As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
~ Donald E. Westlake
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would be thrilled to see you again. Welcome back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch! Let’s pour our beverages, grab something to nosh on (I have some really good hummus and pita bread; sorry, no sweets this week), and go out to the back porch. It is warm and sunny out there, and I think you’ll like the view.
How are you? What have you been doing lately? Are you in the midst of some holiday madness or are you simplifying this year? A little of both, maybe? Do you do any seasonal decorating or do you leave things as they are? Have you traveled anywhere since we last chatted? Or seen any new sights? How’s the weather been in your part of the world? Have you gone out for any good walks? Visited any museums? Seen any good films or read any good books?
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I don’t have anything to share at the moment in regards to books or films. I haven’t finished any of the books I’m currently reading, and M and I haven’t had much time for movie watching. We have been watching the series Orange is the New Black, Season 1. It’s entertaining. And sometimes surprising. And we can fit it in when we have an hour to spare in the evenings.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I’m not sure the opening quote is all that appropriate for most of you (because you are such a chill bunch), or for me, at least in terms of aggravation. I decided on it for this post because it does seem that so many people get frustrated and aggravated this time of year. It makes me wonder what the point of the “holiday season” is if people are going to get all bah-humbuggy and stressed about it. Moderation is key, I think, whether it’s in shopping, spending, partying, eating, or any of the other holiday activities.
Since I mentioned the word Holiday, there is something I find slightly frustrating. It’s the “war on Christmas” myth that spreads this time of year. (A good reason to stay away from Facebook, no? Yes!) It is true that I think of this as the holiday season, not as the Christmas season. And yes, I say, “Happy Holidays” if I’m just not sure. You see, I have the United Nations and Faiths of friends. Some celebrate Christmas, some celebrate the Solstice, some celebrate Kwanzaa, some have already celebrated Diwali or Ramadan, some celebrate Hanukkah, some celebrate Festivus, some celebrate everything and/or nothing at all, and well, I’m not at all sure what my Pastafarian friends (of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) celebrate but I have seen a poster that asks us to “Put the Spaghetti Back in the Holidays.”
I practice no religion, as you already know, so it matters little to me whether someone says to me “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” or “Blessed Solstice.” I will joyfully respond in kind because I figure if you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” to me first, that must be what you are celebrating. If I’m wrong, then that makes two of us so it’s all good.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would apologize for the start of a mild rant and stop now. Let’s move on to something else. How about mandalas? I finished the Five Days of Mandala Magic course with Julie Gibbons yesterday. It was inspiring, fun, wonderful, and a whole host of good things. I don’t think I’ve clicked with an activity so completely since I first picked up a camera or learned I loved reading and writing (all of which happened long ago when I was a child). I would love to take the year-long course. Aside from the cost (which I could readily handle by giving up coloring my hair again — remember when I did that for a year so I could buy a camera? Vanity is obviously not a priority in my life), there is the time commitment. There are a lot of plans in the works for 2016, and I’m afraid that if I sign up, I’ll find myself falling hopelessly behind. It’s not just the plans. I am still working on my book, and the day-to-day stuff here at the ranch can be time consuming.
I haven’t said no to the possibility of signing up for the course because if it is something I really want to do, I’ll find a way. But at this point, I’m leaning towards not this year. In the meantime, I will keep practicing. I am dreadful with a compass, wobbling the thing all over the place, but I did discover a secret about this small tool for drawing circles. Lean in and I’ll tell it to you: The best circles happen when I stop trying to control the compass and just relax into it. If I become too controlling, the compass refuses to cooperate and spins itself out of control.
I do love creating mandalas even if I am on turtle speed and it seems to take forever to complete one. I think the reason I enjoy it so much is because a mandala has structure, yet it is open to whatever you care to do with one. Another paradox, perhaps, and I do love paradoxes.
If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that on the blogging front I’m trying out a shorter format, something along the lines of small stones. Except for the weekend coffee chats, I think it will be easier for all concerned, especially you, if I stop writing long, rambling posts with tons of images. Brevity is not my strong suit (obviously!), and it might be a good challenge for me to learn how to capture the heart of the walk or the day or the whatever it is I’m trying to share and convey. Distillation is a slower process for me than babbling, but then, distillation usually does take time.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would ask if you’d like to take a walk out to the dock before you have to leave. We can go now or wait until sunset. The sunsets have been beautiful lately, the sun and sky painting awe-inspiring pictures for us to enjoy. Sunset has been stuck at 4:43 PM for the past few days. Let’s go early so we can explore the long shadows in the woods on our way to the dock.
Thank you so much for visiting with me today. I always enjoy our coffee chats, and hope you do too.
Be good, be kind, be loving, be well. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.