De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jacquelyn Mitchard werd geboren in Chicago, Illinois, op 10 december 1951. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 10 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 10 december 2010.
Uit: Second Nature
“This is what I know.
My father stood in the center aisle of the Lady Chapel—that hunched, hexed little building he hated as a father and as a firefighter— under the lowering band of sooty, mean-colored smoke, and he looked right at me. He understood what had happened to me, and although he couldn’t tell me then, he was still happy. He thought I was one of the lucky ones.
This is what I remember.
There were fifty of us in the Lady Chapel that late afternoon, December 20, the shortest day of the year. Inside, in winter, it was always about as warm and bright as an igloo. Wearing our coats and mittens as we sang “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” we could see our breath.
As a place of worship and a historic structure, the Lady Chapel was exempt from all the building codes and conformed to none of them, which was why Dad despised the very sight of it. The mahogany pews, each with a different intricate carving, massaged for seventy years with layers of flammable polish, were nothing but tinder to him. Raw and reckless new structures, when they burned, were flimsy as tents. But the old chapel had stone walls a foot thick and had been reroofed so many times that Dad said that it could have withstood a phosphorus bomb.
It didn’t take anything as potent as a bomb, only a small candle in a small draft.
That day, just as the choirmaster, Mr. Treadwell, brought together his fingertips and held them up to his delicate cheekbones, twinkly as a ballerina (looking back, I think Mr. Treadwell was twinkly all the
time, what my mother called “a confirmed bachelor”), first one and then the other Christmas tree on either side of the altar went up like ten-foot sparklers. A few kids simply stood, flat-footed and amazed, as though the pyrotechnics were some sort of holiday surprise. I knew better than to think that, even for a second.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard (Chicago, 10 december 1951)
Doorgaan met het lezen van “Jacquelyn Mitchard, Thomas Lux, Clarice Lispector, Ara Baliozian, Christine Brückner”