Monday, April 29, 2019

Here for two days, then gone again ....

No concert this week, although there are many to choose from .... rather, Tuesday evening -- the concluding night of April 2019 -- will be spent listening to a young lady photographer from Bergen -- not Anita, unfortunately -- but Sigrid Lien, who is a professor of art history and photography studies at the University of Bergen.
Ms. Lien, cited as "a leading authority on Norwegian photography," will be discussing her new book, "Pictures of Longing: Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration," at Norway House in Minneapolis -- a mere 30-minute drive from my own house. The book contains more than 250 photographs sent home by some of the 750,000 Norwegians who immigrated to North America between 1836 and 1915. My own ancestors arrived here in the 1850s from Norway and Germany.
According to a press release, "Seeing these photographs alongside letters by Norwegian immigrants provides a comprehensive account of how this collective photography practice involves 'the voice of the many.'"
Ms. Lien's appearance in Minnnneeeesoootttaaa is sponsored by the Norwegian American Historical Association. Admission is $15 -- a bargain at ten times the price, I would think. I assume her book will be on sale at the event and I definitely will purchase a copy.
The photograph accompanying this post is of the book, with Ms. Lien inset in the lower left corner. Her stop here is one of several as part of a tour through the United States. And, just to keep this sort of a Bergen post, the video shows a band, Fairy, composed of young ladies from Bergen singing the song, "Capture" .... hmmmm ....
As indicated by the title of the post, this blog will be visible to any and to all who pass by during the next two days, then will retreat behind the curtains again for a while ....

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Cathedral of Saint Paul et al

There came a request for a better view of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Here it is. It would be a safe bet I did not take this photograph, and I really do not know who did take it. This particular structure actually is the fourth to bear the name the Cathedral of Saint Paul. A log cabin constructed in 1841 was the first under the guidance of then newly-ordained Father Lucien Galtier, who had been sent to minister to the French Canadians in the settlement of "L'Oeil de Cochon" or, in English, "Pig's Eye," as Saint Paul originally was called. A few moves and a few buildings later, work began on this structure in 1906 and continued until completion in 1941.

Et al No. 1: If you need something to read to occupy your time and keep you out of mischief for a while, try this pair. Many keys to the future can be found through studying the past:

Et al No. 2: Ernest Hemingway wrote a series of Nick Adams short stories, including one he named, "The Three-Day Blow." It first appeared in a 1925 collection entitled, "In Our Time." We are in the midst of our own three-day blow, this one being a full-fledged blizzard. Snow accumulation is expected to reach twelve to twenty inches in some areas with sustained winds of forty to sixty miles-per-hour. Daytime high temperatures will be below the freezing mark. Actually, such "Aprille" storms are not at all unique in Minnesota .... but, then again, this might be the Fimbulwinter as described in the "Poetic Edda" of Snorri Sturluson. You might want to read Hemingway's piece some time. In the story, Nick and a friend get drunk during a three-day storm while talking about books and authors, baseball, fathers, occupations, young ladies and other elements in their lives. It is a story in which feelings of loss, anger and evil are ignored or repressed, and it is quite fascinating. I think I will reread it during my three-day blizzard ....

Monday, April 1, 2019

This is not an April Fools' Day joke

While Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and a few other states have been getting all the attention in recent days because of flooding, the photograph demonstrates that Minnesota has not escaped the wrath of the water gods. This is Harriet Island in the Mississippi River. The river actually still is rising and, undoubtedly, it will be a while before the kiddies are able to enjoy the playground again. The dome in the distance is the Cathedral of Saint Paul, where I was able to enjoy a concert by the King's College Choir from Cambridge last Thursday evening. I will be traveling thirty miles in another direction this Friday for a Blue Öyster Cult concert. Wish you could be here, baby .... 
Time to escape for a while
"The longer I live, the stranger life gets ...."
Those words form a line uttered by Jim Lassiter in a film version of Pearl Zane Grey's western classic novel, "Riders of the Purple Sage." The book appeared in 1912. A few film versions have been made; this line is in the 1996 rendition in which Ed Harris portrays Lassiter and his wife, Amy Madigan, is Jane Withersteen.
I agree with that sentence.
Just to drift for a moment: Grey was a former minor league baseball player and dentist who suffered from bouts of depression, anger and mood swings, which affected him most of his life. He would make an interesting neighbor, it seems to me. I have read a number of his books, beginning around age eleven or twelve with, "The Last Trail," and, "Spirit of the Border," historical novels about his ancestors during the Revolutionary War.
University of Delaware English professor Thomas Pauly, in his biography entitled, "Zane Grey -- His Life, His Adventures, His Women," attributed the following quote to Grey:
"But I love to be free. I cannot change my spots. The ordinary man is satisfied with a moderate income, a home, wife, children, and all that .... But I am a million miles from being that kind of man and no amount of trying will ever do any good .... I shall never lose the spirit of my interest in women."
Evidently he did not, either, and even after marriage had many open affairs. I might write a post or two about Grey and his books someday, but today is not that day. Hmmmm .... really drifting now .... time to get back on track ....
I also sometimes think the longer I live, the stranger I become, although I would modify that sentiment to apply to all human critters -- past/present/future. The distinction being most people either do not see it that way or see it and do not believe it.
This is (has been) the long way of saying my blog will be idle for the most part for a time. I still may appear at your blogs and, occasionally, leave a comment. But, I do not think I will be back here with a post until sometime in May when I write a piece or two about O.E. Rölvaag and his novel, "Boat of Longing." Of course, should World War III begin or another catastrophic event occur somewhere along the line, I might not be able to resist temptation and feel compelled to assert my two cents worth of thought about it.
To avoid interlopers "messing" with my blog, I will be locking it to any who are not on the "guest list," so to speak. If you provided your email address to me in the distant past, you are still on that list unless you have since changed your email address. In which case, provide me with your current if you wish access. I will install the blog block on April 11.
Just to turn political for a moment: For the most part, I have enjoyed my time on the sea of blogs and, for sure, I have learned a great deal about people and about myself by having been a participant here. I am assuming I will be back from time to time to take another "swim" in it. For those who have read my writing here, I am indebted; to those who have commented here, you have my sincere thank you. Later, baby ....
All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the Reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are
Come on, baby... don't fear the Reaper
Baby, take my hand... don't fear the Reaper
We'll be able to fly... don't fear the Reaper

Something special ....