Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Walt Whitman sampler

Today was a day to celebrate art. Our writing workshop at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport featured a look at the poem by him, A Poem to Myself . It was of his life as he worked on the Blades of Grass. We explored how grass relates to our liives.
Good to be in Dianna's poetry group again-a good way to end 2006.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It is Christmastime

When I think of the word, light, this is an appropriate image I can find for Christmas. From the first Christmas,9 months after the angel announced the birth of the savior to Mary and Joseph, a star appeared in the Eastern Sky to guide the magi to the creche where Jesus lay. Light serves as a spotlight to significant events in history whether it is a new store opening up or to commemorate an important celebration such as Christmas.

Lights bring back memories of when I was a kid growing up in Fairfield. After thanksgiving, my dad would go to the attic and bring down the boxe which had the artificial Christmas tree and the ornaments. We would open up the boxes that had an aroma from being in the attic during the year. We took the garland , ornaments, stars and homemade treasures from my brother and myself that I made growing up at the Henry Viscardi School in Long Island. We would put on some Christmas music and laid the branches to the tree and the base of the tree on the floor and assembled the tree according to the color codes-red being matched to red and green to green. Then we strung the lights around the branches and then the garlands. The stars and balls were hung in between the lights and the garlands. Mom and I had to be careful not to miss any spots and to take turns to carefully rest the angels and the stars so that they would not fall off or get hidden by another ornament. We enjoyed doing this as a family in the living room each year.When looking back, I miss those days of trimming the tree as a family on a Saturday morning after thanksgiving.
Another way that we decorated our home in Fairfield was with lighted candles. Dad and I took the candles out of the boxes and placed them on 14 white window sills of our home. I placed a piece of masking tape around the base of each candle to hold it in place at the center of the narrow window sill. Each night at dusk,after turning on the tree, I went around the house and turned on the lights and looked outside the window onto our street dimly lit by a streetlight.

When I have been on vacation for Christmas break at work, I have enjoyed seeing the christmas lights that others have put up at the retirement community of Arizona and Maine. There seemed to be a competition amongst the retirees in Arizona as to who was to be the brightest and boldest. There was never a scrimping as to the amount of lights put up or the boldness of the displays. There were plenty of Santas and reindeer and snowmen on display. Luminari lined the sidewalks of the homes and signs of lights that said, "Noel" lined the displays. Lights also were on the pilings from the mining of shale that southern Arizona does. These tailings had a christmas tree perched on them and was lit from the distance as we approached.
When I have been in Maine for Christmas, some of the docks are lit with lights for the holidays and the homes had more modest displays of lights without the garishness of a competition since the homes are not as densely packed together and Mainers are known to be a little more frugal and careful with their money. I am glad that I have this annual pilgrimage of almost 19 years in enjoying the celebration of Christmas in either Arizona and Maine.

Currently, when I walk home at night from the bus, I look forward to the moment of seeing our Christmas tree lit at Cartright Park. The tree holds its shape well as the wind rustles through its branches. I like seeing the lights dancing and sparkling from the tree. As I walk down my street in the snow, I see the glistening of the snow next to the tree. I also see lit windows in some of the apartments with a lit tree in some of the apartments and lights lining the balconies. In our lobby,the tree is lit and decorated with angels and balls. As I make this walk down my street, these are a very welcoming sight as I come home from a very busy day at work.