Sunday, December 25, 2011

The House of Christmas

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

-G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crash into me

Jules was in town this weekend. It was a quick trip, but long enough for our annual Nutcracker excursionWhite Christmas viewing whilst drinking large quantities of tea, and some Christmas shopping. We had a great weekend, save for one tragic occurence:


What's that, you ask?  Let's take a closer look.


Monday, December 12, 2011

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks

I've been slow to get into the Christmas season this year, for some reason.  Maybe because it's been one of the warmest D.C. Decembers in recent memory, or because November was so busy, I feel like there should be an extra month left before Christmas. Whatever the reason, it's been a slower to hit me this year, though my tree is decorated, I've attended my annual Nutcracker performance with Jules, watched White Christmas (multiple times), and nearly finished my shopping.
Last night, I had left my office and was headed for the Metro station, my mind on the conversation I'd just had with my insurance agent and my grocery list and, oh yeah, must remember to reschedule that dentist appointment. As I trudged up 19th Street, I heard a brass quintet arrangement of "What Child Is This?" faintly wafting from near the station, but I didn't think much of it.  Hearing music isn't unusual in this area, considering the buskers (of varying levels of talent), some of whom play with recorded tracks, and, occasionally, music coming from a loudspeaker somewhere.
The closer I got, the more real it seemed. It sounded live, but it was too good, too in tune and in sync to be a group of street musicians. But I got to the station entrance and, lo and behold, there stood a brass quintet--inner city high school students, from what I could tell--playing carols for the commuters.  An instrument case was open in front of them ("TUITION," joked a hastily-scrawled sign), overflowing with bills and change, and numerous people paused to listen before hurrying on their ways.
I've never been stopped in my tracks by the music of a street musician before--and I rarely take the time to dig out my wallet for spare bills--but these five young men, cheerfully chit-chatting with interested commuters on a cold December evening and filling the air with the sweet sound of carols, yanked me straight out of my preoccupied haze and into the Christmas spirit.
'Tis the season. Finally.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Never too late

Proving that it's never too late in life to have new experiences, my great uncle, who is in his late 70s, attended his first rock concert last weekend. And today, I read this amusing anecdote in The New York Times' Metropolitan Diary section:
Recently, I was at the City Bakery enjoying a bowl of oatmeal. Soon two women of   my vintage (silver-haired, slowish of step, sensibly shod) sat down next to me.
I’m not sure what I expected of their conversation: perhaps an anecdote concerning a grandchild, or the results of a recent bridge game.
Instead, one said to the other, with great enthusiasm, “So how was the BeyoncĂ© concert?” [The New York Times]
I can only hope that when I'm "silver-haired" and "slowish of step" that I'm having conversations like this. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

So this happened...

My sister got married, ya'll.

It was awesome and beautiful and fun. The weather was perfect.

West Virginia State Capitol Building