I have been intending to write since Thanksgiving evening but it has been a lot of false starts and deletions. The only thing that has remained in place is the title with John Donne’s words.
Thanksgiving was out of sorts, the local branch of my family is askew, and my children and grandchildren live too far away.
It is Sunday evening. Before I sat down to write, I lit a candle, did a 20 minute sit of Centering Prayer, brewed a cup of Sleepytime tea, and unpacked a certain piece of holiday nostalgia which I will get to later.
I am physically tired from work, but I think I will hold up to write for a bit tonight. This is one of those times when I keep dragging out an introduction. Stalling, for some reason. Under normal circumstances, I would get rid of all this extra chatter in my finished manuscript; but tonight I will most likely just let it go on as it will. I am not sure where I am going, but expect to publish it before I go to bed.
I used to call this a candlelight write–something I have not indulged in for a few years . There is some kind of ache in my heart and soul I need to work out. Maybe just a lot of transition in a short amount of time.
I liked the feel of the Mass this morning. I guess Episcopalians–among whom I am now included–call the service Mass. I still have my Catholic vernacular embedded in my brain. At any rate, the change to purple in vestments, the lighting of the Advent Wreath, my truly beloved O Come, O Come Emanuel–it seemed timely. My holiday mood needed an adjustment.
As usual, I could only hear about every tenth word that wasn’t written down in front of me. I hope Roger’s sermon is on Facebook by now. I will have to take a look at it when I am done writing. I heard enough to think I know what he was talking about. The same with the young woman who was speaking, I think about tithing; and also the prayer or blessing for adoption.
Still, I scooted out of church quickly, giving myself the excuse that I needed to make a quick stop at the grocery store before heading for work. The gnawing ache or whatever.
I miss my parents. Mom has been gone about 15 years and Dad almost 6. I really feel like I “missed ” them, as well. It’s as if they passed by while I was on a different track and I didn’t catch on to them in time.
One of my favorite Thanksgivings was Mom’s last one before she was too sick to care. After dinner, she gathered us women and girls around her big craft table and organized a project decorating stacked flower pots to look like Christmas trees. Of course, I took one look at my three tapering clay pots and saw a snowman instead of a Christmas tree, and asked Mom if she minded if I followed my instinct. She said go with it, and I did.
That snowman is the object I unpacked this evening. As far as I know, it is the only surviving souvenir of that Thanksgiving, and I can’t describe the mixture of feelings I experience every year when I take him out of storage.
Okay, I feel lighter, already. I have a lot to talk about and think about, but I believe my candlelight write is complete.
Protect us Lord, while we are awake and safeguard us while we sleep, that we may keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.
(from Compline in the Benedictine Daily Prayer)