December 31, 2009
James had a witty visual comment on some headless manniquins we saw in the city - so party on headless ones! And those who have heads as well - have a wonderful New Year's Eve! I hope for all that this new year and new decade will be splendid.
December 30, 2009
I really am that Carly Simon song from the Working Girl movie - my whole life spent next door or in NYC and I still get such a rush every time I go in. (My children know should they win the lottery, I get a brownstone in NYC and a beachy spread in Ct a la the late great Kate Hepburn). My most delightful companion and I hit the town, walked up Fifth for the shop windows and the tree, hit FAO Schwartz and even he was too tired to head over to Times Square for his beloved Nintendo store...the laser show on the ceiling of Grand Central Station captured his fancy as I bought our tickets home.
December 29, 2009
Having way too much fun with the scanner that is part of the new Christmas printer. The photo thing not working so great - everyone looks like a Dali painting, meltingly surreal, but the scanner - this could create problems. I could become a scanner addict. I am scanning children's drawings, relatives' obits, photos, cut- out art and bits of personal history - here, like a crow looking for the shiny bits, I collected snatches of quotes, song lyrics, poetry, and anything that appealed and put in little notebooks...this one circa 1973. No, lovely large painting not mine but a cut-out from somewhere forgotten.
December 27, 2009
...the birth of a New Year is of an interest too wide to be pretermitted by king or cobbler. No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.
-Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia
December 24, 2009
Have to have a proper post despite life's nonsense prior...so here it is -
A Very Merry Christmas to one and all - even grinches - maybe especially grinches (having often been one myself, I know we need forgiving)...and here is the song my husband and I have long thought of as our Christmas song when we danced around Brooklyn like mad fools back in the day...and here is a cool shadow puppet play for your Christmas entertainment. Cheers!
My son and I arrived at Christmas Mass at 4:00 pm today and were turned away. No tickets. Tickets? Yes, they said. It was in the bulletin. Oh? Yet not in the schedule mailed to the house? A patient smile. The priest wants to limit it. Really? My children in ccd for years at St. John and Paul's, baptized there, last week we were there as usual and his teachers didn't say anything about tickets and my son standing here upset, not allowed in with the others has never heard of this and ...oh, wait, that's not the point.
What if I was a person off the street who felt called by God to attend the Christmas Eve mass? What if I didn't attend church regularly but this was my moment, the moment I might enter the doors and feel called home with God? What if I was poor or homeless or widowed or grief-stricken and had the nerve to think I could just walk into a church and be welcomed. Tickets? I didn't realize it was a country club with Jesus as the tennis pro we've all come to see.
My son is ten. He said in the car ride back "I thought church was a place where you went and prayed to God when you needed him or just to show him you loved him." Out of the mouth of babes. And what a lesson for him to learn, that the church turns away children on Christmas Eve. What has even been the point of sending him to church when this is the larger lesson he learns: Tickets.
Tickets. Yes, it gets crowded at Easter and Christmas. I am often one of the folks in the pews wishing people wouldn't lay on the perfume when they stroll in once or twice a year to show up for God. But would I want them turned away? Never. Too many people? They opened up the basement the last year or two. Fancy, no, but is fancy the point of the church service?
Maybe they should have offered tickets at the manger. Those who were turned away at the Inn - should they in turn have turned away the shepherds? The wise men? They should have held out. Made them get tickets. Later people could have sold them on Ebay.
Jesus would be so proud.
December 23, 2009
Just like so many childhood Christmases where I was marooned on the couch with a box of tissues...I mean, now? Have to get sick now? After a cocktail of Nyquil, I hope to awaken with only a cold, nothing worse.
December 22, 2009
A favorite song of the season and a word from CD.
A moment's pause, O vanishing tree, of which the lower branches are dark to me as yet, and let me look once more! I know there are blank spaces on thy branches, where eyes that I have looked and smiled; from which they are departed...Now the tree is decorated with bright merriment, and song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held, beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which cast no gloomy shadow!
-Charles Dickens, Christmas Stories
December 20, 2009
...At night on snowshoes on the drifting field
He wondered again, for whom had love stirred?
The stars glittered on the snow and nothing answered.
Then the Swan spread her wings, cross of the cold north,
The pattern and mirror of the acts of earth.
-Galway Kinnell, To Christ Our Lord
December 16, 2009
December 13, 2009
So feast your eyes now
On mimic star and moon-cold bauble:
Worlds may wither unseen,
But the Christmas Tree is a tree of fable,
A phoenix in evergreen,
And the world cannot change or chill what its mysteries mean
To your hearts and eyes now.
- C.Day Lewis, The Christmas Tree.
December 11, 2009
"Oh you can go to the East, go to the West, someday you'll come
weary at heart back where you started from, you'll find your happiness lies
right under your eyes, back in your own backyard, back in your own backyard..."
I cannot even type these lyrics without singing them, so familiar are they. My Dad loved the (original) Ink Spots. I cannot find them singing "Back in your own Backyard" which I have quoted from, or my childhood favorite from their album: Doughnuts".
December 9, 2009
A winter walk last week. Even the photos look chilly. The morning storm blew our neighbor's lovely front yard fir tree down today - all the lights and holiday decorations lit up (a timer, I imagine) by themselves later on, strange looking on a broken tree. I thought it was so sad that they would drive home from work and see all the damage without anyone letting them know, but they are down the road neighbors and I don't even know their names.
December 6, 2009
December 3, 2009
Wandering about one of my favorite stores after lunch at one of our favorite lunch spots near where we lived years ago and still enjoy visiting. They are very patient, these sales people, with my camera clicking ways, as is my youngest who plays chess while his parents shop.
It doesn't get much better than octopus earrings if you are a fan of our tentacled friends. These earrings are pretty gorgeous as well - love the green. Speaking of green, could not believe someone was selling this - but I guarantee there will be takers - an awful lot of Twihard fans out there! Found this Cryptozoological Play Set at my go to place for silly fun stuff (someone will get this in a stocking, I betcha). On the completely different end of things - here is one of my favorite quotes beautifully illustrated (someday I am going to buy this for myself). Another someday personal purchase will be a print from this artist (we have one already of Jonah and the whale)- this might be a good gift for a mermaid lover. That said, most of my suggestions are probably a bit quirky but I did see some octopus ornaments at Anthropologie today so it seems that I am not alone in my tastes :)
December 1, 2009
November 29, 2009
November 27, 2009
Watching the fellowship of the rings (first part of Lord of the Rings) for this zillionth time with my daughter this Thanksgiving Eve (I am a LOTR fan from way back)but it is the first time the ten year old has seen it. Lines like Frodo saying: "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened." and Gandalf replies: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” have me in all my nerdy glory sighing with the life wisdom and wonder of it all (and swooning over Aragorn, of course as my 23 year old daughter does same with Legolas) and the ten year old who has been up and down, in and out of the kitchen restless is finally heard to say (near the heart-wrenching end) "Is this over yet?". Sigh.
November 24, 2009
It's chilly in the morning and then too hot at work and then at home, cold again. The pattern of the late fall and impending winter, I am sure. But I like the month of November, not just the turkey-stuffing-cranberry-delicious holiday, but so much of it, the husband saying how you can really see the sky with all the leaves down, the sense of change, the shift into a different way of seeing and feeling; I think the part of the soul that craves solitude and going deeper loves November.
November 22, 2009
November 20, 2009
I'm a fool for rust and cracked cement and shadows and angles and the juxtaposition of things and the broken and discarded and the inarticulate and the monuments to some things that refuse to leave but linger on...I love old city brick and abandoned lots and I think there may be nothing more beautiful than a yellow light shining from a dark and foreboding building. I would probably wander around after the apocalypse unspeakly moved by the beauty of the rubble, the way the sun cast light over the broken and rusted girders. That is until the zombies came. Then it wouldn't be any fun at all.