Sunday, December 13, 2009

christmas crazies

hey y'all! can you believe the holidays are upon us? as much as i love to shop, the forced march towards 17 presents presenting by a date certain even makes me allergic to shopping. so, this past weekend, i headed into the woods to hide with a lovely stack of books and beethoven's symphonies conducted by john eliot gardiner. in the woodstock, ny area (my town is shady, ny, the post office address is bearsvilles, ny, but we call it woodstock--don't you love small towns? :0), there's such dreaminess as country music radio stations on the radio, a lovely proper-sized grocery store (hurley ridge market in west hurley--santa was there offering a plate of cookies and bob's candy canes--who's bob, btw?) where you can push the cart through the aisle (not allowed in the city) and piles of powdery snow. as it turns out, cleaving by julie powell had a major plot line around fleisher's, a butcher shop in nearby kingston, ny. for me, the book was a little too much "technical" information about her extra-marital personal life disconnected from any information that that gave me any understanding of why she's doing this stuff, much less telling the world about it. the good news is that she seems to be finding her voice as a writer. in the first few chapters, there's a bit of awkward, and perhaps defensive, sprinkling of sat-preparatory vocabulary that i think may result from criticism she took for the writing in her first book (it was a blog of course, and who of us is tolstoy in that context?). once through that she settles into herself and moves forward with her tale which was interesting enough. it's hard to be compared to julia child and even though she made the comparison herself, i'm trying to get over it and judge her writing and storytelling on its own merits.
if you're in the city and can use a break, head to the shambhala center for the weekly $5 (meditation and lecture) dharma gathering on tuesday nights; even for me, a bit of a mexican jumping bean (remember those? we used to get them at the unbelievable south of the border on the way to nyc from gainesville) those two hours spent in contemplation and conversation gives a calm that can last into the next few days. there's no preaching a la "sign up here for inner peace" but a cool respite from the to-do list lives we live.
peace (inside and) out,



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