Tag Archives: christmas

Of Christmas weather and moods

So much for my writing every day. Then again, these are supposed to be words on a whim.

How was your Christmas?

The days leading up to it were certainly eventful here, beginning with an ice storm. I tend to take doomsday pronouncements from the weather report rather lightly. It seems predictions were far more accurate when I was a child and meteorologists did not rely on computer projections. This storm, however, lived up to predictions. The utility and tree management crews have been working around the clock for a week or more.

This reminds me of the ice storm that hit Canada a few years ago. The devastation then reached historical proportions, with elderly folks passing away from the cold in their own homes. I remember listening to a talk show Radio-Canada set up at the time to offer an information, commentary and story sharing venue for those affected by the storm. I listened very late in the night, transfixed. The humanity that emerged from the words of the callers brought me to tears repeatedly.

I recall a young teenager who had had troubles with drugs and had been incarcerated. She was interviewed after spending some time assisting elderly folks during the crisis. It was as though this child had grown to become a wise individual well beyond her years (she probably was already, but the circumstances enabled the transformation). She sobbed as she tried to explain how deeply she was touched by her experience. I sobbed along with her from my room, hundreds of miles away in Vermont.

On another occasion, a radio host spoke with an elderly woman who lived in isolation, with no family to turn to, and who was deeply affected by the circumstances. She did not complain. She simply, peacefully explained her experience. After a while, the host could hardly hold his tears. He asked her to stay on the line so they could get directions to her house and told her he was on his way to pick her up and bring her to his house as soon as his show ended.

I know someone who claims all humans are evil and dishonest. I will never believe that. Humans are much like a devastating ice storm. In the midst of the storm, we do not see the aspects of it that allow beauty to shine forth in the midst of chaos.

Photo courtesy of Silvio Mazzarese, Ornament Studio

This Christmas was busy, in a house-keeping sort of way. I took all the boots out of the boot trays, by the door, and cleaned both trays. I then took my coats and vests off the hooks above the boots and rearranged everything. After this, I vacuumed the house, including the cob webs in the bathroom. This will sound like I don’t clean house very often, but that is not the case. I do have a couple of resident daddy-long-legs and always wait until they are done with a corner web before sucking it away in the vacuum. They seem to migrate around the room, so I can remove webs over time. I try to respect their space. They respect mine.

After this, I went back to work, taking advantage of the holiday lull to research content for future use on my clients’ blogs and Facebook pages. One of my clients had lost power and their phone line for several hours and there were a few technical glitches to work out. This occupied my Christmas also. It is good to feel useful.

This coming weekend, I will close my Etsy store. Simplify. I always return to a place in my mind and daily activities that calls my attention to a strong desire to simplify. Artwork has an important place in my life, but it demands far more spontaneity than my writing work. I can write every day. I cannot make art every day.

Simplify. I want the coming year to look different. I cannot make art every day, but I can make art consistently. There are so many new designs and items I want to create. It is time for expansion; time to give life to new ideas, on their own term and at their own pace.


Words on a whim – 12/18/13

The air warmed up a bit today.

I did not expect to begin one of these posts with a statement about the weather. In fact, I thought I would avoid it. But I am trying to sit here almost daily and simply allow my fingers to improvise the words as thoughts flow through my mind.  There must be a reason we talk about the weather after all.

I’ve been going to bed late, after sewing for up to four hours straight while one episode after another of Star Trek or Ted Talks accompany me on the computer screen. Star trek does not require full attention. The pattern is pretty much always the same. And Ted Talks require only attentive ears. I finished two sets of pouches for Ornament Studio. This December started out slow, and I should have taken advantage of that slow pace to perk up my inventory. Suddenly, this past weekend, shoppers came out to play. I’ve always loved working late at night.

Funny how life comes full circle. When I think about it, my current circumstances are very similar to how I started out when I moved into my first apartment after my mother passed away, 29 years ago. I loved living alone then. In fact, I think I’ve always known I would love living alone. Back then, also, I’d work on some art project very late into the night. Personal computers did not exist then. I listened to the radio.

I loved living with Roderick because we were able to be together without ever invading each other.

The Holiday season is a weird time. I do not decorate, but I enjoy seeing other people’s decorations. It is funny that I never wonder what my life might have been like had I had children. For instance, it never occurs to me that I may be missing out on Christmas eves watching them open their presents. Just as it was clear to me that I would love living alone, it was clear that I did not have the instinct to multiply.

My friends played pretend, making believe they were parents to the dolls they pushed around in strollers. I could not relate. I loved stuffed animals instead. Interestingly, it occurs to me as I write this that I refer to my cat and dog as my daughter and son.

How did I get from talking about the weather to talking about my distorted maternal instinct? I suppose our circumstances evolve like a sort of wind current, or maybe more like a river as it is nourished by the rain and pushed along by its own strength.

We are quiet rain and powerful storm. We are clouds and sunshine. It is said that the face becomes weathered as we age. Perhaps there is more to this expression than meets the eye.