At the Mall.
The afternoon was overcast. The humidity was almost 100%, and the temperature was nearly 80-degrees. Since I did not know what contagions the moist, warm air might hold, I decided to go to the mall for a walk.
On a forty-minute walk. When I passed a store named the $10 Store, I remembered dime stores. When I walked through the Food Court, I realized that it would’ve easy to lose one’s appetite by the smells there. I passed by Victoria’s Secret, with its pretty, sexy unmentionables on display in the window. I glanced at the windows of Godiva with its chocolates “too lovely to eat,” but I would eat them.
After the walk I went into two stores. At a toy and games store, I looked at a quiz game, “Santa Vs. Jesus.” Players or a team chose either questions about secular Christmas or religious Christmas. The most correct answers in a round won. If I were a betting person, I know on which side I would bet, given the general populace.
At Build-a-Bear Workshop, I saw in the window bears in various Halloween attires: a pumpkin bear, a skeleton bear, a vampire bear with a cool cape, a witch bear, a scarecrow bear, and a mummy bear. The clerk said that there were no nautical bears: no sailor bears or Sea Captain bears or pirate bears. So no bear purchase for Billy Boy! (Maybe at Christmastime Santa will take me to the shop or to another toy store to buy a bear, just a basic bear, if such things are still made.
Notes on Reading. Fiction. Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Facsimile edition from 1886. Pavilion, 1985.
This is the first version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was hand-printed with drawings by the author and presented to Alice as a Christmas gift. This edition has a foreword by Mary Jean St.Clair, the granddaughter of Alice Liddell (the Alice of the books), an informative introduction by the editor (Russel Ash), and photographs of the three Liddell sisters, Robinson Duckworth, Lewis Carroll, and Alice Liddell at ages 7 (1859) and 80 (1932).
The book is important to me not only for my academic interest in the Alice books but also that it was a gift from friends who brought it to me from their visit to London in the late 1980’s.
Notes on Reading. Nonfiction. J. Brent Bill, Holy Silence; The Gift of Quaker Spirituality. Paraclete Press, 2005.
“Friends believe that Christ is actually present . . . When our hearts, minds, and souls are still, and we wait expectantly in the holy silence that the presence of Christ comes among us.”
“Quaker silence encourages us to relax into the love of God until we hear the Spirit’s voice whispering softly into our soul’s ear.”
“We believe the Christ comes in a physically present way that Catholics believe that the host . . .becomes the literal body and blood of Jesus.”
Bill uses many personal examples to comment upon the simplicity, beauty, and effectiveness of Quaker worship.
Live Broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera in Cinemas. Bellini’s Norma.
I was impressed by the demands of the opera and by how well the three major singers (Sondra Radvanovsky, Joseph Calleja, and Joyce DiDonata) performed. The large male chorus sang mightily of the promise and need for war, bringing to mind contemporary, less noble, rantings and threats. Norma is a demanding work of high passion, requiring tour de force performances. It was a pleasure to be in attendance.