Years ago, when I first moved out west, the oddest thing about the Christmas season was the lack of snow. Something about seeing coloured Christmas lights reflected in mountains of white show is… magical. Snow acts as insulation and alters the acoustics of a home, lending an already quiet moment that much more.. quietude.
Growing up I loved nothing more than to sit in our darkened living room late at night, the curtains to our front window open to the street to watch gently falling snow outside all the while admiring the juxtaposition of that scene against the beautiful multicoloured lights of our Christmas tree.
It took some getting used to, these snowless Christmases. Black is reflective when it’s slick with rain (which is often at this time of year), but it really doesn’t have that quality that reminds me of my days of yore.
Regardless, this is my favourite time of year, a time during which people’s hearts soften and they feel a little more compelled to think of others, and share their good fortune with others.
However you celebrate this time of year, I wish you all much joy and merriment — may the sweetness of these moments carry you through another year. Wassail!
My life is filled with simple pleasures these days. Knitting has become a fixture, and alternately is used as a relaxation/meditation (replacement) process and a source of visibly productive creativity. I enjoy the fact that I’m making things but not having to ponder the process itself – the pattern and the related elements are already figured out and all I need to do is show up. Hence my Gryffindor scarf in the making (tucked into the beautiful Lantern Moon project bag pictured here).
Another source of joy has been reading, and this evening I had the pleasure of attending a CBC broadcast of a book club radio show. Tonight’s featured author was Annabel Lyon who read from and went on to discuss her latest novel, The Sweet Girl, at some length. I haven’t read any of her work but look forward to doing so soon. As with most of these types of events, I always leave inspired and amped to stretch my own creative muscles, only to feel sadly inadequate at the results. I enjoyed hearing Annabel’s response to a question from an audience member on a how-to point (taking the time to scoff at the notion that creative writing is not a teachable skill): in order to produce good writing one must learn the tools that, combined with taking the time to write in whatever increments are available, will bring about the desired results. That, along with John Cleese’s video on creativity that is making the rounds on Facebook lately, there is no substitute for time in the seat.
I sometimes get this feeling of a pesky niggling just beyond my periphery with such little to go on that I’m not even sure what it is that I’m taking note of or why, but enough to know that I must do something with it. Kind of like (in Annabel’s case) Hellenic sippy cups and spiny “bubble wrap” plants (read The Sweet Girl to see what that means). So the Writers’ Festival happening next month seems like a good, short, foray into picking up some skills for someone (like me, lately) with a short attention span.
They always remind me of my mother, these flowers. They were amongst her favourites, and count among mine as well. I would randomly bring her a bouquet here and there, knowing how the flowers delighted her.
Our relationship was complex and with her passing I have had much time to reflect on so much of it. I at once miss her and feel relief at her passing. And anger, too, for so many things. And larger than life admiration. She was something.
In the end I need help to unravel the ball of wax that was our family dynamics (which ultimately shaped the who I have become).