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Sunday, July 10, 2011


    It has been too warm lately for me to want to work upstairs in my little studio.  I'm feeling too lazy to do anything much, except maybe take some photos, so yesterday I went looking for red things around here.  I like red.  It's hard to use in the house, even though it's is sometimes thought to be good luck, because it's so strong.  My favorite coffee cup is red, just like the one Greg House has on the television show.  I have red flowers, bee balm, impatiens, geraniums, planted to attract hummingbirds to the yard.  My favorite fountain pen is red, and we have an older red Cavalier convertible that we use in the summer. My front door is painted a sort of raspberry red, though the sun fades it so much that it turns lavender pink, and I have to give it a fresh coat.  In summer I have my toenails painted red, though I give it up in colder months when shoes and wooly socks make red toes irrelevant. I like using red when I paint, though I tend to warmer reds, earthy reds like Indian red or vermillion. I love the scent of rose madder genuine, but like the roses from which it is made, the pigment fades, so I rarely use it.  There is an interesting website about pigments which discusses the symbolism of red here.

    A Sunday poem, featuring a red-breasted robin -

    Morning Talk
    By Roberta Hill Whiteman

            —for Melissa L. Whiteman

    “Hi, guy,” said I to a robin  
    perched on a pole in the middle  
    of the garden. Pink and yellow  
    firecracker zinnias, rough green  
    leaves of broccoli,
    and deep red tomatoes on dying stems  
    frame his still presence.

    “I’ve heard you’re not
    THE REAL ROBIN. Bird watchers have  
    agreed,” I said.”THE REAL ROBIN  
    lives in England. They claim
    your are misnamed and that we ought  
    to call you ‘a red-breasted thrush’  
    because you are

    He fluffed up. “Am I not
    Jis ko ko?” he cried, “that persistent  
    warrior who carries warmth
    northward every spring?”
    He seemed so young, his red belly  
    a bit light and his wings, still
    faded brown. He watched me
    untangling the hose to water squash.

    “Look who’s talking!” he chirruped.  
    “Your people didn’t come
    from Europe or even India.  
    The turtles say you’re a relative  
    to red clay on this great island.”
    Drops of crystal water  
    sparkled on the squash.

    “Indigenous!” he teased  
    as he flew by.

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