Winter Mmmmusings

We finally have snow, a little, at least.  But better yet, there’s fog.  Nice romantic fog… ‘mmmm.

M – along with L, N and R – is a liquid letter because of the fluency of its sound.  I know this because Mary Oliver in her book, A Poetry Handbook, describes the sounds of letters as liquid, aspirant or mute.  She is quoting from an 1860 book of grammar by Goold Brown, called  Brown’s Grammar, Improved

M is my favorite letter, not least because it’s the first letter of my first name.   A few years ago I was interested in fractals and learned about the Mandelbrot Set or M-Set, which describes the fractal shape mathematically.  I wrote a Haiku:

I am an M-Set:

expand to infinity,

or shrink to nothing.

Being a Mary, I have a special fondness for the Virgin Mary.  I believe she is my namesake, after all.  Actually, Mary was an extremely popular name when I was born, so it’s a very common name among women of a certain age.   I am more interested in the idea of the Virgin Mary:  I am entranced by paintings of the Annunciation, when the archangel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she was going to give birth.  Her expression varies from sweat serenity to shock or dismay. 

I have dozens of postcards from museums and photos from art galleries of the Annunciation.  My favorites are the very reverential ones done by Fra Angelico, the one by Leonardo in the Uffizi in Florence, and the one in the Tate by Dante Gabriel Rosetti from 1849-50 that is quite modern and very haunting.  Mary and Gabriel are dressed in white and the walls of the room and the bedding are white.  Mary looks like she just woke up and she recoils at the news.  This is perhaps one of the more realistic versions of the Annunciation.

However, tonight, New Year’s Eve, I will sign off not as a Mary, but in honor of Rio, the cat in the photo:

In the Chinese way,

I will sign my name as


Happy New Year!!




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