13 March 2009

Put That Needlepoint Down! Now!

Today is Friday the 13th. The superstition that Friday is unlucky has been around for hundreds of years. Chaucer mentioned it in his Canterbury Tales, and by the 1800s, there was a whole list of things that were unlucky to do on a Friday, including needleworking, writing letters, beginning a sea voyage, moving, getting married, and going to the doctor. As for 13, its status as an unlucky number probably comes from the Bible — Judas Iscariot was said to be the 13th guest to sit at the table at the Last Supper. By the 1700s, it was a common superstition that if 13 people sat down at a table together, one of them would die. Eventually the number 13 became unlucky in any circumstance. Many hotels still skip the 13th floor, labeling it as 14. At some point, these two superstitions were combined into a fear of Friday the 13th. {Text From Writer's Almanac Beautiful Gato Image by Pequna Suricata on flickr}.

12 March 2009

Never Stop Fighting

Sleep on the left side/Keep the sword hand free.--Cornershop, Sleep on The Left Side

Wanted to Cry/But You Can't When You're Laughing.--The National, So Far Around the Bend

Can't Give Up Acting Tough/It's All That I'm Made Of. Can't Scrape Together Quite Enough/ To Ride the Bus to the Outskirts of the Fact that I Need Love"--Neko Case, Middle Cyclone

To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle that any human being can fight--and never stop fighting. --e.e. cummings ... {image via fffound, i think}

11 March 2009

Trains

Trains by David Shumate

I am seduced by trains. When one moans in the night like somedragon gone lame, I rise and put on my grandfather's suit. I pack asmall bag, step out onto the porch, and wait in the darkness. I restmy broad-brimmed hat on my knee. To a passerby I'm a curious sight—a solitary man sitting in the night. There's somethingunsettling about a traveler who doesn't know where he's headed.You can't predict his next move. In a week you may receive apostcard from Haiti. Madagascar. You might turn on youranswering machine and hear his voice amid the tumult of a Bangkok avenue. All afternoon you feel the weight of the thingsyou've never done. Don't think about it too much. Everythingstarts to sound like a train.

"Trains" by David Shumate from The Floating Bridge. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission on Writer's Almanac.

Photo Takidani Train Station 5 from Mr Mark on Flickr.

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