The 13th falling on a Friday happens infrequently enough that I always find it worthy of observation. It’s like a lovely little surprise – a celebration randomly inserted into the calendar and when it appears it’s worthy of attention.
I know many people are either indifferent, or actually cautious or superstitiously wary, but I most definitely don’t suffer from – friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia, fabulous words describing the fear of Friday the 13th.
Rather than being circumspect, I LOVE this day. It feels like such a joyful tribute to goddess energy. Every Friday is dedicated to Venus, and she’s all about love, beauty, and delight. Thirteen is the basis of much women’s magic, based on the fact that it takes the moon approximately 28 days to orbit the Earth, and there are 13 such cycles in the calendar year.
In any case, thirteen has been held sacred by many traditions and cultures, including the ancient Egyptians who described thirteen steps on the ladder leading to eternity – the thirteenth step was where the soul reached the source of itself and attained spiritual completion. For some reason, I’m entirely fascinated by ladder imagery and metaphors at the moment, and I’m really loving this one.
Because I think 13 is lucky (and sacred) and because Friday is dedicated to Venus (who encourages all expressions of love and beauty), and because frankly, this has been a somewhat discouraging summer of unexpected ennui, creative slowdown, and blog abandonment, I’ve decided to forge ahead and offer a list of thirteen things that I’ve found delightful and/or especially interesting. Perhaps you’ll find something captivating here as well.
- Anyone else seeking heat relief this summer with wintery images? Take a look at these Polar stratospheric ice clouds, aka mother-of-pearl clouds.
- For some reason I’m enamored of 1920’s slang – who knows how these strange obsessions come about?! But in any case, I love the expression “cat’s pajamas.” And I’m forever asking cats where they buy their lovely pajamas. I wonder what their stores must be like, and how many outfits they have to try on before they decide on the perfect one they’ll wear for the rest of their lives. Little did I know how they really get their markings.
- I’m a prolific paper user, and the irony that I’m also a passionate tree lover is not lost on me. This alternative – paper made from wheat – excites me.
- Language fascinates me, pure and simple. I’m charmed by this article and the fact tenderness shares a root with attention.
- Speaking of language, here’s a quote that’s been my summer inspiration. It’s from a letter written by Franz Kafka sent in 1912: “Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.”
- Scent is a huge focus in my life, and it’s fascinating to me that it’s only recently that the secret workings of smell receptors have been revealed.
- Recently when re-organizing my studio, I came across a set of x-rays of my hand, and I had to think long and hard to remember why I had them in the first place. So I was especially delighted when I came across this article – Bone Music: Forbidden Soviet records made from used x-ray films.
- Are you a fan of hand fans? For some currently unremembered reason why, I happen to have a couple. They’ve come in handy on a few occasions, like a couple years ago when our neighborhood hosted Chicago’s Fringe Festival and one of the venues for some of the plays was a meltingly hot third floor space in an unairconditioned building. With this summer’s unrelinquishing record heat I’ve felt a bit smug having a secret cooling weapon, even if I haven’t actually used it. But aside from the practical use of hand fans, here’s a peek at some very pretty ones.
- Yes – in my paradise reality this is me! Colorful floral printing on hair.
- Rainbow lovers, here’s something else to keep your eyes open for.
- Albino redwood trees!
- I think this is totally awesome – Finger Spelling with Machine Learning. I would have loved having this available when I learned to sign.
- This piece is almost ten years old, and yet it’s something I return to often. It has felt especially important and inspiring to me this summer, and perhaps you’ll find it so as well. Poet/performer Derrick C. Brown’s A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me
There you have it my dear reader friends – an homage to Friday the 13th in form of a list. Are you celebrating today? Have some Venusian delight planned? Been amused or charmed by something you’d like to share? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.