Monday, October 12, 2015

October 11: Dancing, Wisconsin Dells, Turkey Day, Classic Saint Marty

I have been grading papers all day while my daughter danced.  I am brain dead, and my daughter is exhausted.  Day three at the Wisconsin Dells was a marathon, and I'm just finishing mile 26.

It has been a good weekend.  I needed this break from my normal life.  Tomorrow, it's back to the grind.  Work and school.  No breaks until Thanksgiving.  That rather depresses me.  I'm hoping for some sort of happy distraction between now and Turkey Day.  Anything.  I don't know if this weekend is enough to get me to the end of November.

Today's episode of Classic Saint Marty first aired a year ago, from the Wisconsin Dells yet again.  No cartoon this evening.  Too tired.  Too uninspired. 

October 11, 2014:  The Crowd, I Could Have Danced, Madeleine L'Engle, "Ephesus:

But the crowd loved it.  Avery heard nothing but the applause.  He liked being a clown in a ring, with everybody watching, in front of a grandstand...

Yes, Fern's brother is a ham.  (Pardon the porcine meat reference.)  He loves performing for a crowd.  Eats it up when they laugh at his antics.  Applause is an addicting sound, and Avery has learned this fact early in his life.

I am sitting, watching my daughter in a dance class.  She's been dancing since about 8 a.m.  It is now almost three o'clock in the afternoon.  She's getting a little tired and cranky.  We got lunch late, and now her ears are hurting from so much swimming in the water park last night.  Long story short:  she's all glares and stomps at the moment.

I don't take these moods personally.  It's all part of thirteen-year-old girlhood.  Nothing I did.  Just the world not being thirteen-year-old girl perfect.  I've learned that it's a powerful anger, fueled by hormones and exhaustion and hunger.  She doesn't really understand what's making her act like a feral cat.  What she knows is that she's not in control of herself.  The teenage years are a scary time.

I have a poem for you guys from Madeleine L'Engle.  It's a poem about Mary after the death of Christ, about the time she spent in Ephesus following his execution.  I find the joy in this poem tinged with melancholy.  Joy outlined in sadness, like the chalk outline of a body at a murder scene.

Like Saint Marty's daughter, out on the floor, her anger outlined by dance, waiting for the applause to begin.


by:  Madeleine L'Engle

They walked these self-same stones.
Mary was wilting, weary from the journey,
weary with the years and all that she
had understood and had not understood.
Obedient always, she deferred to John,
smiling a mother's smile at his great joy.
Chariots of gold raced through the godless streets:
Apollo and Diana had grown dim;
only the emperor was god.
They paused, perhaps, Mary and John,
at these same vacant gates
of the sad temple of forgotten gods,
and Mary smiled and turned and said,
"My son, the old gods have been lost."
And John replied, "Bring we now the new--"

And in his harrowing of a shadowed Hell
perhaps the old gods were redeemed as well,
and joyfully sing their praise to him
with cherubim and seraphim.

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