Yesterday we put up the tree, and went easy on the ornaments. This morning my mother arrived from NJ. We spent an hour or so waiting for her to emerge, and passed the time watching other families/friends reunite for the holidays. Exiting the baggage area, the passengers from Miami mixed with those from Rome. They were mostly dark and bejeweled, and it was hard to tell who hailed from where, until they opened their mouths.
Here at year-end I am cleaning out the stubborn gunk of recent reading experiences with John Banville's Kepler, the mathematician astronomer. Banville's prose works like a tonic, despite the book's being set in muddy, moldy middle Europe.
Tycho stirred and dealt his moustaches a downward thrust of forefinger and thumb. Kepler with plaintive gaze stooped lower in his chair, as if the yoke of that finger and thumb had descended upon his thin neck.
“What is your philosophy, sir?” the Dane asked.
Italian oranges throbbed in a pewter bowl on the table between them. Kepler had not seen oranges before. Blazoned, big with ripeness, they were uncanny in their tense inexorable thereness.
Thanks to Colette Copeland for this linen collage.