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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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Monday, December 19, 2011

Silent Night: Waiting for Wonder

The season of Christmas is hard and fast, a vicious wild river of people and vehicles vying for more gifts, more money, parking spaces, more immeasurable and impossible holiday glee.

I'm convinced this is a reaction to the dark of the year. I can't speak for any one else. It has an addictive edge to it I don't trust. When I try to strip myself down each year to the celebration of Christ's birth and basic kindness to the people in front of me, without the endorphin pump of extra shopping, sugar and alcohol, I find myself facing all kinds of edgy truths about myself. Much of what runs through your mind in the dark.

Not that I'm a stick about sugar and extra spending. They're just not good for me. There's an old saying, "Up like a rocket. Down like a stick.", which pretty much covers my mental health after any Christmas-New Years week. Since I don't have the family obligations, I can and often do choose to opt out of the commercial aspect. And anything that takes extra vacuuming, or must be put away unless it's up next spring. Ick.

I'm an escaped Catholic. I go to an Anglican Church largely because I love the rituals and can think what I like. They don't green the church (translate: put up the tree) until the Sunday before Christmas.

It leaves time for waiting in the darkness. To push back against the darkness, and it's nastier little whispers and say, "The Light is coming." There's a value in saying that before the light arrives. It reminds us that good and bad, broken and whole what we need is there and right for us.

That all said, I think I'm going to put up an origami bird tree. One I don't have to take down after the season. There's nothing wrong with lighting a candle in the dark.

All of the best of the blest for you and yours for the holiday.


Lili said...

the last few years have been nothing but darkness. my husband almost died. we lost our house and cars that we had worked so hard to get. no one was there to help us, as usual. it was so dark, i never even considered looking for light. but today, as i watch my husband and daughter go out the door to tackle the challenges at work, and as i lay back in my little house where i am stuck because we have no extra vehicle, i have to say that the light is shining. what an unexpected surprise.

Carol said...

Escaped Catholic..I think I like that term. I always find light. The sun is my hope icon. I dispensed with the pressures of this season a long time ago. I am liberated from it and glad to be. I turn my attention to the coming Spring, just as soon as the sun sets on Christmas.

Be well, be safe.

Michele/TextileTraveler said...

Lovely, Ellen. I'm trying to learn to live with the darkness, to sit with it and know that it's my time to lie fallow, and to have faith that the light will return. Sometimes it's harder than others, but as my sister says, "progress, not perfection."

Carol Morrissey said...

You have a way with words, Ellen. Have you considered writing fiction?

Tina Rathbone said...

OMG, Ellen, we were just talking about putting up a tiny (rosemary) tree full of origami birds. Cue Twilight Zone theme ...

This is the least "Christmas Spirit" in terms of outside "stuff" I've ever experienced. No lights, no tree, no cards. But we love our family and friends, and will enjoy cooking up a nice dinner.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Dianne Leatherdale Johnson said...

We are doing a sort of non Christmas this year as we are in the middle of a big move.....movers coming New Year's Eve! It is ok as the light is shining now after a big blast of darkness when we were told we were evicted as our building had been sold for demolition.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus and I for one do not need lights and big spending to do that.....a bit of chocolate is nice though.

A very Merry Christmas to you as well, and fibre artists everywhere.

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