VivTown, Population: 1

text, images, poetry, miscellany, marginalia

Saturday, May 14, 2011

When this moon falls…

An ensō by  Nantenbo a few days before the coming full moon.

When this moon falls... (click to see larger)

posted by viv at 10:20 am  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Viral Excuse

norovirus norovirus


Our poetry parade halted suddenly because I contracted a nasty case of the norovirus, which, when magnified and dyed, has its own kind of beauty. I am well now & will blow the whistle and get the parade moving again tomorrow.




posted by viv at 8:30 am  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mercury Comes Into View

I got all shivery when I saw this first image of Mercury taken from its own orbit. Photographs taken in outer space just put it all in perspective for me.

Here’s an ancient depiction of the god Mercury from a bakery in Pompeii. This puts it all in another kind of perspective. Look at that, um, loaf!

posted by viv at 11:17 am  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lao Tzu

Do you have the patience to wait

until the mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving

until the right action arises by itself?

(Lao Tzu)

posted by viv at 11:39 am  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pool Cam

This is a photo of the actual bronze lion’s head I mentioned here. In order to take this photograph I had to wrap my camera in a towel and carry it up over my head while I climbed into the pool and then walked into the middle to get my shot.

Here are 2 more photos I took while I was there:

posted by viv at 3:31 am  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dining Room Table

Everything but the dinner ware...

Everything but the dinner ware...

posted by viv at 7:56 am  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lots Blooming

Here’s what’s blooming in my house at the moment:

African VioletKalanchoepaper whitesamaryllis

posted by viv at 11:20 am  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swimming to Happiness

Lion_s_Head___Br_49b1ae1b190c2I went swimming at the neighborhood Y after work tonight. It’s a humble, budget-challenged place. The ceilings leak when it rains and the lockers are rusty; the “indoor track” is so small you have to run around it 18 times to run a mile. But the staff is kind and I’ve been going there for so long that I can’t imagine swimming anywhere else.

Tonight I was the only person in the small, 4-lane pool. Over the years I’ve heard people who have gone there to swim complain about the short lane-lengths (a wet version of the indoor track) and the old, tired aquamarine blue and black tiles. Not me. This pool is an old dependable friend, always there for me when I’ve needed to move my limbs through the too-cold water to work out my worries and find my rhythm to happiness.

Mounted on the wall at the shallow end of the pool is a bronze lion head out of whose mouth flows fresh clean water. How cool is that? Upon entering and leaving the pool I bow  to him, the old guardian, placed there in the 1920s, emblem of perseverance and courage.

posted by viv at 6:32 pm  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Peace Pagoda

hermitA friend has invited me to take a drive to the  Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Massachusetts with him this weekend. Somehow this feels an apt journey after the amazing (miraculous!) events in Egypt. President Mubarak has finally fallen. May peace and the people and justice prevail.

Also just thinking of staying home. I am succored by my solitude right now. This morning, I drew the Hermit from the Tarot. Seemed right. Everything is telling me to Be Still. Do not run toward distractions. Even if the distraction is in the form of a Peace Pagoda.

posted by admin at 1:40 pm  

Thursday, February 10, 2011


summerstbridgeOn my way to work every morning, I walk across Fort Point Channel via the Summer Street bridge. On frigid February mornings, with salty high-velocity winds coming in off Boston Harbor, it feels nothing short of heroic to make it across without being blown away…

This morning I stopped midway,  lifted my arms  and faced the wind. I would’ve liked to fly away to Antartica — parachute myself into that unsullied landscape and walk for miles and miles in icy stillness and through the white upon luminous white until I could walk no more. Then, a dreamless nap until spring.

Now, warm in my cubicle, I’ve stumbled onto this poem by Tony Hoagland. It suits me perfectly today and saves me the time of having to write it myself.


I was feeling pretty religious
standing on the bridge in my winter coat
looking down at the gray water:
the sharp little waves dusted with snow,
fish in their tin armor.

That’s what I like about disappointment:
the way it slows you down,
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire
goes dead calm

and the minor roadside flowers
pronounce their quiet colors,
and the red dirt of the hillside glows.

She played the flute, he played the fiddle
and the moon came up over the barn.
Then he didn’t get the job, —
or her father died before she told him
that one, most important thing—

and everything got still.

It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed

You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
lifting in the wind.

You can listen to Tony Hoagland read it here.

posted by admin at 10:55 am  
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