I’d shelved the book numerous times as a Children’s Librarian. But it took Victor LaValle’s creepy New York modern fairy tale, The Changeling, to get me to open its pages and actually read it.  (It looks vaguely familiar; perhaps I had opened it when scouring the shelves for a book to read aloud for storytime and found it wanting.) There’s no doubt about it: Maurice Sendak’s Outside Over There is weird. (more…)

Not long ago,

There lived a King.

He did not sleep in a castle.

He did not wear a crown.

He did not rule a royal court

Or ride in chariots.

 

The King marched in the streets.

He lived to help the poor.

He lived for peace and love.

Hate killed the King.

The King is dead.

What will the people do?

(more…)

There’s way too many adverts on the Daily Mail website, so here’s the pertinent information:

coin side 1 23409204-7888383-image-a-71_1579050942000 dailymail jan 2020

Only 400 of these 5-pound Victoria-era gold coin were ever struck.

It features Queen Victoria, portrayed as Una from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. The lion symbolizes the British Empire.

This one sold for 530,000-pounds.

The reverse is a portrait of Queen Victoria.

coin side 2 23409200-7888383-image-a-72_1579050949923 daily mail jan 2020

The original article is on the Daily Mail website (January 14, 2020).

 

(Now show me a coin with a faerie stamped on it–real legit currency, not play money–and then I’ll be truly happy.)

We think it can’t happen to us. Especially we white folk.  African-Americans know it can happen to anyone, anytime.

I have a friend who got a DUI for drinking in a parked car, in her own driveway.  The police don’t care if you’re actually driving the vehicle at the time. An open bottle in and of itself constitutes a violation.

(more…)

Two steps forward; one step back.

Stress; stress; STRESS; STRESS!

After Twelvetide (my new favorite word: the Twelve Days of Christmas), we are back at work; business as usual.

Staff problems & misunderstandings. My Annual Report looms.

All while trying to detox my body from my recent overrabundance of sugar.And battling seasonal affective disorder.

“Wretched person that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

Breathe; breathe; BREATHE; BREATHE!

Veni sanctus spiritus.

One day at a time. One minute at a time.

#bloginstead

 

We’ve all seen the Academy Awards: “I’d like to thank my agent, the director, the producer, and my parents for believing in me . . .”  The music starts to play if they talk too long.

Sarah Gailey, in their acknowledgements page for their 2019 book Magic For Liars, gives us the best Acknowledgements I’ve ever seen:

To everyone who helped me get through the chapter of my life when everything changed, including the entirety of this book – to everyone who helped me pack, who took me in, who put me up, who watched me cry, who kept me safe, who bought me drinks, who believed in me and gave me the gift of patience while I tried (and sometimes failed) to keep it together;

To everyone who has ever loved any of the versions of me that I’ve been;

To those versions of me, who were growing and searching and scared and brave:

Thank you.

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“When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under . . .” – Matthew 2:16.

Martyrdom of the Holy Innocents; Medieval Limoges enamel from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. CC 2.0

The horrors of mass infanticide, as felt by the Irish and translated by Kuno Meyer in Ancient Irish Poetry. This is one of several poems that escaped Viking destruction, dating to the 8th-11th Century.

 

The Mothers’ Lament at the Slaughter of the Innocents

Then, as the executioner plucked her son from her breast, one of the women said:

Giotto, Massacre of the Innocents. 14th C.

Why do you tear from me my darling son,

The fruit of my womb? It was I who bore him,

My breast he drank.

My womb carried him about,

My vitals he sucked,

My heart he filled.

He was my life,

‘Tis death to have him taken from me.

My strength has ebbed,

My speech is silenced,

My eyes are blinded.

(more…)