By Reginald Shepherd
after Jean Valentine
What will I call you
when you are gone?
How will I know your name?
Little star, reflection
on the Sea of Galilee,
a lantern in the wood, half-hid,
reflecting on what can’t be
touched, be known?
And the sheen of milk
across the sky, the galaxy poured out
like me, true sky, false dawn,
and a young woman’s nipple,
star of milk, star of a
nursing child’s mouth, my
child, my lord, whoever
you may be today, tonight
which will not end, a cup
passed to me, from which I may
or may not drink, half-empty
star, still asleep by now?
And your small body, Emmanuel,
how small my heart
to fit inside yours)
lie there, pearled, asleep...
How I want to believe.
(a pearl, an irritant).
I had a fairly nice, somewhat melancholy birthday, which is about what I expected for a week when two families I've known for many years lost a parent/grandparent. Gblvr met me at Tara Thai, where I indulged in Thai iced tea as well as tom ka gai soup and pad see euw; then we came back to my house (after I picked up younger son from school in the pouring rain) and talked craft projects and Torchwood, with helpful interjections by younger son about penguins and Bionicles. Then I took him to tennis, while in the meantime Paul went to pick up older son from robotics, schlepping a big box of cookie dough sold to raise money for the choir. This is the first week of a new tennis session and was disrupted when one of the kids had a nosebleed -- not all the parents stay and watch, so the teacher was off the court for 15 minutes dealing with this while the kids "practiced their serves" (i.e. hit tennis balls all over the place haphazardly).
We had dinner with my parents -- Mediterranean, gyros for the kids and Athenian chicken for me, with pita and hummus and salad and feta, plus Nubian chocolate roll for dessert -- I ask for this every year. Afterwards we stopped to pay a shiva visit to the family of my parents' friends, which I expected to be stressful and depressing (the kids had homework they needed to do, I hadn't seen any of the daughters in about a decade, they'd just lost their father) but was actually really nice...I saw many of my parents' good friends, my childhood pediatrician, the woman who introduced my sister to her husband, and a couple of people with whom I went to elementary school, and I met the husband of one of the daughters who was also my editor at a now-defunct web site called Family Wonder, and had nice conversations with three of the daughters who were surprisingly composed and extremely welcoming although they must have been nearly too exhausted to stand up.
Here are some of the spoons on the display at the Annapolis Ice Cream Company...
...where they cover a substantial part of the store's side walls.
As you can see, there are spoons decorated by sports fans, spoons commemorating weddings, spoons that look like the Eye of Sauron...
...yet the main theme of the store is penguins!
These are the Christmas Story penguins in one front window...
...and the sledding penguins in another.
The top row of stuffed penguins and ice cream scoops are for sale, though I think Santa and Penguin Rudolph are not.
And this is the Penguin Shuffle game we acquired from Freecycle, where the goal is to get all your penguins on the merry-go-round without knocking any down the red slides!
I must admit that Facebook makes for some pretty awesome birthday vibes...I had about 40 people write on my wall, and none of them are even my best RL friends, Though RL people and LJ friends were pretty awesome to me as well. My husband and kids got me the new Loreena McKennitt CD, the new book of Paul Simon lyrics, a book on Ireland since apparently we're not going to get to go there any time soon; my parents got me an amber necklace and contributed toward the superzoom camera I'll be getting after Chanukah. I just want to say thanks so much to everyone who made my birthday special!