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Posts Tagged ‘light’

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Christmas can be a mixed bag for a girl like me, a half-Jew brought up by a couple of atheists. So much history can be boiled down into my feelings and experiences of this season of holidays.

The first time I celebrated a real Christmas was when I was 4 years old in Germany. I think they still put live candles on the trees, but I can’t be sure. What I remember most clearly are oranges, nuts and a nutcracker, and a whole fish in aspic. You hear me tell of it here and there, in a poem or so.

There is no snow and I am convinced it will never snow again in New England. I think Paul will have to mow the lawn in January and I think the cat will never be rid of fleas because it will never freeze deeply enough ever again.

What we do know is that the light is coming back. That’s what we know and we know it and know it and know it. And it doesn’t mean we all have to be happy, so don’t fall into that trap of manufactured bullshit. You are allowed to mope and be sad and angry and have a crappy time. You are, you really are. And if you are lucky, you will get to spend that time of yourself with the people you love. That’s all. Food and family and a bit of warmth and light. If not family, the friends who stand in as family. If you are having a hard time generating your own light, steal it from someone else and don’t feel bad about it. They are giving it away because they have enough.

We went to hear Tim and Peter and Zoe on Saturday night at The Montague Book Mill. I can’t say that Christmas songs are my favorite thing in the world, but it’s a magical space and I was glad to be there.

I’ll just post some song now, not even one that the little trio played last night.

I was driving my kid to her dance group yesterday morning and I heard this song on the radio. First I thought, oh no, a country song with all the Christmas clichés. But did I find myself crying by the end? Oh, yes, oh yes I did.

I’d take this honesty and heartfelt emotion over your Bing Crosby Baby-Jesus-With-The-Blue-Eyes any day. Any day.

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I am not going to say that I am grateful for electricity, okay?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll say it. I’m grateful for electricity.

I am more grateful for a heated house and hot water and light in the darkness, which is to say that for the 3 days and 4 nights we just spent without electricity, I would liked to have had a better ability to create a source of heat and light that is not dependent on power lines. We did use a camping stove for heating up soup and noodles and water a few times. That was nice.

But I would like to have a gas stove, a wood-burning fireplace, and more surfaces in my house that could be safely used with candlelight. My house is small-ish (to me who grew up in much larger houses) and cluttered-ish. I would have liked to read or do my crossword puzzles by candlelight in my bedroom on those nights without electricity, but there isn’t a safe place to put a candle–too much clutter or too many fabric-y things all over the place.

I am grateful for HEAT and LIGHT and FIRE which is to say, from within.

You may not believe it, but I, twinklysparkles, was getting very pissy and whiny after just ONE NIGHT without heat. It was cold, I tell you. By Monday night, I was too cold to sleep and I had a super-shitty night. But on Tuesday evening, I went to my regular yoga class. My teacher, too, had been without heat at her house. She taught a very heat-producing class. Like strip-off-your clothes yoga workout. Not hot yoga, just bringing up the inner heat, the heat you can create by moving your own muscles, breath, chi, prana.

I came home ready to conquer. Full of fire. Remembering who I am and remembering that before external power, I have the spark of life inside.

Hubby heated water on the camping stove. I did a whole dang load of dishes. (Have I ever told you about my champion dish-stacking skills? I am the best dish-stacker I have ever met. My drying rack is a thing of beauty. Balanced, poised, sensible. I love stacking clean dishes almost as much as making sure the dishes are clean).

Warm toilet seats. Oh my God.

Warm floors.

Warm bed.

You know, in the winter, those 3 things aren’t terribly warm all the time anyway, but 48-ish degrees was going too far.

What I learned: I would be able to adjust if we had no electricity. I would figure it out. I would need help, yes, but I would not die or fester or crumble or disintegrate. We all would figure it out. We would have another way of heating, of lighting. We would have root cellars and canned foods and jerky. Yes. We have not lived with electricity for much of human history; we would get it together.

I actually liked the pace while we had no electricity. Slower. Boring and depressing, but I liked the slow. I liked the candlelight. I liked having a little pot of hot water from the camping stove that I could put a wash cloth to and wash in the candle-lit bathroom, so cold to be uncovered, but my body craving the heat. Steam. I like steam.

I really missed my vacuum cleaner (I think it has made Thankful Thursday before). My German-made SEBO. It is the best vacuum cleaner I have ever owned. Love my SEBO.

Love my kids. Love my Hubby. Love my mom.

I love shopping. I love when we are out of food and can’t cook but can go eat somewhere else.

Love my blender with which I can make my own coffee blended (I know you know that, but I really missed it).

Love my granola (ran out and couldn’t bake more)

Thankful for friends who open up their homes to us when we have no heat, electric, shower.

Thankful that I have an old-fashioned land-line (not cordless) that never went out so I could stay connected.

Love my internet. Love my blog.

Love my car. Love having a car. Love being able to drive when I need to.

Love being able to help my mom.

Silk long johns–bottoms, tops, undershirts, especially if they are pink or black

non-itchy, but warm, socks

polarfleece

Oh I hate this post, but it being Thankful Thursday, I’m not supposed to say that. Just this one time, I’m going to allow it. Then it will be forgotten and I won’t remember the cold and the lack and the dependence and it will happen again and no one will remember and it will be okay and I’ll let you know, just once in over 10 months, that I don’t like my writing sometimes. So deep and rich for me to practice not hating my writing. So deep and rich to not hate anything at all, really.

It’s hot, it’s cool, it’s the bomb, this practice of not hating. I recommend it. I am learning to love it, but it may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Is it simple acceptance, then, not hating? Is it detachment? Is it love?

Start of new poem, or fragment of new poem, not sure which:

Fragment

The dead cornstalks flutter like prayers

Why try to measure my immeasurable love?

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Blue Skies Above, Low Tide Below

Gulls squabble in the shallows
where the fishing is best

I lie down in the low-tide waves,
stroke the sand

my arms sweep
like I am rowing in a shell
but I am not going anywhere today

the soft sand begins to feel dry
in my underwater hands

piping plovers
move one-mindedly
like ants or flocking blackbirds

I stand and look at the horizon
upside-down between my legs
the waves almost touching my face

can I orient to this strange world
where the sky flattens
and color disappears?

I lie back down on dry sand
cold on my bare back
and whisper your name to the blue above

I called and you came
my love

I called and you came

October 9, 2011

This week’s Poetry Jam directed us to write a love poem (I “missed” last week’s Poetry Jam, ie, couldn’t write an apt poem to save my life even though the prompt was a juicy one). Just something light and airy today, gott sei dank!

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