Tuesday, December 25, 2007

How do we wish to meet this child? Have our hands become too hard and proud from daily work to fold themselves in adoration at the sight of this child? Do we carry our head, which has had to think so many heavy thoughts and to solve so many problems, too high for us to bow it humble before the wonder of this child?

Can we one more time forget entirely all our strivings, accomplishments, and importance, to join the shepherds and the sages from the East and offer childlike adoration to the divine child in the manger?"

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poor Yugoslavians

Fact of the day:
Between 1993 and 1995, prices in Yugoslavia increased by 5,000,000,000,000,000 (five quadrillion) percent.

Is that incredible or what? "Quadrillion" sounds like something an exaggerating child would say. But it really happened. Yugoslavia was in the middle of a war and was the subject of a trade embargo. The government didn't have enough capital, so it printed huge amounts of money...and created extreme hyperinflation. Yeeps.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A dance in the air

Allow me to present an excerpt from "The White Widow," a lovely short dance performed in the film The Company, and an excellent example of aerial ballet. Very dream-like, and oh-so graceful. I feel like saying she looks like a bird or a butterfly, but her flight is a wingless one; she is a more a miraculous sort of spider -- hence the title. I love the lighting.

This video isn't nearly as good quality, but it contains the dance in its entirety, the cinematography isn't as interfering, and you can see better how the lighting creates a spiderweb to which the dancer is confined. It looked like the shadows of a tree's branches before I realized the significance of the title, but I can see how it's a web now.

Choreography by Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn of MOMIX
Music: "The World Spins," by Julee Cruise

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A poem from the days of yore

I wrote this poem in eighth grade and Faith's excitement over a real Christmas tree and its smell reminded me of it. It's a nice bit of nostalgia, both in what I remember of writing it and of the grade-specific things I talk about in it...

when i wake up in december, the first thing i am aware of is the scent of the christmas tree.
when my eyelids are pressed against my eyeballs
and my body is pressed against my mattress,
i can smell the christmas tree in the living room. i imagine that i can also smell the ice-and-feet smell of an ice skating rink. i hear the hardness of ice skates hitting the ice. i remember the warmth of pajamas on christmas morning.
i think of the day happening. i will wear a santa claus hat today.
i will complain about how cold it is when i have to change for p.e.
i will eat my lunch. i will look forward to getting my braces off.
i will mentally go through my list of presents to buy still.
but first i will untie sleep and gravity from myself and get out of bed. i will eat breakfast and imagine a white christmas. i will be happy and look forward to vacation.
how is now different from other times of the year? why am i happier in december? i can feel the difference in christmas songs, cold weather, candlelit services at church. counting christmas trees in windows, the band concert, going to see the Nutcracker. wishing people a nice vacation, hot chocolate, something always baking in the kitchen. the smell of a christmas tree first thing in the morning...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

White the fading forests grow


It's so beautiful! Absolutely magical at night. The world looks so soft and clean covered in snow, and everything feels silent and so peaceful as this faintly glittering dust falls from the darkened sky.

I think I'd forgotten that God created winter as well as summer and spring and fall.

I'm collecting Christmas songs from iTunes at present. I've bought "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Carol of the Bells." So lovely. "O Come All Ye Faithful" is next.

Tell me one of your favorite Christmas carols, dear blog reader.