Isn’t there a verse in Isaiah somewhere that predicts, “The lion shall lie down with the lamb”? Do you think somewhere in that same chapter there’s a verse that predicts, “And the Jewish dog greeting card shall be displayed next to the postcard depicting the Pieta“? Because lo! it has come to pass:
It’s a dim picture (the roommate believes in lighting effects), so here’s a close up of the postcard from a friend in Rome, with Mary mourning the body of Jesus:
And they are both co-existing peacefully at the base of my crazy twig tree. If that isn’t a sign of the season and God’s love for us ALL, I don’t know what is.
It’s kind of dark this morning. I think it snowed in the night. It might be raining right now but I’m not going down to get the newspaper until I’m dressed and on my way to the car, because it’s kind of cold. Kind of reminds me of this section from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” by Wallace Stevens. (Well, it’s kind of a stretch. But it’s a good description of a snowy afternoon, which is kind of like a rainy morning.)
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.
I was out of sorts all day Thursday, and couldn’t find a reason why: Work was fine, roommate was fine, everything was fine. I thought maybe I needed excercise, considered a walk in the winter twilight that evening, then decided against it. Then I remembered this Wallace Stevens poem, The Poems of Our Climate:
Say even that this complete simplicity
Stripped one of all one’s torments, concealed
The evilly compounded, vital I
And made it fresh in a world of white,
A world of clear water, brilliant-edged,
Still one would want more, one would need more,
More than a world of white and snowy scents.
There would still remain the never-resting mind,
So that one would want to escape, come back
To what had been so long composed.
The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that, in this bitterness, delight,
Since the imperfect is so hot in us,
Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.
I felt better. And since “the imperfect is our paradise,” I decided to watch Pirates of the Caribbean II with the roommate and knit a muff. Yes, I said it: a muff. Here it is, three steps away from being finished:
The reasons behind wanting to knit a muff are probably more complex than I care to explore (I’d have to blame the J. Peterman catalog, too), but the surface reasons are:
1. I tried starting a new project last night and it didn’t start well (never try to knit lace and watch an action movie)
2. I had a ball of varigated blue yarn, which reminded me of a bluebell I saw at the top of Hidden Peak this summer, and some leftover grey yarn from a project last year
3. I have a Dr. Zhivago-esque grey coat from Target without any pockets.
So when I fold this in two, sew up the bottom seam, and add a strap, I will have a coordinated place to put my hands. And if that doesn’t put someone in a good mood, I don’t know what will. Except, maybe, some Captain Jack Sparrow! Yarrr!!
became genuine felted cosmetic bags Tuesday night and are now FO’s (Finished Objects). (Yes, an Unfinished Object is a UFO.) Look, they have zippers! They are thick and felty! They stand on their own!
And check out the full view of the background, which is my bed. Yes, three different patterns in six feet.
Cats have been on my mind, lately. No, I won’t be adopting one, since my roommate claims he’s allergic. But I enjoy visiting the cats of my friends and relatives. And posting cat poems!
| For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider’d God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
Friday night, I had five organic lemons and about half a quart of vodka. I was going to make limoncello–until I read the recipe again and realized I needed 160 proof vodka (or “grain alcohol,” which I think is Martha Stewart Living‘s polite term for Everclear). My Absolut is only 80 proof, so we’ll see what it turns into. All the floating bits of organic lemon peel look like some odd Victorian science experiment.
After that, I had five naked little lemons. So I juiced them and made a tart Saturday afternoon. It’s like a French lemon meringue pie, sans meringue.
In between the fun with lemons, I knitted two presents for the office mates: No, they’re not failed hats; they’re going to be cosmetic bags. They got felted (shrunk) in my parents’ washer, but were too damp to photograph.
On Sunday, I fought other crafty types in the impossibly narrow aisles of the JoAnn Fabric and Craft Supercenter, looking for zippers for the not-a-hat felted cosmetic bags. Then I raided the parents’ yard for tree branches and set up my Christmas tree back at the apartment:
It’s not the best picture, but I’m happy with the overall effect. My roommate hinted that adding some greenery would improve it, but I like the look–somewhere between Charlie Brown and something crazy and Victorian. (Crazy Victorian again–it’s a theme!)
Other things I did this weekend that didn’t get a photo: Worked on more (secret) Christmas presents; worked on a knitted garland (with pom-poms!) for the office; cleaned the house; did laundry; fell down in the icy apartment parking lot twice; got a new battery in the Focus, courtesy of my clever dad; and listened to Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli repeatedly.
1. Mark Strand did not wear a turtleneck. He did, however, wear a suit with a lavender shirt. And he had some sort of scarf-y thing draped around his neck.
2. I did not like his new poems.
3. I guess my brother is feeling better after his wisdon teeth surgery, from the “Light Meadow” comment last night.
4. Here are PUNS a friend forwarded to me:
A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?” they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said," I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."
A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him ( a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
Oh, it hurts so good.