Thursday, January 29, 2009

Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder (or something)

The poet, baffled and morose, gazes indiscreetly at the green breasts of "Olivia" -- the personification of his addiction to Absinthe.

Curious how absinthine men were plagued by succubi, whereas their female counterparts were just addicts (viz Degas's drinker below).

Still I wonder about the Fée Verte -- the plant is named, after all, for my goddess, Artemis (Artemisia absinthium).

But it also carries the Edward Gorey-esque name "wormwood".

How bad, therefore, could the drink be?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shin Hé Gimel Nun

Here come's Hannukah (so much funn-ukah).

The dreidel letters mean Nes gadol hayah sham -- "A great miracle happened there".
But in Israel, the Shin is a Pé :
Nes gadol hayah po -- "A great miracle happened here".

It's Hebrew, but in the game each letter stand for a Yiddish word:

"Nun" = "nisht", or "nothing." You roll this you get nothing.
"Gimel" = "gantz" or "all." You get the whole pot.
"" = "halb" , or "half." You get half the pot.
"Shin" is "shtel" or "put in." You have to put two into the pot.

Go figure.

Microlithic Monument

Not astronomically accurate, but aesthetically communicative.

This was a week before Saowen, and the sea colored the sky.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A man and his pet

The man has a pet. The pet is a hyena.

Ancient hands

The hands of women: left hands.
Negative images and positive.
And ancient.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Another example of the perfection of nature brought low by human curiosity.

In English the creature is called "sun", in German, "moon".

Friday, October 5, 2007


The most mysterious rune: peorð. Dice box? hmm.

The rune poem says,
"peorð byþ symble plega and hlehter / wlancum [on middum], ðar wigan sittaþ / on beorsele bliþe ætsomne"

which means

"peorð is a source of recreation and amusement to the great, where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall."

Is it a feasting bench tipped over? a headless seated person with bent knee and elbow?

Folk mostly agree that "it's meaning is obscure", though some suggest a tree, pear or apple. If so, maybe it's Iduna presenting herself as the eternal source of Life.

And it the name of the manga goddess. There's a weird cultural link probably worth a master's thesis: "Norse Myth in Japanese Popular Culture".

In any case, it keeps coming up at unexpected moments. Feast-halls aside, it's gestalt feels definitely female. Speaks to me in some odd way.