Monday, December 18th, 2017
Here’s how the holiday season works for me now. Much of it is a blur of hurry and incompetence to get it all done. Amazon time, UPS time, the few and far between card writing time to make up for a year’s silence, searching for lost ornaments time, scrounging for ribbon, Scotch tape, and unused wrapping paper time. For those with Christmas trees, there is the wrestiling the tree up time and arranging the lights, time and time again, time. (Time does seem to be my chronic theme right now.)
But there are the other times, when time doesn’t seem to exist at all. I just had a holiday lunch with the two women who hired me my first week in Maine. We have met every year for brunch for over thirty years. We go to the same place, good food some years,some years not. We exchange gifts. Nothing important. Just fun. And we talk, usually for about four hours depending on the wait staff. We all step out of the holiday blur into crystal clear highly etched moment of friendship and tradition. One of us will notice the time and we put on our coats and step back into the holiday blur, listing our tasks for the rest of the day.
I also met for my yearly Hanaka time with my dear friend. I love buying Hanakah presents for her because she will love all of it. It’s the ritual that counts. We were in a restaurant with warm light snd just right winter decorations that included real snow on the windows. The buzz was cozy and celebratory as people came in for dinner. Time stood still. We took our time and enjoyed.Once again, a sharp visual memory that stands alone and outside of time.
Lastly, I did a reading/conversation using my book I PRAY ANYWAY:Devotions for the Ambivalent with a group of 25 women at the home of a friend of mine. It was a charmed moment when everythink works. Easy festivity. Laughter, connection and meaningful talk about religion and spirituality today. Lots of laughter. We stepped out of the Holiday Blur into intimacy which almost always has a timeless quality.
When young, the Christmas and the holiday season was all timeless, all magic, all visually memorable, all senses engaged and no holiday blur. I wasn’t responsible for Christmas. Santa nd the adults were. We’ve let the holidays get too big for their britches. We work too hard to make it happen. Everyday from now util the New Year, I will do what needs to be done to have less Holiday blur and more timeless moments.
If that sounds too, too precious. Let me give an example. When I wrap presents in the basement using the ironing board as a table, i will play music on my iPand and keep a glass of wine at hand and turn on a soft light non basement light. Like that. Like that.