There are lovely, amazing things to be shared in this life, my friends. But. I can't pretend that Ferguson didn't happen. that Dr. Huxtable didn't break my heart. that black Friday isn't an ugly thing. That a personal family crisis hasn't turned my own life upside down.
I will never believe there isn't room for lovely things, that the sharing of them isn't still important. undeniably, it is, perhaps now more than ever. but to pretend the hard things don't exist, the things that break us, render us speechless, hopeless, to go on as if nothing has happened, is happening, will happen, well. I just can't do it.
So, I'm trying to stay steeped in December over here. which really just means I'm busy pinching sap off the ends of Christmas tree branches, to inhale. you know, so I can breathe it in, every chance I get. recently, I showed up for a hospital visit with a few stray pine needles stuck to the side of my cheek and, I don't know. I think this means I might be doing it right.
Am trying to find places for all the Christmas things I need to be doing right now. Am I playing all the Christmas playlists, singing all the songs, baking all the things. wishing for a tiny Christmas miracle. because Christmas is something you do but also, something you feel. something you wear on your heart. It is the celebration of a birth, the birth is hope and without this hope, we are nothing.
I'm mostly at the hospital these days, comforting when I can. that is, when I've not got my face buried deep in the branches of a Fraizer Fir. I try to lose myself in the rituals of the day. I tell stories, listen to doctors, hold hands, and pray. and I will not forget to be thankful. but I will also remember.
Two weeks ago we celebrated with a lunch excursion into Cleveland, to Balaton. We were seated by a nicely dressed older gentleman who watched over the place from a table in the corner. Between tasks, he ate slices of red apple out of a bowl. An elderly lady with dyed black hair and polyester pants came in shortly after we did, and the gentleman seated her at the next table over. They exchanged greetings in Hungarian, and he helped her out of her coat. Then he brought her a glass of red wine, filled perilously to the rim, and a steaming bowl of goulash soup. She was so quiet and careful, deftly angling her spoon to savor the chunks of beef that floated on top, and watching her, my sister decided to order the same. So we ate, a plate of cabbage rolls stuffed with beef and pork and rice (on a bed of sauerkraut!), a small order of spatzels with more gravy!, and Palacinke a heavenly crepe filled with apricots, and never before, in the history of Cleveland, were there three more
we bought chocolate.
and ribbon candy.
I was thinking about my Dad earlier today and it made me happy. I let go of all that I am holding onto so tightly, all the self-imposed deadlines and expectations, all the anxiety. all of it floated right out of my body and up into an infinite grey sky. they are hovering now. somewhere over far away, I think.
because really, it's the thought.
And praying for miracles is an everyday thing.