Showing posts from October, 2014

Poetry: Dream Song 14 by John Berryman

Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving          
behind: me, wag.

-John Berryman

Book Review: Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Imagine a time when a woman's virginity is her greatest asset. Yes, it is true that the situation is still practiced in certain cultures today. In the late 19th century, which is the setting of Thomas Hardy's Tess of d'Urbervilles,  I believe religion was part of the reason, as was property.  Most men have no wish to give their names to an illegitimate child or leave it their fortune.  However, I suspect it also have a great deal to do with the male ego and the notion of the cuckold, as Chaucer often narrates so amusingly. It is insulting to one's manhood to learn that he had been served the left-overs of another. Though the opposite is easily forgiven and often glorified. Hardy points out the hypocrisy of this societal norm through Tess.  I want to keep this review extremely short, and I will focus only on an interesting point which I only noticed during my second reading of the novel. It is the role love plays in Alec's and Angel's relationship with Tess.


Observation: Shake and Fries at Madison Square Park

It was around lunch-time and I had a small milkshake and my very first French fries on the table in front of me, as I sat waiting for a friend under the leafy tall trees that shaded the eating area of the Shake Shack at Madison Square Park. I was trying to read Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, drink a milkshake and munched on crisp fries. The fries weren't as good as the ones I had begged off of friends in the past. The lively summer atmosphere being distractive, I closed the book and started looking about me with interest. I noticed almost everyone sat with someone else. A man walked to my table, grabbed the extra chair in front of me, and as he made to walk away with it asked, "Do you need this chair?" I replied that I did and he gave me a suspicious look, put the chair back and walked away. I started wondering about the conversations around me. Earlier in the queue to buy my lunch, I had been trying not to stare at a super skinny girl in a super short …

Personal Style: Color me Bright

One of my favorite cardigans is the Koléki. Maybe it is because I made it (well it's true), or because it fetches me so many compliments, or simply because it is comfortable and warm. I could go on...
I was feeling colorful and since it's been a while that I went out as a neon sign I wondered what the  bug was. Then I realized it was Black-ish!  I saw their adverts on the subway so many times it got into my head. 
Handmade Beaded Fan Earrings - Local Color Shirt — My  Mother's closet Trousers — Club Monaco Hair Bow, Koleki Cardigan,  & Bracelet (I made them) — Mawusi Flats — Zara
^_^ Have a wonderful weekend! Jane

Mandarin Lessons: Rain,Tea, & Home

I have added , chá, and jiā (rain, tea, and home in Pinyin spelling) to my Mandarin vocabulary.  No I did not learn all the characters on my Pinterest board. No I was not sick and yes I had enough time to learn but did not. The symbol in the image is duìbùqǐ (pinyin) which means sorry. I love the musicality of that word. It is fun to say over and over again. Another favorite word is méiyǒu  (have not). 
Have a blast! Jane

Poetry: Ramallah by Bei Dao


in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky

in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane’s
violent original shape

-Bei Dao

Anna Devine SS15

You already know I am obsessed with anna devine. I died and went to a heaven full of beautiful printed dresses, skirts, and accessories when I saw her SS15 collection (which are all handmade by her!). And though I was going to delight you with a review of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, I will save that for next Tuesday. Now take a seat and let's drool over these gorgeous pieces. According to her Facebook page, they will be available in her Etsy shop via this November, but you should head over there all the same if you want to see the rest of the collection.  I feel I need all of them. Have a blast! - Jane

How to Get Things Done: Avoid Thy "Friends."

Did you think I have given up on discussing with you some of the ways I get things done? I have not. I had just been seeing to other things. Now raise your hand if you have many "friends." Yes, the quotation marks are necessary. We are talking about those friends who know your number when they want something. Those friends who have no problem, at all, asking the world of you and acting as though they are asking for nothing.  You know those who you can never call if you ever need anything; even something as simple as three minutes of their time. Well because you are so much like me and never know how to say no; we must find a way to save you from yourself.

Here is the thing, you are not supposed to expect anything back when you give. A strange notion, indeed. But wait, this is a good thing. And also, in my experience you always get back what you give, just often not from those you give to. But what I mean by "this is a good thing," is  that it means you should only…

Personal Style: In Three Skirts + Cardigan

It has become a pleasure to layer up skirts. As it got colder, I was happy to wear more.
I layered three skirts and felt like a beautiful tiered cake and very bohemian.  Then from the side,  I also looked very pregnant; partly because it was very windy. After dropping my tripod home, I went to the Met where I tried to float around in my tiers—— as I consumed art. 

Hat - Marshalls  Brooch, belt, and bracelets - I made them (Mawusi) Tote bag - a gift  Cardigan - Sears Lace edged skirt -  Daffy's Middle and bottom skirts - Old Navy Shoes - Lands' End.
- Jane

Mandarin Lessons: Pinterest & Hardy

I am not trying as hard as I ought to, and I don't feel any sense of urgency to help push things forward. I have learnt to count to a hundred but I am much better at counting to ten. I have changed the language on my pinterest board into Chinese, but other than the character for coffee, women, men, and art I often forget the rest and have to double check. It is making pinning annoying and the only way it will become enjoyable again is if I should learn all the characters. I am hoping that before the end of this week I will get tired of the laziness and understand what is written on my Pinterest board once again.

The distraction is Mawusi. This is my busy season and I am trying to work as hard as I can and make enough money so I can go back to school in the spring. It feels unnatural that I only have a semester left and I am unable to go through with it.  I am finding the experience interesting. I thought I would be angry but I am not. I am not even sad, nor disappointed. It just f…

Poetry: Mountain By Clifton Gachagua


On the day I set out on the climb,
grief saddled in my back like a bag of marbles,
my breath like clouds hanging on the low peaks of a mountain,
on the day I set out
leaving nothing behind, nothing on the bed, no version of myself,
just my voice through the night, the voice I use to ward off nightmares.
(My voice is a still life in itself, a shroud green and ultramarine deep blue,
a bowl of apples and tangerines on a table.)
On the day I set out,
the mountain is high in front of me, the unreliable god of mist and fog.
I have no voice to say how high
my fingers must lift as if on a lover's upper lip,
to take in the breath of how high my mountain is—white teeth behind
a snow cap, numberless springs, cold like the enzymes in spit—
a version of me is still asleep: the moving of a limb in sleep.
Everything becomes lucid.

—Clifton Gachagua

Meet Renee of The Silver Feather

Jane: Tell us a little about yourself!

Renee: I’m Renee Hulett, Los Angeles native, art lover, photography student and owner/designer of the contemporary bohemian jewelry line The Silver Feather.  I have been obsessed with all forms of art, my entire life and infatuated with the freedom of expression that art provides. I am self-taught and design everything in sunny Los Angeles.

J: What is your craft/brand story?

R: I started making jewelry in high school after a long and dramatic failed search for feather earrings (this was before the recent feather trend).  It was actually a friend who suggested we make them ourselves.  She showed me how to make them using a few simple supplies from our local craft store and they were a hit. From that point on I was hooked!  I started seeing jewelry like puzzles waiting to be solved.  After a few years and a ton of practice I decided to sell my jewelry and crochet pieces online through Etsy; as a way to generate income through my creativity, contro…

Thoughts at a Climax

The more I accept myself, my foolishness, my values, the more I become like the imaginary person I admire. I feel stronger, happier. I went out a few afternoons ago and looked extremely colorful. My brother laughed when he saw me. What are you wearing? He asked, and I laughed in response.  I beamed and hummed a little as I walked. I caught a few eyes on the streets and wondered what they thought. I cared. But not enough to lower my head. I walked gaily and in my mind I was dancing, too. I smiled at everyone, at everything, and at nothing. I admired
the beautiful crispy day. The sun buzzing like it was drunk. I think it sung and danced, too.


Personal Style: Geometry Class

The wonderful thing about my new awesome geometric print dress is that it encourages experiments. So I went print crazy. 
Can you handle these many prints?  And while you are at it, can you tell the pair of trousers is for men? Not too serious, just a lot of fun. Perfect.  And as always a big thank you to my favorite crew: my tripod and Karma, my camera. I hope you  find zee look tasteful or something...
Head Scarf — Old Navy  Brown and saffron necklace — don't remember where I got it, but it's old. Pink and orange necklace — swapped with a client. (We traded things we didn't want anymore.) Geometric Dress (handmade) — annadevine  Men's trousers — Club Monaco Bracelets & Brooch — I made them (Mawusi) Socks — Marshalls Shoes —  Payless
Take care and have a beautiful week---> END! ^_^

Mandarin Lessons: Why

Growing up I did not watch a lot of TV.  At first it was because we did not have a television, and when we finally did, we spent a lot of time adjusting the antenna. It did not really matter because there was not much to watch, except some evenings and the weekends when one could watch Indian movies and dance and dance, or Chinese movies and pretend to know anything about kung fu as one chants yi, er (one, two). The telenovelas were dramatic and romantic and we all rooted for the hero and heroine (because several people did not own televisions, friends and family came together to watch). The American soaps were nice, and so were the British classics. Yes, the majority of the program on screen was Ghanaian/African related.

There was only one TV network in Accra at that time, GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation). One of my favorite (and everyone else's) show, for a long time, was Journey to the West. We used to all run home after church on Sunday, to watch the clever monkey who had…

Poetry: The Subalterns by Thomas Hardy

The Subalterns

“Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky,      “I fain would lighten thee, But there are laws in force on high      Which say it must not be.”                          II
--“I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried      The North, “knew I but how To warm my breath, to slack my stride;      But I am ruled as thou.”
--“To-morrow I attack thee, wight,"      Said Sickness. “Yet I swear I bear thy little ark no spite,      But am bid enter there.”
--“Come hither, Son," I heard Death say;      “I did not will a grave Should end thy pilgrimage to-day,      But I, too, am a slave!”                         V
We smiled upon each other then,      And life to me had less Of that fell look it wore ere when       They owned their passiveness.

-Thomas Hardy

Back From Away

Partly because it was beginning to feel stale, and  because I have changed, some what. These are my excuses for not blogging in September.
The time away was kind. I did some fun  things, felt some good emotions, dug more into myself... Here are some concepts that occupied my thoughts: 1. Being here  means one could not not have been. 2. One must either find or create an ideal self and pursue it enthusiastically. 3. It is quite possible that one's instincts knows one better than one's intelligence. 4. We think that we do not know. We have not the ability to know that we do not know. 5. To not be true to oneself is to take oneself for granted. 7. The fear of old age and death is necessary and unnecessary. Seeing that they are natural and our common fate, one ought to think of them often, accept them as good, and respect them.
- Jane