25 December 2010

The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! ... The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. ... Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.


(These are excerpts from Frank Church's response to eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the New York Sun in 1897, asking him, "Is there a Santa Claus?" For the full text see here.)

24 December 2010

Our white Christmas

Earlier this week, Clover complained to me that "if people keep using all this salt, we won't have a white Christmas!" Well, she needn't have worried.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You All !

21 December 2010

My little stones

I've decided I'm going to leave my small stones on my tumblr blog. I love tumblr, it's so smooth, I think it is perfect for these little stones.  Here's the address the long way just in case you prefer it that way:  http://cecinestpasunecuisine.tumblr.com/

20 December 2010

A River of Stones

I'm so pleased to have discovered A River of Stones. During the month of January, I'll be writing a small stone every day and posting it here. What's a small stone you ask? Well, a small stone is a polished moment of attention. The idea is that you pay attention to one thing every day and write about it. If you check out my blog roll you'll find Fiona Robyn's a small stone blog. Pop over and you'll see. Or check out this actual stone. Fiona and her partner Kaspa created River of Stones as a project to encourage people to engage with the world through writing. I love the small stone's haiku-like nature and the contrast of a small polished moment strikes me as a perfect counter-pose to my recent November experience. I am afraid that too many of my stones will be about coffee but I will endeavour to extend my limits. For now, I leave you with this image from my home state: the Petoskey stone... legacy of the pre-historic coral reef that once existed over the state of Michigan.

petoskey stone image credit

16 December 2010

Dark days, Dickens phase

I'm in hibernation mode. It's dark when I get up, it's dark by mid-afternoon. I don't mind that it's cold, but I do mind the lack of light in the sky. I was sick for a week a couple weeks ago, the week when we had snow. I lay in bed looking out the window onto a white ground and a white sky and it was lovely, like being all wrapped up in white. That's gone now unfortunately.

Post-NaNo news: I have done nothing with my very rough draft of 50,270 words. No, I take that back. I sat down the other day for a while and wrote one beautiful paragraph of the next draft. Mostly I've been reading again because there was no time to read in November. I read Great Expectations and now I'm on the lookout for a second hand copy of Oliver Twist. Yes, it's a Dickens phase. Maybe I'll read Bleak House again, over the holiday break. Someone asked me the other day, "But what do you do when you stay in Brussels over the holidays?" – in that mystified tone people use when you tell them you're staying home – or is it the staying in Brussels part that mystifies? Anyway, I am equally mystified, because who wouldn't stay home and lounge around in a state of blissful reading over the holidays? Punctuated by a few trips out to ice skate? Why on earth people subject themselves to air travel and constant social activity is beyond me.

image credit