The Prey of a Jungle Tiger and other stories

The game Maia takes especial delight in of a quiet evening: pouncing on typing fingers. This is difficult to photograph, but here she is biding her time till I start typing again:

Maia: "Do it again. That finger thing. I want to pounce."
Me: "This is really not my favorite game of yours, beast."

The Today meme is hosted by Masha! Join in over at Piękno, or leave your own sensory notes in the combox...

Today I am...

* * *

Feeling... ragged out, but somewhat more alert and cheerful, after an intense week wrestling down my personal brand of crazy: irrational nervousness and anxiety. I suppose it's possible that I regularly annoy the entire western world—or everyone I know in it, at least—but if people can't stand me, they do an awfully good job of being warm and friendly to me, anyway.

Mad props, people. <3

* * *

Seeing... a dim, wintry day of clouds and rain, and two lamps on in the living room in defense against the perpetual twilight.

Tasting... fish tacos tonight. Cod cut into chunks, dipped in beer and rolled in flour with lots of salt and pepper, deep fried, and then sprinkled with lemon juice; iceberg lettuce or cabbage finely shredded with chopped fresh cilantro; equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise well dosed with chili powder and garlic plus a little cayenne; salsa and avocados for topping; all of that layered in warm tortillas. It's Friday appropriate for Catholics, and the flavor combination is absurdly good.

* * *

Linking... (I can't think of anything for 'smelling', so I'm replacing that with something I meant to do anyway) Anna Ilona Mussman's commentary on "How to Homeschool Without Warping Your Kids", parts onetwo, and three. I was one of the homeschool graduates she tapped for ideas, and am quoted in part two.

* * *

Maia: "Look, I'm all snuggly and cute. Don't you want to play with me?"
Me: "No! I want you to be snuggly and cute."
Maia: "But it's so funny when you jump and scold."

* * *

Listening... to knighted composer John Tavener, who passed away Tuesday at age 69. Tavener was Russian Orthodox, and he wrote a lot of sacred music in that tradition—which means a lot of the sweet, haunting, pure chant tone that is one of my favorite things in the known universe.

It's hard to pick one piece; even narrowing my search to work of his that relates to death helps little, because some of his most beautiful pieces are funeral songs or tributes. The obvious choice would be Song for Athene, which was played at Princess Diana's funeral and is therefore particularly well known—also particularly stunning, with that deep Byzantine drone beneath the moving parts—but the Funeral Ikos, a setting of a text taken from the Orthodox burial service for priests (translation by Isabel Hapgood), made me cry. The words in the selection are pretty universally applicable.
Why these bitter words of the dying, O brethren,
which they utter as they go hence?
I am parted from my brethren.
All my friends do I abandon, and go hence.
But whither I go, that understand I not,
neither what shall become of me yonder;
only God who hath summoned me knoweth.
But make commemoration of me with the song:
Rest in peace, Sir John.

* * *

Grateful... for smiles and friendly words, and particularly for a little group of friends whose open-hearted conversation was comforting this morning.

* * *

Reading… still War and Peace, and Natasha Rostova is breaking my heart.

Studying… *blushes* I glanced over at Evoking Sound twice this week, and both times I picked up War and Peace instead.

Working on... getting chapter six of the fairy tale retelling to my editor—progress!—and practicing a hymn so I can record it for my lullaby CD. :)

* * *

Maia: "Ooh, Lou's got the camera, and the cord is swinging."

* * *

Loving... cozy days indoors with soft lighting and warm blankets, the rain except when I have to go out in it, choir and music ministry friends and the impressively beautiful concerts many of them put on, and authors who write characters that speak to me in sighs too deep for words.

* * *

Hoping... that Lou doesn't have to go in to work tomorrow. He'll probably wind up working, no matter what, but I'd rather it be at home. The poor man has been working every spare moment for a month.

Maia: "I am a fierce jungle tiger, stalking big and dangerous prey."
Me: "Pounce one more time, tiger, and you're getting kicked off the couch."

Happy weekend!


  1. fish tacos are the BEST!!!

    It's good to hear that Tolstoy wins against Evoking Sound!!!!

    And no one is ever annoyed at you, Jenna, except maybe Lou, because..well, husband's prerogative, right?? At least, I hope other husbands are annoyed at their innocent wives as much as Seth is annoyed at me ;)

    1. Love me some choral conducting study, but I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO PIERRE AND NATASHA. And Nikolai and Prince Andrei.

      And LOL. What happens is, I get terrified that I'm annoying people, and that makes me tired and grumpy so I get on Lou's nerves. Or worse: I get so concerned about not annoying him that I annoy him with all my bother about it. He would much prefer me to just make a mistake and get on with life. ;)

  2. Seth and Lou should get together and commiserate! :)


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