Friday, March 11, 2016

Things of Beauty

Seeking to move away the pall from our dark spirits, I wish to show you, in reverse chronological order, photos of some things which I found beautiful this week. 

Beauty in the yard:
These crocus buds appeared this morning, after a night of rain.

Today they were in full bloom.

Beauty in the kitchen: 
These are snacks for our book club.  The book we discussed was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  

In days of yore, when I went to Paris for business trips, I would get a tiny little jar of that "Bonne Maman" jam with my petit dejeuner.  That is the only fond memory I have of those business trips.  
I did not have the nerve to bake little pieces of paper into the bread.

I don't have a photo of the pie my son and I made on 3.10 for Almost Pi Day.  It was not necessarily beautiful to behold, but it tastes oh, so heavenly!

Beauty at the synagogue:
On Sunday I helped to make thousands of hamantashen cookies for the upcoming Purim bake sale. Purim is the celebration of the story of Esther.  One of the commandments is to read the book of Esther, which is called "the Megillah".  The Megillah is a one-sided scroll, which is pictured in this stained glass.
The Megillah (scroll of the book of Esther) is that
brownish-greenish thing to the left, with grayish pieces of vellum
 extending to the right.  It has the Hebrew letter
"lamed" underneath it, sort of.  (Like that helps you see it.)
Hamentashen are supposed to be in the shape of either Haman's hat or Haman's ears.  Haman is the bad guy in the Esther story.  I guess if you eat the bad guy's hat or ears then you have dominion over evil.
Perfectly formed hamentashen.
Things of beauty and tastiness!

Look how these triangular cookies are made out of circles.
Isn't geometry beautiful?

Beauty in the fridge:
These things are beautiful because stocking up on them means that my son is home for spring break! The top photo are some of his favorites; the lower photo has food he won't touch, which is fine, because they are for me.
Okay, the bananas and the peanut butter don't go in the fridge.

These things are beautiful because Fresh Vegetables.

What's beautiful in your world this week?

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”
John Keats (1795–1821)

From “Endymion,” Book I.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:  
Its loveliness increases; it will never          
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep  
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep  
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.          
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing  
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,    
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth     
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,       
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,           
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall         
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,    
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon     
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils         
With the green world they live in; and clear rills 
That for themselves a cooling covert make           
’Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,       
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms: 
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms             
We have imagined for the mighty dead;   
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:         
An endless fountain of immortal drink,     
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

(This is only the first portion of the poem, which goes on and on and on.  I haven't read the whole poem.  I wasn't an English major, but I was fortunate to hang out with English majors.  Maybe, with the aid of a strong cup of coffee, the English majors managed to read the whole poem.)


Cassi said...

Ah, I have those same crocuses, although mine are not up yet.

A thing of beauty is a teenager, who sleeps in later than I do, so I can enjoy my first cup of coffee in peace and quiet. And enjoy the teenager later in the day :-)

The Crislers said...

These are all things of beauty, indeed! I can't decide which I like more, the flowers or the cookies. A constant struggle in my life, really.

And now I'm feeling a little red-faced that I didn't know Mary Poppins was quoting Keats. Oh, well, I wasn't an English major, either.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Cookies... yum. I would happily buy some for such a time as this.
Let's eat ALL the Hamentashen and be rid of ALL the evil.

Things of beauty in my week? Other people's crocuses and pictures of them, sunshine after the rain, coffee in the morning, and pictures of my grandson.

I was an English major but didn't remember (know?) this poem.

Angie said...

I agree. Spring is a beautiful time of year! Here in Lake Charles, the azaleas take center stage in March.