Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christmas Shopping.

I am Christmas shopping these days. I think it's because it's 90 degrees outside and "I need a little Christmas, right this very minute."

I ordered Thing 1's main gift--an American Girl doll. I ordered her from the catalog, over the phone. I was so excited that I didn't want to purchase her online. I wanted someone to share the joy with me--which "Carol" seemed happy to do. When the box came, I was giddy with joy. I hope my daughter is even HALF as excited as I am about this gift. It is hard to find "just the thing."

The older my kids get--the more thought that I find myself putting into their three gifts--trying to find that one "thing" that will fill their every heart's desire. Last year was such a tremendous and lovely Christmas that I have missed it all year long. I still do. But I find myself stressing about how to make this year just as magical.

But, I remember, one of the things that made last year so great was that I bought them each their three, carefully selected gifts, stowed them away, and spent the rest of the month listening to music and serving other people and enjoying my children, while they're still little and carry magic with them wherever they go. It had nothing to do with the gifts, really.

So maybe I'm just trying to hurry things along a bit.
Yeah. I think that's a definite possibility.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Dear Spouse,
Hello. I hope you are having a nice business trip. I dyed a batch of laundry blue, somehow, because doing the laundry is your job around here, mostly, and I forgot how to do it.

I am "blue" without you.
Love you.

PS--I'm sorry about your clothes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

While You Were Blogging...

You have GOT to be kidding me.
Count to 10.





Through the Looking Glass...

This past weekend found me in Washington DC wandering by myself among the Smithsonian and National museums. Climbing the stacks so that I could trace my fingers gently along the spines of books in the Main Reading Room, and requesting special editions from their Rare Books section. Happy as a tornado in a trailer park, I'm afraid.
I also spent quite a bit of time in the West and East buildings of the National Gallery of Art. Most people in Washington were at the rally on the southern end of the mall, and it seemed like everyone else had fled, so I had the museums almost completely to myself. Perfect.
I have a strange method of visiting art museums. I enter each room and approach only one painting in that room--whichever one draws me in first. Some I'm drawn to because I know and love the artist, so it's like greeting an old friend. (J.M.W. Turner and the Dutch masters, le sigh.) Others draw me in almost against my will, like I'm trapped in their web.
I was alone in the French Impressionists exhibit, placed strangely in the East Building and not the West, when I felt someone watching me. The feeling was so strong that I turned my head, expecting to see a curator or security guard, and instead locked eyes with this painting:

I knew the man at once--Edgar Degas. Famous for his ballerinas. I approached his self portrait slowly until I was only inches from it.

"Hello, Mr. Degas," I muttered like a crazy person, "it's nice to meet you."
Then I just stood there, waiting for this painting to teach me something.
His eyes hold a hint of uncertainty, like he isn't quite sure what to make of what he's seeing. And it has the eerie effect of making me feel like he's looking back me. I can't help but wonder what he would think of what he saw, if it were my face looking back at him. Like a window. Because, quite honestly, sometimes I'm not sure myself. If it were me he were about to paint, and not himself, what would I see reflected on the canvas? Where would he even begin?

His eyes seem to say "I don't know what to think of you."
"Tell me about it." I mutter back.

Later on, in the museum shop, I found the perfect mug to summarize my meeting with Mr. Degas, my perusal of the largest library in the world, and my own tears upon seeing the Washington Monument reflected in the Potomac River...

I am still learning. -Michelangelo