Saturday, December 9, 2017

Pine Cones in Compotes

That's what happening on the mantel this holiday season. I found a big "Jeffrey" cone out on the street after the holidays last year, and went looking for a matching one in the flower district in Chelsea—a once sprawling affair that has shrunk to only include 28th street. There, I found big cones that had already been gilded for under 20 bucks (but no Jeffrey) and voila, my scheme was complete. Then I dug out the one container in storage with gilded cones and fake cranberry garland (so fitting for our political year, don't you think?) —and was good to go in 15 minutes. And this after saying I wasn't going to do anything this year. 

That's how it's been. Don't know about you, but I feel like I am hunkered down in survival mode. Can't stand the news (haven't watched news programs since the Bush years when I cancelled the cable). Sure, I keep abreast. I do read tons. We all need to stay informed, right? But it's no fun whatsoever. I really long for politics to be god-awful boring again—all about policy rather than pussy-grabbing. But we have what we have—and it's hardly puts one one in the party-holiday mood, does it? 

The greed of the one percent? It's personal. A developer wants to construct a 60-something-story tower three blocks from our apartment. Built for the mega-rich as a money laundering scheme (people don't really live in these apartments), it would block out the little light we receive, making our dim apartment much darker. That it's being fought fiercely is a good thing. But will the forces of good sense win out? That remains to be seen. One can't be complacent about these things. 

There is so much to be angry about this season. So much to resist. And that gets hard when it can seem like resistance is futile (I rather liked Star Trek Voyager). But I am not caving in just yet. No, not doing that. I am going to enjoy my bit of glam, sit on my meditation cushion and encourage myself to act instead of react. Otherwise, I would go nuts. 

Nutcracker, anyone? 


  1. My sentiments exactly, to do with being in a sort of survival mode and trying to avoid the dispiriting effect of each day's barrage of ugly news. Still, it is impossible to remain entirely oblivious--reality breaks in at unwelcome moments. But regarding survival, the great escape has been to reacquaint myself with the contents of bookshelves and old vinyl recordings. Those black boxed operas have been revived thanks to my partner's gift of a turntable and all its components. They reside at the top of this house in a room dedicated to drawing and sewing. The ideal antidote, even though inspired by a mood of defiance...

    1. Thank you for your comment, Toby Worthington. I very much like your MO—and have a turntable myself as well as an old gramophone like I take for a spin now and then. All this minds me of a glorious song by Purcell..

      Music for a while
      Shall all your cares beguile:
      Wond’ring how your pains were eas’d
      And disdaining to be pleas’d
      Till Alecto free the dead
      From their eternal bands,
      Till the snakes drop from her head,
      And the whip from out her hands.

      —John Dryden, Oedipus, A Tragedy (1678, 1692)


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