Thursday, December 30, 2004

there but for fortune

i suppose - new year's eve being my least favourite holiday of the entire year - that this is easy for me to say, and do, but i'll say and do it anyway:
if everyone were to halve their party spending - wine instead of champagne, sparklers instead of fireworks, whatever - and donate the difference, however small, to the red cross (or here in holland to giro 555), millions of uprooted people in south-east asia might find some kind of hope in 2005.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

this little earth

the terrible devastation in south-east asia has cast dark clouds across the holiday skies, and my thoughts keep lurching toward the people there, and the people here who know people there, and who are filled with concern, and fear.
i hope they can find the strength, and are given the support, that they cannot now manage without.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

th'unbroken song

"christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. to an opponent, tolerance. to a friend, your heart. to a customer, service. to all, charity. to every child, a good example. to yourself, respect."
- oren arnold

please: have a happy christmas, all.
feast and frolic...
and share the merriness where you can!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

where there is light

someone kind said to me, at the start of this very un-festive uncertainty: "when one
door closes, another one opens."
i mention this, speeding along the highway towards alkmaar, to an old friend - er, acquaintance - and he raises a dubious eyebrow. he is a realistic soul, and he is not, has never been, given to platitudes.
my smile is indulgent, but i know this much: if i hadn't consistently jammed my foot between one particular door and the slam of inevitability, i wouldn't be here, now, comfortable in this company, catching up, comparing presents and futures, and watching the lights of north-holland slide brightly by.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

and change, and fade away

i am grateful, these days, for my multitude of images, sorted and saved: suddenly the blue sky of two weeks ago is back, if only here, and the branches not quite as bare as they are today. it's weather on automatic rewind, a minor - but imaginary - meteorological miracle, memories of fall brightening the winter-too-close-for-comfort.
we have a modest and unassuming autumn here, but i wish it would last a little

Sunday, December 12, 2004

at break of day

breakfast, elsewhere, anywhere, is one of the true delights of travelling.

in france, i wake up anticipating my grand café crème and my croissant; in england, the very prospect of bacon and eggs and sausages and baked beans can make even an abominably early wake-up-call worthwhile. when i lived in israel, i relished the massive tomato-and-cucumber salads - tossed with eggs and cream cheese - that started my day.

why is it then, i wonder, that here in holland, after all these years, i still skip the
bread and ham and cheese that comprise the dutch ontbijt, and can barely manage
a cup of milky tea?

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

analyze this

the enormous owl, in my true dream, turns his enigmatic white face toward me as he swoops past, and then, as if reconsidering my worth, circles behind me and settles delicately but solidly on my head. he is surprisingly substantial for a feathered creature, but i shrug him solemnly about my shoulders, a soft and whimsical wrap, like the ones back then, in my aunt-elsa-the-actress's costume coffer, under the velvets and the veils.
his talons are firm, but gentle; his huge wings, occasionally crossing my breast, are fearsome, but wondrous in their tenderness.
we travel an unfamiliar pathway, my mystifying burden and i, and he is such
effortless cargo that i wonder if perhaps he is bearing my weight instead of me his.
and i can tell, from the unconcern of those we pass, that i alone am aware of his
when morning comes, i feel blessed, and bereft to be awake.
"death", say the sources that profess an understanding of dreams.
"imminent disaster", they caution.
owls are, apparently, portents of doom.
"oh, dear", i frown, and then sigh.
i can't do much else: he was beautiful, that owl on my head, and he seemed to know where i was going.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

and the clock struck twelve

midnight nears; it is almost tomorrow. enchantment ends.
one glass slipper dissolved into darkness on the palace steps, and the second - she can feel it splinter as she stumbles - has mere moments to linger.
she was barefoot, though, before the ball began, so it's back to the freedom of
shoelessness until the wand waves once more.