When I was in college, my college roommate and I shared an apartment that had a huge picture window. Each day in the month of December, we put up a card with a word on it, "Joy", "Peace", etc. She is doing that on Facebook now. The word for today is "Integrity".
I am surprised at the diversity of responses to the movie Life of Pi. Perhaps because I read the book, I was prepared for the themes. I saw it again yesterday. It seems some are bothered by what they perceive as violence. We have a great deal of controversy about how to share the use of the trails around here. I used to be a big mountain biker, and I hiked, so I understood both sides of the controversy, but I never understood how hikers thought they could stand or walk in nature unaware. We are not here to "zone out". We are here to partake, to mutually observe and be observed. There's no standing "outside".
Nature does demand something of us. There is respect. Yes, native peoples went on vision quests. They were also aware there were animals that might be dangerous. Even a mosquito bites. There was hunger. There was thirst.
I think Life of Pi does a beautiful job of examining what it means to be alive. There is a cost, heart-breaking at times, and to use a cliche, that cracking open is where the light pours in.
This is a time of year where we are incredibly aware of light. I look out now, and see it dance on the leaves of the tree. I am leaf, light, tree.
It is a time to be aware, to notice that on December 21st, the light appears to stop in its progression of deepening dark. There is a pause, and then, the days lengthen again. Meanwhile we are beckoned to go within, to notice our heartbeat, to honor what we ingest. It is December, 2012, a beautiful time to be alive.
For inspiration for 2013, there is this: http://www.break.com/index/we-stopped-dreaming.html?st=fb&ai=0&zi=0&ds=2