By This He Knew She Wept With Waking Eyes
By George Meredith
By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:
That, at his hand's light quiver by her head,
The strange low sobs that shook their common bed
Were called into her with a sharp surprise,
And strangled mute, like little gaping snakes,
Dreadfully venomous to him. She lay
Stone-still, and the long darkness flowed away
With muffled pulses. Then, as midnight makes
Her giant heart of Memory and Tears
Drink the pale drug of silence, and so beat
Sleep's heavy measure, they from head to feet
Were moveless, looking through their dead black years
By vain regret scrawled over the blank wall.
Like sculptured effigies they might be seen
Upon their marriage-tomb, the sword between;
Each wishing for the sword that severs all.
The first day of 2006 was reasonably warm and sunny in the DC area; I say "reasonably" because last year it was 60 degrees on New Year's Day and it wasn't quite that nice, though we did the same thing we did last year and went to Great Falls to enjoy the sunshine. This proved to be a wise decision, as our power was out for much of the afternoon for reasons we never discovered; PEPCO promised to have it back on by 6:30, but whether they achieved this, I do not know, because we decamped to my parents' house so as not to miss the all-important Redskins game. Which they won! Meaning that they are going to the playoffs and even if Bush's entire administration is indicted for various criminal activity, The Washington Post will have to relegate that news to inside pages to cover the vicissitudes of who's starting, who's injured, etc. Heh.
Speaking of news, The San Jose Mercury News has a non-password, non-registration-required reprint of Dave Barry's annual roundup of last year's news, which includes many hilarious items but none funnier than this, which comes after numerous other references to Robert Blake's acquittal on murder charges: "In book news, millions of youngsters snap up the latest in the Harry Potter series, 'Harry Potter Must Be Like 32 Years Old By Now.' The book has a surprise plot twist that upsets some fans: Beloved Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is killed by Severus Snape, who, moments later, is acquitted by a California jury." In other Harry Potter news, I am never doing that exchange again and some of you know why. I sign up for exchanges and challenges in the hope that the exercises will make me stretch as a writer, but then they make me realize how much I hate fandom. I don't enjoy good fic when there is bullshit behind it. I can't read certain pairings and even certain fandoms because of various obnoxious self-appointed BNFs. I prefer to write what I am compelled to write and if anyone reads it great and if anyone doesn't, at least it's mine.
I promised this weeks ago but needed to wait until it was published: here is my review of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for The Green Man Review, from which I have been away for far too long! (Though no longer; I am halfway through an omni review of recent Peter Pan-themed films which I am enjoying so much that I rewatched Hogan's Peter Pan tonight and need to rewatch Finding Neverland tomorrow.) Green Man gives out kudos for reviews, and the editor gave me an Excellence In Writing Award for this one, though I am not sure that I would have, as it's a very personal review of The Chronicles of Narnia. I prefer reviews where reviewers state up-front and in the first person any personal biases they have, rather than faux objective third-person commentary ("Audiences may find themselves frustrated..." etc.), and when I have written for Green Man, which is less formal in terms of journalistic style than various other venues for which I have written -- which makes its reviews a joy, since you always know if you're getting a review of a folk singer by someone who hates any electronic sounds or a book review by someone who hates novels in the present tense -- I've tended to explain the personal rather than repress it.
The Potomac River rushing over the rocks between Maryland and Virginia.
Intense sunlight on the Potomac River below the falls.
The tavern at Great Falls decked out for the holiday season.
For the last night of Chanukah, my mother got me a Kabbalah book and my husband got me the first season of The West Wing on DVD. I know what my new laundry-folding TV show is going to be, since that is the one season I did not watch when the show aired, as I had to review Voyager in the time slot and did not want to be frustrated knowing what I was missing!