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Personal Style: Blonya Atade

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In the days of yore, that is when one was still considered child, one of the things one looked forward to was the blonya atade (Christmas dress)! No one wanted a custom made dress for blonya. All we ever got all year long was custom made this, custom made that. So for Christmas we all wanted ready-made clothing. First we prayed that one would get a blonya atade. Then we begged that it would be ready-made. This is why it is amusing that these days, I will kill a baby elephant for a custom made dress. Well, I just received a custom made dress––no elephants were injured in the process––and here is the story...
One of my Aunts, living in a suburb area in Ghana, got my measurement for this dress and got it made months ago. When it was completed she sent it to another Aunt who lives in the city. Then one of my Aunts who live here in NY, went to Ghana recently and on her way back picked up the dress and brought it to me. Of course, I am very happy with it... and since when someone makes you…

Between the Pages of Letters to A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke VII A

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“Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition” (Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. NY: Modern Library, 2001, p. 67-68).
There are two aspects of the seventh chapter of Letters that are worth perusing, the first is Rilke’s notion of choosing the difficult, and the second is his reflections on love. Hence I am splitting the seventh chapter into two parts. This post will focus on the notion of difficulty and part B, next to come in the series––probably in February, that is, if one is still breathing and able to blog––will examine Rilke’s perspective on love. To better explore what Rilke means by “we must trust in what is difficult,” l…

Opinion: The Ruse On Equality

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One observes that our world is manifold and hierarchic. There are the earth and the heavens. In childhood, we are ruled by our guardian(s)'s love and law. In which case one does not, often, think oneself equal to, say, one’s Mother, and one sometimes thinks one’s parent(s) superior to one’s peers'. In fact we do not care for equality until we start to feel unvalued in comparison to others. But do we really want equality and is it even possible? The American Heritage Dictionary defines equal as “Having the same capability, quantity, effect, measure, or value as another.” I don't believe that males and females have the exact same capabilities, effect, measure or value as one another. For a long time I have found the different but equal propaganda suspicious until I came across another proposal which made more sense to me, unity. It brought to mind the yin and yang in Chinese philosophy. Is that perhaps what we mean when we proclaim different but equal? Unlike different but …

Analysis of William Butler Yeats' Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

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Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
by William Butler Yeats

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
`Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'

`Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.

`A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'

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William Butler Yeats’ "Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop" is one of my favorite poems. The humor and wit in the exchange between the speakers are excellent and give one much to chew on. The interest of this analysis is to try and decipher whether Jane is indeed crazy or mistakenly identified as such. The title tells us what is happening in the rest of the poem: a woman, ref…

Abstract Photography: Reflection

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--- JAO