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Posts from December 2007

Sing of morning


Green bird and lavender in my Christmas tree / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

The green bird in the lemon tree
    Sings of morning
The yellow bird in the cactus
    Sings of light
The dark bird in the rose bush
    Sings of evening

~ Window by Vincent Woods

Think about each other


In memory of Merchant Marine seaman JMC / port and destination unknown / circa 1940s

Old people say that whenever
someone lights a cigarette from a candle
a sailor dies.

Among sailors, I suppose,
there is a belief that when they shave
in a odd direction, an academic dies.

So they try not to shave.
The point is that we think
About each other.

~ Beliefs by Gregory O'Donoghue

His own heart laughed


My traditional Christmas coconut cake / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”

~ Charles Dickens from the end of A Christmas Carol

And our hearts thrilled


The Solstice burning bright / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

“We slipped out of the house noiselessly and found ourselves in the unutterable solemnity and strangeness of a dark night. It was a new experience, and our hearts thrilled and our nerves tingled to the charm of it. Never had we been abroad before at such an hour. The world around us was not the world of daylight. 'Twas an alien place, full of weird, evasive enchantment and magicry.”

~ Lucy Maud Montgomery in The Golden Road

Sentimental hogwash


View from the Gingerbread Train / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

It's one of my favorite lines from It's A Wonderful Life. Sentimental hogwash. We watched the DVD version last night, and all kinds of details -- that I'd never noticed in B&W TV versions or even the colored VHS version -- jumped off the screen. My niece even noticed that a painting that was on the wall in Ma and Pa Bailey's house, later showed up in George and Mary Bailey's house. In the final scene, I noticed a framed image of butterflies (couldn't tell if they were silhouettes or actual mounted butterflies). You could see the actual tears in George Bailey's eyes. One of those movies that's fun to watch over and over again.

[This is the definition of sentimental:  1. a. Characterized or swayed by sentiment. b. Affectedly or extravagantly emotional. 2. Resulting from or colored by emotion rather than reason or realism.
This is the definition of hogwash: n. Worthless, false, or ridiculous speech or writing; nonsense. Garbage fed to hogs; swill]

Concerning thee to his angels


My angel; circa 1968 made by Cousin Tim / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

“For it is written, 'He will give command
Concerning thee to his Angels; in their hands
They shall uplift thee, lest at any time
Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.'”

~ John Milton, Paradise Regained

To raise the Ghost of an Idea


Packages sent to faraway places / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

“I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D.

December, 1843. ”

~ preface to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

So we would rest our spirits


An afghan for the spirit; made from scraps of yarn by Grandma, circa 1970s? / Mountain House / Aug. 2007

“When we would rest our bodies
we cease to support them;
we recline on the lap of earth.
So we would rest our spirits,
we must recline on the Great Spirit.”

~ Thoreau on Man & Nature (from Mitza's writing in the book)

Tea is drunk


I like regular tea / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

Tea is drunk to forget
    the din of the world.

~ T'ien Yiheng

(and there's a-heck-of-alot of din, rattle, and clatter out there today ...)

Come, come again, come


Closing in the solstice / New Jersey / Dec. 2007

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving --
    it doesn't matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
    a hundred times
Come, come again, come.

~ Rumi