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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silent Night

I'm in complete rebellion  this Christmas. I can't quite get it. I don't want a tree. I will not shop. I've sung carols with my church but I won't put them on at home. I'm not doing it.


This  Santa boy represents everything I would prefer to miss. He's actually a Japanese vending machine for Christmas. I'm sort of waiting for the Easter bunny version and the Jack-o-lantern issue.Talk about Christmas out of the box. Yuck.


It occurs to me that maybe I just don't understand Christmas. Christmas was utterly changed the year my Dad died. My father was the hearth of our home. When he died there was not much there but gin, literature and cold ashes. I desperately tried to put up a tree and make everyone presents. I annoyed everyone mightily. They wanted a steak dinner, gifts out of a catalog,  a stiff drink and to fall asleep in front of the TV. I've been pretty sour on it ever since.


But the one thing that has made Christmas work for me is the kids in my life. I never had a child, but that never meant I didn't have children. For reasons I don't understand, they seem to creep through the cracks in the door. They stay as long as they need to stay, all for different reasons.   To be fed cookies  at your table , or to dye fabric, or hear stories, or play with your dogs, or to have someone hold down their rage while they learn to do that themselves.The price of all that is the price you pay for every child in your life. You need to be willing to let them go as easily as they come.  The love is all there, but their path is not. And it's cruel to mess with that.


This year, I have children gone again. They're healthy and brave and well. There's no reason to grieve. But I hate the loneness of Christmas eve.


People who say art is your child, don't really do art. Things are just what they are. Your art is your art. It's not ever going to run to you with it's arms open. Or show you a kitten, or bring you a song. It can't be asked to do what it cannot.


In process Daylily Quilt



It is your creation, in a way a child can't be, although it has a life of it's own. So I'm in the studio, pouring life into a new piece, building day lilies out of dragon claw shapes.




Creation is a love. A dry love often, but a love.And it strikes me that that too is Christmas. For Christmas we get a baby. Not a baby who can love us yet. No baby can. But a baby that coaxes our love out of us. It's a baby that demands our care, our involvement, our concern. It invite us to love and teaches us how. Its advent demands our attention. And flays us open to a heart available for the love that is always there.

I'm making a huge pot of soup for Christmas eve. I'm taking it to church and I'm feeding whoever asks.  Hopefully, angels unawares.

4 comments:

Sam said...

Amen! I am a teacher at an alternative school ("barren" in the words of my mom) but blessed with a never ending supply of needy teenagers who appear to be raising themselves. If my dh were willing there would always be four or five camped out around the house. As it is, I love, nurture, role model and encourage. Granola bars, I should own stock, and bandaids, a never ceasing willingness to listen ease many tears and worries. We may not be reproducing but we are raising better adults!

Ellen Anne Eddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana said...

God bless all who,
are like you THE HEART
IN THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is not $$$$ at the Mall.
Christmas is not $$$$ in the Hall.
Christmas is the children in our Heart and
the person who is Smart enough to
help them be God's children.

Judy said...

Dear Ellen,
Christmas is a most Complex time of year.So many mixed emotions.
Yes, you don't have to bear children to love them, and have them around.I always think if children like you, you must be an OK human being.
I am looking forward to seeing your finished work.I love your books.My eyes are almost burning holes in the pages!!
Have a wonder- filled Christmas Season.Judy XX

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