Tag Archives: holidays

The World of Job and Thanksgiving

This four-day weekend is, for me, a bit of a marathon. It is true that I have plans for more than sitting in front of my computer and typing away at my manuscript. I have made a great deal of progress. Adding close to 20,000 words this month and taking the time to review and refine what is already written.  This is critical since the more information I gather, well, the more accurate I can be. And I don’t want to miss incorporating some new bit or correcting previous assumptions.

Thanksgiving

 

At this point I have outlined the manuscript to the end. The last chapters are sketched and I was in the process of moving notes from various note pages collected over the past few years into the spot they will be the most help. I ran across this quote I had saved from Clive Barker.

“Thence, one of my mantras as an author, although it doesn’t really speak directly of character creation: “I am a man, and men are animals who tell stories. This is a gift from God, who spoke our species into being, but left the end of our story untold. That mystery is troubling to us. How could it be otherwise? Without the final part, we think, how are we to make sense of all that went before: which is to say, our lives?

So we make stories of our own, in fevered and envious imitation of our Maker, hoping that we’ll tell, by chance, what God left untold. And finishing our tale, come to understand why we were born.”

I may not hit my goal in word count or timing for completion of the draft; but I have found that my enthusiasm for the subject is still strong and bits and pieces of ideas I have had for years are falling into place. I have several people to thank for the inspiration to move forward with this project. As you all well know this has been a year of major changes for me.

So this is my Thanksgiving. For friends and family that have supported me and comforted me during one of the most difficult times of my life; and who have encouraged me to seek my path forward.

Wishing you holidays that bring you peace if not joy, comfort if not cheer.

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Filed under My Journey with Job, Personal Journeys

Reflections ~ Snow is Magic

Front SmallA strange statement from a person who lived in Calgary, Alberta for five years.  There, snow was magic for the first, oh, two hours and mostly on a weekend.  Most of the time it was inconvenient, annoying, even dangerous.  I remember one “first of the season” storm when I was still riding the bus.  I walked in my front door around 1:30 in the morning.  Nope, not all that magical. But, sometimes, Snow is Magic.

The holidays can be a bit odd around my home.  My husband’s dementia requires that I maintain routine as much as possible to reduce confusion and disruption.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas.  I love finding interesting and needful things for the people in my circle.  I even have a pile of Christmas cards somewhere in this office that should find their way to the postal service in the next few days.  But that is all “somewhere else.”  Here inside our home things are very quiet.  That is, until it snowed.

houses smallWe now live in the Pacific Northwest.  It doesn’t snow all that much here.  In fact, we can go a whole winter without seeing so much as a flake.  I haven’t missed it, as you can imagine, until it snowed.

Friday morning, as it became light enough to see outside, I realized that we had received enough snow for it to stick.  Everywhere.  And suddenly the magic of the season invaded my heart, my mind, my home.  I’m ready to put up our twinkling little tree and work through a menu that I know my husband will eat even though Rock Cornish Hens and some of the other sauce-covered dishes would go untouched.  I always get him something for Christmas, some small thing that does not disrupt his sense of what is his.  He doesn’t do all that well with new anything.  However Einstein is his superhero so Einstein calendars are always a hit (even if time is something that is beyond his grasp).  Sometimes we find there is a way to touch the past, as we did during that brief, bright moment last year.

Our street exhibits a number of light shows.  One of the nights I had to drive him around the block so he could “come home” he remarked on all the commotion.  I mentioned that it was Christmas and some people liked to celebrate by decorating their homes.  Teaching the unteachable, learning not to blame or frustrate, finding peace in little things.  That is what the season is about, right? Finding peace?

So, you see, holidays usually march their quiet way through our lives, noticed but not necessarily absorbed in every aspect.  But, then it snowed.  And the magic filled our home.

I have a tradition this time of year, to spend time thinking on the ways that I can make the world a slightly better place, in some small way.  You might want to check out some previous posts.  One quotes one of the most enduring statements of “things desired,” the Desiderata, one talks about ways we can help others by spreading a bit of magic into their lives.

Tree Small Have a Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule and solstice, (belated) Hanukah, Boxing Day and New Year.  Wherever and whatever you celebrate remember to look for the magic.  And pass it around.  Yes, Snow is Magic.

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Reflections ~ On the Season

Each holiday season I tend to spend a bit more time than usual reflecting on our world.  Where we are, where we appear to be going, things mankind might strive to do, if only…  It is a time when I experience joy, and sadness.  It is a time when I wish for our world a true sense of brotherhood for all our differences.  For whatever creed, nation, tribe, geographic location, gender (of whatever persuasion) or station in life; we all, each one, contribute something miraculous to the universe.  The existence of the human spirit.

I want to challenge you this season to look at one thing – just one – that bugs you.  Something that you don’t like.  A person, a place, a thing, an idea, a group of people.  Find a way to see that “thing” in a different light.  Not necessarily to change your mind or your convictions; but maybe to bring a little understanding into why that “thing” is so bothersome to you.  I challenge you to see that “thing” from a different point of view.  Can you know the inner feelings of that person?  Why they chose the life they chose?  Can you know how people in that place and time feel and why they feel the way they do?  Is there somewhere that you can learn and, perhaps, find a bit of yourself in their hopes and dreams?  Can you, if for just a moment, realize that they do have dreams?

Take an idea, turn it inside out and truly understand why you don’t like it.  Do you fear something in it?  Does it bring thoughts or feelings that make you uncomfortable?  Is it that you just never took the time to understand where the idea came from?  Have you given thought as to why that person or group of people feel so terribly convicted of their own thoughts and feelings?

I am not saying that all actions are good, or that they all have some valid goal.  I do not follow a philosophy that makes all things “relative.”  Part of the sadness I experience is how determined some of us are in following a course involving the destruction of others.  I cannot grasp the purpose.  But you know what?  I can grasp the pain.  I cannot not fathom the need to control others; but I can grasp the fear of lack of control.

Take this season to reflect on what thing you can see differently; even if you will never agree or like it.  And, while you’re at it, find some small piece of good you can give to the world in return for the simple miracle of having been given life and the chance to have the education, the means  and the opportunity to read such things as this.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
— written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s —

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Filed under My Journey with Job, Personal Journeys

Reflections ~ November, 2012 continued

Short apology for missing things this past weekend.  I’m afraid my work life has been a bit intense of late.  I will be back with a post this weekend.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a tradition of mine for Thanksgiving weekend.  It always seemed a quiet time before the onrush of the Christmas season.  A bit of reflection, a bit of preparation.  Sometimes, if I’m not spending hours in the kitchen, I actually start to prepare for the upcoming season by sorting out Christmas card lists, thinking about what I will decorate (no, I wait until much closer to Christmas to actually do so), and what the year has meant to me.  This year’s Christmas card reflects that to some extent.  So, to make up for my absence last weekend, here is a bit of art from my friend PansyLee VanMeereren and a bit of verse from me:

A year of change

A year the same

Memories lost

Moments gained

Fears conquered

Goals achieved

A season

To reflect

The reason

To believe

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