Monday, December 27, 2010

For the dreamers.

I am not a leader and I have never been much of a follower.
What does that make me then?

I am... a dreamer! Yes, I am a dreamer; I make my own world and demand no one join me there. A leader would want subjects; I am not a leader.
I am not a follower. True, I am unassuming but I will not languish in waiting for someone else to do something I may not even like. Quietly, I will disappear and travel to the beatings of my own thoughts.
I am not a rebel. Well, I am really. Dreamers are gentle, starry-eyed rebels. We care not for mundanitites and rules. Our rebellion is not loud or brazen, but filled with sounds of raindrops and rose-whispers. Our respectful defiance is misunderstood as rebellions must be.

Those who are not dreamers find us exasperating. They look in scorn at our flushed faces from dancing in the meadows. They regard our snowflake stained eyes with suspicion.
"Why??" they ask. They don't know how much it helps.
With annoyance, they survey our bare toes. Knowing we have been dabbling them in a pool of fairy tales, they are afraid we might drip on their spotless carpet.

But we try not to care what the ignorant people think. We are introspective but not self-centered. For we find the company of other dreamers to be invaluable... we need to be understood as well!

If you are reading this, I feel sure you must be a dreamer. This blogging world feels like a secret society of dreamers and I am so glad I stumbled upon it. I love you all. {Just so you know.}

{Photograph by Rodney Smith.}

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


{The Charlie Brown Christmas tree in our foyer. ♥ }

At first it was doubt. Feeling that there was something horribly wrong with me. Nearly having a breakdown, crying sobs that threatened to consume me. {I haven't had a cry this ravaging in so long...}
Baking my melancholy, my disappointments into batches of Christmas cookies and half-heartedly harmonizing in church to the familiar carols.
I was afraid my favourite season would finish before I could get out of my blue funk...

Then, one morning: an unforeseen coating of snow and the scent of cinnamon rolls.

{I love our back yard when it snows. The snow-covered branches turn it into a veritable winter wonderland.}

After that... somehow... December was beautiful.

~A party I was loath to attend turning out lovely in one of the most unexpected ways possible.

~Watching White Christmas for the first time with some of my very favourite people. {The weather forecast has informed us that we may experience a "white Christmas" of our own...!}

~Being swept away by the beauty of song in the annual concert of the girl's ensemble I sing in.
This was possibly one of the most wonderful things of all. Why?
Well, I love singing in the ensemble but lately I've been frustrated and unable to enjoy it because of the relatively small dissonances around me. We are undoubtedly amateurs and I could feel the discrepancies dragging me down. I couldn't appreciate the other parts around me nor the important story {of Jesus' birth} that our words were telling.
But at the concert it all seemed to come together. {It helps that we have the most amazing, loving director ever.}
So what if the girl on my left was off-key at times and singing the soprano part instead of the second soprano?
So what if the girl on my right doesn't know the meaning of the word "pianissimo"?
I was able to sing with absolute joy in my voice! With happiness tinging every note. There is something so thrilling about harmony and being a part of a choir. I'm glad I could be reminded.

Now I bake my content and my joy into Christmas cookies. I made the cookies pictured above last week. They were supposed to be gingersnaps but I did something wrong and they ended up being more like gingerbread. {We suspect I put in too much flour.} But they tasted incredible. That is one mistake I would not mind repeating.

So, yes. I am enjoying this season. Even though I am "grown-up" I still get twinges of the all-consuming, childish anticipation. This quote sum it up pretty well:

"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, the melody would stay in your heart always - a song for all the years."
-Excerpt from Song of Years by Bess Streeter Aldrich

And with that, I just want to wish everyone the merriest of Christmases! I hope you all are having a lovely December and Christmas season?

{P.S. - I'm sorry I'm so longwinded all of the time! I try to restrain my train of thought but it goes chugging on, regardless.}

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the steadfast tin soldier & other meanderings

Imagine what it must be like to be a music box ballerina. They must live for the time when thoughtless hands open their cages and set their souls free. They can dance! Only for a little while, though… What a terrible fate! I wish a steadfast tin soldier for every one of them.

I would like you to be my steadfast tin soldier. What is a delicate, paper castle to me when I could have someone who understands?
But what will be left of our love in the end? A spangle {burned} and a lump of tin {heart-shaped}, lying a pile of ash. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? But beautiful does not mean happily-ever-after. Sadness is beautiful. {I know that boy agrees with me. I once remarked that “sadness is beautiful” and he agreed. A girl protested. But it’s alright… she just doesn’t know. Don’t you think sadness is beautiful?}

Lately, I have found myself, expressing joy through an impulsive but meaningful medley of songs. I let my voice canter unrestrained as I run around and drape myself across banisters. {As if I was starring in my own musical improvisation.} No one has made me feel this giddy in a long time. It’s all because of you. I wonder if you’ll ever know what you've done to me.

So quickly, it seems, my devotion changed. I am not capricious - not in the least! I am the steadfast, tin soldier to my feather-friends. You will find that loyalty runs steadily through my veins, mixing completely with my blood. But it was time. Time to let go. Time to wake-up from my dream of who that boy is and finally see his reality. I shook his dream from my shoulders and it slithered to the floor like a velvety cape. I hadn’t realized how old and worn the fabric was. I know now. And I haven't felt this free, this content in a long time. This story made have a sad ending, but for now I don't care. Even if all that remains will be...

{1st picture found here, 2nd & 3rd picture taken by me from my book of The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen with illustrations by Angela Barrett. The nail-bitten fingers belong to me...}

Thursday, December 9, 2010

this is our house.

On the mouldering façade of the house, the once intricate tracings of ivy have grown into a thick fur.
But even those resilient green tendrils have begun to wither away...

This is our house.
This is where we make a semblance of life.
This is where the atmosphere integrates decaying, whispered confidences with a shivering solitude.
This is where gravestones grow overnight, quietly and effortlessly like ghoulish mushrooms.

We might as well deliberately cultivate weeds in our garden since all that grows there is a poisonous regret that chokes anything else that tries to develop.
{Vindictive thorn pricks with no rose to alleviate the sting.}

The sun shines everywhere but never seems to penetrate the haze we linger in.
All we see of the sunbeams are the shadowed bruises that trail behind them.
{For all our inner fog we might as well live in darkness.}

Ghosts inhabit these walls, to be sure.
We live in a wary submission to the company of these in a phantasmal beings.
{Often I wonder which will crumble first, this house or this family.
And if we were gone... would the ghosts cease to be?}

This is our house.
We live here because we must.
We live here because we cannot forget.

{Picture found here.}

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Favourite Place

"This," she told her little brother, "is a treasure map!"
Her little brother eyed the tattered piece of paper doubtfully and complacently continued playing with his toy cars.
Unruffled by his disinterest, she continued. "At the end of this map you will find a door... a door that leads to all of my favourite places!
How would you like to go through a wardrobe to a beautiful land where animals talk! We could take Fritz with us and he could tell us what he is thinking!"
By now, her brother had abandoned his toys and was regarding the paper she held with curiosity.
"We could step through a looking glass, even! And be pieces on a giant game of chess! Or we could go to Dictionopolis and eat the very words we say. If we get too full we could go to Digitopolis and eat subtraction stew which makes you hungry instead of full!"
Her little brother's face broke into a smile that was parenthesised by two dimples.
"Oh! Wait," she gasped, "I know where we could go first! A place called Neverland! You get there by flying and you can never get older there, never ever. They have pirates there and indians and fairies and everything! Oh, yes! Let's go there first!" She almost shrieked, hopping up and down with exuberance. "Do you want to?" She asked earnestly peering into the little boy's widened eyes. He nodded vigorously.
"Well, then, off we go!!" She slipped her hand in his and swinging their arms they set off together down that well-worn path... the path that leads to the library.

{Painting: The Land of Enchantment by Norman Rockwell.}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An E.J.B. Poem


She dried her tears and they did smile
To see her cheeks' returning glow
How little dreaming all the while
That full heart throbbed to overflow

With that sweet look and lively tone
And bright eye shining all the day
They could not guess at midnight lone
How she would weep the time away

~Emily Jane Brontë

{I have been writing a lot this week. More than I have in a long time. I stayed up till 1 AM last night working on one of my stories. It is rather strange that I have had such an outpouring of thoughts since I'm also being plagued by self-doubts. They rear their ugly heads every now and then. Oh, how I wish I knew a spell to oust them! So, consequently, nothing I write seems to measure up to some obscure standard I've set. I can never decide if self-imposed standards are beneficiary or just stifling...}

{Picture by and of me.}