Monday, December 1, 2014

Word of the Week - 39

Painting by Spanish artist, Dino Valls.
Word(s) of the Week: SEASONAL AMBIVALENCE

Even before Thanksgiving the fidgeting part of my brain started making trouble.  It decided the only thing that would feel like the Christmas it thought it needed was to have it be 1958 again.  I could be 13, my 8-year-old sister and I could ride the bus downtown to shop at the dime stores, then have cokes and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at Woolworth's counter.  Even though I'd be past the age of actually, actually believing in Santa, I would still be years away from being able to sleep through the night on Christmas eve.
Not the Pasadena Woolworth's, this was downtown L.A., "longest lunch counter in the world."
It is the same fidgeting subdivision that started a feud with Christmas after my son was terribly ill in the hospital for most of December eight years ago.  The lights, the music on the radio, the sight of shoppers or diners through restaurant windows as I drove home to our empty apartment all those nights became intolerable.  I didn't want to be reminded of a fear so deep.  Christmas became the fall guy.  Which, as I was cluelessly unaware, made his first, second, etc., Christmas less than festive for my son who only wanted to celebrate as normally, joyfully, as possible after his ordeal.  He was thrilled to be here in fine fettle as each new December rolled around.  I wanted to sleep from October until April. 
Painting by Amanda Blake.
Time, meditation and coming to my senses have helped lift that soggy blanket from my shoulders.  While my energy and health, our fortunes, are not as they once were, our capacity for gladness seems robust.  Since love is one of my year-round antidotes for sinking spells, along with beauty and music, I am aware of an even stronger urge to fling it far and wide, a continually thrown bride's bouquet, as the year closes.

We all become confused at times, forgetting that nothing is ever really as much about what we receive as what we give.  Seeing familiar and difficult dates cycle back to us on the calendar does not mean they will batter us anew.   That I am not 13 is no impediment to glimpsing, sensing the magic I've always connected to these days when night falls early and the nostalgic glow of Christmas lights (I could never decide which was my favorite color) keeps warm the dreams in our child hearts.

8 comments:

Kass said...

Such an honest and loving post. My heart is with you this holiday season and with every post and status update.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. As my heart is with you. xo

Just Jen said...

oh gosh! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who waffles between excessive nostalgia and irascible ambivalence at this time of year. I will attempt flinging love every which way. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jen - I believe we must have a lot of company. An event as emotion-packed as Christmas leaves few untouched. And we will never go wrong, or so I believe, flinging love. Ah, Christmas, we meet again. xo

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I am also wondering why the ups sand downs but for sure seeking to bring joy is the best part. Sprinkling love for sure.

Elizabeth said...

I love all of this -- the love and generosity in your heart is far-reaching, Marylinn!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Heidrun - Seeking to bring joy, possibly surprises no matter how small, turns us into happy conspirators. Creating secret gifts behind closed doors, the great fun of making 'stuff.' Knowing that love is as close as our fingers. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you. The pointy "wake up" stick usually finds its mark with me, eventually. I would still like a few hours in 1958, though. Dime stores were the most fascinating places on earth. Love to you. xo