For the shortest, darkest day of the year I share with you beautiful writing from a friend who also moved West from the South.
On The Solstice: Deep Winter Dreams of the Spring to Come by Rick Bass
“I believe they dream of beauty: of the yellow lilies of Easter, and the wild violets and rank mushrooms and pink flesh of trout; of berries, of stones, of antlers, feathers, moss, fire. And fire’s warmth.”
It was a gift to have this be my first read of the day. Hope it is for you as well.
“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ~@ANNELAMOTT
This holiday season, I’m believing it Anne. Holidays have become so different from what I was brought up to believe they are all about. Lots of decorations, lots of presents, parties, food, family and sometimes drunk daddies. All of that did feel magical at times, the anticipation of Santa and what he would bring was real and exciting. No matter how old I get, I can feel that on Christmas Eve, as ridiculous of an idea that it is. Maybe I kinda like that feeling for a moment though. Is it possible that there is magic, is it possible a gift will be left tomorrow, even if it is a phone call from a loved one?
Even though we did have a pile of presents before us as we entered the living room on Christmas morning, I don’t remember what the presents were, except for the sting ray bike. I still have a picture of me on it. We did some miles together and made some memories. A few fond Christmas memories stick with me: the year we had children from the orphanage over to make cookies and the times we visited the orphanage after that. Our time with orphans was a project my mama was involved in through the Junior League or church. I’m not sure which one, but it was her duty to society none the less. I loved it. I also love the memory of running around Christmas eve day delivering presents of baked goods or the like to friends and neighbors. And Christmas Eve service at church was always calming with the candles lit and carols being sung.
Aside from those memories, it all felt like a lot of show. Once I moved to Montana in the 80’s, my older brother lived here in Missoula as well. Christmas Eve, we shared a meal then geared up for a cross country ski at the neighborhood golf course. Silently sliding across the glistening moonlit snow ❄️ I felt warmth, peace and love.
I have a little bit of Christmas in me this year for whatever reason. I won’t be buying any presents. I will be hiking with friends, gathering greenery to decorate with. Some baking will happen. Baked goods will be delivered to dear friends. There will be warmth, peace and love. Wishing you the same.
Damn it y’all. Yesterday was a blur, filled with shock and sadness. This country truly is divided. I so wanted Mike Espy to win Senate in Mississippi, get Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham voted out. So wanted Steve Bullock in Montana to win the Senate seat and not have Daines. Not have Greg Gianforte win the governorship in Montana, remember he is the one who body slammed a reporter back in 2017. Yea, great guy. This list could go on.
Biden’s looking good though, there’s that. As Bishop Michael Curry says, the struggle continues, but love is the way. I’m going to hang onto those words.
On another subject, I just started an online memoir writing class through Creative Nonfiction. Already, I love the way it is structured, the way it gets thoughts and writing organized. First assignment is: Free-write on this question: ‘The story I want to tell is…’. Follow the first thought that comes and see where the words lead you.
My Side of The Story:
Dismissed without discussion. That’s how it’s been for many years. And I still cry from the loss most days. It’s been four years since I’ve seen my now six year old twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl. I meet them at birth. I was an integral part of their lives for the first two and half years.
I have always been a “kid” person. Babysitting from a young age, being a nanny and then owning my own childcare. Children are so full of promise, innocence and fun. Being a part of their development is an honor. I love seeing the individual emerge and encouraging their curiosities as they present themselves. It’s been twenty years since I closed my childcare. I am still in touch with many of the children I cared for and close friends with some their parents. Caring for someone else’s children is an intimate service. The joys and challenges of a child’s development allowed me to become a part of some of my childcare client’s families.
Once I became a grandparent, I thought this is the life, the one I have been waiting for.
I voted and it feels so good,
“Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited ’cause we’re reunited, hey, hey”…
So good I just had to sing for bit. You remember the tune by Peaches & Herb?! The lyrics could work for reuniting this country again. I think there is hope.
If you can vote early, do it. Drop your ballot in a polling box if you can. Mail in is a great option, but it will delay the results and since the 45th and DeJoy are sleeping together no telling what shenanigans they will drum up.
Need a good laugh, check out the talented Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey in the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, First Debate. The entire episode is available on NBC, highly recommend.
Today’s word of the day is zhuzh, brought to you by Dictionary.com
verb: to make (something) more lively and interesting, stylish, or appealing, as by a small change or addition (usually followed by up): These colorful throw pillows are an easy way to zhuzh up your living room.
Sounds fun, finding ways to zhuzh up your home, your yard, your car, your outfit, your hair, the list goes on. I find myself looking for snazzy face masks. Gotta wear em, might as well zhuzh it up. A friend gifted me one that says “justice”. I love it. It makes me excited to wear a mask.
Speaking of masks, I’ve been thinking of the benefits of wearing one. If you have bad breath people probably can’t smell it, if you have something in your teeth, it will go unnoticed. Heaven forbid, you have a bugger in your nose, no problem. Forgot your lipstick, just put on your mask. I think my mask, masks my double chin, no need for plastic surgery any more. Your mask is your friend. It’s your friend’s friend. You are saving lives by wearing it. 😷
So zhuzh it up.
Put a little zhuzh in your day.
Yesterday at the store two men were discussing the appeal of their face mask. One gentleman was so tickled that he had a reversible one with different colors on each side to change up depending on his mood or outfit!
It’s been a good morning so far, thanks to a dear friend and an article by Rebecca Solnit.
“We have reached a crossroads, we have emerged from what we assumed was normality, things have suddenly overturned. One of our main tasks now – especially those of us who are not sick, are not frontline workers, and are not dealing with other economic or housing difficulties – is to understand this moment, what it might require of us, and what it might make possible.” Rebecca Solnit
I hope you read it: The impossible has already happened: what coronavirus can teach us about hope