelings? Teeny tiny moments of a sparkle of life? Most likely my imagination gone rogue once again.

Also, today is MotherHerisme’s birthday! She is 77!