To clarify, I am not making cake today, and rolling it up with whipped
cream and frosting, and decorating it with mushrooms and trolls. I am
not insane. : )
No, I am going out to my wood pile and choosing the most interesting
logs, and then, cutting sprigs of Holly from my bush down below, and
tucking that holly into crevices in the logs, and pouring melted white
wax over the log and holly to look like snow, and tying a red ribbon
around the log. I even made a teeny-tiny one with fresh Rosemary from
our yard. The purple flowers look so sweet. What a treat!! I love to
make Yule logs!!
They look beautiful sitting on the hearth of the fireplace, waiting for
their time to burn on Christmas night. Sometimes I make one for New
Year's Eve. They are easy to do, and very beautiful. I got the idea
years ago, and do it a week to two weeks before. You can use any plants
in your garden, and, if necessary, you can tie them on with string. The
logs I used today were from an old apple tree, so had plenty of
crevices to tuck the plants. It works well to choose a log with a small
branch sticking out, and then, you have a handle. Interesting logs are
best, though any will do. It is like going to the Humane Society to
choose a pet. Some logs wiggle a bit, hoping to be chosen, and others
hide in the back, and are still.
Today, I am sitting with a discussion from yesterday. Rilke was a
prolific letter writer and receiver of letters, and that stimulation
led much of his writing our way. I think he would have loved email, and
even would have had a blog. The group does not see it that way. They
see the importance of applying ink to paper, and yes, I, too, love that
flow of ink on paper, and I love the rapidity of typing.
Recently, someone told me of a man who misspelled words when he
hand-wrote, and yet, did fine when he typed, because in using two hands
to type, he used both sides of the brain, thus, for him, eliminating
the problem of misspelling. Would not Rilke have loved that? Somehow, I
think he would. I think he would use every available tool to answer the
questions that drove and obsessed him. He wanted to understand and put
to rest for himself: spirituality, soul, religion.
Years and years ago, I was in a workshop where we meditated on our
ideal place to create. I imagined myself in a pure, white, simple place
with an air of Japan. I had a magic tool to write. Steve pointed out,
at the time, I did have one. I had a computer, which at that time, used
I helped teach computers in those days at the school of my sons. We
were so proud to have raised the money at that school through bake sale
and walk-a-thons to have a room, outfitted with computers. We discussed
the ethics of using one program for all the computers, or buying one
program for each. The money was critical for us at the time, and we
felt the ethics were what mattered. Computer by computer, and program
by program, we slowly moved along, carefully choosing each program. The
children were delighted, and didn't mind that they had to move between
computers, that one did nothing but haiku. They were out of one
classroom, and, into another. . It was a simpler time, and so much
Great joy to you today, as you struggle now with the political statement of your winter greeting.
What a contrast to Nepal where they celebrate every holiday. They
point out that it is the feasting that matters, not what religion you
are. We were trying to understand why day after day, our porters
were hungover from the drinking of chang. There were Buddhist
holidays, and Hindu celebrations. It made quite a clattering in
their heads, which dissipated quickly with the prayer flags,
prayer wheels, and bells.
In Bangkok, I saw a lovely ornament, Santa Claus tied to a cross.
For me, it said it all. The world is truly one, and in a most
glorious hodge-podge, goofy, endearing sort of way. Of
course, again, that was a long time ago, during the first Gulf
War. Who could have imagined it would happen again?
Well, I keep swerving off track. I want to make my political statement.
"Happy Holidays, each and every one of them, to you All!"