Sunday Best – December 25, 2022 (with book list!)

Dear friends, this week brings us winter solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas, not to mention National Crossword Puzzle Day, Mathematics Day, and National Bacon Day.

Curiously, in times of great activity, with crowds at every turn, it’s easier than ever to get caught up in our individual plans and dramas, our personal joys and heartaches. Underneath the connecting and the planning and the giving, there is a current of me-ness running, sweet and precious and flawed.

For all of our me’s, a dose of David Whyte can be a blessing.

May we all recognize the dream-ladders to divinity that surround us today.

 

Everything is Waiting for You, by David Whyte

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

 

****

Winter 2022 Book List

In these darkest days of the year, as the holiday hubbub subsides, there is nothing like the comfort of curling up with a great book. I’m happy to share a few favorites here, a mix of new issues and old friends.

Here’s to the solstice, the return of the light!

Solstice bonus – Honeybee winter book list!

In these darkest days of the year, as the holiday hubbub subsides, there is nothing like the comfort of curling up with a great book. I’m happy to share a few favorites here, a mix of new issues and old friends.

Here’s to the solstice, the return of the light!

Sunday Best – December 18, 2022

On this day in 1966, the original Grinch animation was aired for the first time – the good one, the real one, the one with Boris Karloff.

There is Cindy Lou Who, who is no more than two.

There is Max with the reindeer horn tied on his head, sliding down Mount Crumpit.

There is one of the best song lines of all time – you’re a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich, with arsenic sauuuuuuuuuce!

There is the Grinch himself, heart expanded, carving the roast beast. 

 

Friends, here we are, in the darkest days of the year, waiting for the light.

May our Grinchy ways be forgiven.

May our gatherings warm these longest nights.

May our traditions sparkle like stars.

Sunday Best – December 11, 2022

I was lucky to have a glorious hour at the Tate Modern museum this past week, where the enchanting papery sculptures of Maria Bartuszova are currently featured.

Some of the pieces were bound tightly by thin bands, the plaster forms bulging around the edges. In other cases, those same bands were cradling the sculptures, holding together delicate pieces that otherwise might have collapsed. 

Friends, we all have ties that bind us in our lives, and we offer them to others as well.

In a world that sometimes feels caged,

may all of our constraints be cradles.

 

 

Photos from the exhibit, with all credit to the artist and the museum.

Sunday Best – December 4, 2022

After many fruitless seasons, imagine my joy to notice a huge bumper crop of pears ripening this past summer. Hardly any fruit dropped during the usual early summer winnowing, and the crows stayed away long enough for the limbs to bend with the coming harvest.

Alas, this abundance came with a cost. A little greedy and a little lazy, I left the pears unattended through the heart of the season, and when the picking time finally came, it was accompanied by a windstorm.

Under these conditions, the abundance became unbearable weight. A number of main limbs snapped, and it will take years for the trees to recover.

It’s so easy for bounty to become overload, especially when the elements involved are positive, or important, or both. Whether a person or a company or a pear tree, maximizing in any one dimension leaves us fragile in others.

Friends, as we tip into these longest nights, let us celebrate the harvest that this year has given.

Let us tend to the small strains, before they become breaks.

Let us prune with care, extending abundance for the seasons to come.

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