Editor's note: Bay St. Louis artist Kat Fitzpatrick is known best for three things: her paintings, her evocative photography of local landscape, and the astonishing array of curated posts she shares on social media that both delight and inspire. In this new column, “Cast Net,” she'll be sharing her favorite finds from the past weeks.
Living in a small town suits me. I can walk at night, throw down a blanket and watch a meteor shower at 3am. When my art studio starts to feel confining, I can gather easily with our community of odd souls.
Having a connection to the big world beyond the Bay has always reassured and stimulated me. Travel is not possible right now. I find extraordinary things, heartwarming things, soul-nourishing things on the World Wide Web. Being able to share them makes me feel a little bit better about the time spent (or wasted?) “casting my net."
The Moving Stars
I love to experience shifts in perspective. Looking up is one of the very best ways to get there. Here is a surefire tonic for Covid exhaustion or a muse who deserts you when you need her most.
My suggestion would be to turn off the sound completely and just hum.
Sometimes what’s hiding in plain sight has the ability to transform everything you thought you knew. In this case, the book “Breath” by James Nestor is the trigger. I’ve been averaging at least one “wow!” per paragraph.
This book is literally changing lives. Maybe yours?
Rick Bragg Interview in Garden & Gun
Rick Bragg is a writer I feel cozy around. His take on Southern ways and means are sly and on the money. See if this interview doesn’t bring a smile. You know you need one today.
Long a fan of artist, set designer, puppeteer Wayne White of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse fame. He is also profiled in a wonderful documentary called “Beauty is Embarassing." (Recommended if you haven’t.)
Now see his WALLPAPER! Based on those early landscape panels you used to see in grandmotherly dining rooms, but with surprises.
Horseshoe crabs have always seemed like they come from another planet. Finding them on the beach as a child, I marveled at their shape and texture and even their hairiness.
Everything about them feels like a contradiction, down to their blue blood, and our dependence on it. Find out why, here:
Taylor & Yo-Yo Ma Duet: Nobody Knows
This song was first published in 1857, before the abolition of slavery. Many musicians have covered it, including Louis Armstrong. This version is so deep and the collaboration so rich. I was moved to share.
All That Has Never Yet Been Spoken
Posted this beauty by Ranier Maria Rilke eight years ago. Feeling joyful to find this old friend today. So perfect for where I am and where we are.
I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one yet has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, may I be forgiven,
but what I need to say is this:
may what I do flow from me like a river,
without anger, without timidness,
no forcing and no holding back.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing You as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
Ranier Maria Rilke
Kanazawa Kenichi Art
Too cool not to share! Thanks, Anna Macedo.
Nadia Bolz-Weber on forgiving yourself
Nadia Bolz-Weber is an ordained Lutheran pastor disguised as a badass, tattooed truth teller with a deep humanity. Fans of Annie Lamott should feel right at home in her presence.
Also check out her podcast, The Confessional, where she talks to people about what action in their past they have had the hardest time forgiving in themselves. She creates a prayer specific to that person and circumstance and reads it to them. She follows up a week later to check in.
What do you have a hard time forgiving yourself for?
When I am Among the Trees - Mary Oliver
National Book Award winning poet and Guggenheim recipient, Mary Oliver made the natural world come alive through her solitary walks and reflections before her death in 2019.
After reading one of her poems, I always feel more attuned/in touch/reverent, no matter what she has brought to my attention. Oliver has been called “America’s most read poet." I would add “most loved."
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.
- Mary Oliver
This is everything I look for in a post: heart, brevity, kindness, compassion, insight and transformation. And it only takes a minute to watch.
Dancing in the Aisles
As I “made groceries” in Froogel’s, the store nearest my home, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?” started playing over the speakers.
I smiled and paused a moment in my shopping, listening.
It wasn’t enough. I had to dance in grateful thanks for all that song has meant to me over the years – for the people I loved, no longer with us, who loved that song; for the daughter, daughter in law, and granddaughter who I adore, and whose images dance before me, “lovely, made from love."
In celebration, masked and newly reminded of the continued and increasing vulnerability we all share, I danced.
It was the least I could do.
It was all I could do.
Note: Stevie Wonder's daughter Aisha is one of the background singers seen in this video. The song was written for her.
Remembered a fragment this morning
Paired it with a photo
Giving Raymond Carver credit here.
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
Raymond Carver, “Late Fragment.” from A New Path to the Waterfall, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989.
The Shoofly Magazine depends on annual sponsors and readers like you to publish features like this and pay contributors, while keeping our content free and open to all.