Thursday, December 11, 2008

Okay, I Have A Question

Okay, I Have A Question.

Let's say we have this little cedar box in front of us ...It is say 5" x 4" wide ... You can actually smell the aroma of the cedar in the wood of the box ... In the top of the box is engraved this absolutely beautiful rose ...The box has a little metal latch on it ... the lid is closed on the box. ..and on the latch is this little metal lock ... the top of the box is locked. Inside that box ... contains all your wants, your desires and your needs ... someone like me comes along with this long, golden key that has beautiful designs engraved in the key ... I insert the key into the lock and turn the key slowly ... slowly turn the key some more ... slowly turn the key some more ... and then ... finally ...the lock ratchets and springs open...we take the lock off the latch and open the latch ... we open the top of the box and look inside ...and there for the first time in your life are all your wants, your desires and your needs ... things you have been DREAMING about since you were a child ... and they finally become true ... and you, for the first time in your life feel this absolutely wonderful feeling of completeness and warmth and love ... ok ... the question is ... What was buried deep in that little box?

I welcome your comments.

In the meantime, back at the ranch....

What Matters/Calming The Flurry

Every year I re-read this
and find that it helps me
stop the insanity and deal
much better with those I love.
With no expectations but love
and joy in my heart.
What matters this Christmas/ Calming the Flurry
Dear Brave Souls: What matters this Christmas; just a reminder.
I know you know this in your bones: What matters, just this one day: is that you arrive, show up, open the door with a smile that starts at your heart and shines outward....
Stuff doesn't matter
What matters, just this one day: is that you tell each soul you love, that you love them and appreciate that they are on earth, and that your life would be poorer without them...
Stuff doesn't matter
What matters, just this one day: is that you tell a little story, sing a little song, offer a tasty piece of food, tell a funny joke, help carry people's coats, pat children on the head, listen to the old people for a bit, ask after everyone's dog and cat and bird and fish, tease the teenagers about their sweethearts, tell the gawky ones they're soon going to be tall and even finer looking, tell the awkwardly dressed how fine they shine in spirit and mind, criticize nothing, including oneself, bless everything that can be blessed, say only what is in your best heart and leave the b.s. that is day to day irritations and judgments, behind for this one day...
stuff doesn't matter
What matters is that we, just for today, accept people just as they are, all messy, undone, wound up, not well, unhappy, frightened, over the edge, out of it, and all the other things that poor souls on earth can get themselves into or are pushed into through no fault of their own. You cannot go wrong by having mercy on the sick, and clothing the naked psyche that shivers in the cold, and feeding the spiritually hungry, and calming and comforting and loving others...
stuff doesn't matter
Whatever you have already bought as gifts for others-- it is enough already. One more tinker toy or toilet seat doily is not, in the big book Up There, going to make one whit of difference in your final grade. One more candy dandy anything is not going to show your love, regard, or interest in others better than your real self, your deepest soul and kindest heart, being present at the feast...
stuff doesn't matter
In the end, stuff rots, falls apart, breaks, is consumed. But acts of kindness and of love do not deteriorate. When people sit in my consulting room across from me and talk about their families, about the good parts, they never say,"I got a 'such and such' that Christmas," or "Boy they gave me this cheap/expensive/ big/little/awesome/weird gift that I never forgot." People don't say things like that to me in the intimacy of revealing their most inner thoughts. Instead, they tell about the uncle who played a game of catch out in the alley on Christmas Day. About the grandmother who tilted their chin and looked into their eyes and asked how they were, and really wanted to know. They tell about the aunt who supervised them walking about in her high heels and took pictures of the event. They tell about how the big kids played with the little kids for a while. They tell about how someone showed them something beautiful, held them, talked to them, listened to them. And how they loved receiving living love in that way...
stuff doesn't matter, I assure you.
So today, may you accept people and situations just as they are without trying to change them. Believe me, if they were changeable by you alone, via your wishes and dreams and prayers and manipulations and cunning and hopes through all these years--they would already be changed by now, surely. But, if they are not, may you, just this one day, accept the terrain, and go on, with as much happiness in your heart as any human deserves to have---which is to the brim and overflowing. One more run to the store is not needed. It isn't. Don't argue with me. IT ISNT.
Stuff doesn't matter.
What matters? You matter, the fact that you are here, are human, are filled with love, matters--even if you don't feel that way---you were made for one thing far more than others--that is to learn to love and receive love on earth. The fact that you are given this time on earth to learn and to bring these goodnesses to life, that is what matters. No one is EVER ready for Christmas, in terms of gifts and decorations and food and all that la-la. The squirrel-mind of humans can always think up ten last minute things to rush around doing. I suggest you refuse. That, right now, you say, "it's enough and I am enough--- and MORE stuff doesn't matter". The heart is fully equipped and fully READY for Christmas ALWAYS. It needs no shopping malls, no stores, no wrapping paper, no ribbons. It costs only in resolve, in discipline, in filling it on a regular basis from one's own spiritual well. Your heartfulness is the greatest GIFT you can give. I am sure of this. You could give me a new wardrobe or you could give me a Taj Mahal, or you could give me a Ferrari--but they all would fall to dust in time, and the enjoyment of them would fall away from bright memory. But if you give me your loyalty, your concern, your regard, your inquiry into my life, you faithfulness to values we share.... if you comfort me, make me laugh, reaffirm that I am on earth with purpose and reason, that there is a place in your heart for me--then you have given the gift that LASTS forever.This is just Ceep's Christmas ka-jillion two-cent's worth, for I hope you will have peace today, calmness-- you know, 'silent night, holy night, all is CALM, all is BRIGHT.' If that song isn't about the human heart at this time of year, then I don't know what it is about. My grandmother used to say to me when I was little, that our hearts were the place where the New Child would be laid in the manger; that though our surroundings might be poor and not all we wished to receive such a golden child, that the heart is made golden for that Child of Light by our thoughts and deeds.So may it be for all of us, for just this one day, when stuff doesn't matter...
This comes with love and CALM
and passed on to you, my loved ones and readers, as meanwhile, back at the ranch....-V

I'm Depressed

I'm Depressed. I can't help it.

There's still no snow.

There's still no Christmas tree
or decorations..I've still not started
the Christmas cards; I've not hung a
Christmas wreath...

I'm not able to sing with the choir
for the Christmas Cantata.

I'm trying. REALLY! I'm playing Christmas carols- over and over. I MADE myself write our annual Christmas letter today, but I haven't printed them off. I can procrastinate doing THAT for at least another week, can't I? I bought every one's gifts WAY early this year, knowing I'd have my knee surgery and not be able to do it afterwards. So there's no shopping and wrapping to do. It almost seems like Christmas happened months ago. And for me, it did! I purchased, wrapped and delivered all the gifts to my kids in Seattle, the first of October.

And Huggs and I each purchased what we wanted for Christmas, while we were shopping together, so there's no need to wrap those gifts!

There's just something so, I don't know, sad, I guess, about growing old and losing hold of the traditions we've always shared as a family. Each year, something changes. Someone in the family can't be with us for one reason or another. Or we can't go "home" for Christmas and have to find a new place to share our Christmas. Huggs and I have the biggest house, and it always makes me so happy when the family wants to come here for the holidays. But nobody wants to come HERE for Christmas any more...We have the worst weather....the wildest winds...the deepest snow, the worst roads. And as our parents become aged, their days of driving on bad roads have come to an end. So it is our responsibility to travel to them. But then, we have to decide where to hold the gathering. Because all of the reasons that keep them from traveling to us are the same reasons that prevent them from being able to prepare a holiday meal and suffer through the un-nerving noise of so many kids and grand-kids stuffed into a too-small space for hours.

So again, another tradition is gone, as each year, we try to decide where we're going to meet, what we're going to eat, who's going to be able to be there, ...I just want it to be the way it ALWAYS was. At Gramma's house, with EVERYONE there. Where Santa always knew what you wanted for Christmas and he always brought it in the right color.

As a family, when I was growing up, we ALWAYS had Christmas Eve at our house and opened gifts after a simple meal of fragrant casserole and an endless array of salads and desserts made by Mom, Gramma and my Great Aunts. It was all about good spirits, drinking egg nog and Tom & Jerry's by a roaring fire that Dad always had burning in the fireplace, Christmas carols sung around the piano as Dad played, and we'd open gifts and spend the whole afternoon and evening together. Then, Christmas Day was ALWAYS spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house, where we all dressed in our Sunday best, or at least in the newest clothes we'd received as gifts the night before. And we'd eat a full sit-down turkey dinner, with the ENTIRE family together. I grew up surrounded by a loving, supporting cast of Grandparents, and Great Aunts and Uncles. There was never any excuse about having to be somewhere else. The only reason someone wouldn't be there, is if they'd passed away that year!! Back then, we didn't have divorces and have to share our kids with the non-custodial parent. And back then, people didn't travel long distances from home - either to live or to travel, especially during the winter in the northwest United States, where winter blizzards have historically kept us thankfully huddled around the fire. Back when I was a girl, everyone lived close by, and we were always together. When I was a girl, our Christmas was "Martha Stewart perfect" .
Now, the members of our family live hours apart, and subsequently, we have to make more of an effort to get together. And I realize how much effort our family made, to make our holidays perfect.

Just because I'm middle aged now, it doesn't mean I want to grow up. I don't like change. Not when it's about family traditions. I'm not ready for people to grow old, especially me. I still want everyone to be together at Gramma's house for Christmas; I still want Huggs and Santa to know exactly what I want for Christmas, and exactly what color. the meantime....back at the ranch...........