Christmas. My Christ-leaning friends celebrated his birthday with varying degrees of piety, while many of us navigated the pervasive lure of gift giving and receiving. How could we not be pulled in, or at the very least aware of its presence? It’s sparkly, inviting – shiny new things, or quaint, hand-made, artisanal… it’s everywhere we look, on the streets, our TV’s, our computer screens, in the eyes of our kids who have such high expectations and must constantly be brought into balance with financial reality and spiritual exigencies… It’s Christmas spirit, in all its complex dimensions, rolling through town on a wave of commercialism buffeted by blankets of wet snow, and on the night after, I’m so glad to be inside, not battling the hazards of driving in such a mess.
In the wee hours of the morning, I see a light on the horizon, even though it is dark outside. I feel a connection to the suffering of children who have died needlessly, families who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their jobs, their identities… and people everywhere who continue to ask themselves the question, who am I in this world?
What rhythm does my heart seek? Do I wish to vibrate alone, or in concert with others? Do I seek agitation or compromise, challenge or resolution, peace or combat? What will it take to satisfy me?
Is it the accumulation of things? Of money, of matching sets of collected pairs and groups and duplicate, triplicate redundancies for safety’s sake? How much is enough? What will it take to protect it all? How afraid am I to lose it?
Why do I ask these questions on this day? is it religious belief, or seasonal pressure? The collective, commercial push to reckon, end of the year style, with all that has transpired lo these many days since the last quickening of the morning?
The darkening will cease, wheels will turn, groaning, grinding along the fault lines of the inevitable shift. Yes, the tide is turning… in the sky, in time… in my heart.
I enjoy being in love, even as I’m afraid to enjoy something I may lose – afraid to let myself go in the not knowing. I’ve weathered so many losses, that a profound gain would seem a welcome respite, but it’s not that simple. The passion of loving another, like the passion of creation, entails an exploration on both sides of a pendulum’s swing. Happy face, sad face. Each stretches the skin, the direction of the pull is almost inconsequential.
So I choose love. I choose passion, and brilliance. I choose to believe I’m worth it, and it’s possible, and everything I know to be true really is true. I choose to believe in universal connectivity and higher forces and controlled chaos, and that random kindnesses are actually part of a larger plan that we are powerless to control. All we can do is adjust our level of resistance.
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This simple yet deeply resonant day means so many different things to so many. Some feel insulted by the naming of it, while others feel negated by the non-naming. Through time, people have died for the right to celebrate it, while others have died for somehow denying its significance. And yet, drilled down to its essence and origin, it’s a day to celebrate the birth of someone who embodies goodness and love and caring for all living things… including ourselves…
Can we agree that there is room to celebrate this in so many ways? I come in peace. I crave calm. I look for goodness everywhere. Aren’t all of these things still possible? (I believe they are.)
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night… and much love…