Monthly Archives: January 2009

St. Brigid’s Eve

I’ve always loved the word palimpsest. It’s kind of a show-off word – you can’t really throw it casually into a conversation; although I once used it, with a bit of trepidation, in a newspaper column. It’s the way I … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, festivals, memorials | 1 Comment

Uncontained time

Calendars are containers too – they contain time. I see the days as little stacks of calendar pages; and the months like a line of little fields, separated by twelve fences. The January field is blue-white, and seems longer than … Continue reading

Posted in Time and calendars | Leave a comment

I feel so sad about John Updike

As I was sitting on the beach in Belize, writing about the great January 27 snowstorm, John Updike was dying. He has been a part of my life for so long. Since I first read Couples, in that strange libidinous … Continue reading

Posted in Death | 3 Comments

Spoon-bending, Part II

Our guide Pedro has never seen snow, except on TV. If he had grown up in Belize two centuries ago, the idea that there was such a thing as snow would never have occurred to him. I keep thinking of … Continue reading

Posted in God, etc. | Leave a comment

The Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm

Winters really did used to be different. In 1772, Washington, at Mount Vernon, and Jefferson, at Monticello, both recorded three feet of snow. The storm trapped them in their homes for two weeks. Here I sit, in the Belize breeze, … Continue reading

Posted in Seasons and weather | Leave a comment

Australia Day

They wave Australian flags, wear red white and blue shirts, march in parades and drink a lot of beer. Just like our Independence Day – except that they’re celebrating the antithesis of independence. On January 26, 1788, the first British … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, festivals, memorials, Politics and history | Leave a comment

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

St. Paul the Apostle had unlikely beginnings as a terrorist. Saul of Tarsis, as he was first known, went from home to home in Jerusalem, dragging out Christians and putting them in prison. Then, as he was on his way … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, festivals, memorials, God, etc. | 2 Comments