Thursday, December 24, 2015

May the Force be With You...

Christmas was not a politically correct holiday when I was growing up. It pretty much just came in and sat in your living room, taking up the whole couch. It had control of the remote and even told us what to have for dinner. It came to school amid gusts of glitter and spun cotton, taking over art and music classes. There was no way to avoid learning the Christmas Story.

Now years later Christmas is a careful holiday. She comes in holding cookies in pine-tree shapes and patiently listens to the way songs and tv shows share a most secular Christmas. She's wondering why the wall full of Christmas Cards has shrunk to a handful of paper holiday cards on the table. Are we still sending love to each other to mark the holiday?

Today I was thinking about what I could wish for people in a holiday-Christmas-Season's Greeting that would be inclusive and yet heartfelt. It's been a year where we're hearing rhetoric all around us that tries to demonize some, cast suspicion on others, and introduce little spikes of fear in our hearts and minds. Getting past that will take a mighty force. 

You know the one I mean...the force of unexpected overwhelmingly dumbfounding love, joy, humility and grace that we've all felt now and then. That shocking touch of the Infinite, of God, of Angels, of Fairies, of Nature....of whatever it is you personally call it... that lets you feel chosen and gorgeous-in-the-sight-of.

That's what I wish for everyone - to walk in the spirit of being a co-conspiritor with love - to create beauty on earth.  What's the greeting card jingle for that? 'May the Force be with you' may have to do!

Friday, December 4, 2015

When brrrr goes to brrrright!

The last couple of weeks were cold. Frost-etched, ice-puddled, find your mittens cold. Cold enough to  encourage me to wear socks and no crocs. Brrr!  Bad, right?!

And in November no less.  Isn't that early? As signals of seasonal change go, it's not nearly as nice a leaves changing colors or buds popping out. It's a harsh final warning to be sure my garden is readied for deep freeze and my pantry has all the nice chocolate milk and cookie ingredients required to make it through the inevitable snow-in.

It's also the clarion call to choose how, this year anyhow, my family and I are going to respond to the busy-ness of the holiday season. Lots? Little? Over the Top? Lay low?

fairy magic winter card
A warm place for Winter Fairies!
This weekend I'm participating in a holiday bazaar at one of my favorite schools here in Portland, the Renaissance School. It's a place where they encourage thinking, magical and otherwise. The unfettered creativity of the kids is frankly, just a little intimidating. Their own art is enviable.

I've been making a few things to take to this end-of-the season event. I don't usually have much that's popular at festivals by this time of year.

Which brings me back to the start. My studio has a space heater...and it isn't doing a good job. It's too cold out there!  I work in short stints, punctuated by the aforementioned cookies and chocolate to gear me up to go back out. So it's no accident that the card I created for this event is brrrrrrright!  

In the end, the frost licks are enchanting, the ice tracings on the pond are fun and snow, when it comes, gives a moment's thought that the whole world can change overnight. Brrrrright stuff.  At least for a few months!