Monday, December 23, 2013

A Simple Desultory Update

By Michael

Our camera has been broken for a couple weeks now, but we should be getting a new one shortly. That explains why we have not been posting many pictures lately.

We've been working on many different projects here at our home. Several weeks ago, Yulia's dad helped us install a new floor on our veranda.

We lacquered it ourselves using Kreidezeit "hard wax oil." Kreidezeit is a German company that makes ecologically friendly paints.

Yulia lacquering our floor
We also just lacquered our wooden windows that we had custom made. Our friend, Yura, made them for us. The lacquer we used has a rich, honey color to it. They are beautiful! (Sorry for not having any photos of them!) We just ordered double paned glass for them at the Lviv Window Factory. They should be ready by midweek or so. Then Yura will come by to install them.

We're slowly getting used to our new dog, Тома. That's right, her name is now Toma! We had to change it when we learned that Тюльпан (Tulip) is a male name in Ukrainian!

Toma prancing through some morning frost

On a walk with Toma in the fields behind our house
We're still bathing outside, even in the below freezing temperatures! It's kind of nice, actually. Yulia described it well when she said that it makes your skin feel like a sponge because the warm water opens it up while the cold air shrinks it back down. I think it's like a spa treatment. No kidding! Try it!

I even have reflective moments when I am outside watching the steam from the water waft up to the stars. It's not too cold for me to look up at the sky and think about the ancient light which was created long before any of us were alive. The stars are at once so complicated and so simple. They are more fantastic than any machine people have created. Yet they are just dots of light to the naked eye. They stare down at us almost every night, but they also feel so separate from the darkened houses of our village. The built environment simply looks primitive below the perfection of celestial vastness. A gable here, a dutch hip with TV antenna there. It's all moot to the stars. They know they have existed long before us and will continue to exist. They ask us why we like such funny styles and why we believe such strange beliefs. 

I can't answer why us people like such funny styles and have such strange beliefs. But I know the stars have some kind of wisdom. It probably exists outside of language, so maybe I shouldn't try to put it into words. 

Post Script:

I stole the title for this post from the Simon and Garfunkel song, "A Simple Desultory Philippic."

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