japonisme: 9/27/09 - 10/4/09

03 October 2009

turning mother goose • (halloween suite)

three dames walk into a bar: a witch, a hag, and mother goose. 'aha!' cries the bartender -- 'it's the triplets!' am i the only one it took so long to figure this out?

the elements of cats, brooms, and good old age appear so often in illustrations of all three, that one becomes confused just trying to get it straight.

"The existence of demons and the efficacy of witchcraft were accepted facts throughout the world in 1692. The Puritans of Salem Village were certain of the devil's hand in every incident of evil they suffered, from petty misfortune to apalling tragedy. Witches and agents of 'the ould deluder' Satan delivered to the people of the commonwealth all manner of torments: deadly epidemics of smallpox; murderous raids by Indians; and ignorant children."

The Witches of Salem were hanged. This was less painful than the burning of witches in Europe. They thought the burning of a witch was the only way to release the evil, since the Devil would be forced to exit the melting body through the smoke.

Witchcraft in Massachusetts singled out:

• spinsters
• barren women
• the ugly
• the extremely successful
• the independent
• the reclusive
• the litigious
• the willful. 1

i can assure you, i am every single one of these (well, maybe not litigious), and i suppose i am also, now, old -- or at least to the degree these other women are. and while i have no goose, i do have a cat.

would you need more proof?

let's look at that list once more: every single item challenges authority (usually male). if one is any of these she must be punished or laughed at or belittled: silenced.

to live the quiet, solitary life, free and in constant communication with the birds and spiders and fish, and the cat, to tend the garden, read a book, answer to no one....

There was an old woman
tossed up in a basket
Seventeen times
as high as the moon;
Where she was going
I couldn't but ask it,
For in her hand
she carried a broom.

"Old woman, old woman,
old woman," quoth I,
"O whither, O whither,
O whither, so high?"
"To brush the cobwebs
off the sky!"
"Shall I go with thee?"
"Aye, by and by."

Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.

Jack's mother came in,
And caught the goose soon,
And mounting its back,
Flew up to the moon.

The words of the original Old Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme can be interpreted to find a darker meaning to the identity of ' Mother Goose'! The title ' Mother Goose ' probably originates from the 1600's -- the time of the great witch hunts. Comparisons can be made between the Mother Goose in the above children's poem and the popular conception of a witch during this era!

• Witches were able to fly (the broomstick has been replaced by a goose).
• A witch was often portrayed as an old crone (with no man to defend her
against accusations of witchcraft)
• Witches are closely associated
with living alone.
• Witches were known to a have 'familiars,' most often cats but also owls. 2

so who am i now? from east or north? good witch, bad witch, in-between? & i know it doesn't matter. i'm a happy old woman, with cat, with garden, of modest means and expectations, will the iris open, will the spider catch the fly?

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27 September 2009

An Index to the Panama Pacific International Exposition

California's Magazine.
Pan-Pacific Expo edition

University of Colorado Digital Sheet Music Collection

PPIE Clickable Map!

San Francisco Memories: The PPIE

PPIE 'Official Program' Guidebook

The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco: PPIE


The Herbst Theatre Brangwyn Murals

Panama-Pacific from CALISPHERE

The Evanescent City

Artists from the Fair

San Francisco Bay Area Postcard Club: PPIE

The International studio, Volume 59: Women @ the PPIE

Found sf

Remnants of a Dream: a search for the Jeweled City's relics.

California Historical Society: the PPIE Orange Crate

Books About California: Panama Pacific Exposition

PPIE @ archive.org

The dream city: its art in story and symbolism

PPIE @ googlebooks

History of the Palace of Fine Arts

San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection

PPIE: San Francisco’s Finest World’s Fair

Presidio of San Francisco: PPIE

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