Monday, December 22, 2008
As any writer worth a darn, I try to pay attention to the surfacing themes in my life. We find these themes all around us, and sometimes they spin a web around each other in ways that simply cannot be ignored. Over the last few weeks I've been repeatedly seduced by the idea of the gap. In fact, these days I seem to find it everywhere I go. In yoga, the space between inhale and exhale is referred to as the gap - like an ocean wave cresting and then, after a suspended moment, rolling on to the shore. In good storytelling, "the substance of the story is the gap that splits open between what a human being expects to happen when he takes an action and what really does happen; the rift between expectation and result, probability and necessity." (Thank you Robert McKee).
I am a person who is not easily satiated. I want big doses of life in all of its paradoxes, and find myself balancing a pastoral setting with the cacophony of culture, a desire to eat what I grow with a lust for wine and chocolate, solitude with community, the honor of mothering with the need to write and write and write something worthy, a safe solid place in my heart for those people and places I love most deeply with the push -the itch- for a new challenge and a new direction. In order to balance this insanity, I must sometimes live in the gap between each, to breathe, to take stock, to be grateful ... content.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I've been meaning to write something about the beauty of winter here. I know I say it every year - the gorgeous snow, the crisp cold, the white landscape - I love it all. But something this year really strikes me...and that's how simply lovely it is here at Christmastime.
Now, I know Mary and Joseph didn't walk through snow drifts to arrive at an inn decorated with tinsel and a trimmed fir tree. And yet there is still the picturesque white Christmas and snow-laden pines and sleigh rides to dream about. To look out the window and see all three of these things in my very own yard is dreamy, and sweet and heart warming.
We walk through the frigid, snowy woods, bundled and brisk, sit in front of the fire at home, sip tea and mulled wine, bake holiday goodies, and slow down. Together. It warms my heart and does my soul good.
"May your days be merry and bright. And may all your Christmases be white."
When Chris and I dusted off our cross country skis yesterday, Ellis would have none of the sled we planned on pulling him in behind us. He remembered the little set of skis in the garage rafters and was determined to learn. I was so proud of him - from start to finish, he did it all by himself, shuffling along, feeling the snow sliding underneath him. Unfortunately the bindings are feeling their 30 years of life and we'll probably need to get an updated pair for some real practice - soon!!
Friday, December 05, 2008
At 2 and 3, these kids seemed just old enough to do a little Christmas cookie decorating, so we dusted our hands (and faces and clothes and the floor) with flour and got to rolling and sprinkling. While they both consumed far more sprinkles and dough than actual cookies, and despite the red dye #4 and sugar-on-sugar, I think it was the start of a good old holiday tradition.