Monday, December 31, 2012

Jan 2013

New Year's Noren

Today's email brings news
Of academic study that posits
Doorways form some kind of
Memory barrier…
Apparently we clear our minds
Upon passage to make room
For the new.
Offers us excuse for forgetting
Why we entered a room,

Noren, indigo
Split curtains from Japan,
Hang in doorway,
Custom dictates that
We bow as we pass through…
Show respect for
Place left behind
And place being entered.
Noren sway in breeze…
Ripples give visual evidence
Of our journey:
Acknowledge past
While entering future.

In my world,
Most year-end passages
Are gentle.
I drink sake from red lacquered sakazuki,
My ceremonial Japanese cup.
Three cups of three sips each:
Past, present, future
All contained within each moment
Of past, present, future.

I reflect on this science-fiction
Quality of Real Life
Plans for my New Year.

This year my noren
Find me in recovery mode
From bout with lingering flu.
Reflections are warped by cold meds,
Irregular sleep patterns
And strange dreams.
The planned ripple of
Kate's holiday visit was
Delightfully gusted by
Surprise arrival of her boyfriend,
David of Oakland.

My anticipation of this New Year
Includes another gust
By a visit with Peter and Lisl
In Barbados.

All this makes me realize
I might not always remember
Why I'm in this life anyhow,
But I'm determined to
Regain my drug-free clarity
And enjoy the ripples...
And the gusts...
As they present themselves.


Bette Forester
31 Dec 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 2012

Sweet memories...

The end of the year is always the time for reflection. My inbox finds itself bursting with best-of-2012 lists. I find, too, I'm reflecting on multiple years. For instance: while previously sporadic, with this month's addition, my archives show a full eleven years of my Beedance calendars. It's true. Go look.

AND... almost 33 years ago, a tiny Dr. Kate learned to stand on our sofa, lean against its back and watch the world through our front window. Susan, my friend whom Kate now calls her New York mum, sat with her this day and Kate monitored the world as Susan drew her.

While you're reflecting on your end-of-year lists and memories, enjoy decorating your tree and munching Santa's cookies and milk.

See you next year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nov 2012

Back to the gentle part of this season's weather.

Here's a lone leaf to mark the month of remembrances. Remember your hat and gloves. Remember to stop saving time and start wasting it again: put your clocks back this weekend. If you're in the US, please remember to vote.

AND, as usual in November, I invite you to remember Kurt Vonnegut on his November 11th birthday. Kindle's been offering many of his books at discount. Go grab one this month.

This little leaf was in Barcelona and comes to me via my designer friend Dennis who noticed these delightful tiles on his recent trip. Look what one single good design can do when it's rotated and repeated... proving that variety isn't the only spice of life.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oct 2012

Remember when Kate & Peter ran the San Francisco marathon?

Approaching Kate's place in Berkeley after the race, Peter caught Kate atop a chair, searching her tall cupboard for celebratory wine and glasses.
I like extending their celebration... and recognizing there's a little intimation of Halloween afoot here!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sep 2012

Is Summer here to stay?

Labour Day seems to mark the end of summer... at least it's the end of white shoes, if you're my age. The heat and humidity continue here, though, and make it difficult to imagine anything except sweat and patios.
This weekend I was in Stratford watching my grandsons play some heroic baseball. Stratford, a picturesque small town west of Toronto, is the home of the famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival (
Driving about after the game, I espied this evidence that change could indeed be on the way... as the bard, himself, asked:
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Aug 2012

These days it’s all about bringing home the gold.

I think we all get excited watching Olympic athletes. All these talented and committed people who make a habit of doing impossible things everyday. I smile with pride at sharing humanity with them.
My own two kids have also made it their habits to do many impossible things. Witness last month’s San Francisco Marathon. Peter came from his home in Barbados to visit Kate in Berkeley. They had agreed to run: he, the full marathon, and Kate, the half marathon.
The first part of the amazing route includes crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, then turning about and recrossing it going the other way. Kate reported on her facebook page: “the best part of the run was spotting my brother and giving him a high five as we passed each other on the bridge.”
Peter finished in 4:23:52. Kate finished in 2:21:23. I’ve put their medals below over the pic I took of the bridge when I visited there a few years ago. Again, I get to share in the impossible. I’m smiling.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 2012

Am I addicted to pink flowers?
Well they're not namby-pamby pink, are they? 
They're each radiantly brave in their own way.
The lotus must sink its roots into messy mud at the bottom of its pond. From that base it draws its strength and creates glorious blooms AND at the same time produces seeds that guarantees its future. 
Orchids thrive with their roots hanging out in the air, attached to trees or rocks or fences. Their whole being is involved in each breeze.. in each ray of sunshine and in each drop of rain and dew. They suck it all up and make exotic blooms in clumps. Sort of like rock bands, each individual enhances the others.
See? The lotus and the orchid show me 2 ways to be in the world: examples of ways to become the best I can be. Guess addiction to this pink power is okay with me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 2012

See a theme developing here?

Last month's calendar inspired quite a number of delightful responses from you guys. This from Susan—whom Kate calls her New York mum—a memory of a trip to China. I'm lucky to know people who travel AND take great pix.

Looks like the lesson of growth and renewal has taken glorious root.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 2012

Another look at April showers and May flowers...
wih the lotus it all happens at once

Roots entwine
in mud
rich from life
now long past
Blooms unfold
radiant faces
reflect sun
glorify today
Seeds offer
new life
and hope
for future
and effect
Thanks to Edward Rajewski for this glorious image from his recent trip to Thailand. Look at those big heavy seed pods among all the blooms, somehow all balancing on long stems and floating leaves.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Apr 2012

Well Google seems to have won the day announcing new Morse code tapping for mobile gmail... Google Maps announced a retro graphics option... and the landing page of Chinese Google offered an interactive seascape with swimming fish and falling coins and treasure chests. Seems some cultures refer to the day as April Fish Day.

My own offering is more of a test of perception than of foolery. Is it a moonscape? a map of the stars? Is the circle an innie or an outie? a pool or a lump?

Well, I'm not trying to fool you, but to show you a detail of one of my fave Noguchi basalt sculptures. I love these carvings for their shapes and even more for their surface textures. 

Hope you enjoy pondering this month.
Also remember to pack your bumbershoot for all those April showers.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mar 2012

Sending my kids out to play...

From the time they were little
I loved meeting Peter's and Kate's playmates.
They each proved through those early and subsequent friendships
That they know how to value and enjoy
And share their lives with
Some of the nicest and most talented people
On the planet.
They both play well with others.

This painting is another of my kids.
I painted it here in Toronto
As memory of one of my favourite places
In San Antonio, Texas: the Spanish Governor's Palace.
It now lives with Peter in Barbados
And has been making friends of its own, too.
Look! Peter says this little green lizard
Hangs out around my painting. Seems they're buds.
My colourful painting also plays well with a colourful other.

If you want to see the whole thing,
I used it for my Sept 2004 calendar.
You'll find it in these calendar archives

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feb 2012

Red Letter Day...

for two bees,
or not two bees
that might be the question.
whether tis nobler
in the mind,
or in the mouth,
to savour the bittersweet
alone or to find another
who can share
such outrageous fortune.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

Chinese New Year happens the second new moon after the winter solstice. It's that new moon time again: the year of the Black Water Dragon (that's a water dragon that's black, instead of a dragon that lives in black water). I thank Veer for this illustration. Go here to see Neil Gaiman's rendition.

All new moons give us the opportunity to renew our commitments to ourselves. Certainly this inventive Aquarius new moon bodes well for exciting new beginnings and enlivening breakthroughs. Surprising events await us and unexpected epiphanies that will come to us as a result of keeping our eyes wide open. Make this a month—and a year—to remember!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jan 2012

Season's Greetings!
This instead
Of  recently-made-old
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
    and maybe even
Happy Kwanzaa.

Tis the Season,

We're ready to celebrate,
and to invite
Our friends to celebrate…
and we include
Their own celebrations
In our well-wishing.
Inclusive is us.

Season's Greetings.

What ever
Are we all celebrating?
Eight days of candles? 
    Light of liberation and dedication.
Birth of a saviour?
    Light of redemption and hope.
African roots, fruits, harvest?
    Light of identity and past-into-present..

Tis the Season
Of renewal of All Light.
Tis the Season
Of relinquishing Darkness
To lengthening Days...
Of the return of Light
Bit by bit.
The return of Light.
Light of renewal.

Season's Greetings
Happy New Light.

Have a shiny & sparkling year.
Renew yourself
Your library books.

Bette Forester

31 Dec 2011

Thank you Phoebe for this rainy Portland 5th Day of Christmas image...
and thank you Neil Gaiman for this benediction for a new year: