Cheer-veneer is spilling over the edges of everywhere. If we're not careful we'll lose our grounding and slip into a vat of spiked prickliness garnished with a grumble. I do every year until I remember I don't really have to do that if I wake-up
to my free will. Oh yeah.. that.
We can take our cup and catch what we want of holiday festivities and let the rest run-off as sparklified slush into winter's river of silly traditions and optional sentimentality. We don't have to follow the unwritten rules of someone else's invented behavior. We are independent creative minds defining our own reality. We don't have to rule out that some of those rules are fun, but sometimes they are tiring.
We have permission to observe the holiday in whatever way makes sense to who we are... grand celebrations of mistletoed dances in delightfully ugly sweaters, cozy Christmas movies, quality time to be alone and read under the down, love revisited, observation of how beautiful this season is in all its glorious forms across the world. We can receive the wonder of each moment as new - not the way we think it's supposed to be or the way it was. We can claim our versatility as humans and tiptoe the whole scale from Grinch to grace and alight upon that which serves us best.
We are a talented species by virtue of being alive and being willing to step out of the hypnosis people lose themselves this time of year.
If you soften your focus with a lens of gratitude, ghosts of Christmas past fade into window panes, ghosts of Christmas future wave eagerly from the horizon's edge in readiness to bring good news.
This shortest day of the year, I choose to lose myself in Toshio Ebine's painting, Midnight Jazz
[^ that one up there] even if it's just for a minute. As I look at this fanciful masterpiece, I take a breath in and ask: What would it be like to be a passenger in a crescent moon boat that rides among the stars with only the sound of a large rabbit playing the jazz bass? Then I exhale. Just asking the question brings me calm.
Art, music, and creativity have power as refuge and inspiration. The cycles of seasons, creativity, and life include a time to rest, go inside, to relinquish the need "to do" and take stock of what beauty there already "is". Those of us always producing, need a time where we surrender our own efforts and enjoy the magnificence created by others. It's everywhere.
The shortest day is here
Show-off your best drab darkness ...
Then make way for the light