Laughter…. Levity….

Now that we’ve reached the time of year in Vermont when it’s dark pretty much all the time, in a variation of that Platonic cave, the game season has fully opened in our house. We began this years ago, in an attempt to stave off the mad-as-hatters element of northern winters. After a few rounds of Battleship, the kids relented and played an art history trivial pursuit card game. (Up front, I’d like to acknowledge I stacked the deck against myself, and I lost).

About halfway through, my older daughter read a card with the word bar cue. I asked her to repeat the word, and then I asked if the word had an O in the middle and maybe a Q.

Baroque? I asked.

She admitted it might be baroque, and then asked who he was.

I write this only because she laughed so hard, so truly cheerful about whether this might be bar cue or baroque, or maybe even barbecue. Whatever, she laughed, genuinely nonplussed. This is not her way of knowing the world. But what is her innate gift is a profound sense of balance and color and proportion. She spends hours drawing, her creativity flowing from a well whose depths are pure and lovely, hardly yet tested. How humorously this daughter reminds me that my own hard vision of who this baroque fellow may or may have been could use some not so serious jostling at times…

To say that it is impossible to communicate is false; one always can. To refuse to communicate is a failing; we are biologically and socially predisposed to communication…

— Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved



Gabriela is a ten-year-old guest blogger.

One afternoon me and my mom went to get lights at the store. So we just got some normal ones. Well, that’s what my mom thought. So we got some snowflake ones, too. So we go home do some stuff. The next day my mom goes to work and and leaves me and my sister a list of chores to do. One of the things we have to do is put up the lights. So we plug them in to make sure they work, and I say, “why doesn’t that one work? wait that one just flickered.” My sister said, “I don’t know, let’s put them up to see them a little better.” So we wind them around the beams and plug them in and look at them. Some of them are blinking I say. My sister says, “yeah that really bugs me. Let’s look at the package” so we look at the package and it says shimmering. My sister says, “Mom probably didn’t read the package.” I say, “I have to agree.” So when my mom came home from work, she said “I kind of like it.” I agreed with her. So we kept the lights because everyone liked them.


Photo by Gabriela Jean

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