Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Firebird

Some of my favorite stories are the Russian Fairy Tales. In essence, they aren't terribly different than those of Hans Christian Anderson, or the Brothers Grimm. Instructional, moralistic, with strange and fantastical elements like the dog with eyes as big as towers, from "the Tinderbox," an all time favorite...

I've also always loved "The Firebird," possibly the most famous of the Russian tales. It has been made into operas, ballets, symphonies and plays. The stunning Firebird with the flashing crystal eyes and the magical golden feathers- elusive and coveted, and the dashing and brave Tsarovich Ivan, who makes the disastrous, epic, and yet ultimately triumphant journey to bring back the Firebird, the Golden Maned Horse, and the beautiful princess. I just reread it a few minutes ago.

I've always seen parallels between Odysseus and Tsarovich Ivan- pride, hubris, mistake after mistake, long journeys and wandering, the need to complete one task after another, and the benevolent protectorship of the grey wolf much in the vein of the Goddess Athena with Odysseus.

Somehow, I just never noticed before, until just now, how terribly insignificant the Firebird was all along to the story. She is a pawn, kept in a golden cage, literally. She rates the title and little more. Really the story is of Tsarovich Ivan, who ends up diced into pieces by his treacherous brothers, only to be re-animated by the cunning machinations of the grey wolf, and returned to his father's kingdom just in time to right all wrongs. And somehow, our little firebird never really mattered at all.

for this the firebird lay down...
that Ivan could snatch her tail feather
to light the room of his father.
for this the firebird flew away...
to feel the singular exultation
of her apotheosis, finally

both like and unlike Icarus,
both falling and not falling,
melting and not melting,
soaring and sinking completely unseen,
not part of the outcome at all,
for Prince Ivan.

T. Sylace 1-23-11

Friday, January 14, 2011

Whatever is Left

Good evening....pretend you can hear that with the classic Dracula accent. Why? Absolutely no reason, just when I am talking to you all, I hear myself speaking in my head, and that is how I was saying it. It is after midnight so I do not know if evening applies, and I am sure you do not care, so will you accompany into the red velvet draped parlor that is an inner recess of myself? Red? No, Crimson. Why does the word Crimson make me taste dark chocolate at the edges of my lips and pears poached in burgundy wine flambe'. I can smell that odd undertone of denatured gelleed alcohol fuel from the chafing dish...and here is something I love...the feel of a sterling silver fork in my hand.

Did you know that sterling silver has the unique property of warming to exactly the temperature of your hand. Or the temperature of the food, or of your mouth. It has no taste. It is one of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving growing up, eating off real sterling flatware. And while on the subject, why do people not use the proper appellation, flatware, anymore? "Silverware" can include all sorts of things such as plates, bowls, candlesticks, etc. You consume your food using flatware, or flatware utensils if you like. Or you may say, "silver flatware."
Oh well, I'm consigning myself to the ranks of those who still know how to use "who" and "whom." Only this evening did I realize there was question in people's minds about "whoever" and "whomever." I discovered this while Reid was watching an episode of "the Office." Life is funny. Why does it matter, I suppose. Why cling to these old things, concepts, thoughts, and ways. For me...the elegance of a time when life was lovely, when gentlemen walked about in tophats, and ladies only donned diamonds in the evening. Drapes were indeed crimson velvet, gloved hands served tea, and we greeted each other with "Good Evening." No Dracula accent needed at all...for it was real. It is perfectly acceptable if this is not your genetic memory, your dream, your reminiscence, but it is mine. Maybe someday I will move back to Charleston, whatever is left of her...and whatever is left of me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Emergency Preparedness Day

Sometimes getting ready for a storm can be kinda fun and amusing. Well, ok, maybe just a little, but one can try to make it that way. We are supposed to get, now under revised estimates, about three inches of snow, then a half of an inch of ice on top. Reid's school and my school are already canceled tomorrow, they are so certain of the incoming precipitation. Other parts of the country laugh at us, and I understand, having lived in Chicago area and Washington State, but we here in the south always tell them that you have to experience one of our ice storms to really appreciate the treacherous conditions and destruction to trees and powerlines.

Guy lives north of me in the dangerous zone..so does Ms. A- a new follower, who writes a cool blog I am about to check out after I post here. Guy has gas heat, and has other kerosene stoves and such, so he should be fine. I ran around several hours yesterday and several hours today, seeing what I could scare up, as I only have electricity. Got groceries and water. Got little propane bottles and borrowed a propane cookstove. Bought a larger propane shop heater, then borrowed a propane tank from Chris and Linda...went in search of a refill for that- which took a while, because so many were sold out of exchange tanks. Got rather frustrated, oh, mostly I guess because Brenau's Blackboard assignment system isn't working for me and I had two quizzes to take. I wanted to be sure and take them before the power has any chance to go out.

But....system wasn't working. There I was all responsible and pro-active, trying to take my tests and get my darn propane refill...and smoosh, life squishes me with a big foot. Nah, I'm just being silly. Found a refill after all. Now really, this isn't the safest thing as it gives off a lot of carbon monoxide. So...I bought a carbon monoxide detector that reads out PPM, so we can ventilate properly, hopefully. Bought a big cool tripod LED light, extra batteries. Filled the car up with gas. Oh well, I guess I've done what I can to prepare. Checked on Jason, and he was getting gas and food, and learning to use his gas fireplace.

Hopefully, it will all be unnecessary. Although I expect to be out of school for two days. Emailed professor to tell her sorry, but Blackboard just won't let me access the quiz. Surely she will reset it later for me, and I'm not the only one, right? Reid and I will just hole up and play board games, and I will study Microbiology and the Cardiac Electrical pathways...

There surely is only one thing that would have made me feel more prepared for snow, ice and power outage...
if only I had purchased one of these I'd be set. hahahahahahah for today!!! Sigh, look how happy these guys are.....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tasteless Wafers and Dust Mops

I purchased a delightful foreign candy bar today, made of Almond nougat with a sprinkle of tiny dark chocolate chips on top. I ate about half of it, surprised by the texture that was like a dense marshmallow, unlike most American bars that have a more creamy mouth feel, even when whipped and fluffy. It was a delicious combination, but I was thinking through all three bites ( I saved the rest) that the bottom layer was rather dry and a generally ill thought out addition unless tasteless wafer was the plan after all. Well, you know, those Europeans...

After the third bite I discovered...I was eating the paper bottom packaging that had stuck to the bar.

This is just so typically me. hahahahaha I hope you find this as funny as I did.

Oh! Two days ago my car was being worked on for two hours, so I wandered the Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville for a few hours. I sat by the carousel for a while. It wasn't operating yet, thank goodness, with all the kids in school. It actually is a beautiful old carousel, manufactured by a famous design house in New Jersey featuring a Venetian theme. I have pictures of Guy on this very carousel at about age two. As a whole, the horses and painted scenes have been very well maintained, but I did a doubletake when I noticed the plumes on the headdresses of the horses...


Well, you can't fault them for innovativeness. Innovation? maybe that is the better word. Those are
dust mops on the pretty ponies heads!!

The real ones probably got worn out years ago. Just too funny. I wonder how many other people notice?
Something about the crudely sawed off duster handle kinds ruins the picture, but the colors really match! At least this horse doesn't have to suffer like....

this poor fellow!

I'm still trying to figure out what this guy did wrong to rate this dread punishment. Hideous flower pot on the head. Crammed with distinctly leftover cemetery rejects.

At least he gets a feather duster, as well............

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Second January

Often in Winter there was ice, and sun,
at the same time.  My heart froze, and unfroze,
a daylily, gentrified, jack-in-the-box,
a companion to shuttered rooms stuffed with ideas no one said.
You cannot say this was wrong, or right, nor bonne nor gauche,
it just was.  There are circus peanuts in earthy tan,
and those in poof orange marshmallow.
You may prefer one over the other, but
you cannot deny both are often discarded.
What was momentarily craved…soon satisfied and forgotten.
Sunny but cold, Cloudy but warm.
It can’t be known.
C'est comme ├ža.