Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

This post was supposed to go up days earlier but let's just say…something got broke on the blog and a bunch of people fixed it. Pretty cool!Anyway, here's the roundup for Christmas pictures and stories.

I think this one interests me the most:Brittany and I went to Naper Settlement and we found many interesting things. One of the first things we saw, after we settled in our chapel pew was this-

marley and scrooge

oh yes, the classic retelling of a Christmas Carol, all done by shadow puppets. Victorian, of course. What's not for a girl to love?

sans tiny tim

and my personal favorite, sans Tiny Tim. And yes, that is the ghost of christmas present. Believe it. Brittany commented that it was a bit freaky, and it was.

We also saw a Flea Circus but sadly, none of the pictures turned out very well. Should that be any surprise?

I did not take a picture of this flea but I wanted you to get the idea. Anyway, moving along, we left the chapel after the flea circus and went along to another chapel where there were a lot of gingerbread houses (and boats) on display.

 A tiny detail of one of the tiny houses. After that, we milled around, went on a tour of a house and I took a surreptitious picture of this man. He had a stream of children following him, giggling. When he would halt and fling himself around, they would all get nervous and start to back away. But as soon as he took off, the giggling crowd started after him again. Can you guess who it is?

Did I mention he had startling ice blue eyes and I was scared to death lest he address me?


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A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.

The Fog Rises Up and We Come Down to Meet It

This winter has frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed once again. With the most recent exhale of cold, fog rises up from the melting ground and wraps my town in a trance.

It softens the ragged tops of trees and transforms the dead yellowed grass into a carpet spreading out into unseen lands.  With foggy foreshortened vision, the world becomes finite and in the smallness, my wonder grows.  Trees become gloomy gods, bushes hunch over like mysterious beings with secrets hidden in twiggy souls. The sky blurs out and the land rises up to meet it and everything is reformed or brought down to its most basic form. It is easy to become lost and confused.

I walk the perimeter of my neighborhood park. We become redone together.  The playground becomes enchanted, strangely unknowable as the slides and swings soften and distort.

The ballpark’s high chain link fence however, becomes more sure.  The metal darkens and braces and holds against the diffused white light.  I stare at it through my camera lens, delighted by its ferocity while everything else around it wavers and melts.

A train passes over the hill and I can see nothing, it has been whitened out, but I can hear the busy clack of the iron wheels running on steel rails.

Geese fly overhead for a minute and then vanish.

I press on and the mist parts as I walk and so we walk together, softened, softening with the night closing in behind our steps.  The night takes everything behind us, rebuilds it like it wishes and then I step into my home and close the door.

Rain falls a few hours later and the fog mounts up, gently pressing at the windows but by morning, it is all gone and only little bits of ice remain on the walkway.