Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Which Chana Hosts A Masquerade Ball!

The past two years, I have held Masquerade Balls to celebrate my birthday on the blogs.

Masquerade 2006
Masquerade 2007

And it's time for Masquerade 2008...because I am turning 20.

Twenty is a peculiar age. I have enjoyed being a teenager. I recall having visions of what a lady was to be at 20- graceful, beautiful and otherwise dazzling. Alas! How I sadly recall my youthful visions now. But even so, I am sure that 20 shall be interesting times, and I shall have anything but a dull year.

The rules are very simple: You must sign in as an Anonymous commentator (but with clever and entertaining names; it's your chance to be a lord or lady), tell me what your costume is, and explain what gift you have brought for me (it can be anything at all, from the glittering of the sunlight on the lake to the words of an angel). I, of course, have provided a beautifully decorated ballroom, a dining hall filled with the finest delicacies, and spectacular music performed by the most brilliant orchestra in the nation. Tomorrow, you should return and unmask yourselves...although there are always those people who leave the party, never to return.


Jester said...

Happy 20th Birthday, o wise one!
What can one offer to someone who helps so many in need? Riches? Beauty? Whatever you wish for-it's yours!

Mistress _____________ said...

I come to you, clothed in a cloud of silver shimmery veil and silk. I press a crystal nugget into your delicate palms which will promise you undying access to the Internet always.
Much love from me, too. :)

secret admirer said...

"It is at the edge of the petal that love waits."

~ William Carlos Williams

twenty is the age of riches said...

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The Flower said...

Chana, I come humbly, with nothing to bestow upon you except an endless supply of chocolate ice cream adventures. Happy 20th and many more!

Lumier said...

My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!

May your light continue to shine bright all of your days!

A wind from the east said...

With the air from the Holy Land, I come bearing the scent of flowers, the leaves of the olive tree, and the seeds of the pomegranate.
Happy Birthday Chana :)

a loyal servant said...

A very happy 20th birthday to you,o Your Highness! Hope your day is magical!

The Cousin said...

Coming up with a costume is too much effort for me today.

Best of lucks with your exams and happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday gracious one. I come to you with but a ballad but a beutiful one it is. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is the present"-which is why it is called a gift. A gift to you. Have a happy new year and a wonderful birthday.

newspaper carrier said...

I come bearing today's newspaper, with a link to this wonderful blog.

My birthday wish for you is that ach tov vachesed should pursue you for all your days, and that all controversy should continue to turn into tov vachesed.

Brom the storyteller said...

Congrats! O lucky one
20 you have become
May you be blessed with whatever your heart desires
and may you find a worthy sire!

Happy Birthday!

Talmid said...

Mazal tov! until 120...

My birthday blessing to you is that you achieve the sublime combination of "din" and "shirah" required to serve Hashem fully (cf. Sanhedrin 94a).

And enjoy the ball!

Lord Asael said...

I am a fallen angel cast out on false charges. They claimed I loved. Uninvited I come to deny the charge even as I damn myself. I come bearing my true crime, the heavenly gifts I have stolen. Here is a necklace of wit and a nose ring of laughter.

Amor said...

"To love is nothing. To be loved is something. to love, and be loved, is everything."

The Wizard said...

Enjoy your day Chana!
Only blessings coming your way!

Hidden Guest said...

I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing. I am the Universe, all things encompassing, all life embracing.

Happy Birthday!

Princess said...

I come to ball wearing velvet green gown with golden hemming. I wore gold necklace, bracelet, earrings.
My humble gift to you, my mistress is new Uggs gold slippers with diamond studs.

yesod shel limud said...

Happy Birthday Chana i come to you in a black suit and white shirt dressed
my glasses i wore in 10th grade own
A Mikraos Gedolos chumash with the Rabbeinu Bchaye and the following song
And as well a boquet of red roses to show and give you the closest heart
I know it's kind of late but happy birthday and i bless you with many more and merit seeing the good from this one hoping we can be friends i can give you my friendship as well
I wish you the best let's be in touch via email i'm not hiding or pretending who i am i have given things as to who i am and what want
Sorry i have no elaborate costume but i'm not hiding it's obvious who this is and i'm ok by that one enjoy what remains of it happy birthday be well all tbe best tl bb

Ben Rosenfeld

from another land... said...

happy birthday!

i come to the ball from a far away land, dressed in exotic garb and bringing with me strange and unusual gifts and delicacies...!

wishing you everything that you wish for in your life :)

SimchaGross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I originally don't come to the ball at all, but then appear to protect when things get out of control. I refuse to wear a costume, demanding to come only as myself. While it may seem like I don't join in the festivities but instead choose to conceal myself in the distance,in reality I am closer then it seems. Happy Birthday!

the good witch of the north said...

I come to you bearing the scent of rain and growth in the spring, the heady scent of roses blooming in the summer, the scent of dry leaves in the autumn, and the scent of crisp, clean snow and wood smoke in the winter. If you make the time to stop and appreciate all of these things, your life will truly be enriched.

Many happy returns of the day, ad meah v'esrim!

A Wise Man said...

He comes as a wearier man than in the past, but one proud of his friend's growth. No longer a child on the cusp of maturity, she has progressed well beyond that point over the past year as she turns away from her teen years and looks further to the future.

As is his custom, he does not wish to stay long or even to be seen, staying in the background. When he sees an opportunity, he walks over to the young lady, so much more... experienced... than just a year ago, and waits for his turn. After but a few moments of dazzling another guest with her charms, she turns and greets him, seeing him differently yet again. Not quite... lesser, but different.

She gives him a gracious smile and greets him, wordlessly communicating through shielded eyes behind which they hide much of their thoughts; rather than speak, he hands her a gift. She opens it to find a small object, and turns with curiosity while she comments, questioningly, "A mirror?", waiting for the secret she is sure awaits. "Not a mirror," he replies. "Note that your hair splits from over your right eye, while in the mirror, it is on the left - or over its right eye, as well. This 'mirror' shows you not as a reflection of yourself, but as -" "...others see me, yes, I see..." She pauses, starts, pauses again, then simply turns and waits for the answer to her unasked question.

"I've already taken too long, so I must be brief: This lets you see how others see you - so you can understand how they perceive you. Your natural abilities are so great as to make this magical device do even more - to let it show others understand how you perceive them, to let yourself see how they perceive themselves. Wisdom and progress come from understanding, not agreement - but it is worthwhile to agree on what one understands." She stares at him, not sure whether to be honored or cross, and he looks at her, understanding. Softly, quickly, he says "You don't have to take it. But just try it for a moment, and then you will understand why you don't even need it."

She takes it and gives it a closer look, if only to humor him, staring into it, looking at herself. After a moment, she looks deeper, noticing something deep within. She smiles, looking up to comment - but he has vanished.

She looks back once more at the piece of glass, dotted along the edges with beautiful glittering colored crystals. She turns it over in her hands, and notes the inscription: "Your path is yours alone to create. Good luck, my friend!" She smiles once again, and far away, he smiles as well.

bat kol said...

I bring you Torah. It isn't in heaven. It is right here with you. You must study it. Learn it. Follow it. Expound on it. Question it. Live it. Teach it to others. Be an example of it! It is life and the source of life. Do not be concerned that others may try to turn it into an instrument of death, for it existed long before the creation of the universe and will exist long after those have died themselves. And through teaching Torah to others you too will have eternal life because although your body may pass on, your Torah will never be extinguished.

Happy 20th birthday!

The Persian Stallion said...

I come on a flying carpet. I would like to give you the gift of having everyone around you treat you as you treat them.

The Stowaway said...

I am only a stowaway in this vast ballroom, hesitant to assert my presence too much. I hide mostly under the banquet table, sneaking various desserts and watching the festivities from my safe place.

I give Chana the gift of a friend, should she seek one.

Quiet One said...

I wish you the quiet confidence to confidently assert your own identity while retaining the humility to admit mistakes. Hopefully these will aid in recognizing that flatterers prevent us from recognizing deep truths about ourselves. True friends support us in our endeavors, not entrap us in their fantastical visions of the world. The wise man above is wise indeed, and his gift is most precious of all.

Anonymous said...

Is it time to unmask yet?

Widow Wadman said...

"Never did thy eyes behold, or thy concupiscence covet any thing in this world, more concupiscible than widow Wadman."

She is the ultimate inspiration, and so she bestows upon Chana the ability to be inspired and to utilize that inspiration to her fullest potential.

Chana said...

The question becomes: who do I know who has read Tristram Shandy?

the apple said...

Someone who's closer to you than you think.

Aaron said...