Monday, December 19, 2005

Nuts to the Nutcracker?

In one of life's deepest ironies, a performance of The Nutcracker that I was scheduled to attend on Saturday with my mother and sisters was canceled due to--get this--a dancers' strike.

I'm not hyperlinking to any articles out of the fear that they will quickly be out of date, but if you want more details, search Washington Ballet strike.

Although I will receive a refund for my tickets, I'm still trying to get my mind around the idea of dancers on strike. I didn't know artists needed to strike about things. I thought they were in a different category of workers, the "doing it for the love of it" category, not the "breathing in coal dust while trying to support my family" category.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Ice Storm

I awoke this morning to a world of intense beauty, the cars and handrails glazed with ice and the trees clicking and sparkling in the sunlight. Wish every morning was like this: sliding carefully to my car while my housemate heroically breaks the ice before me with a shovel; ten minutes or so of vigorous exercise whacking at my car windows, with big pieces of ice sliding off like the top layer of crystallized sugar when you make rock candy. (Opening the frozen door was interesting: my housemates and I took turns grabbing the handle and flinging ourselves backward before it finally broke loose.) Life starts turning into tiny streams . . . dropping off the icicles hanging from my sideview mirror, faintly tapping onto the snow. I hear my neighbor's windchimes. I hear ice somewhere, everywhere, slowly beginning to crack and craze and peel off and melt away. There are infinitesimal rainbows glimmering on tree branches, like many rings on the hands of one of those rich ladies who is very thin and very quiet.

Ice storms always remind me of Robert Frost's poem, which you should read in its entirety, but if you need encouragement to do so, here is its most applicable portion:

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Quote Door

Every year my office door accumulates quotes written in colored ink on post-it notes. Then the quotes must be taken down in deference to my department's Christmas door-decorating contest.

I hate to lose these quotes, though. So here they are.

Dove chocolate wrappers
"Chocolate . . . who needs a reason?"

"Decorate your life."

"Make 'someday' today."

"Sometimes one smile means more than a dozen roses."


People I know
"You're the type that will write great novels and influence the rest of history." KT to me

"I feel like the toilet paper fairy." Donna

"We are two Americans in search of Masterpiece Theater." My aunts while visiting England

"It's not so much the size of your mouth or the volume of the communication that proceeds therefrom, it's more the content that makes you so fascinating." John Caleb to me

"Whenever I think of you, I always think of the scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and her three pals have finally made it to the Emerald City, but they have to get cleaned up before they see the wizard. The tin man gets placed under this huge buffing machine to polish him, and that's how I see my dear editors." Attorney at my organization whose work I frequently edit


People I don't know
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Unknown

"The multitude of books is making us ignorant." Voltaire

"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." Thomas Mann

"Without silence words lose their meaning." Henri Nouwen

"We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public." Bryan White

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings." Hodding Carter

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde

"You will lead a rich and successful life." From a fortune cookie

"Pass no day in idleness or you will be beaten." Amenemope, ancient Egyptian scribe, to his pupils

"Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple." Barry Switzer

"I used to wake up at 4 a.m. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness." James Thurber


Cartoon
Church secretary to the Grim Reaper: "You'll just have to take a seat and wait. I have a newsletter that has to go out."


Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.