Magic Windows #14

by angeliska on July 14, 2010

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a Magic Windows post!
I sometimes forget that I always have a camera on my
phone, and even the pictures aren’t ideal, they usually
come out good enough to share. Trying to capture the
beauty I come across. To remember, to revel in it.
big moth little moth
The other night at a birthday party I spied these fancy moths.
I got up on a chair in high heels after much wine to take the
pictures. Probably not a great idea, but I had to do it! Glad I
did too, because I love the patterns of the insects, the lacy
porchlight shade, the rough asbestos siding. I love what
you find hanging around porchlights on summer nights
(mostly, anyway). I’ve never seen a luna moth in person,
but it is one of my great wishes too one day. Have you?
big moth
Look at him so elegantly black black black. I wish he would
roost on my hat like a jewel. I would be honored to escort him.
lonely hunter
Sometimes you alight on a book you’ve always meant to read,
and once you start, you can’t imagine how you waited so long.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is like that for me. For some reason,
I’ve waited a long time to come ’round to the Southern Gothic canon.
Maybe because it’s always been too close? Now that’s a comfort,
to be able to enter into those old towns, old ways again – terrible
days as they were – for sure they’re nearly gone now. I was usually
escaping the claustrophobic confines of spanish moss draped quiet
streets – the same I biked down every night, forsook them instead for
books that took place in chilly London, in dark New Crobuzon or
bloody Ciudad Juárez. Oh, but now – I think I’m ready to dive in
and swim on home. I started with Eudora Welty, and fell in love
with her prose. Carson, though! She just kills me. Flannery’s next
on my list, oh and Katherine Anne Porter – man, I think it’s all about
the ladies for me right now! Though I need to finally dig in to some
Harry Crews, too. Reading these authors feels right in the summertime.
Here’s something Flannery O’Connor had to say about it that I like:
“Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque
by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going
to be called realistic.”
There’s something I need to dig for here,
in that black alluvial soil where the stories come from. These places,
and the memories they hold. It’s part of the reason why I live down here,
why I want to stay. That, and the weather. Also, friendly people!
Back to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, oh! I’ve never read any
book that captured so well the sense of painful longing, the restlessness
of people trapped in between, walking dark summer streets aimlessly,
looking for something amazing to happen. I know that feeling so well.
“This was her, Mick Kelly, walking in the daytime and by herself at night.
In the hot sun and in the dark with all the plans and feelings.
This music was her—the real plain her…
This music did not take a long time or a short time.
It did not have anything to do with time going by at all.
She sat with her arms around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard.
The whole world was this symphony, and there was not enough of her to listen…
Now that it was over there was only her heart beating like a rabbit and this terrible hurt.”

— Carson McCullers
sad cafe
Tomorrow I start this one. I’m so grateful that I snapped it up when I s
saw it, and now have it on hand to begin. It’s so painful when you fall
in love with an author and nothing else will do. I like that I’ve been
finding these 70’s paperback editions, too. I love the cover designs,
their compactness, and nostalgia-inducing aroma. Delicious books!
On a completely unrelated note, I painted my fingers and toes green
today. I cannot budget manicures or pedicures anymore, alas, and
so must attempt to get better at not making it look like a messy child
did it. I feel like I have glittery emerald beetle carapaces in place of
nails. The color is called “Ivanka”, but I’ve decided to re-name it
“Divine Decadence” after the shade Sally Bowles favored.
The polish is made by Zoya, a company that eschews chemicals – they are
all formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate(DBP) and camphor free! Not
that it’s still not kind of bizarre, and probably still somewhat unhealthy to
paint lacquer on your claws, but hey. I stopped painting them for years
and years, because I always work with my hands, and they chip so fast.
But it does cover up the dirt constantly embedded under there from
gardening, and helps me not viciously gnaw my hangnails. So! Polish.
I’d like to get Edyta, Adina and Akyra. Still looking for the perfect mint.
The other afternoon, I got to hang out with my little fairy godson, Sascha.
He shares my love for cuckoo clocks, and played with them for a long time.
It’s amazing to watch children at play. It’s very intense, very focused. I read
something recently that talked about what we really are doing when we are
“at play”. It’s very valuable work! I remember how intent I could be when
playing with my dolls, or building forts, or digging. I learned about this odd
UK site called Ghost of The Doll from Miss Lorra Faye Stranks recently –
if you were a child of the 80’s that didn’t grown up in an ashram or
something, you can bet that something you adored is listed there.
I wasn’t expecting such a visceral flood of memory as I clicked through
pictures of My Little Ponies, but seeing them again brings me right
back to that space of being so completely absorbed in combing
candy colored manes, or making them talk, or prance about or
whatever. I remember all their names, the personalities we gave them.
Children’s toys surely can absorb some of that focus, wouldn’t you think?
Even the crappy plastic ones, I reckon. See anything there you remember?

Sascha’s the best. I love that we can have little conversations now.
It’s pretty amazing to know someone from the very first day they were
, and then to see them acquiring language. It’s magical indeed.
I know I’m biased, but honestly, I think he’s the most marvelous child ever.


In the serendipitous intersection of pale nocturnal winged creatures and cherished 80’s toys is the lovely Moth Lady, of the “Golden Girls” line – how I loved her so!
“Hey Cuckoo, what’re you doing up there!?” Precious! And you know, that is a “take anywhere” type phrase that can undoubtedly apply to many future situations!

by mlle ghoul on July 14, 2010 at 5:43 am. Reply #

i think i may have to agree about sascha’s marvelousness.
so glad you made that little video of sascha and the coocoo.
my little ones are Big Ones now, 24 and 26. i have two recordings of their sweet little voices when they were sashca’s age.
it’s good to have a record. so soon things pass.
treasure, indeed.

by janette on July 14, 2010 at 5:43 am. Reply #

We have luna moths in NC…I think they are only alive for 3 days? I attend many outdoor blacklit parties that attract them and hundreds of other moth types– quite a sight when the sun comes up.

by poutfits on July 14, 2010 at 5:52 am. Reply #

I felt the same way about McCullers. I had Lonely Hunter for years before I finally picked it up. When I finally it, every word stitched itself into my heart. I recommend trying Winesberg Ohio by Sherwood Anderson if you haven’t already. Kisses, liebchen!

by stephanya on July 14, 2010 at 6:29 am. Reply #

I just mailed off my crumbling copy of “the member of the wedding” to a special fella in a shack on Musics Street…
I had a wonderful teacher named George Singleton in high school who introduced us to the genre – you should check out his work, it is wry, madcap and surreal. I agree there is something special about all those stories that resonates in my heart – it even comes through I think, in movies like Sunset Boulevard which Faulkner was a writer on.
PS yes a very large luna moth came into the house one night at a sleepover party in South Carolina when I was about fifteen…otherworldly!

by alita on July 14, 2010 at 6:43 am. Reply #

there’s something so wonderful and knowing about children’s speech. as if they see the world as it really is somehow. sascha is gorgeous!
and that moth! i’m so glad that you decided to stand on that chair in your heels (and that you weren’t hurt doing it!) to take those photos. he is amazing, and so art deco! blackest black & gold. j’aime.
and now i want to go digging in old book bins. i love the smell of those yellowed paperback pages. i’ve never read carson mccullers, but that excerpt makes me achy. time to go a searching, i theenk!

by annie on July 14, 2010 at 8:26 am. Reply #

oooh yes, i have seen luna mothies…even two of ’em gettin’ some lovin:

by katinka on July 14, 2010 at 8:27 am. Reply #

Oh man, it is so hard to find a good shade of green glittery nail polish. I used to have a bottle of the perfect shade, I think it was called ‘Evil,’ but it got all gunky and nasty and I threw it away years ago. I can’t find any that please me now. Le sigh.
I saw a luna moth on a camping trip once and felt quite special.

by Christina on July 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm. Reply #

i’m telling lola.

by granny mack on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm. Reply #

thanks for starting my unsure day off with some coo coo. it helped tremendously.

by suzanne meow meow on July 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm. Reply #

Oh, I love Carson McCullers. You should get your hands on a copy of Member of the Wedding as well.
One of my favorite passages from the book:
“Listen,” F. Jasmine said. “What I’ve been trying to say is this. Doesn’t it strike you as strange that I am I, and you are you? I am F. Jasmine Addams. And you are Berenice Sadie Brown. And we can look at each other, and touch each other, and stay together year in and year out in the same room. Yet always I am I, and you are you. And I can’t ever be anything else but me, and you can ever be anything else but you. Have you ever thought of that? And does it seem to you strange? “

by April Violet on July 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm. Reply #

I’m sorry. The last time I saw you at work I was sick and I upset you. I didn’t mean to. I wanted to talk to a role model of mine and approached it in the wrong way, as usual. Even actors or actresses find beautiful moths and become them. I wanted to shine my light on that but was confused as to how to do just that. I’m sorry if I offended you but Psycho Beach Party affected me and and I just wanted to tell the actress that played “Chicklet” but since I was ill, my words didn’t come out right and I couldn’t make them do so. You were right in your actions. I’m not who I used to be. I am not myself. I am no longer an alias. I am no longer hiding. I am wounded.

by I used to be Damiana on July 15, 2010 at 12:40 am. Reply #

Oh, and I love all those books. Fantastic reads.

by I used to be Damiana on July 15, 2010 at 12:42 am. Reply #

Please come to Ego’s on Thursday, July 15, 2010.
Karaoke South League from 8-10. That’s entertainment! I don’t sing but the people from Lucy in Disguise always bring it…and I end up laughing my ass off.

by Karaoke on July 15, 2010 at 12:49 am. Reply #

Darling Damiana Kirkling,
My goodness, honey! No need to apologize at all, or feel bad in the least. I think it would’ve been fine for you to have approached Lauren and asked for a picture – she’s a very sweet lady! I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it in my capacity as an employee of the shop, because that would be bad form. It’s so exciting to encounter such amazing people at work, but mainly I just try and not draw attention to them, and just let them have fun looking around. But you didn’t offend me in the slightest! I adore you, and always have – from the very first moment we met (more than 15 years ago, whoa!) I want you to be okay, and please know that I think you’re very wonderful indeed. I love that we get mistaken for siblings sometimes!
love ever,

by Angeliska on July 15, 2010 at 2:42 am. Reply #

>>It’s so painful when you fall
in love with an author and nothing else will do.>>
Oh! Oh! I know the feeling.. This always happens to me, mostly with directors though. Maybe I just get obsessed, intoxicated too much.

by Veterok. on July 15, 2010 at 5:03 am. Reply #

Those pictures did come out wonderfully. The pattern on the wings looks almost gilded in the evening light.
Your little story about Sascha feels so resonant. I became an auntie 3,5 months ago and I can’t wait to see my little niece develop into the person she’s going to be. ♥

by Noire et Blanche on July 15, 2010 at 5:05 am. Reply #

Angel !!! Did you read that comment of mine on this pic, on Flickr ?
I bought a fabulous green varnish more than 10 years ago … Because I wanted to have the nails of Liza Minelli / Sally Bowles in Cabaret !
I’m so sad because it’s all dried up now and I can’t find one equally beautiful :'(
Ha !
Sally Bowles ♥

by mathyld ▲under the pyramids▲ on July 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm. Reply #

i found a luna corpse a few days ago!

by whelky on July 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm. Reply #

I love “The heart is a lonely hunter”. I read it when I was about 17 first – solely on the fact that it was a favourite book of James Dean….I loved it and I read it about 3 more times since, it’s a book that you can re-read endlessly.

by moggierocket on August 4, 2010 at 1:52 am. Reply #

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