Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fat Birds

What is so appealing about fat birds? And how can we translate that to me?

Outside my window right now is a fat chickadee. He is so darn cute, I want to grab him and love him right up. He’s everything I could want in a playmate. He’s cuddly. He’s elusive. And he’s well dressed, sporting his jaunty black cap.

I’ve been watching him. He and I have much in common. Seems he was much thinner just a month ago. As was I. Perhaps he, too, used the recent holiday as an excuse to throw a cheese and carb festival at his house. Perhaps, he, too, used the “company’s coming” defense in whipping up a batch of Ina Garten’s Peanut Swirl Brownies. [You know the ones—with a whole pound of butter and over two pounds of chocolate. And peanut butter. Unlawful.] Perhaps he, too, grew up in a nest full of siblings and always thinks there are twenty-five people coming over. When there are only six. I mean, why else would he I bake those too-rich-for-human-consumption brownies, PLUS chocolate chip cookies, thumbprint cookies, banana bread, and Danish wedding cookies?

He’s fattening up to survive winter. Maybe I am, too. The way it’s been snowing here, I could again be blocked from Trader Joe’s for whole days at a time.

If the game is survival of the fattest, me and the bird will win.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Holiday Letter, Sans News. Read on for Hope.

Dear Friends,

Hello and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Festivus to you all! My heart felt wishes go out to each of you across the miles and across the wireless wonder of digital communication that keeps us all in touch.

In the coming new year, I wish you all the joys that come with having loved ones around you; I wish for you close companions and a circle of friends to keep you happy and laughing. I wish you solace in times of pain, and I promise my support when your spirit needs uplifting. I wish you the peace and calm in your heart that comes with giving back and loving others. I wish you fun in your life, whether it comes from a thrilling run down a mountain, a wild ride down a river, or a meandering walk down the street. I wish you quiet and peaceful times, too, when reflecting on life’s goodness is all you need to be truly happy. And I wish for you something that’s been hard to feel for some time: hope.

I hope for an end to this war and the avoidance of new ones; for a solid, intelligent plan to lead us out of a difficult economy; for civil rights restored and extended to all–not just some; and for no more torture under the guise of protection. The restoring power of hope makes it possible to feel good about our country and our future again. It is real. And it is mighty. I hope that it touches you and lifts you up.

I look forward—with hope—to another interesting, fun, active, and surprising year. And I wonder—what will 2009 bring? Visits to dear friends? Visits from family? An unexpected discovery? New friends? New babies? Reunions with old friends and family, all of whom I appreciate more with each passing year?

I’ll see. On New Year’s Eve, I’ll raise a toast to each of you, wherever you are, and my heart will send you all the love, joy, peace and hope that your heart can hold.

Love, Claire

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Seasonal Poem

little tree
by e. e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,

only don’t be afraid
look the spangles that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window
for everyone to see and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dusting the Cobwebs off My Blog

Do NOT adjust your screen. There is nothing wrong with your eyesight, either. This is a genuine actual blog post by Yours Truly. So where have I been, you ask? I’ve been Lucky. And Happy. And Healthy. And Honestly, life has been real good.

I’ve been right here, thinking that my little ‘ol life just isn’t that interesting right now. There has been Nothing To Write About. Election's over. No angst about that anymore. And since I don’t go to work “out there” any longer (although I have been very busy working right here from home thanks), and I don’t interact with dozens of people every day, I just don’t see much worth talking about. The view out my office window is of our curvy, hilly, nicely covered-in-snow street. It’s pretty. And quiet. And that’s it.

I don’t drive around town much these days, so I don’t see Bouncing Girls Fresh Off the Bus that I just have to write about. Even my family is disgustingly drama-free. D. is wonderful as mostly-always; mom and dad and my siblings are great. We’re all getting older and I worry about my 83- and 81-year-old parents, but they are quite the happy little octegenarian couple and for the most part, very healthy indeed.

See? I told you—my life is not interesting right now. And that’s just fine.

But the thing is, this blog was intended to be a place I can be creative on a regular basis—by writing, which means more to me than anything. Now I write for a living—a limited, sparse living so far, but hey, it’s a start. I write every day. And perhaps that little itch is being adequately scratched.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps I’ve just been lazy. Could it be? Uh, yeah, it so could. Maybe I need to stretch myself. Force myself to be creative. Find things to write about.

Well, let's get going, then.