New Clothes and Old Clothes

“New Clothes and Old Clothes” from “The New Book of Days” by Eleanor Farjeon, captures the way I feel about old clothes. There are some pieces of clothing I really love and can’t part with. I may or may not wear them, but keep them for their colors, the feel of the fabric, or some memory attached to an event or time. It may be something I wore over and over again – the threads so bare, the collar so frayed.  The intangibility of the passing of that time is what matters most to me.

Eleanor says, “In May, older clothes are kinder to you then new ones.”

I rather like New Clothes,

They make me feel so fine,

Yet, I am not quite Me,

The clothes are not quite mine.

I really love Old Clothes,

They make me feel so free,

I know that they are mine,

For I feel just like Me.



Before it goes out like a lamb, it’s time to talk about the month of March.  Looking back in history we’ll remember this month, in 2020, as the time when the Coronavirus grew exponentially in the U.S.A.  Not that we weren’t forewarned, by the explosion taking place in Europe, preceded by China, and Iran, etc., etc.. in previous weeks. Covid-19’s here to stay for a long time; forty five days until we see a peak, eighteen months before life goes back to normal, if it ever does.  In the long haul a positive outcome to this situation can be found within ourselves; find ways to beat it psychologically, remain optimistic, and use it to be more creative and productive in our personal lives.  Take up painting, the piano, reading novels, writing as much as we can.  How can we reach out, and help others, and bring them into our lives?  What special talents do we have that we can share?  There are certainly people living in a more precarious habitat, in which I’m living.  Selfishly I hope I don’t catch the virus, or be a carrier and less selfishly, pass it on to someone else.  So, where do we go from here? The answer seems to be nowhere, nothing versus something, and now being never.  What is true is we are all vulnerable.  No-one is exempt.

Back to March.  What do we know about this third month of the calendar year, which during Roman Times was the first, and not the third of the year?  A month named after the god of war, called Mars. Special days in particular yearn to be celebrated.  Such as St. Patrick’s day, on the 17th, especially by the Irish, but even if you haven’t an ounce of Irish in your blood, you’re always welcome to partake in Irish generosity.

On the 15th of March, back in Roman Times, an old woman warned Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.”  Against his wife’s best wishes Caesar ignored the oracle and ventured out into the Roman forum only to be assassinated, and find moments before he fell to his death that his best friend had betrayed him; thus the famous quote “Et tu Brutus?”  The circumstance is a reminder to follow the wisdom of Shakespeare spoken in one of his plays “Love all, trust a few, and do wrong to no-one.”  And, in the wake of the Corona19, to listen to the oracle; Stay home, protect yourselves, and others.

Since I am a curious person, who seeks novelty in all things possible to brush away the the sins of idleness, and boredom, I have a trivia fact for March.  Does anyone know what September, October, November and December stand for?  I found this out the other day through a post by the Farmer’s Almanac.  The meaning of the prefixes of these months in latin follow suit with March being the first month of the year, for Sept means seven, Octo, eight, Nove, nine, and Dece, ten.  So whatever happened to January and February?  There is an answer, but at this moment, I can only say; “I do not know it.”  Just like there are answers surrounding the mysteries of the Coronavirus, but for now uncertainty reigns, and only time will tell.

Along the Aurelian Wall

While the streets of Rome were packed with tourists, buzzing here and there, taking selfies at the Spanish Steps, or the Fontana di Trevi, my thoughts were set in motion by the many people over the centuries that have made a pilgrimage to this unbelievable landscape.  A visit to see The Keats Shelley house is a case in point, of all the many reasons people come to Rome.  Keats came because he knew he was going to die of TB and he didn’t want that to happen in his cold damp land, of England, so he said goodbye to his sister named Fanny and another love of his life also named Fanny, a woman he was never able to marry, because he could never provide for her.

At the end of the day, back in my safe place, I decided to set out on an early evening walk.  With my camera I walked along the Aurelian wall and took this picture of these flowers bathed in sunlight.  They seemed a perfect ending to celebrate the life of a great poet, named John Keats.



Always had a smile,

My very best friend,

A little older,

At times, my mother hen.

You gave me a name,

I still keep today,

You were the one,

with whom I wanted to play.

But now, like then,

We have to part ways.


Others frowned at our friendship,

But little did they know,

You and I lived like sisters

Through our fun, and our woes.

Under the falling stars,

Those warm summer nights,

Blessed Mary, the only witness

of our dreams, to unfold.


Yes!  Young, you have gone;

But you got your wishes, too,

With your horses, and children, and husband.

Their love is true.

Go peacefully,

knowing, I loved you, as well,

and in my heart,

our memory dwells.

For if not, pray tell;

What is the meaning of life?

Your friend,




“When I am dead, my dearest” by Christina Georgina Rossetti


“Twilight” Photo by GRB

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Rosetti


I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.

I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is done.

I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,

Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.

I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,

Of happy memories that I leave behind when day is done.

Aunt Betty’s Wishes


Possessive love arrives, it locks the door behind it and settles in forever, always predictable.

Love arrives, it leaves its luggage by the door, in case worse comes to worst, but it still undresses.

Passion arrives, first it lights a hundred candles, then pulls the door off its hinges and breaks the windows. Leaves everything, everything to the care of the wind.


Arto Melleri 1956-2005, Finnish poet and writer.

A Story About Love

Everyone wants to know about love.  What is love?  Why aren’t we loved?  Why do we fall in love and how can that person possibly love him or her?  Why didn’t I come first?  These are questions, which Chekhov raises in his story “About Love”. “About Love”, is an alluring story within a story by Anton Chekhov.  On a wet rainy evening, when all there is to do is tell stories, Ivan Ivanich and Burkin gather together and listen to their friend, Alekhin, the country farmer, tell about the time he fell in love.  Alekhin describes how he befriended Luganovich, an important, well-to-do gentleman, and his wife Anna of the village Sofino.  The first time he is invited to their home for dinner Alekhin is impressed by the grace, beauty and intellect of Anna who is 22 years old and has one child by her husband.  That summer while working on his farm, the memory of Anna remains etched on his mind. After the summer Alekhin returns to the married couple’s home and subtly informs Anna that she has made a profound impression on him.  Her feelings are mutual. Alekhin returns many times to the home and becomes close friends with Anna and her husband.  The couple is so faithful to their friend, that they give him many presents.  When Alekhin’s estate is not producing and he goes further and further into debt, the couple even offers him loans to lift his financial burden. As time passes Anna continues to bear the children of her husband while her and Alekhin’s love for each other deepens. There is no demonstrative show of their love, however they do attend the theater together on a regular basis.  Sitting beside each other at the theater and sharing the ‘opera glass’ are the only forms of physical closeness they have with each other.  Naturally the coming and going to the theater attracts the wonder of the public and it becomes so usual that everyone in the village probably knows deep down what is going on. A few years go by in this way.  Alekhin and Anna, although satisfied to spend time together, are very unhappy that the pressures of society prevent them from being openly in love. In there own way they become melancholic. In their mutual silence, they know that they cannot have each other completely.  Anna becomes progressively distraught and saddened knowing she has lived a married life to someone she does not love.  She unfortunately acquires an illness, which forces her to go to a place to be taken care of.  Her husband and children also move out of the home and the entire family leaves the village. After everyone has said good-bye, Anna is in the compartment alone waiting for the train to leave. Alekhin sees she has left a package behind, so he picks it up, goes to her on the train, and gives it to her.  They are both very sad because they know it is the last time they will see each other. Chekhov, through Alekhin, questions “How love is born”.  “So far only one incontestable truth has been uttered about love: ‘This is a great mystery.’”  Alekhin regrets while parting ways with Anna all that has prevented them from loving: He thinks to himself, “ I understood that when you love you must either in your reasonings about that love, start from what is highest, from what is more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their accepted meaning, or you must not reason at all.” Chekhov, in his mastery for description of complex human relationships, poses questions in 1898, which continue to perplex us 100 plus years later in the 21st century. Love and happiness are two aspects of life he explores.  As we search for answers about love, Alekhin says:  “Everything else that has been written or said about love is not a conclusion, but only a statement of questions which have remained unanswered.”   I believe, if one has ever been secretly or openly in love, in one way or another, that this story will bring tears to their eyes.