Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blue Christmas; New Moon


        Christmas cards we received this year contained many downbeat, almost despairing, notes and messages.

                 This caught us by surprise. 

                 Not because we don’t read the polls -- we both have a pretty good idea of the national "measured” mood. 

                But at Christmas greeting time we've always found that the mask, when there is one, usually remains firmly in place, miming, maintaining, mirth.

               Queer and and dispiriting stuff, especially for a depressive like me.

        However, at the moment chez nous, Jane is diligently practicing on her new alto saxophone, which is a much pleasanter “in-house” experience than we used to have with her trumpet.  (In fact, it’s great.)  

              She's taking gorgeous, excellent photos with her new camera and the study she’s putting into learning about using it, reflecting her enthusiasm and positive energy, is uplifting.
             Last night, while we were walking Andy, who is recovering well from a slight (but scary) relapse last week, Caroline said to him:

             “We made it to another moon.”  


  1. I love seeing the photographs children take. And I think I was a much better photographer as a child than I am now. I saw so much more to focus on, and was very interested in framing the world just so . . .

    I started with a Brownie camera and then a Sears kit to develop photos on my own--and then my sister and I turned the bomb shelter into a dark room.

  2. I was telling Janie about my Brownie the other day. The house we live in has the remnants (well, the red light and appropriate shelving) of an old darkroom. I LOVED darkroooms. When I first went to work at Fox in 1987, our company owned Deluxe, the large entertainment film processor. (I later went to work for them.) Deluxe was, at that time, one gigantic darkroom. The aromas were incredible. I agree with what you say about the qualities of children's photos. My own abilities in this area, which were never outstanding, have also diminished. Jane's very good, though, and has natural talents. (Obviously, your son Jimmy has enormous talents in this area.) A bomb shelter? I'm jealous. I loved visiting friends' bomb shelters when I was young. Curtis

  3. When life really gets tough, when someone has hit what they perceive as rock bottom (or at least near rock bottom), it becomes more difficult to mask one's authenticity. Although I suspect the messages you have received this Christmas have nothing in common with the following, your post struck a note with me.

    A dear friend of mine is dying from brain cancer. She is trying so hard to be very alive every day, and I'm with her in this. I always follow her lead when we talk or meet for lunch, and she enjoys listening to my stories and we talk about everything but her illness. In fact, we were supposed to meet for lunch today, but she wasn't feeling well after a particularly difficult chemo treatment yesterday. Only occasionally does she despair of the inevitable, even then, in such a reserved manner. I admire her so. For some reason, she brings out the life in me.

    I LOVE Caroline's words: We made it to another moon. Glad to hear that Andy did. Nice to read that Jane is enjoying her Christmas gifts and that you're enjoying Jane.

    Thanks for the link to Nanci Griffith. I haven't listened to her music for such a long time, and that's one of my favorites. Nell

  4. You're perceptive. I think the dark Christmas mood is entirely related to current economic conditions; I know very few people who aren't feeling stress, strain and a sense of hopelessness from these on some level. Based on my experience, I think that people who receive regular paychecks and have jobs have a completely different view of recessions than people who don't. By definition that means that unemployed people watching and reading news written, read and reported by employed people (including wealthy television broadcast personalities) on a 24 X 7 X 365 basis are terribly affected by the "disconnect." Hence, the general malaise.

    Andy's doing great. The road back from dachshund slipped disc surgery is long. He got a little ahead of himself last week and, I believe, developed a twinge that freaked him out. But he's apparently sound and is now confined to his crate for an extended, carefully monitored rest schedule. Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that much. I have some back problems. They take much longer to heal than one would prefer and there's no rushing the healing process.

    We love Nanci's records. Caroline was her publicist for several years and we got to know her and spend time with her. She's a lovely (but can be feisty), very impressive person and a terrific artist. A superstar in Ireland! Both Bob Dylan and David Letterman had enormous crushes on her.