28 May 2014 @ 06:04 am
May 28, 1951  
In the icon I'm eight, the year I got serious about writing. Now I'm 63, still serious about writing, and still trying to learn.

Every year I ask this: do you have a moment to share something beautiful--a picture, a poem, a thought, a memory, a surprise? I come back to cherish these all year--last year's got looked at every morning while I was in the hospital, usually during or right after they took my blood. (I can't even look at needles.)
Coyote: pic#122861662coyotegoth on May 28th, 2014 01:10 pm (UTC)
A poem of mine from 2003:

Icarus, and after

Arise, my heart, like an angel
Kiss the sunset
Embrace the dawn
Revel with each strange moment that lies between.

Pay no heed to time, measurer and tyrant,
That would seek to have us
Know our limits too well-
To pull up short of the mountain's peak.

We all know, or soon enough, will come to know,
the cold embrace of end.
It's there- now forget it.
Cast off the smothering embrace of ground, and look beyond.

We all of us have felt what it is to fall.
Who among us will have known
the painful joy of flight?
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
That is wonderful, thank you! I really like it, especially this line:

Cast off the smothering embrace of ground, and look beyond.
Marissa Lingenmrissa on May 28th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
The blues of this photo are even more intense in person, but the internet will do; happy birthday!

(The building doing the reflection is Orchestra Hall.)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 01:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is so beautiful! My favorite color, and the church is so lovely as well. Thank you!
(no subject) - kalimac on May 28th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on May 28th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! You're such an amazing person, an amazing writer, and I'm very thankful I've had the opportunity to know you.

Over this past weekend, I was thankful every day for the guidance you and the other VP instructors gave us so freely, of the opportunity to attend VP, of the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. It was such happiness to see several of my class again at Wiscon.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am so very glad you went to Wiscon, and not only relaxed, but got that vital rejuvenation to writer-you.
ellarienellarien on May 28th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!

Plum blossom, from what was once the orchard of the 18th-century scythe factory down the road from where I live.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy Birthday!
Oh, that is so, SO beautiful! THANK you!
Profiterole_profiterole_ on May 28th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 05:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Kalimac: puzzlekalimac on May 28th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
Ogden Nash wrote love poems to his wife on every occasion he could think of - her birthday, their anniversary, Christmas, his absence on trips (writing short poems being not very lucrative, for many years he actually earned most of his living by giving lecture tours), and he kept this up for the rest of his life.

Here's a verse from one of the last ones, from when they were both in their 60s:

My wife
Will be an old lady mischievous and flighty,
Will shake her gold-headed cane in the face of God Almighty
She will be revered,
Be pampered, be boasted of, be adored and feared.
She will love a surprise, and a dry martini as well,
She will still be the girl who was borne ashore on a shell.
And I'll shout, as the ivy on my stone advances,
Go to it, Frances.
Jinosprey_archer on May 28th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC)
That's so lovely - the poem, and even more the fact that he wrote so many for her. What a sweetheart.
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
some guy named Larry: vanished awaylnhammer on May 28th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)

asakiyume: dewdropasakiyume on May 28th, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC)
That's lovely.
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
patty1943patty1943 on May 28th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
aanna_taanna_t on May 28th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
Our backyard after the first snowfall last year. Wishing you a wonderful birthday =)
First Snow

Edited at 2014-05-28 03:00 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: feathers on the lineasakiyume on May 28th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful--I love the light behind the trees.
(no subject) - athenais on May 28th, 2014 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lucy Huntzinger: A is for Athenaisathenais on May 28th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway on a bitterly cold October morning. It snowed later that day.


Edited at 2014-05-28 03:35 pm (UTC)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, the colors! The beautiful steeple rising above the treetops, and all shimmering in reflection in the water. So lovely. Thank you!
(no subject) - athenais on May 29th, 2014 05:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 29th, 2014 12:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mnfaure on May 28th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - athenais on May 29th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
serialbabbler on May 28th, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'd share a picture of my current art, but I can't remember my password for the photo sharing site I used to use. :)

So I'll just tell you that I really liked your Commando Bats short story instead and wish you a happy birthday.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Hey, hearing that someone liked one of my pieces couldn't make me happier! Thank you (and if you do happen to remember the password, I always, always love beautiful photos)
(no subject) - serialbabbler on May 28th, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
thistle in greythistleingrey on May 28th, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday! (No supporting materials, alas.)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
I take the wish for the deed--thanks!
asakiyumeasakiyume on May 28th, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
I feel as if the things I've been liking and noticing these days are all so melancholy, and not what I should inflict on you on a day for celebrations--so I'll share some refreshing water with you. . .

and an animal friend

animal friend

Happy birthday--I am so happy to have you in my life!

Edited at 2014-05-28 03:43 pm (UTC)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Love them all, especially those mystical reflections, and the purple flowers. (What is that lavender spotted one, an iris?) Splendid photos.
(no subject) - asakiyume on May 28th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - asakiyume on May 28th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
anna_wing on May 28th, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)

You might enjoy this blog.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
What a lovely blog--and up top art nouveau, which I love. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy B'day!
Oh, that glorious green, and the pretty trees. And deep within, a cozy house. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Re: Happy B'day! - sartorias on May 30th, 2014 11:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mariboumaribou on May 28th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
I find a lot of visual sustenance at The Daily Coyote. She prefers her photos not be reposted, but I think it's worth wandering over there and have a look. If you like it, there is actually a weekly email list. I like knowing that on any given Tuesday there will be a new beautiful picture of a tame coyote in my inbox.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Those photos are quite stunning. What an artist!
Stephanie Burgis: cupcakestephanieburgis on May 28th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday! We share a birthday, actually - and my beautiful moment comes from this morning, when my five-year-old was soooooo excited to be bringing me my gift, which he had chosen SO carefully and after a huge amount of deliberation. The gift itself is lovely (a really nice scarf) - but what made it beautiful was the excitement in his face and the way he carried it SO carefully over to me, beaming.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, what could possibly be better, indeed? That is so wonderful.

My 22 year old son just took me out to breakfast. It was lovely.

Happy birthday to YOU!
riverotter1951: Heart Cloudriverotter1951 on May 28th, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday and blessings on your special day.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
saare_snowqueensaare_snowqueen on May 28th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

As you and I both (I'll be 71 in August) are both at a point
where the deep, dark, peaceful woods may have begun to seem
too attractive, I post this to remind us that we still have
many miles and many years of usefulness to go -
Before we sleep.

Have a Wonderful Birthday

Edited at 2014-05-28 05:20 pm (UTC)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening BY ROBERT FROST
This has been a favorite poem of mine since I was twelve--and perfect for today. thank you!
freenarnian: bluest thingfreenarnian on May 28th, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
Happiest of birthdays to you! I am very glad you were born, and started writing, and that your books have been a part of my childhood AND my adult life. :) Here's a smattering of Pretty Pictures, snatched off my tumblr. I hope the links work, and that you enjoy them!

"Purity of Intent": http://quothshe.tumblr.com/post/86849046865

Blue tile floor (of the type I might imagine at Athanarel or Renselaeus): http://quothshe.tumblr.com/post/86848474220

Lace detail of a painting by Vicente López y Portaña: http://quothshe.tumblr.com/post/84989673585/maria-cristina-de-borbon-dos-sicilias-reina-de

And finally, one to make you laugh: http://quothshe.tumblr.com/post/82135746804

Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
Those are awesome! I love them all, and that last one made me laugh. Thank you most of all for the lovely words--I shall come back to those, time and again. Thank you!
Fayedanceswithwaves on May 28th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
A triumph today: I biked to work, a solid 30 minutes, most of it on a slow incline, and I only stopped once, for a traffic light, and paused once before turning right as I waited for cars to pass. I wasn't able to do that at the start of the year.

Happy Birthday!
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, good for you! (My goal is to be able to do boat pose with straight legs . . .some day!)

and thank you!

Edited at 2014-05-28 06:13 pm (UTC)
A large duckburger_eater on May 28th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
My wife is a painter

sun thru ceder

Happy Birthday.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is beautiful Thank you--and please convey my admiration to her, and my thanks for sharing her art.
delectable tea, or deadly poison?: [misc] dreamersgenarti on May 28th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday, from another birthday twin! An excellent day of the year, I think.

On Monday, I went on a long solo hike in the woods near Boston, as sort of an early birthday party for myself. (I also did some social early birthday celebrating with friends this weekend, but one needs solo recharging time, or at least I do.) It was a lovely scramble, uphill and down and over vast quantities of the glacial rock outcroppings you get around here. It took me a little while to train my eyes and brain to track the white blazes on rocks and trees -- white is not the most useful color in a forest full of lichen and bird droppings and flowers and peeled twigs -- but once I did it was a scavenger hunt of sorts, easy to trace but never entirely predictable from one turn to the next.

There were a lot of lovely things: pink clusters of lady's slippers, blackbirds squabbling for sticks, tiny spears of young moss and young plants, upended trees with miniature forests of inverted roots, blueberry bushes everywhere covered with tiny rosy flowers. But my immediate thought is the moment when I crested a rocky slope and found myself high on a forested cliff of sorts, looking down across trees and down into a miniature town (which is really quite urban and not at all miniature), and then over to my right the Boston skyline and a blue, blue sky. There was another huge bare rock a little higher up on another promontory further along. I took a picture of it; I thought, that can't be on the trail, and it's certainly far enough away and high enough that I doubt I'll be anywhere near it, but isn't it neat to see it emerging from the forest there. Then I had some bread and cheese and water and set out again.

Maybe fifteen minutes later, I found myself at the top of another hill and rock-face scramble. I looked out over the bowl of the valley; I looked up into the blue sky; I looked back to my left, and there below me was that other rocky bald promontory where I'd sat and thought about how I certainly wouldn't make the long journey to the rock that I was sitting on now. I took a picture not for the scenic value, but because it felt like I ought to, for the sake of sharing a joke with the self of a few minutes ago that I was looking back at.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you for sharing that. One of the upsides of being a visual reader is how easily I can imagine it, especially as you paint such a lovely word picture. Miniature forests of inverted roots!

I love that part of the world so much--I am counting the days until October when I can get back there again. Maybe there will even be bonus rain, while SoCal bakes in the withering heat.
(no subject) - genarti on May 28th, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
"The nobleness of the human spirit"

It's a sharp sadness that she is gone, and yet her art is still with us, something that came home to me, as I think you intended it to, as the video showed her reciting her poem.

We still have her voice.
Sovay: Lord Peter Wimsey: passionsovay on May 28th, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday! Have this neat poem I found.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on May 28th, 2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is a splendid poem. Thank you!