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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All Things are New...

It's the planning time... I'll do better, be better, this year I ALWAYS   do!  While some resolutions are made to be broken, there's one that I try to stick to... keep on working. This is the time to dream a dream, to scribble plans, patterns, and ideas. To work on things that built up to frustrate. Where am I, this year?

* Apologies: if I am, if I do wrong, then yes, admit a screw up, but don't be sorry for living, breathing.
1A: Try harder not to apologize as I used to. It drives me insane. I've taken to interrupting myself with something like, "No, I'm not." Oh, I'm smooth, baby! There's also something slightly more profane, but, let's not go there, eh?

*Fighting with myself and occasionally being so irritated by being pulled, I can't relax.

*Relaxing and enjoying.

*Not making promises to myself that I can't keep.

*Not making promises to others that I can't keep.

*Keep working, keep fighting.

*Be me!

Time to dream a dream, and keep on working. To plot, to scribble. But first, to rest a weary head, and remember to let myself rest and enjoy the quiet.

"...the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new."- From 2 Corinthians 5: 17, Douay- Rheims. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

May the Force Be With You

"...And also, with you".
(It's an automatic habit of mine, that makes Star Wars fan-friends chuckle. Some things just become habit, I guess.)

Courtesy of The Shirtlist Dot Com

It's that last week of Advent, the week of Peace.

What is peace? Is fighting for it a contradiction in terms? Do you work for it, or let it come, let it be?

Along with quiet, along with learning patience, with learning to handle things that don't feel very much like hope, love, joy, and peace. I will be human after all. Did things go as I planned, did I get huge insights? Not really. That I can rest, that while doing it, I can bring things together, that I'm tougher than I think, --were my insights. The whole point was lighting up the dark bit by bit, chasing darkness. That patience...oh, I hear how I'm  patient all the time, but I don't feel it. I guess we learn it as we grow.

I am learning to appreciate both light and dark, especially as the darkness comes so early- so I'm attempting to expose myself to as much light as possible, literally and figuratively.

I'm not sure some things are realized in this life time, but I'm growing, and that's what matters. Learning patience, learning to be still.

The only advice I have? Do what works for you. It's tough to wait, while still doing. It's tougher still to get into a waiting place.

Be joyful. Hopeful. Loved and loving. Peaceful, starting internally.

While this is an ancient tune, new words were added. Such is the way of changing climates, sadly. I'm still hunting down the original.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Learning to Be Still and Quiet

Because, as so oft said, the world is chaotic, I decided to try that "Be a radical; learn to find, make, and enjoy the silence."thing. I've been working on dolls and teddy bears- and having peach malba frozen yogurt- oh, gosh, that stuff is... Indescribably good! - with my upstairs neighbor. This was my personal project- a Pocket Pals doll made with a pattern from a 1970s ladies' mag. 

Because of an uncanny resemblance to Nicholas Cage in the early stage, I've been calling her "Nick". Now for "Nick"'s little dress and lacy knickers. Then it's time to take her to the post office and send her off along with a sweet kids' book. She MIGHT arrive by Epiphany. 

What did I learn? That my worries, my fight... Can be rested for a while. And I can temporarily sit still. I also learned I can be dangerous to needle threaders and finished without one. 
What a doll. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be...Alright

I make Advent wreaths, and dust mine off every year, for  a reason.

Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace aren't just sweet little things we should think about once a year. They aren't something we can expect from others, unless we start with ourselves. It's tough, this time of year... night falls early in the afternoon, and the coldest, longest, darkest day of the year is swiftly approaching.

Some people get a wheelbarrow of stuff thrown at them this time of year. People get caught up, the permadusk and lack of light, health issues are up the yin-yang.

Take time out to be silly, to laugh, to tell people "I'm here. I love you." Do something with your hands. As for me, I'm busily stuffing a ragdoll-and making it dance on the stick I'm using to fill the arms and legs and head. And doing a mimicry of a family habit with the head-(ok, once...) of pointing a finger and saying, "I'll tell you this..." like bells will chime and angels will sing at our jaw-dropping news of import.
For God's sake, laugh!

Have you slipped a bit in showing hope and love? It's kind of reasonable. But "Now" is another time, and as Scarlet O'Hara says, and "Tomorrow is another day." 

Are you downtrodden, digging out? What works for me, may NOT work for you- beware the people with the trusty, "I do this, it works! Get over it!" speeches. (Lest you find yourself accidentally shouting, "As soon as you 'get over' being a...") If I were Calvin's "good" side in one memorable "Calvin & Hobbes" strip, I'd have burst out of existence with a *Poof!* Do what works for YOU.
And let others' take care of themselves, for a change. Start with you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Books in the Running Brooks, Sermons in Stones, and Good in Every Thing

It can be easy to enjoy the silence, to work on goals, when things are easy. But what if the chaos gets too loud and, much like an experience I had listening to Beethoven in an MRI machine, the Fifth Symphony becomes distorted in your memory even as you listen to it... into "Thunk, thunk, thunk, whiiiiiiiiiiir..."

It's time to remember the sweet things, the small things. The way things are hushed on a winter's night. The smell of the cold air, sweet in your nostrils. 

Sweet are the uses of adversity, 
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, 
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; 
And this our life exempt from public haunt 
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones and good in every thing. 
I would not change it. - William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", Act II Scene I
Focus not on the huge things, the pressing things. It's not a good time, or a good idea, to attempt to change the huge things in a single gulp.
Go easy on yourself.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Not in Thunder, But in an April Breeze

"In this go-go culture, creating some space, some stillness, some silence, is a pretty radical thing to do."_Reverend Scott Gunn
"Come and go, not in thunder, but in an April breeze." (Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Advent Meditations.)
Don't shout, whisper; you'll eventually be heard, be patient, and people might listen harder and more willingly.)

This isn't just a Waiting Time. And the Waiting Place sucks, don't get stuck there! It's a time to learn to enjoy silence, enjoy being a radical. Being the same as everyone, a people pleaser, keeping up with those Joneses, is chaotic, exhausting, and impossible. There is nothing wrong with the simple, the quiet. Learn to be kind, to you, first. (I do detest when people say, "To thine own self be true" to excuse selfishness. Don't do that!) Shrug off your burdens, Atlas. Learn to let anger go. To forgive, beginning with you, first.
Above all, have a blessed season!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Very Special Christmas Tale, Starring St. Nick and Arius

Once upon a time, long, long ago, a tiny little meeting was held, called the Council of Nicea. You may  have heard of it. Among those who attended was one St. Nick, the man himself... known more properly as (Now- Saint) Bishop Nicholas of Myra.

The year was 325AD, and the holy men of the world set about nailing down what was believed, what was doctrine, once and for all.

One Arius, out of Egypt, argued that Jesus the Son was not equal to either Father or Spirit. He even came up with a catchy jingle, which had to irritate far worse than the old Round Up weed killer ads put out by Monsanto.
To wit: "If you want the Logos Doctrine, I can give it hot and hot. God begat him, and before he begat him, he was NOT."
 Logos is Latin for "Word".

Along with assertions of doubt that Jesus was both divine and human. He was so nasty, so vehement, that the good Bishop lost his cool and punched Arius in the head. The Bishop was expelled, but forgiven and returned at the next session. At last, things were ironed out and the Nicean creed is now said to this day- "I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, world without end, amen."

Things did not end so well for Arius, who died of an intestinal prolapse, causing his former peers to say it was divine punishment. You see, in laymens' terms, Arius' butt fell out of itself. Ow.

Other than Arius, our heroes lived happily ever after. You know, until the sixteenth century or so- and that darned destructive Reformation.

Imagine if it had gone the other way. Arius Klaus. Shudder!