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Note

Ent
The username on this journal was coyote_william. On October 2, 2008 I changed it to green_maia.

My Twitter: http://twitter.com/green_maia (@green_maia). I mostly tweet about nature and things I notice in the world; tweeting, for me, is a way of paying attention.

My Dreamwidth journal: http://maia.dreamwidth.org/.

My other Livejournal: merrymaia.

Entries from both my Livejournals are brought together on my Dreamwidth journal.

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My nature journal: http://merrymaia.livejournal.com/tag/nature%20journal.

My page at Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/users/Maia/works.

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My Doctor Who story The Double Helix:

Prologue

Chapter 1: "Songs of Captivity and Freedom"

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List of all my Buffy-verse stories, drabbles, and poems, in order by when they take placeCollapse )

List of all my Buffyverse stories, drabbles, and poems, in order by when I wrote themCollapse )

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The Green Smell

First Shoots
At the bottom they came with a strange suddenness on the grass of Rohan. It swelled like a green sea up to the very foot of the Emyn Muil. The falling stream vanished into a deep growth of cresses and water-plants, and they could hear it tinkling away in green tunnels, down long gentle slopes towards the fens of Entwash Vale far away. They seemed to have left winter clinging to the hills behind. Here the air was softer and warmer, and faintly scented, as if spring was already stirring and the sap was flowing again in herb and leaf. Legolas took a deep breath, like one that drinks a great draught after long thirst in barren places.
'Ah! The green smell!' he said. 'It is better then much sleep. Let us run!'

--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers, chapter II, "The Riders of Rohan"
Ent
Thinking more about why I love Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing so much, and...it seems to me that Joss takes this 500-year-old play and uses it to say something about gender now, but the now is not just the now of 2013, it is the now of the past 60 years. Whedon's MAAN is set in the present, but the black-and-white filming and some of the imagery seem more like the 1950s.

It seems, to me, like Whedon's MAAN is about gender in my parents' generation, and in my generation, and in my nephew and niece's generation - and how everything has changed, and nothing has changed.

I find it very, very, very compelling.

Jun. 1st, 2013

Ent
This is so fascinating, and so beautiful, and so wonderful, and so amazing:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/05/watch-a-cicada-metamorphose/276253/

Brings tears to my eyes.

Tags:

May. 5th, 2013

Ent
I'm at Ellen's in CT. It is so beautiful. It is so good to be here.


Early spring is too beautiful to bear.




Spring is so beautiful, and so painful. It goes by so fast.

I took 5 photos:

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"Loveliest of Trees" by A. E. Housman

Cherry blossoms
Loveliest of Trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy years a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.


- A. E. Housman

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This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/943394.html.

Thank you!!!

Crocuses
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

I passed my driving test!!!

Snoopy Dance
I am still feeling overwhelmed. But it is starting to sink in.

I really passed my driving test. I actually did it.

I've had a phobia about driving for 23 years, but I overcame it. I find visual-spatial things very difficult, but I learned. I didn't think I could do it, but I did.

I learned to drive, and I passed my driving test.

I am now a licensed driver in the state of New York.

I actually did it. I passed my driving test.

I ACTUALLY DID IT!!! I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!!!

It's odd...

First Shoots
...but, little things can make me so incredibly, incredibly, incredibly happy - the smallest things can fill me such tremendous JOY - but when something big happens that should make me want to celebrate...I just feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

I passed my driving test

Crocuses
I passed my driving test.

I can't believe it. I have had a phobia about driving for 23 years. I have been so scared of it for so long. I didn't think I could do it. I really didn't.

But I just did.

I passed.

I actually passed.

I am now a licensed driver in the State of New York.

I feel...stunned. Indescribable. I don't know...I just...can't process it.

23 years.

I did it.

I actually did it.

I passed my driving test.

I actually did it.



(I'm disabling comments because I am not ready for congratulations yet. I will post another entry later, when I've had time to process, and open that up for comments. I just...need some time, right now, to get used to this.)

Tags:

The Deer's Cry / St. Patrick's Breastplate

Deer
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I call upon the noble earth
To give me strength through day and night;
Her granite and her gems of worth
Are tokens of her various might;
And from her shores the endless sea
In calm and tempest girds the sphere,
And like the earth the waters free
Shall be my trust against all fear.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heav’n:
The glorious sun’s lifegiving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at ev’n.
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling winds tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.



-As chanted in the Revels CD Christmas in an Irish Castle
(see my 2003 entry about Revels here: http://merrymaia.livejournal.com/57115.html)

Mar. 16th, 2013

First Shoots
I wrote in my last entry that the themes of memory, stories, and power in Once Upon a Time remind me of Dollhouse.

There is, of course, a major difference: Dollhouse is massively problematic in a way that Once Upon a Time does not - at least, so far - at least, to me - seem to be.

They both ask: if someone controls your memory, do they own you?

They both explore the way we are all the protagonists of our own stories - but being a moral human being means recognizing that other people are the protagonists of their stories, not puppets to be manipulated or coerced into playing roles in ours.

They both explore the fear of being erased, the fear of being controlled, the desire for recognition - and the desire for power.

When I saw Dollhouse, it seemed, to me, less gendered than it seemed to other people. It seemed to me that it was less about male power and female prostitution than about the human fantasy of someone who isn't just playing the role we want, but "has within that which passes show" - a fantasy which, it seems to me, is universal - who doesn't imagine a person who thinks and feels exactly what we want them to think and feel, a person who IS what we want them to be? In reality we all, thank goodness, have no power to make that fantasy come true. In reality we all, thank goodness, constantly bump up against the otherness of other people. But the more power people have, the less the otherness of other people is an obstacle; the more power people have, the more temptations they have indulge the fantasy that other people are what they want them to be; the more power people have, the more opportunity they have to objectify and exploit other people. Men often have power over women, so men often have the opportunity to objectify and exploit women - and often do so. But it seemed to me that Dollhouse was less about men and women than it was about human desire and human power.

And yet, Dollhouse DID wind up being massively problematic, because it was just so very very male gaze-y. Let's show how terrible it is when people have the power to exploit each other, while satisfying male fantasies of the designer woman!!! Yeah...Joss, I get what you were trying to say, but saying it like THAT...um, not so much...

Once Upon a Time explores similar questions about desire and power, but it does it in a way that just seems...well, a helluva lot cheesier, but also a helluva lot less problematic. Or maybe problematic in different ways...it is very NOT male gaze-y, which is lovely...it IS very female gaze-y, which is either nice, or problematic in and of itself, or both....

Hmmm...not really sure what I am saying here...just pondering...

Once Upon a Time

First Shoots
I've now seen 9 episodes of Once Upon a Time, and I am well and truly hooked. I've figured out why I find it so compelling, even though it is cheesy beyond cheesage: the themes are some of my iron-clad thematic kinks: generations, parents and children, the repercussions of trauma down through the generations,
memory and history, memory and identity, memory and knowledge, belief and knowledge...

I am inclined toward Philosophical skepticism - and I love when it's explored in fiction.

How do you know what is real?

How do you know anything at all?

How do you know your memories are real?

If you had different memories, would you be the same person?

What if you found out that all your memories were fiction?

I'm always fascinated by that in stories - in The Matrix, in the 5th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in Dollhouse.

Once Upon a Time actually reminds me a LOT of Dollhouse...let's see, Evil Queen in control of fake reality, evil genius/trickster who manipulates everyone and everything, lots of meta about memory, stories, and power...

And as I wrote about Dollhouse, the ideas fascinate me so much that even when the execution is not so good, I'm still completely hooked.

Anyway, Once Upon a Time has all that and throws in stuff about generations and families too. Yep, I'm a goner...

Quotations, rhythm, acting...

First Shoots
Some of my friendslist have been doing the "Thirty Days of Television" meme, and several people when getting to the "Best quote" day have noted that most of the most memorable quotes come from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Obviously, this might have something to do with the Buffy-centric-ness of my friendslist! - and also the general brilliance of BtVS dialogue. But...some of the quotes people have mentioned have gotten me thinking...

...a lot of the quotes people mention, whether from BtVS or other shows, are notable for their rhythm. kathyh quoted the First Slayer and Buffy in "Restless":

"I live in the action of death, the blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute ... alone." and Buffy's response "I walk. I talk. I shop, I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back." I obviously like the mythic seeming resonance of Buffy's encounters with the First Slayer and the cadence of her speech because another favourite quote is "Love is pain and the slayer forges strength from pain. Love. Give. Forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. For it will bring you to your gift."

The word "cadence" - yes.

Rhythmic language is both memorable and powerful. But if done badly, it can wind up sounding pretentious and silly. Joss Whedon, I think, has a rare gift for writing rhythmic language that also sounds very colloquial, very real. (I seem to remember selenak describing Zoe's "That was a piece of mercy" in the Serenity film as a "poetic Joss-ism" - YES.)

In a recent conversation with gillo, she mentioned that you can tell the difference between the stage-trained actors on BtVS (Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, Alexis Denisof) and the non-stage-trained actors (Sarah Michelle Geller, Alyson Hannigan, Seth Green) - and it's not that the stage-trained actors are better, but there is something different that you can't quite describe but you know when you see - gillo suggested greater flexibility - I suggested gracefulness, poise and grace that reminds me of dancers...
...but now, I am thinking that maybe the difference is rhythm:

Stage-trained actors have a sense of rhythm that non-stage-trained actors don't.

(And stage-trained actors can, I think, sound sublime when delivering rhythmic speeches - think of Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5: "The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.")


Yes. I think stage-trained actors have a sense of rhythm that non-stage-actors don't, and that creates a cadence in how they move, how they speak, everything, that gives a feeling of depth and power.


Rhythm is fascinating. A few years ago I copied out long excerpts from Ursula Le Guin's essay "Rhythmic Pattern in The Lord of the Rings"
(I posted the excerpts in an entry here:
http://green-maia.livejournal.com/515932.html)
- I just re-read it - it's still one of the most fascinating essays I have ever read, ever.

Feb. 24th, 2013

Arthur Eddington 1
Another New York Review of Books piece that I find fascinating:

Speak, Memory by Oliver Sacks.

Feb. 24th, 2013

M74 Spiral Galaxy
I'm fascinated by this:

H. Allen Orr's review of Thomas Nagel's new book in The New York Review of Books.

Nagel's essay What is it like to be a bat? and his book The View From Nowhere fascinate me and have had a tremendous influence on my thinking. When I read Mind and Cosmos, though, my feeling was that it made no sense at all. Of course, I am neither a trained scientist nor a trained philosopher. H. Allen Orr, OTOH, has the training I lack, and his piece nicely articulates my reaction.

But, regardless of whether Nagel's argument makes sense...

...I am very much aware that I simply do not LIKE the idea of a teleological force - ANY teleological force - not just a god but any teleological force at all - some people misinterpret evolution as a teleological force and that bothers me tremendously - Nagel's idea of a not-yet-discovered teleological force in nature bothers me tremendously.

I was trying to figure out why, and I realized that teleology to me seems more reductionist than reductionism, because if everything has a purpose (or purposes) then everything is reduced to its purpose (or purposes).

If conscious life is the end of evolution, then does that mean that all non-conscious life is simply a means to that end?

Teleology implies hierarchy. This is nearer to the goal than that. This is higher than that. This is more important than that. This is better than that. This has a greater value than that.

I far prefer the idea of a universe where there is no inherent purpose or meaning, and therefore there is no inherent hierarchy.

A random, accidental universe seems to me not only far more awesome and wondrous than a teleological universe...it also seems, to me, to be a more egalitarian universe.

A non-teleological universe is a universe where things can have value in themselves, not just for the purpose they serve.
M74 Spiral Galaxy
Ever since, over Christmas, Ellen and I watched the Branagh Hamlet for the first time and then re-watched the RSC Doran Hamlet the next day, I’ve been planning a long post on the two productions. As so often happens with me and long posts/meta, the ideas come easily, the execution not so much. (Part of it is that I have such a long commute, and while I am walking or on the subway I think things out, but then when I am actually in front of the computer I am too tired to write.) I still hope to write that entry...eventually...

But I’ve been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and that has gotten me thinking about Buffy and Hamlet.

I’ve written a bit about this before: http://green-maia.livejournal.com/456427.html.

But re-watching “The Gift,” it struck me how similar Buffy’s words to Dawn are to Hamlet’s words to Horatio:

Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is living in it. Be brave. Live. For me.

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To tell my story.


Seeing that, of course, got me thinking about all the similarities and differences between Buffy and Hamlet...

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David Tennant's "To be or not to be"

Hamlet
David Tennant’s “To be or not to be” is, for me, the definitive “To be or not to be” – better than any other I’ve seen, and better than any other I can imagine. I wrote a bit about that in a comment
here.

Some more thoughts - possibly triggery, and including discussion of both depression and
obsessive-compulsive disorder - are below the cut.

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ETA: Clip on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/RzuEKkPVeBQ

Middle-aged aliens

"The Road goes ever on and on" January
selenak has been doing the Thirty Days of TV meme, and in response to Day 09: Best Scene Ever she posted an entry about a scene in Babylon 5 which I agree is - well, maybe not THE best scene ever, but certainly among the very best - there are other scenes I admire as much, but none I admire more. Her post is here and there are spoilers in it, but here's a non-spoilery bit that she's given me permission to quote:

And one of the reasons why I love B5 even after all this years is that this scene is the big climax of it all. Not an action-ridden scene. Not one between the young and pretty characters. Or involving a human character. Between these two middle aged aliens, with blood on their hands, who've come so far.

Yes.

Tags:

Feb. 9th, 2013

Hamlet
I watched the David Tennant episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, which is currently streaming from PBS:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/shakespeare-uncovered/video/hamlet-with-david-tennant/.

I didn't learn anything new about Hamlet...

...but I did get more of a sense of what playing Hamlet meant to DT.

Still working on a long post on Hamlet...more later...

Starfish, octopus, ERP

M74 Spiral Galaxy
I've been reading a lot about obsessive-compulsive disorder. And one thing is very clear: the most effective treatment - possibly the only effective treatment - is something I have never done: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). I had therapy in my late teens and early twenties, but it was talk therapy, and my therapists had the unhelpful belief that OCD is a psychological problem that could be helped with insight. It is not a psychological problem, it is a brain malfunction. But the brain can be rewired.

On the subway this evening, I thought of the octopus. I thought of Mary Oliver's poem Starfish, which was what made me realize that if I did not let the octopus grab me I would regret it for the rest of my life - which was what made me force myself to keep my hands in the water - which was what allowed me to have the amazing, amazing, amazing experience of being grabbed and pulled, touched by that wondrous creature...

What good does it do
to lie all day in the sun

loving what is easy?
It never grew easy
but at last I grew peaceful:
all summer

my fear diminished
as they bloomed through the water
like flowers, like flecks
of an uncertain dream

while I lay on the rocks, reaching
into the darkness, learning
little by little to love
our only world.

Sea Hare photos

M74 Spiral Galaxy
8 photos of the California Sea Hare, taken January 11, 2013, at Crystal Cove State Park in California.

8 photosCollapse )

They are the most amazing, beautiful, wondrous creatures. Touching them is among the most profound experiences I've ever had. They feel like fleshy velvet, and when you touch them, they sort of nuzzle into your hand, like a cat.

(I always worry that I'm bothering them, but apparently you would know if you were really bothering them, because they shoot dark ink if you do. That is reassuring.)

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/930369.html.

California

Seagull in flight
In the second week of January, I went to visit my father and step-mother in Irvine, California. I flew out on Monday, January 7th and returned on Saturday, January 12th. I would have liked to fly out a few days earlier, but got an amazing deal for airfare ($253 roundtrip) by clicking on the "My dates are flexible" option in Expedia; leaving earlier would have more than doubled the price.

Here's an account of the geography-and-wildlife parts of the trip. The first part of what follows was written on Monday, January 14th, the second part today (Monday, January 21st).

Monday, January 7, 2013Collapse )

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013Collapse )

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013Collapse )

Thursday, January 10th, 2013Collapse )

Friday, January 11th, 2013Collapse )

Saturday, January 12th, 2013Collapse )

Jan. 19th, 2013

First Shoots
Hello, everyone! I'm back on Livejournal and Dreamwidth for the first time in two weeks. I flew to California on Monday, January 7th to visit my father and step-mother.

I had amazing views from the planes on the flights out (first leg was NYC-Salt Lake City, second leg Salt Lake City - southern CA), saw some amazing wildlife at Crystal Cove State Park - I will post a separate entry about all that.

I tweeted a bit about it
(http://twitter.com/green_maia) - and
my tweet about the California Gnatcatcher was mentioned by
Coastal Cleanup Day (@cleanupday)
in a tweet of theirs:
https://twitter.com/cleanupday/status/288861683772964864
- which was very cool, but also freaked me out a bit, since they have 1,740 followers...


The visit with my father and step-mother went well, overall.

I went back to work on Monday, January 14th, had a very busy week at work with the predictable backlog after having been gone for three weeks.

This weekend I was going to go to Ellen's (my mother's) in CT for the long weekend, but I'm a bit flu-ish - not seriously, but enough that holing up in my apartment in NYC seems the better option.

I will try to catch up on LJ, and also post about California geology and wildlife, and also write my long-planned post on Hamlet - though I'm not sure I have the energy for it...I'm all achy and exhausted and flu-ish. Ugh. OTOH, if I have to feel like this, I'm glad it's on a long weekend when I can just hole up and recuperate.

I'm reading Tam Lin by Pamela Dean which you all recommended - and you were all right, I LOVE it!!!

[Back in December I got a copy of Jane Yolen's picture-book Tam Lin - it is out of print, unfortunately, but inexpensive used copies are available. (Jane Yolen is the author of my beloved Child of Faerie, Child of Earth.) It's a lovely version, with beautiful illustrations, and I highly recommend it.]

So...back to bed for a while, but more later...

Lots of love and many hugs to all.

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/929672.html.

A Tale of Two Hamlets...in process...

First Shoots
I've been working on a post on Hamlet, because Ellen and I finally watched the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet on Wednesday, and I have a LOT of thoughts.

Ellen and I have watched the David Tennant Hamlet together many times, and we both love it.

About a year ago, we started to watch the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet and...we did not exactly like it. We got to Hamlet's first encounter with his father's ghost, looked at each other, and said, "We know we really ought to watch the whole thing, but...maybe some other time?" So we stopped. Ever since, we've been planning to. Finally, on Wednesday, we did.

Neither of us were at all impressed with the Branagh Hamlet, but we are both VERY glad that we did watch the entire thing.

Among other things, it made us appreciate the DT Hamlet even more.

And, while we are both aware that we're biased in DT's favor...it's not just DT that makes us think that the DT Hamlet is so much better.

Indeed, it seems wrong to call it "the David Tennant Hamlet"...

We really should call it, "The RSC Hamlet directed by Gregory Doran, where David Tennant plays Hamlet and Patrick Stewart plays Claudius and Hamlet's father and Penny Downie plays Gertrude and Mariah Gale plays Ophelia and Peter De Jersey plays Horatio and Oliver Ford Davies plays Polonius and Edward Bennett plays Laertes and..."

...because it is the ensemble that makes it so utterly brilliant.

(I think that from now I will refer to it as the RSC Doran Hamlet.)

We watched the Branagh in its entirety on Wednesday. On Thursday, we re-watched the RSC Doran. And seeing them juxtaposed like that REALLY made me think about the characters and the play and the acting and...lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of thoughts...

Anyway, I will post a long entry on that eventually. In the meantime, IMHO, the Branagh is very much worth seeing, but, IMHO, doesn't hold a candle to the RSC Doran.

But right now, I'm getting ready to go back to NYC. On Monday I fly to California to visit my dad and step-mother.

More later!!

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/929503.html.

Jan. 4th, 2013

First Shoots
After a lot of tinkering, I came up with this for my Dreamwidth journal:

http://maia.dreamwidth.org/.

The background is HTML color #c2c2ab. The links and title are HTML color #5a7c7c.

I think - I'm not sure - that they're good colors for me - soft grey-green ocean-y colors, the background with enough yellow in it and the links and title color with enough blue in it that they don't clash with any of my icons - I think! - I'm not sure sure (please let me know if you think otherwise - I really want to know) (I'm especially concerned, now, about the autumnal ones in bright warm colors...).

I think - I'm not sure - that I like it...maybe even love it...I'm not sure...

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/929275.html.

Colors!!!

First Shoots
Rahirah gave me this link:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/806/if-blue-red-and-yellow-are-primary-colors-why-do-color-tvs-use-blue-red-and-green

...which explains the color thing very clearly.

But now I have discovered that the internet has all sorts of amazing resources for HTML color, not just this:

http://html-color-codes.info/

But also this, where you can put in a color # and come up with matching colors:

http://www.hypergurl.com/colormatch.php

And this, where you can put in a website and extract the color numbers from it:

http://www.colorcombos.com/grabcolors.html

I'm completely fascinated. But now, of course, I keep trying different color schemes and not being sure which I like best and which is "right" for me, and then trying another and another and another...

I don't want this to take up my whole vacation, so...I think I may leave well enough alone for a while, but...it certainly is amazing!!!!!

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/926773.html.

Windswept sea at sunset, 2

Frozen wave
December 30, 2012

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Windswept sea at sunset, 1

Frozen wave
December 30, 2012

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Marsh, snow, sea

Frozen wave
December 30, 2012

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Deer

"The Road goes ever on and on" January
White-tailed deer in the snow, December 30, 2012

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Happy New Year!!!

M74 Spiral Galaxy
Happy New Year, Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm starting 2013 by tinkering with my Dreamwidth style.

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So, I switched to "Clear Messages" by timeasmymeasure for Tranquility III. But the link and title color was blue, and that clashed with some icons, so I took the background color (#e6cfa8), and used the HTML Color Picker
(on http://html-color-codes.info/) to darken and saturate it, and came up with #524732. I think I like the results:

http://maia.dreamwidth.org/

It looks a bit like parchment, which I like, and the background is very neutral, so the emphasis is really on the icons themselves instead of on the background. And while it looks better with some icons than others, it doesn't look terrible with any of them. The M74 Spiral Galaxy looks good, AND the tree looks good, so...I think this is what I will stick with, I think...I'm still not sure...I've never customized HTML color before, so...I'm not sure...

(But I am fascinated by HTML color!!!)

I am a bit sorry to lose the green background. I'm glad that with Dreamwidth I got in early enough to claim maia as my username, but since it is maia, not green_maia, I sort of liked having the green background...except that it really did clash with some of my icons...green has been my favorite color since I was 2 years old, but I love all colors, and I don't want my astronomical icons to look terrible...

Hmmm...

Anyway:

Happy 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This entry was originally posted at http://maia.dreamwidth.org/925059.html.

Dec. 24th, 2012

Christmas Tree 2008
Something I love in the original Revels CD is the reading of Fra Giovanni's Salutation to a Friend written in 1513:






"I Salute You!
There is nothing that I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, that while I cannot give, you can take.
No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.
No Peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this, present instant.
Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a Shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.
Take Joy.
And so, at this Christmas-time,
I Greet You
With the Prayer that for you,
Now and Forever
The Day Breaks, and the Shadows Flee Away."



Love,
Maia

Happy Solstice!

M74 Spiral Galaxy
Happy Solstice, Everyone!
Arthur Eddington 1
On gillo's recommendation, I read Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. I had never read anything by Diana Wynne Jones before; yes, I know that that that is appalling - I understand now! Of course I love Fire and Hemlock, and of course I have fallen in love with Diana Wynne Jones. I'm reading Dogsbody, which is wonderful. (Any recommendations on what to read next?)

Fire and Hemlock reminded me of my only previous encounter with Tam Lin, which was ithilwen's wonderful Feanor-as-Tam-Lin story, Of Leaves of Gold and Petals Red: A Faery Tale (posted on ithilwen_fics in 2009, but written, IIRC, in 2002...re-reading brings back wonderful memories of the Silmfics group). When I first read Of Leaves of Gold and Petals Red I thought I really needed to investigate Tam Lin, and then, as with so many of my intentions, it never quite happened, but now that I've read Fire and Hemlock as well...well, let's just say that Girl Rescues Boy is one of my iron-clad narrative kinks, and that all the way through Fire and Hemlock I was imagining Thomas Lynn as David Tennant, and so now, of course, I don't think I will ever be able to imagine Tam Lin as anyone other than David Tennant...and imagining Tam Lin as David Tennant (or rather, David Tennant as Tam Lin) increases my interest in Tam Lin a great deal...(I know, I know! *g)...so now I want to read more about Tam Lin...any suggestions on where to start?

[I am also thinking that a Ten-as-Tam-Lin story would be REALLY REALLY AWESOME...has anyone written one?...]

ALL MY FANDOMS ARE COLLIDING!!! But in a fun, non-angsty way.

On another fandom note: I have been thinking for a long time that I do not want to see the film of The Hobbit. I LotR films got me into Tolkien fandom, and from there to LJ, and all the wonderful friendships here, and I wouldn't trade that for the world - but I paid a high price: I still, when I re-read The Lord of the Rings, find images from the film overshadowing my own imagination, and since I imagine(d) many things very differently than Peter Jackson...it still feels like a tremendous loss. My imagination of The Hobbit is still my own, and I want to keep it that way...especially since, last night, in the Times Square subway station, I saw huge posters advertising the film, and it looks like PJ made the dwarves into some sort of Disneyfied abomination - THOSE ARE NOT TOLKIEN'S DWARVES. So now I am sure: I will NOT see that film.

YAY!!!!!!!!!

Equality
YAY!!!!!!!!!

Oct. 28th, 2012

Seagull in flight
I think of Time of Wonder.

The bell-buoy off Spectacle Island
sways slightly with the ripple,
tolling...
tolling...
tolling the shift of the tide.


More than anything, right now, I feel connected, to everyone waiting now, to every person who has ever waited, in any place and time, to everyone who has ever waited in the calm before a storm.

Oct. 21st, 2012

Leaves
I'm at Ellen's (my mother's). We spent the morning gardening. Ellen's garden is amazing - absolutely amazing, and it gets more amazing all the time.

(She gardens year-round now - she has a cold frame and grows cold-tolerant species all winter. She read Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long a few years ago and it changed everything.)

Last night we had the most amazing salad - chard, spinach, arugula, New Zealand spinach, three kinds of kale, broccoli, sage, thyme, peppermint, lemon balm, basil, buckwheat, claytonia (grows all winter), mache (grows all winter), sorrel (grows wild - a "weed"), a weed called Gill-in-the-ground which we found out is not only edible but incredibly nutritious and delicious too - one of the most delicious salads we've ever had.


Digging in the dirt is a GOOD THING.


There is a HUGE garden spider outside one of our windows - she hides during the day, repairs her web in the early evening, and then spends the night waiting for prey. She is so huge - we think maybe she is getting ready to give birth to an egg sac - she is so beautiful and so amazing.

There are spiderwebs everywhere, gossamer everywhere, glistening in the sunlight. It's a gloriously beautiful weekend.

Last night at twilight there was a waxing crescent moon. The autumn leaves in the dusk twined gold and silver.

This morning Earendil - Venus - was so bright that he was still visible after sunrise.

So many birds, including a tiny one that I've seen often recently and think is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but I'm not sure.

And just after sunrise this morning, a Northern mockingbird was on a Staghorn sumac branch singing its heart out, going through its entire - extensive! - repertoire.

There are still a few last Monarch butterflies, and still lots of Cabbage White butterflies, and bumblebees, and moths, and dragonflies. Last night at dusk there were still bats.

And still the music of the insects. The crickets' songs are slower now, and softer.

I love autumn.

I wish I didn't have to go back to NYC tonight, but I do. Sigh.


ETA: There is an article in this week's New Yorker: The Book of Common Prayer at three hundred and fifty by James Wood.

The words persist, but the belief they vouchsafe has long gone. A loss, one supposes—and yet, paradoxically, the words are, in the absence of belief, as richly usable as they were three hundred and fifty years ago.

Yes.

My mind is atheist, my heart forever Anglican.

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