December 22, 2010

Clippings: Mid-week/Christmas Edition

Mr. and Mrs. Globe Trot

Well, friends: this is it.  Besides my daily quotes, you won't be hearing from me till the New Year.  Possibly as late as Jan 10th.  I am giving myself a little break, because I am wiped out, and need to renew my creative energy.  (I am not even bringing my computer home with me.)  As I hop on the plane tomorrow (oh my *goodness* so much to do before then!), I will be leaving all of that behind, and going to the land of sunshine and family and every good thing.  Plus, I'll be seeing some old friends--Curry and Boy Wonder are coming over for dinner--and I get to see Curry's baby belly! And then I'm going to visit with Hepburn and the Professor over new years.  It's just going to be great.

When I do return, I will be revealing my new year's resolution--which has a few things to do with you all--and in January making a couple other exciting announcements.

In the meantime:

+ Since Stearns gave me a paper chain for Christmas (made of Edgar Allen Poe pages of the Norton Anthology!) I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with paper garlands.  Here's a great DIY, using watercolor paper. Watercolors and poetry.  BRILLIANT!

+ You know I am obsessed with Julia and Yuiry, of Mr. and Mrs. Globe Trot.  They are featuring beautiful photos of Vienna Christmas markets right now, and I am even more obsessed (1, 2). The photo above is theirs.

+ I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Anthony Esolen's new Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.  It's getting a little attention in the blog sphere: Front Porch Republic, Inside Catholic

+ The Frick Collection website is amazing.  The art is ok too. (via Lines and Colors) (No seriously, the Frick is probably my favorite museum in the entire US.)  It just celebrated it's 75th birthday.

+ Roald Dahl's daughter is becoming a nun.  This wouldn't really be newsworthy, except for the powerful witness to Christ's grace: her once seriously messed up life is being redeemed by His love. The money quote: "“If I wanted to escape, I could do coke. But I don’t want to escape. I want redemption.”

+ The best thing I've read all week was The Anchoress's meditation on Christmas Light--amidst the shopping madness.  (Julie echoes the sentiments.):
I am not yet ready to give up on December and Christmas. In the darkening days, we need the call for light, the promise of those twinkling wires hanging from trees and eaves and railings, and even gutters, shining in a darkness that does not overcome. Perhaps we simply have to make a more concerted effort to find and appreciate the small promptings hidden within Christmas excesses, that lead us toward the stilly night turned to song.

Praying Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours each day is a productive way to remain “light focused.” Particularly in these last days before Christmas, the glorious “O Antiphons” are as quietening to the spirit as the gentle restraining hand of a mother, reassuring an overwound and anxious child:

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

An antiphon is a little thing—a segue into a psalm or, in the case of the O Antiphons, into the Magnificat, Mary’s ebullient and ever-blooming canticle of praise, but perhaps little things, as we lurch toward the end of this endurance test of a season, can provide a heartening reassurance that Christmas is still, at its core, about love willing to exceed limits.

+ Finally: my pick for the best Picture Books of 2010 were posted on First Things this morning.  I was limited by word count, so I only picked 7. It was a tough choice.

And with that, my loves, I'll leave you. Merry Christmas!

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