Winter Solstice at St. Paul de Vence
By Lewis Kruglick
Among that winter,
sunmade shadows haunted
the steps in St. Paul de Vence.
Silence crumbled like
children's kites in the wind,
and I was caught by the sound.
The brown ramparts were goatherds
to walks I took, belled by women
washing morning in the fountain, and
each day guided me down to the weedy
cemetery where white marble teeth
stood in the ground.
I held parties
among so much company.
Packing and going to my husband's parents' new house to celebrate Chanukah on Christmas Eve. Should be interesting, at least. In the 17+ years that I have known my father in law, we have had precisely one argument, on Christmas Eve three years ago, about Israel. I used to enjoy the forbidden pleasure of getting to celebrate Christmas with relatives despite being Jewish but I find it increasingly difficult, and now that I have kids, rather impossible.
Went last night to a perfectly lovely family Chanukah party at the home of my cousin whose birthday party I attended last weekend -- more than half the people attending not Jewish (we had a discussion of the word "goyim" in which my elderly great-aunt insisted that it was a slur on the level of "kike" which I had to object to vociferously -- there are not-nice words for outsiders, true, but then there are words which are flat-out racial slurs and I do think it's essential to draw a distinction). Both my father's first cousins are married to non-Jews and raising their kids generically Christian-American, so far as I can tell -- no family church, but one child at the National Cathedral School getting a fine Christian education so far as I can tell. Their first cousin on the other side, who was hosting the party, is Jewish and married to a Jew but she kept looking at me while doing the blessings as if she expected to be corrected (and I think they did light the menorah backward, but I was not about to worry about that).
Despite all the religious shenanigans, it was wonderful to hang out both with the older generation who are the last people on Earth who remember my grandparents, and with the younger generation, one of whom just graduated from NYU's Tisch and is acting in New York, one of whom is planning Princeton, Penn or Michigan when she starts college next fall and the others of which are teenage LOTR fans. Age-wise I am exactly in the middle of everyone and though I feel very old around the teens, I probably bounce back and forth more easily than anyone else of the 26 or so local relatives, which is a nice feeling.
Won't be around much for the next few days. Am utterly thrilled at the sudden explosion of A/B fic but am afraid I won't have time to keep up!
Gacked from gblvr, and am now wondering which character in Richard Bach's Illusions I would be...probably the vampire, heh. Definitely not the messiah.
You are the pilot.
Saint Exupery's 'The Little Prince' Quiz.
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To the jury: thank you for sparing a child from the death penalty. He is not old enough to drink, buy Penthouse or vote for the laws of this country; he should not be eligible to be executed.
And LOTR FPS Secret Santa is online! Merry Christmas littlemimm!
ETA: Someone (lannamichaels, perkypaduan) should go to this since I can't:
National Air & Space Museum's Monthly Star Lecture: "A Star Shines on the Hour of Our Meeting": Celestial Sights in the World of JRR Tolkien. By Sean O'Brien. Saturday, December 27, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, Albert Einstein Planetarium, National Air and Space Museum, National Mall. Admission: Free. "How accurate are the celestial happenings of Middle Earth? Staff astronomer, Sean O'Brien, uses the unique capabilities of the planetarium to simulate some of the celestial phenomena used within the great, created mythology of JRR Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings." To add to the fun, passages and poetry by Tolkien will be read."