Sunday, December 23, 2007

Light and Life to All He Brings

I love this nativity clip (click on photo above). I love the tender music--you can feel the sweet spirit and the powerful reverence for the birth of the Savior. I love the diversity of the nativity scenes--the multiple cultures and media through which to adore the Christ child--the wood, the beads, the stone. I love the expressions of love and peace and hope. I love the different camera angles revealing the different personalities, emotions, and deep worship. I love the connection, the draw to baby Jesus. I feel like I can be there with the shepherds and Mary and Joseph. I love the line, "and fit us for heaven," because this, too, is my deep hope.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NBA and quilts

What do the NBA and quilts have in common, you might ask? Well not a lot. I just turned in my last paper of the semester yesterday, and it happened to be on quilts commemorating war. I can tell you a whole bunch of great stories about quilts and the Civil War--like the one about the family who loaned some quilts to Confederate soldiers in their town. The soldiers returned the quilts but one was loaded with typhus germs, and the parents of the family died within four days. But they kept the quilt to tell the story. Go figure.

Jessica swung us some tickets to the Wizards v. Timberwolves game last night at the Verizon Center, and then Stacie got us visitor passes to see their friend Mark Madsen who plays for Minnesota. So what kind of conversation do I have for an NBA player? All about quilts. Nice. Jess had told him about many of my quilt stories because that's all I've been talking about lately. It was a fun night, even though I felt like a groupie watching the team come out. I loved how Mark introduced all of his teammates with some unique fact about each one. He's all about the team.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Harmony

I love Christmas in Washington, D.C. My roommates and I waited in line at the Kennedy Center in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday for tickets to the traditional Messiah Sing-along on Sunday. It was an incredible event. I have always loved performances of the Messiah--I've seen it performed with a boys' choir at St. Paul's and another performance at the Barbican in London. One old roommate even loaned me a cd of Harlem choirs rocking out to Handel. But there is nothing like participating in the event, surrounded by music instead of music just coming out at you. I had a strong bass on one side and an enterprising soprano on the other. The conductor was delightful; the soloists were wonderful (I loved how the contralto really rejoiced as she sang); and the trumpets certainly sounded. The concert hall was alive that afternoon. As for me, I stumbled around my notes, but when I hit right on, I could feel the reverberations run through my soul. I thought of Grandad singing the Hallelujah chorus along with us and I sang with all my might.

On Friday night, Kendall took me on a Christmas tour. We saw the trees at the Four Seasons Hotel--decorated by big interior designers to be sold for thousands of dollars at an auction for charity. Some of them were a little over the top--a decoupage of flora and fauna, or crowded with peacocks, or wrapped with an electric train all the way up the tree. Our favorite had glass bubbles. Then we stopped at the Elliptical to see the National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace. Deeee-lightful!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh, the Joys of Eating Spaghetti with a Spoon

I am my mother's child. She has always taught me to make do with what I have--and to have a fun time doing it. Last night I had dinner in between work and class. For the past week or two, we've been out of plastic forks, so I've made do with a spoon and a knife. Generally I eat a sandwich or a yogurt or something like that, so I'm fine. Well last night I brought sesame chicken and noodles. Have you ever eaten spaghetti with a spoon? I mean, I did eat linguine with pesto on Saturday night and I admit, I used a spoon to scoop the pasta into my fork, as I always did in Italy. It was delicious. But it's much different when you don't even have a fork. It slides right off and spills all over everywhere. I made it work last night, but I also laughed my head off and thought of my mom. She would have LOVED it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lights at Antietam

Last night Kendall and I drove up to Sharpsbursg, Maryland, for the annual Memorial Illumination. The battle of Antietam on 17 September 1863 was the bloodiest day in American history--over 23,100 men were killed on one day. There was one candle for every soldier, spread out over the acres of farms and fields. It was quite the sight--the vast scale of the event. I can only imagine.While it was a long drive (an hour and a half) and an even longer wait along the road outside the park, the lights were beautiful. And Kendall even got out of his car to check to see if they were real candles--they were. We saw a couple of groups of reenactors dressed in their Civil War uniforms, gathered around fires. It started to rain as we drove away, and I wondered how that would affect the candles. But I guess that's part of the reality of the actual day.