the long and the short of 2010 books

Longest title: Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today (or Six Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door) (Lynne Truss), at 22 words.

Shortest title: Boy (Roald Dahl), at 1 word... obviously. (Have I ever mentioned how much I like that word? Its etymology makes me imagine unperceptive people mentally tripping over self-evident facts in a slapstick violence kind of way.)

Longest-named author: an impressive 17-letter tie between Barbara Diefendorf and Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche can win: his middle name was Wilhelm.

Shortest-named author: Homer and Plato are tied here at 5 letters in English and 6 in Greek, but Plato loses for saying that writing his name down removes it further from its form. Somebody needs an attitude adjustment.

Longest book: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, at 1,037 deliciously melodramatic pages. So much fun, and all in the name of historical research!

Shortest book: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, at 67 pages, ish. (It was kidnapped, er, borrowed, so I can't check.)

And on that note, merry Christmas and, just in case I don't post before then, happy new year!


Ezekiel 47 - Revelation 22

47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

22:1 And he showed me a pure>]"> river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel,
That into exile drear is gone
Far from the face of God's dear Son.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou branch of Jesse! Draw
The quarry from the lion's claw;
From the dread caverns of the grave,
From nether hell, thy people save.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright!
Pour on our souls thy healing light;
Dispel the long night's lingering gloom,
And pierce the shadows of the tomb.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Lord of David's key!
The royal door fling wide and free;
Safeguard for us the heav'nward road,
And bar the way to death's abode.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Adonai,
Who in thy glorious majesty
From that high mountain clothed with awe
Gavest thy folk the elder law.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

- Translated by T. A. Lacey


winter is almost here

The cold weather makes my joints ache, and it makes me wonder what having arthritis feels like. Not how people describe it; that would be easy to look up. I wonder what it feels like. What it will feel like when I have it, because I probably will. I know that descriptions are relative. Last year when I had my accident I don't know if the pain was blinding or not because it was pitch black outside. All I know is, it hurt, and it drowned out everything else. All I know now is, the ache in my hands is a soundtrack, background music that plays dissonantly along behind the sound of the keystrokes. Just background music. I can handle it.
I read somewhere once that children don't have the vocabulary to express their emotions. Do any of us? I'm a verbal person. I've written poems that have made my friends cry. But the emotions that I feel most strongly, the ones that are threatening to make me cry right now, and succeeding, are ones that I couldn't tell you about if I tried. The only way I've come close to letting them out is on the piano, and I wish I knew more so I could do it better. But I'm too young. I don't have the vocabulary. I wonder what it will feel like if I ever do. I wonder if I'll learn before my hands are too stiff to play, before the pain gets so loud I won't be able to listen, before arthritis makes me deaf.