Bloomsday // Baltimore Pride

festivities, summer

imageedit_3_6796630147

Hello, internet friends!

So, here’s the kicker: I’m really not so great about writing yearly posts for various holidays YET this will be the third June I’ve managed to honor(???) Bloomsday with a blip on the blogosphere and I still haven’t finished the book – actually, I haven’t revisited it since 2016… Yes, well, em, I haven’t heard the banshee so I’d like to think I’ll have time to finish it by next year’s Bloomsday.

While I can’t yet gush about finishing Ulysses, or visiting Dublin, or any other Joycean joys I CAN & WILL congratulate another Irish writer, Deirdre Sullivan, on writing the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year: a feminist fairytale anthology, Tangleweed & Brine (and another huge congratulations to Welshwoman Karen Vaughan for the collection’s exquisite illustrations)!

I both loved and feared each tale in the collection, and absolutely, wholly, utterly recommend you find yourself a copy to read (support your local library!).

Speaking of libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library just nixed its late fees for overdue books! Just another reason for you to come around and visit Baltimore. And please do come by; this is really a wonderful city—it’s not just the doom and gloom you see on the news.

A particular gem of the City in the summer (apart from all the movie festivals) is Baltimore’s Pride celebration, the pinnacle of which, the parade, happened to be today…So we should all just be partying all weekend, honestly. (ALSO, let’s wish a happy first birthday to Lorde’s Melodrama today!)

I’d like to say the local LGBT+ community has a terrific presence in the city even after the rainbow beads and iridescence of the parade have been swept from Chuck St. Or, that’s my impression from attending book readings and talks and dance parties and ever-popular “Gay Movie Nights” with queer friends (HAVE YOU SEEN MOONLIGHT?!).

But I’d like to clarify that at these events I’m here to celebrate my friends: When I go to Pride celebrations and meet the SOs of some of my best friends, I’m at events that are not meant for me (a straight cisgender woman). It’s an honor and a privilege to have LGBT+ friends who feel they can confide in me, and I actively seek ways to help them feel safe and loved. This is devolving into a “wow, isn’t Carey great?” sort of thing, but what I’m so poorly trying to explain is that these wonderful people are so brave; to feel comfortable expressing yourself as you are, regardless of your sexuality, gender identity, or any other facet of your true self that doesn’t conform to the heteronormative narrative we’ve all been told is the only way to be—to have been told that you’re wrong by so many and oftentimes so violently, and to still celebrate yourself as you are is just — amazing.

 

Lots of love this Bloomsday!

oo Carey

 

SOURCE UNKNOWN

(the day on which the events in Ulysses were set) SOURCE UNKNOWN 😦 

 

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St. Patrick’s Day

festivities

 

irish_immigrants_1909

Irish Immigrants (1909) / Wikimedia Commons

Dia duit!

While many of us like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. with green apparel and booze, it’s also super important to acknowledge the origins of the celebration: immigrants! With the future of over 800,000 Dreamers in jeopardy under the current administration’s policies, it’s only right to draw attention to the holiday an article from TIME calls

[…] the closest thing in America to National Immigrant Day, a tribute not only to the Irish, but to the idea that Americans are all part “other.”

 

SO, if you weren’t aware, the general consensus of nativist Americans in the 19th century was that the Irish (the first ‘modern’ immigrants in the U.S., as expanded upon in this NY Times article from 2012) behaved like this:

Anti-Irish Political Cartoon by Thomas Nast

“The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things” (1871) / Wikimedia Commons

The political cartoon above is by Thomas Nast, y’know, the dude who created the modern-day depiction of a fat, red-suit-wearing Santa Claus? Yeah, same guy.

Here’s a continuation on that thought from my FB, (edited slightly for clarity):

  • The celebration was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.
  • These immigrants (and others from ‘undesirable’ areas of Europe, such as Scotland, Germany, and Italy) were largely unwelcome in ‘white collar’ work forces, such as medicine, politics, law, et al.
  • Many of these immigrants didn’t speak English, and would learn only after arriving in the U.S.A., including the Irish. (The English language was forced upon them for 800 years but was by no means universal in Ireland then, nor is it today.)
  • Not all of these immigrants came legally; even today, a low estimate of illegal U.S. residency by white Europeans and Canadians is 550,000 according to the most recent figures from the Pew Research Center.

This brings us to the present, when people with Irish (and German, and Italian, and Scottish, and … ) surnames are trying to prevent immigrants (today, largely from South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East) from enjoying all the benefits and opportunities their ancestors received once anti-immigrant sentiments shifted southerly. Such is the (stupid) pattern of history. But not all is lost (it never is).

 

TL;DR

If we as a society can willingly get behind this look for a day

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-holiday-crazy-st-patrick-outfits-photogallery.html

Some dude in questionable attire / Chicago Tribune

 

surely, we can get behind these amazing people!

here to stay

Dreamers / The Intercept

 

Slán abhaile!

x. Carey

bloomsday!

festivities

Here’s a secret dream of mine: there are few things I want more from this life than to have an entire holiday dedicated to a book I wrote, although, full disclosure, I’m no closer to finishing Ulysses than I was last year.

However, I did finish Dubliners and would 10/10 recommend!!

Bloomsday Events in D.C., USA

Bloomsday Events in Dublin, Ireland

Bloomsday Events in London, UK

Bloomsday Events in Montréal, Canada

Bloomsday Events in Philadelphia, USA

 

welp

literally no further than last year so last year’s pic is just as accurate alas

“and yes, i said yes”

festivities

Friends,

It’s Bloomsday!

     Here’s why it’s a big deal…

Ireland is known for its literature, and Ireland is known for its history of persecution via Norman & English invaders. Therefore, when Ireland’s literature is persecuted abroad or at home, its literature becomes iconic, a voice for the oppressed.

Bloomsday celebrates the banned book, Ulysses, by Éire’s native son, James Joyce, ergo, it is a huge festival in Ireland and internationally, courtesy the diaspora.

Addendum, as to why I celebrate: I’m Irish, but I am also a huge supporter of reading banned books. It’s important not to let someone else’s idea of “right” and “wrong” taint yours, and even if the books were banned with the “best” intentions, I believe we have every right to read them. (Also, the libraries would be depleted of books very quickly should every contested novel be ousted.)

THIS IS MY NIGHTSTAND, UPON WHICH IT SITS

this is my 1946 edition, courtesy a library book sale (and a Trinity knot necklace)

Here’s a quick history lesson…

16 June 1904 is celebrated as the 24 hour period in which Irish novelist James Joyce turned in the magnificent, bawdy and extremely dense novel Ulysses.

Ulysses has been both heralded by great authors and decried by noted reviewers alike, and was banned in the United States from 1922 until 1934 (the U.S. Espionage Act wreaked havoc on free speech during and after the First World War.)

Not to say there weren’t copies of the “obscene book” smuggled into the U.S.

Addendum: In the 2011 historical novel The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt (set in 1920’s New England & France), two young women go to Paris to have Joyce sign their copy of the novel; an interesting fact is the author of Scrapbook is the goddaughter of Sylvia Beach, Joyce’s publisher, in real life

THAT'S A CLADDAGH MIRROR, YES, THANK YOU FOR NOTICING

and here’s Dubliners (1971 ed.) chillin’ in the living room

Here are synopses…

“Joyce’s Ulysses is a novel of eighteen “episodes,” all set in Dublin, Ireland, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 am, June 16-17, 1904. The three main characters are a young school teacher and aspiring writer named Stephen Dedalus (the main character of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), a middle-aged Jewish advertising salesman named Leopold Bloom, and Leopold’s wife, Molly Bloom. During the composition of Ulysses Joyce compiled a working outline or “schema” indicating the title of each episode (each title taken from some character or incident in Homer’s Odyssey), the approximate time and place of its setting, and, for most of the episodes, the bodily organ, the “art,” the color, the symbol, and the “technic” (or technique) significant to each episode, as well as some of the correspondences between characters in Ulysses and in Homer’sOdyssey. In the schema Joyce also divided the book into three main sections, the “Telemachia”–episodes 1-3–the “Odyssey”–episodes 4-15–and the “Nostos”–episodes 16-18. In the brief summary that follows, each entry begins with the title Joyce gave the episode in the schema (these titles do not appear in Ulysses), followed by the time; scene; bodily organ; art; color; symbol; and technic. When Joyce did not include some category for an episode a — is used.”

(Courtesy Weldon Thornton and Morris Beja, Bucknell University)

Longer Synopsis (Extension of Quote Above)

Longest Synopsis (That One is Likely to Read)

…And here’s how far I’ve come as of today:

SLOWLY SLOWLY

IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS!

x. Carey

 

mothers

festivities

IMG_2581

Mothers are oceans;

they have unfathomable depths.

My mother lost her mother

too long ago for me to know anything

of her but her children & husband’s recollections;

I know little of my grandmother,

save from photo albums in our basement.

My mother feels her absence deeply, I suspect.

Moms are fickle things;

we only know them as they are now,

not who they were when they were younger,

if we were lucky enough to know them at all.

Looking through a meticulous scrapbook of my her childhood,

I learned more about my mother as a woman,

and not as “Mom”.

The more I see,

the harder she is to read.

image

just how are your eyes this blue?

This year I’m away at school,

and I’ve taken up the habit to ask her,

“how is Noreen?”

and not

“how are you, Mom?”

while on the phone.

It’s a not slight,

nor so much an

“oh, I’m an adult now, so I’ll call you by your first name”

situation,

as it is that I am asking her how she is

as a person

separate from her mothering identity.

image

she likes to hike!

I’m named after my grandmother.

As often as I am proud,

saying,
“I was the grandchild named in her honor”

I am afraid, too.

The name is heavy.

There is a weight to this bequeathed crown,

the etymology matters less than

the namesake;

her appellation is my inheritance.

My mother’s patience and imagination

balanced truly remarkably

with her diligence and industriousness.

I will never understand how she has accomplished everything she has;

and has kept her head, too.

Mom,

I would like to thank you for your kindness,

your hair-stroking (and coloring),

you humor,

and for that time we sat in the great big refrigerator box in the front yard,

eating something out of the carton.

Thank you for your faith in me,

thank you for your trust,

and your love.

I love you, too.

You are wonderful,

and will always be wonderful,

and a wonder,

in my book.

I will never reach your sea-floor

and uncovered all your opal hopes and quiet desires,

but in my book,

you’re always a favorable character,

tough, and beautiful,

vulnerable and valiant.

I want to watch Brave with you, again.

Plot twist:

I think you are more like Merida,

and I’m Elinor.

Lots & lots & garden plots

of

♥ love ♥

xoxo

Your daughter,

Carey

photographic edits 9 June 2016

easter

festivities

We’ve made it.

It’s the Spring, the end of the Winter, the beginning of new life.

The darkness that begins with Halloween

ends today,

with this vernal Holy week.

Today is the day Catholics (and many Protestants) celebrate the Resurrection.

(The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter this year on May 1st.)

Many other faiths celebrated ceremonials this past week, and their holidays are noted below.

Easter Rose

In Éire, it’s the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, which means so much to the Irish.

I can’t begin to explain it, so here is Yeats’ take.

IMG_0150

In Sweden, the Easter witches come out, lurking the the shadows until dawn.

IMG_0601

In the Vatican, the Pope says a magnificent Mass for everyone.

In Jerusalem, fewer Christians made a pilgrimage this year than last,

and yet the faithful will always come.

♥ ∞ ♥

This past week was also an important one for many other religions.

The Spring Equinox was last Sunday,

and both the followers of Persian Zoroastrian and Baha’i celebrated the New Year on 21st March.

The 23rd was both Holi, a Hindu festival, and also Magha Puja, a critical date in the Buddhist calendar,

and 24 March was Purim, the Jewish celebration of Queen Esther‘s heroism and her prevention of an impending genocide.

The 24th was also Hola Mohalla, the founding of the Sikh Khalsa.

Tomorrow, the 28th of March, is the prophet Zarathustra‘s birthday,

(Holiday research courtesy Dr. R. Sawyer. Much thanks.)

♥ ∞ ♥

My prayers are extended to those affected by the recent acts of terror in Pakistan, Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, and the Côte d’Ivoire.

Banksy expresses hope for world peace beautifully.

Peace, lovelies.

x. Carey

p.s. – I realize that I know very little about the celebrations and customs and traditions of other faiths, and that is a shortcoming of mine. I believe in societal “wokeness”, and now I am on a mission to become religiously woke. If any mistakes have been made above, they are mine alone. “To err is human” said John Donne, but that doesn’t mean we should admit defeat; rather, we should learn and move forward. Excelsior.

(Ever higher).

p.p.s. The images of Florence Welch, in my personal belief, are introspective in a way that I identify with.

Therefore, she frequently appears in many of my posts. Her intelligence and musical artistry are really wonderful.

This is a personal blog, and no intention has been made to undermine or criticize others’ beliefs; these thoughts and expressions are purely my own.

it’s that time of year

festivities

December.

 

My theory is that one day we’ll go back to a non-commercialized holiday season, or a satirically capitalist one, in which we’ll watch Elf for an oddly child-friendly Will Ferrell, and Scrooged for the eighties-corporation perspective.

Or maybe we’ll read holiday picture books and I’ll find milk/egg/wheat free waffles to eat. (Or are those simply oats??)

Regarding the Winter solstice, I hope the longer days will somehow rocket forward faster in the calendar year, and January.February.March will not remain the sad months they are.

I had to write a research paper about Hamlet once. It was due two days after it was assigned. So I wrote about Hamlet having seasonal affective disorder and Shakespeare not liking Scandinavian peoples and that’s why the play was basically an ergo miseramus all the way.

~Jingle bells~

Happy Winter for the crazy folk, namely my sister.

All the best,

-Carey

 

edited (formatting): 26 may 2017

 

thanks-giving trees

festivities

happy thanksgiving

Hey lovelies!

Don’t worry—I haven’t forgotten about you.

I’m taking an unscheduled vacation (oh no!) from ze blog, courtesy: finals and portfolios and other super awesome things.

Never fear,

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,

and algebra exams.

However, I’ll be back with more awesomeness than ever before you know it!

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends!

And happy Thursday, International friends!

To all the turkey-ghosts reading this post,

good night, and you’ve been delicious.

And to the fair people of Eburg who let us run five miles all over you this morning,

it was a moving experience. 😀

All my love,

Carey