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Of plates and cups and related things

POSTED: April 6, 2011 4:00 a.m.

It’s funny how analogies or metaphorical sayings can seemingly stem from the same basis, but have different meanings. For example, one would expect that having a full plate and a full cup would both indicate blessings or something good.  Not the case.

 

Last week, I decided to write a column about some really good happenings — a “cup overflowing;” but it happened that my “plate was full” and I didn’t get it written. Then I realized that those two descriptions were almost opposite in connotation.  I don’t know the background of the full plate reference, but I recognize the cup as being from Psalm 23. So I’ll begin in that positive direction.

 

We have all commented on the beauty, some of it sudden and short-lived, of Spring colors. The flowering ornamental trees (white, pink, purple) have already almost completely shed their blossoms and become all green.  Sunny yellow jonquils and daffodils, which populated roadsides and yards, are being replaced with dazzling dogwood trees. Even azalea bushes are showing color.

 

All that, as thermometers have played roller-coaster, causing us to layer sweaters and jackets over the bright Spring clothes we had happily pulled from storage bags.

 

Let’s hope that sunshine and warm weather stay the norm during April while Plein Air painters dominate the landscape and share their results at Bowen Art Center.  (That’s their trademark: painting in the outdoors.)

 

Old Rock School exhibits can’t be much more exciting, however, than the center was for Petit le Jeune avec Madeline. The place was magically transformed into a Paris filled with blue-clad little girls, sporting big yellow hats, enjoying jugglers and artists, story-tellers and gypsies, croissants and pastries and cups of hot chocolate.

 

My own academic and political cup was filled to the brim when I read a very thoughtful and well-written open letter, written by a young man not yet out of his teens. His willingness to take a stand conflicting with the prevailing majority of our legislators shows a courage not usually associated with one so young, and I congratulate him.

 

Our legislators, by the way, are still going up and down, back and forth (both at the state and federal levels) so much that one can hardly form an opinion or send a message before a reversal in the status of a bill or decision is announced.

 

And we have learned — if we had not already realized — that expressing an opinion to those lawmakers really does carry some weight, especially if enough people do it. That is the essence of democracy, of course, and is the basis of upheavals in many areas of our world.

 

Speaking of legislators, they really do have full plates as they struggle with balancing budgets and trying not to displease everyone.

 

Although few of us rejoice when we write checks to pay taxes, we certainly depend upon governments to service us in many ways. I only wish that big corporations like GE and wealthy CEO’s were as willing to pay their fair share as I am. If they were, we would not need to wrestle so desperately with services to cut.  Whether or not we wish to admit it, that is a proven fact.

 

Well, I have certainly set this table with some plates as well as cups. And I haven’t even announced a “Special of the Day.”

 

 

Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.

 

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