On December 28th my husband and I celebrated our 59th anniversary with a home cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and English muffins. We looked at our wedding album and didn’t recognize ourselves or each other. We were content. We were so grateful that we didn’t go out to dinner to celebrate. The only traditions we want to follow are the ones we want to create—like an anniversary breakfast.
Another Christmas. The longer you live, the more memories you have! Duh! We all know that, but this year I’m particularly feeling it, and appreciating it. Why? Because this year our plans are quiet, which gives me time to ponder. My son and his wife will come for Christmas Eve dinner and will spend the night; tomorrow I am offering the church service at church. We had plans for a family gathering at my nieces for Christmas dinner but Covid, choosing to visit several family members—very mildly—, took charge of cancelling the plans.
But I am not disappointed. I am content with simple plans, with memories and gratitude. It is enough!
I’ve been a tad slack, as you may have noticed, in keeping up with this blog. Why? Computer problems. I offer this not as an excuse, but as a reason. I come up with excuses when I don’t want to do something, reasons when something legitimate gets in my way. I love writing this blog!!!
My computer problems have to do with the new OS upgrade I had no choice but to have installed on my computer. Until the upgrade, everything was going well. BUT then, oh, the adjustments I had to make—no personal choice there. I’ll say no more but I’m still working around them.
Back to the idea of reasons v.v. excuses. I’m not even going to check Webster’s definitions. We know when we are making up an excuse because we know our reason would be rather pathetic. And yet, behind this computer reason, I know there lingers an excuse—I DO NOT want to take the time to learn the technology. The best I can come up with is to play the age card, which these days I find is more often a reason than an excuse.
An offering from Thomas Merton (Jan. 31, 1915-Dec. 10, 1968)
This idea of a “writing career” which begins somewhere and ends somewhere is also a beautiful stupid fiction….And I don’t feel that my days as a writer are over. I don’t care where they are. The point for me is that I must stop trying to adjust myself to the fact that nig
ht will come and work will end. So night comes. Then what? You sit in the dark. What is wrong with that? Meanwhile, it is time to give to others whatever I have to give and not reflect on it. I wish I had learned the knack of doing this without question or care. Perhaps I can begin, it is not a matter adjustment or of peace. It is a matter of truth, and patience, and humility, Stop trying to “adjust.”
Adjust to what? To the general fiction.Thomas Merton
This Thursday I will drive into Cambridge for a three night, four day silent retreat at the monastery of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE). Along with a room with a bed, desk and easy chair, the guest quarters include a communal kitchen where I can get breakfast and snacks throughout the day, public rooms for reading and mediating, and a lovely garden. Together with the other guests, I will join the brothers for silent lunch and dinner, as well as attend the daily office (5 of them) with them.
Silent retreat, yes silent. None of the guests will expect to talk with me, nor I with them. Although SSJE is a Christian (Episcopal) order, there is no formal expectation that the guests be Christian. Most, like me, are trying to follow Jesus; everyone is trying to love. After all, if I were not wanting and trying to be loving, why would ever sign up for four days of silence?
When I was a kid we didn’t decorate our tree until the weekend before Christmas. That was when Dad was home to bring it it and string up the lights. Now, many many years later, we have a little live tree from Home Depot that my husband will plant in early spring. Nowadays, without shame, decorating can begin before Thanksgiving.
I love bringing up Christmas joyful memories, but I keep them as just that—memories filled with joy.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org