We are soon to enter the season of “wreaths” in both ecclesial and social terms. Churches and many of their people will want to create the Advent Wreaths – that great countdown to Christmas – the enfleshment of God. But outside churches, regular people will be fashioning wreaths for their front doors.
An artist, collaborating with elements, be they words, clay or paints, is entering vulnerable territory when taking up the tools of the trade to make a new thing. To make a new thing is a vulnerable act that takes enormous courage. And then, even if the book is written or the cup is fired, there are the critics. Critics abound.
The season in which we find ourselves is one that reflects on death. Every culture and religious tradition makes a big deal out of death in the “laugh or you will cry” sort of way and our culture is no exception.
Sometimes things just do not turn out the way we had planned, or even dared to hope. The often-quoted phrase “Compare and despair.” is a valuable reminder to me that when I compare myself and my life to others, despair is usually the only result.
Kai-the-dog likes the woodstove. A lot. He is an old dog whose muscles, joints and bones ache. He is almost 14 years old and so, in human years, he is almost 98. Medications to numb the pain are helping but still, an egg-crate-foam bed and a very hot wood stove are a great comfort to a dog in his later years.
The classic leftovers-dessert shows that something wonderful can be crafted with nothing much at all
The moments of our days are not unlike the stones of the planet. Some are beautiful and translucent. Some are smooth while others need their sharp edges in order to catch the light. Some have a quiet mystery and others convey colors every bit as vibrant as the flowers of a garden.
These days, as I age and slow down a bit, I am finding myself less and less inclined to rush past precious things in search of many or impressive or self-anesthetizing things.
Glamor craves what might be, while beauty gently nods at the wabi-sabi of what simply is. Impermanent. Imperfect. Incomplete. And yet still lovely.
Though I have many friends, I find it helpful to celebrate them one at a time when I pray. This one friend. This one shell. This one meditation moment. This one day of life.