The Death of Small Things

The hardy hope of winter
Sends its root deep
To wait out the darkness
Below the snow-chilled ground, and
Emerge, victorious, at the coming of spring.
Its regent the Christmas ever-green;
Its sign the fragile snow drop,
Each betiding - Life!
Life beyond death,
And joy beyond despair.

Rest for now, sleepers,
But - you'll yet wake,
And there will be the radiance and
The light of a new day.



I set down my book about the history of antitrust enforcement and think, "There are no simple goods. Everything is complicated, and the mark of a keen mind is the ability to weigh each instant in the balance, now going one way, now going the other, in order to walk that fine line."

I pick up Mary Oliver's Felicity and think, "But perhaps some things are simply good. Camaraderie among old friends, the fragrance of evergreen Christmas decorations, and a hand to hold along an uncertain way. The things that we have to pause for a long moment to see at all, because everything else is weaving frantic patterns around us, earning its reputation for complexity through sheer busyness."

What I love: to sit with a friend watching a historical fixture one last time before it goes away; to walk the streets of New York City with the dearest of sisters taking in the beauty of the holiday decorations; to feed great baked goods to everyone I hold dear until they're practically begging me to stop; and to stand still long enough to see the iridescence of a magpie's tail feathers and to hear the raucous call of the red-wing blackbird.