...wrapping can be an art!

Thursday, December 30

I spent most of Christmas Eve wrapping these: tipp-ex, brown paper, string, and ribbon. I’m not much of a ‘crafty’ person, but I like making presents look pretty. Probably silly to spend so much time on something that will only get looked at for a few seconds before it is torn off, but it was fun to make them. It was just a pity they had to be opened! The presents underneath weren't quite as exciting.

an interesting sentence.

Thursday, December 30

Picture from: here.

'If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. ‘Dark’ would be a word without meaning.’
~ C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, 1952).

I read this on the way to buy Christmas presents last week. An interesting idea. I probably think along the same lines. It seems strange to think there is no meaning when humans are so preoccupied with finding meaning in everything they do. Health professionals, philosophers, psychologists, artists: they all recognise this. Human instincts seem to be there for a reason. Hunger signals that we need food. Loneliness reminds us that it is not good for us to be alone, that we are better, stronger, when we're together. Emptiness, the longing for something more, for answers... surely this desire, this niggling feeling that something is missing whispers that there is something more to be found... that life is a quest.

shooting stars.

Tuesday, December 14

We wrapped up warm in vests, long sleeved t-shirts, wooly jumpers, a pair of woolly tights, thick pairs of socks, boots, a skirt, a pair of pyjama bottoms, a duffel coat, and two scarves (and that was just me) ...and with heads thrown back, we let our eyes look. Looking without trying to understand. (It is interesting how, the longer I look at the night sky, the more stars I can see. It's quite amazing, and makes me feel at once tiny and insignificant, and peaceful and filled with awe. I must have seen over 30 of them. Small, fast, speeding across the sky. They are still behind my eyes: beautiful.

Shooting stars are like Pringles (only less fattening): they make you greedy. 

'I'll go inside after one more -- oh! Did you see that! -- Lovely! ---Okay, well just one more (please let me see one more...)'

(The astronomical show: the Geminid meteor shower.
The picture: here.)

'I know that I know nothing.'

Saturday, December 11

Today, this caught my attention. I found it in the middle of a chapter about Shakespeare and Renaissance print culture:
‘Much of the recent resistance to editing has been a result of the rhetoric of certainty that many editors adopt. For most of them ... “certainly” is good, “probably” is bad, and “possibly” is worst of all. If everyone accepted that most of what they do is grounded on a measure of probability about which rational agents could reasonably disagree, most arguments in editing (and in the world) would end.’
~ Colin Burrow in ‘Editing the Sonnets’ from A Companion to Shakespeare’s Sonnets

love that quiets the world (♥)

Friday, December 10

Snow gets people talking.

Most people, it seems, 'used to love it' but now they 'hate it'. They start grumbling conversations with fellow commuters, shoppers, and waiting-to-cross-the-road...ers. (‘Achh, this snow...’ A shake of the head and a furrowed brow. ‘Oh I know, I know.’ A mutual display of wet feet and dirt-splattered trousers. ‘It’s just getting beyond a joke now.’ A moment of connection between strangers, and then a parting of ways.)
When it started snowing at the end of November I was saddened to recognise that my attitude was similarly negative. I shook my fist at it, and glowered. (‘Eugh! Snow!’) And then I was shocked at myself; I was thinking like a Grown Up. 

When I was younger, most of my favourite characters – William Brown, the Little Prince, Peter Pan – hated the Grown Ups (those grumpy, sullen-faced individuals that take things too seriously, are always thinking about money, and have become used to the stars). I remember resolving to never become one. 
I hope my grump at the snow isn’t the first steps on the slippery slope. Getting older is inevitable, but becoming one of the Grown Ups is optional.

Yes! Snow is a nuisance: it sneaks under scarves and assaults necks with tiny cold hands. Yes! Snow is hazardous: it renders the motorway useless and causes pensioners to slip and fall. But look! Look at how it makes an ugly town beautiful. Look! Look how it transforms children into artists. And listen! Can you hear that? Hold your breath for a moment, and listen: it is whispering as it falls.

(Title from: here.
Pictures from: here.)

while thinking about poetry...

Tuesday, December 7

(...before the pyjamas go on) I just remembered this poem by P.B. Shelley. I found it first inside A City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge (beautiful story, not very nice last name). The last four lines are my favourite. Haunting. At the moment it feels like the words are fluttering inside my throat. They are whispery. And wistful.

One word is too often profaned
For me to profane it;
One feeling too falsely disdained
For thee to disdain it;
One hope is too like despair
For prudence to smother;
And pity from thee more dear
Than that from another.

I can give not what men call love;
But wilt thou accept not
The worship the heart lifts above
And the heavens reject not, --
The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow?

~ P.B. Shelley

(Picture from: here.)

I've noticed...

Monday, December 6

...that I haven't updated in about two weeks. And I am not happy about it. I will start writing again now I have a bit more time. November has bustled past, leaving in its wake a bin full of essay drafts, a garden covered in snow, hair that has reached pony-tail length, and a heart that is learning to love poems more, even the long ones. (I have always wanted to love poetry, so this is a welcome development.) 

Just now though, I'm going to put my pyjamas on and read my book.

(Picture from: here.)
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