Anticipate Joy, A Christmas Hope Deferred

Anticipate Joy, A Christmas Hope Deferred

the thing with feathers

anticipate joy
though it may nest seeds of pain;
cancelled christmas trip

__________________

I often feel ungrown, childlike in more ways than I care to admit. One of the foremost perhaps is in still feeling acute disappointment at having an anticipated joy taken away. My kind eldest brother, who knows me very well, called today to say that a trip to Texas planned for this Christmas would not be wise given the current storms of Covid swirling around the country. It was a call that I perhaps knew was coming and contained wisdom in it that I fully accept. And yet, and yet—with so many others in this horrid year, I know—it always takes a little while for the adult me to calm the child me.

And so, to process my feelings, I said a prayer, brewed some Tazo Joy tea (which my dear sister-in-law in Texas always makes sure…

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Autumn, Elegy

Autumn, Elegy

From a sister blog.

the thing with feathers

Several days this week have had a coolish tinge and my thoughts turned briefly to Autumn. Such August foreshadowings have happened to me several times before, with each experience producing a deep pang of anticipatory joy. It was not so this week. Instead, dread.

The title of this piece could well have replaced its comma with an equals sign, autumn=elegy. Or perhaps one might imagine these two words appearing in the same thesaurus entry along with others: wistfulness, lament, convergence, recessional, farewell. Autumn is all those things—a fullness, a fruition, a condensation of the promise of Spring, the fecundity of Summer. Is it any wonder that it is the season for the making of jams.

And, yet, under and around this elegiac, backward gaze there also exists a forward facing foreboding, a miasma of dread for the coming winter, as the daylight dims ever earlier and the cold winds…

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Of Mountains and Mangoes and a Great Lady – Veda Samuel

Of Mountains and Mangoes and a Great Lady – Veda Samuel

A post about a dear aunt from Pakistan. From a sister blog.

the thing with feathers

Veda Shakuntala Das was the eldest of the five children of the Reverend and Mrs. P. I. Das of Sialkot, Pakistan. And being a “Das” was a fact that she would proudly own till her dying day; indeed pride of bearing that name may just be somewhat of a besetting sin of some us Dases. Under her married name, she was Veda Samuel, the very respected English teacher at the Lahore Convent of Jesus and Mary School and the wife of kind and gentle Uncle Samuel. She was mother of Ansel and Emile Unjom, our elder cousins who we so looked up to and who would show us the sites of the great metropolis of Lahore. And she was “Phupo” Veda to my brothers and me.

I think that you can learn at least a little about what a people hold dear by the degree of linguistic specificity that they…

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Thoughts Upon Frying Cod

Thoughts Upon Frying Cod

From a sister blog.

the thing with feathers

Two of us in my current shared household of four men are inveterate salmon eaters—great fans of Aldi’s economical wild caught salmon with the skin on, which we bake or fry in large batches for the week. It is a great grace that the others in our home who are not partakers do not complain. Salmon frying indoors is legitimately a cause for disharmony. Did I mention we leave the skin on, creating what one of the said gracious roommates just noted “leaves residuals for days.” Well, they don’t complain much!

And so it was somewhat of a change-up today when I set into my cast iron frying pan thick fillets of firm-fleshed, skinless cod, procured from Aldi’s somewhat more sophisticated step-sibling Trader Joe’s (it’s a complicated story). Today I kept things simple and added butter and oregano, salt and pepper. I even left off the lemon which…

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