Saturday, January 29, 2011

Services available; great rates. Inquire within.

From the "waste books" of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg:
The detection of small errors has always been the property of minds elevated little or not at all above the mediocre; notably elevated minds remain silent or say something only in criticism of the whole, while the great spirits refrain from censuring and only create.

Mark Twin, in 1893:
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made proof-readers.

On the other hand, Rabbi Akiba (Talmud: Pesahim, 112a) said:
When you teach your son, use a carefully edited text.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You do it by doing it?

I'm trying to will myself into writing again. There's lots I want to say, but lately I've been unable to say it. We'll start with a summary of 2011. Perhaps after that we'll have a short summary of 2010.

So far in 2011 I have:

-had a short run-in with Restless Legs Syndrome. It was cured by a couple of sleeping pills and my First Migraine Ever.

-gone to Ramah Rikkudiah, a dance camp I've attended every year since I moved to CA. I had a GREAT time, in fact one of the best times I've had at a dance camp in many years. (For an alternate (and more theatrical) take on that camp, see Aloni's Blogna.)

-read (or finished reading) a few books, including Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Bhagavad-Gita, finally, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. If you're going to buy anything at all on, would you do me a favor and use one of those links to get there? If you do, I get some small monetary reward and I looooove small monetary rewards. Especially when they are book-related.

-led dancing at the birthday party of the cutest sweetest four-year-old boy ever.

-went to "Gospel Shabbat" at a temple in the Valley. Fun, but didn't feel the least bit Jewish to me.

-saw Diavolo Dance Theater in Santa Monica. Incredible, breath-taking, awe-inspiring works.

-went to an international folkdance, and had my usual yes-I-teach-dance-but-I-used-to-do-other-things stance turned back on me. When someone asks what I do for a living, I usually rush to mention my years in software before becoming a dance teacher, because of that part of me that seems to feel teaching dance isn't "enough", whatever that means. At this dance last night, however, we were all dancers and dance teachers, and when someone asked me what I do to pay the bills, I was the object of all envy when I said I "just" teach folkdance. A good reminder. I get paid to do something I love. That's altogether too rare, I'd say, and I should remember how fabulous that is, even if I happen to also be missing some other things I love. That doesn't need to detract from the joy I get from my job.

-got trained to be a reading tutor for Koreh LA. I've apparently been placed with a first-grader and we can start meeting as soon as my personal references are in. This should be a pretty interesting experience, no?

It's been a decent 23 days. Lots going on in the next few months, possibly including a trip to Israel. I reallllly want to go... and am not at all sure it'd be a good idea for me to go.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It was evening all afternoon.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
by Wallace Stevens


Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.


I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.


The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.


A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.


I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.


Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.


O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?


I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.


When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.


At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.


He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.


The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.


It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.