December 25th, 2005

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Petra sends this!

Music: Si fortune
Sequenced by Curtis Clark at The Internet Renaissance Band.

Miracles have a way of making news.
Even skeptics stare at parted seas.
Religious or not--Christians, Muslims, Jews--
Resurrection brings them to their knees!
Years ago, miracles were in vogue:
Christ and Moses wowed the willing crowds;
Holy icons healed both saint and rogue;
Rare wonders were ascribed to cups and shrouds.
In our time miracles are everyday,
So few can hope to grab us, or astound.
The mysteries that clutter up our way
May seem much more perplexing than profound.
And yet life is miraculous: to be
Surpasses any wonder we might see.

My Christmas Eve was, and is, miraculous. The Gratitude Bowl brought us all together in deepest love, care, joy, awareness, and tears.

My family is so special that tears fill my eyes as I think of how to even speak of what they wrote and did for me yesterday. Each gift was so specially chosen, and represented so much love. There was so much excitement, love, care, and joy in each person's eyes. I live in the land of multiple Santa Claus's, elves, incredible chefs, and saints.

Chris gave us 300 trees to help save the Siberian tigers and make up for our global emissions. Jeff and Jan went through our photos, and chose the ones so special that just to look at them brings tears to the eyes. Steve chose a handsome purse for my computer that will make it easy and fashionable for me to travel with my beloved friend, and it is not black. Yay! The gifts were like that, touching and chosen and wrapped with love and care. And the stockings, I note, are full, as Santa has already been here.

I have cherished all this year two wine glasses that were a gift from last year. It seems everyone noticed how much I love those two glasses. I have so many now I could host a wine tasting. Everyone gave me those glasses. Amazingly, there is even a special edition of them that comes in pink, so that 15% of the proceeds goes to breast cancer research. Who would have thought? I live in the world of rose-tinted glasses, and my world truly is rosy and pink.

I was filled yesterday with the preciousness of life, the fragility, and tears just kept filling my eyes until they were more than just tears. I was in incredible discomfort yesterday, and I am strongly debating what these chemicals are doing to me, and I am trying not to hold on to wanting to be here forever with such wonderful people, while just accepting the gift that they are. Does that make sense? I hope so.

I never dreamed that I would lose my mother so quickly this year, and be dealing with what is going on, and yet, I smelled my mother's scent in the house yesterday amidst the smell of the fire, and the food, and the warmth of loving bodies moving quickly and easily to ensure my every care. I am so blessed, as are all of you. The preciousness of life overflows in me. As Marion says, "Tears are liquid love," and I continue to bathe.

As I say, I am trying not to hold onto a life, so wondrous, and precious, to just accept as it continues to wash over me with such love and blessings. We burned our Yule Log last night. We burned in the fire, of love, acceptance, and the crystalline clarity of purity as it blazes and hums with joy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukkah to All, and to all good days and good nights.

One last note: I never could have imagined what each person wrote for the gratitude bowl. I suggest it to you all for next year. It is a great gift. Have fun with it, and see what comes. You may be placed gently in tears, the kind that come from the place of deepest feeling, where everyone and everything are mindfully present as one.

Ah, one more note. My ten year old niece chose my gift. She chose a book of poetry, Garrison Keillor's selection of poems for hard times. Again, I am so touched that, at ten, she understands so clearly what I am going through. Jeff gave me the words and a video of Thich Nhat Hanh. I continue to be given the fullest support in absolutely every way. Thank you to you all!!!
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Heart thoughts -

Ellen sends another one.

This one is from Stephen Levine.

"The mind creates an abyss, but the heart crosses it."

May this continue so, for us all!!

Merry Christmas Day!!
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Ellen sends this also.

"You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

It is a day for gratitude. I hear the rain softly purring outside, and all, but me, in this moment, are safely asleep in this house, even Mandu.

I return to bed, grateful for the chance to connect, in the early morning, of my night.
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What a day it is - rain, coziness, and a fire all day. I might have called it a lazy day, but my brother said it sounded like a peaceful day, and I see that, yes, of course, that is what it is. Peace!!

Ah! I feel myself beginning to heal. Of course, I slept a good deal today. My hand had become infected, and Jan has kept heat on that, and not wearing shoes for two days is helping my feet, so everything is beginning to heal. My skin is so sensitive that it is sometimes painful when anything touches it, but I have had quite the respite these last two days with soft clothes, soft hands, soft talk, soft air.

My niece Katy got up this morning, and grabbed the glass from which Santa drank his milk. She figured they could get the DNA off the glass, and clone Santa. Now there is an idea! Each of us with our own Santa. Of course, keeping him in cookies and egg nog might be something, but imagine having such such a cheery, talented guy around all the time. I see that the modern child has quite a different view of things than when I was growing up! It is quite entertaining indeed!!

I offer a poem from "Good Poems for Hard Times."


                        by Lisel Mueller

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

Safe caves, love, peace, and coziness to All!!

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Editorial from the NY Times today - Christmas Day!

Here is the editorial from the New York Times today, Christmas Day 2005!

You don't really have to be in the mood for the Fourth of July. No one ever talks about having that Memorial Day spirit. Even Thanksgiving can be distilled, without too much disrespect. But Christmas is something different. Feeling is the point of it, somewhere under all that shopping. To think of Scrooge is to think of his conversion, the cartwheeling of his emotions after his long night of the soul. But the more interesting part of the story is his dogged resistance to feeling the way everyone thinks he's supposed to feel - about death, about charity, about prize turkeys hanging at the poulterer'

Most of us know how we want to feel this time of year, whatever holiday we are celebrating. We want to feel safe, loving and well loved, well fed, openhanded, and able to be moved by the powerful but very humble stories that gather in this season. We would like to feel that there is a kind of innocence, not in our hearts, since our hearts are such complicated places, but in the very gestures and rituals of late December. We would like to feel that we are returning to something unchanged, some still spot in a spinning world. Whether you believe with an absolute literalism or with a more analogic faith, whether you believe at all, whether you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or merely human, the word we would like to feel most profoundly now is Peace.

It's easy enough to be cynical about the things we would like to feel here at the dark end of the year, to dismiss them out of hand as if they were only the battery-powered, sugar-coated, marzipan dreams of a child's holiday. Life is too tough, too embattled for such sentimentality. That is Scrooge's point exactly: no use pretending the world isn't exactly the way it is. One of the reasons we love to hear the story of an old crank like Scrooge is that he seems to embody this cracked old world, made whole in one night by regret and repentance.

One night will not do it, nor will one day. Peace does not simply appear in the sky overhead or lie embodied one morning in a manger. We come into this season knowing how we want it to make us feel, and we are usually disappointed because humans never cease to be human. But we are right to remember how we would like to feel. We are right to long for peace and good will.