One of my daughters turns ten today. I’m not sure how much we’ll celebrate, seeing that it’s also Thanksgiving and the first day of Chanukah. Still, ten feels important—it’s the base of our decimal numeral system, it’s the number of fingers and thumbs we count on—and I thought I’d salute the figure in some small way.
Here are ten things that contain ten:
* Wallace Stevens’ “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock.”
* The Ten Commandments (originally fifteen).
* “But awkwardness is where tension is, and tension is where the story is. It’s also where the comedy is, which I’m interested in; when it resolves it tends to resolve toward melancholy, a certain resignation, which I find interesting as well.” – Lorrie Moore, interviewed in The Believer
* Arrested Development’s “Tennessee.”
* “Already with thee! tender is the night, / And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, / Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays.” – John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”
* “To show a squid you care? I’d recommend throwing some fancy tentacle signals, give some bold color (stripes and patterns a plus)—and a little bioluminescence wouldn’t hurt.” – Sierra Nelson, founder of the Cephalopod Appreciation Society
* “How many miles is it to Babylon?— / Threescore miles and ten. / Can I get there by candle-light?— / Yes, and back again! / If your heels are nimble and light, / You may get there by candle-light.” – Mother Goose
Ten. It’s not a lot of days. What will the next 40,000 bring?