Category Archives: holiday

MLK day

Just pointing out how much I love the fact that MLK day has transitioned into a day of community activity and service. I mean, sure, everyone wants just a day off — but the impact of getting out and working for an organization or event that helps those in your community speaks more to the message that (perhaps) Martin Luther King Jr. would advocate. (I only say perhaps because I didn’t know the man. But have you heard anything he said? Read any of his speeches? Well, I think we can all make the leap that he would love the fact we celebrate his life by participating in his dream.)

Unfortunately I have to work. So please, if you can, get out there and pick up trash in front of your home (wear gloves) or take something useful to a shelter. Or go the extra mile and participate in an event and be part of a team. However big or small, it may have the potential to positively change a moment in someone’s life — or just make it look better when people walk by. And if you live in Atlanta, I can’t think of anything better than going to visit the King Center and get a glimpse of the past, present and hopeful future. Tell me all about it, because I have not been (yet).

Me? I’m taking a box of books to a book drop after work and have 2 bags of clothes to drop off. No, it’s not a lot, but it is what I’ve got planned for today. Hoping for more in the weeks to come. As I commented to a friend’s blog earlier, I need to redirect some of my energies to my dear hometown. There is a lot here that needs some healing.

Rekindled

I’ve just been reading the NYTimes article about the Winter Solstice. It brought back Rome and my teenage years and rambling in the woods and all the mythology of my life so far. There is a whole life of shadow and another of the Sun that we can’t even begin to pinpoint within ourselves. Yet I do intend to try soon.

This past weekend I was able to participate in a lighting of a fire, this time it was burning rum off of chocolate to make a really tasty mousse — regardless of the reason, this convergence of themes has reminded me to light the fires of the things we need to get rid of. So I’m going to collect those bits of consciousness and memory and acknowledge that I’ve learned from their pain/experience/moment and then I’m going to burn them on their little scrapes of paper. I’m going to celebrate the fear and cycle of life with every little flicker. Allow them to lift off and enter the inky dark. I’ll see the new that comes from it.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Did you hear?

That Obama was going to ban lobbyist from serving on federal advisory panals? Mark Morford brought it to my attention as well as providing a link to a list of 90 things Obama has accomplished this year.

I just want to point that out, because last night he also told us that he is also sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Trying to find balance.

This decade, this really sucky decade, is coming to an end. I, for one, can not wait. The oughts are ending!!! Still trying to decide an appropriate way to end the year. Suggestions?

Labor Day confessions

Smoke from the grill, lemonade, gathering of friends on the lawn, the last dip in the pool and eating key lime pie in the moonlight. Nah. This was not my labor day weekend.

When I was about 20, I was bit by a brown recluse. Which is entirely irrelevant to what I’m saying, except the recluse part. This labor day, I insisted (at times in very loud tones) to be alone. I wanted to nest. I was screaming for solitude. Humanity, family, friends, even the furry beasts, had to be put on hold. I spent my labor day weekend (for the most part) in solitude. Saturday night I finally felt like I could handle some company and had a dinner and drinks with the ladies. Yesterday my brother came by and took away the curtains and rugs — all those trappings of dust — and that was it. Mission accomplished. My soul feels calmer. I’ve avoided eyes and minds. It’s good.

Of course, now I’m back. Lots of students around me. I still feel calm, and unlike the poor spider in the bed of my 20-year-old self, I’ll try not to bite anyone if they come into contact.

Hope everyone had a safe Labor Day and got to spend it the way they wanted!

End magic

So, I hope everyone survived another round of well-wishing and shopping and holidays in general?  My favorite holiday is upon us and I’m not sure if I’ll get to write until after it’s gone.

Another cycle of endings that meet beginnings arrives and once more I find myself excited and anxious and nostalgic. It’s been a whirlwind kind of year.  What seems like ages ago (and in part is) some friends and I came up with the burn bowl. We wrote down the thing we wanted to be rid of or overcome in the new year and burned it at midnight. I think this year that will happen again.  For my part, I’d like to be rid of low self esteem. The burn bowl is an easier way to envision the end of what you want. Watching the little slip of paper flame and curl and float away. It’s one goodbye I never mind.

The other special magic of New Year’s Eve is that we can be more selective about what to do, how to do it, where to do it and with whom. Thanksgiving and the month of December, for those of us lucky enough, mean family time. But, there is no real obligation on Dec. 31st. So, you can spend it alone watching old movies, in a crowd dancing, bar hopping, listening to music, walking, doing laundry — however you want to. So few holidays give us this freedom. For my part, I’ll spend it with a few friends, hopefully listening to music, maybe dancing, definitely sipping some bubbly. I like the first night to reflect the way the rest of the year should go. It doesn’t always work out that way, of course, but starting out 2009 with a bit of hope isn’t so wrong.

Share if you want some of the things you want to let go of in the new year. Or a resolution. Or how you’ll spend it. And Happy New Year!! (a horn blows, confetti falls, and glasses clink)

NYE suggestions

It’s early, but I don’t care. I want to have fun on New Year’s Eve (it being my favorite holiday) and I want to compensate for the fact I’m not going to be in Florence strolling the streets with my favorite travelling companion (Luigi).

So, I’m asking for some help. What can a geographically single lady (who’s in a relationship) do for New Year’s Eve that has elements of friendship, champagne, music and mild debauchery? And still feel good about myself in the morning? And will keep me out of any confessional booths (has and would never happen anyway).

I’ll give you some guidelines (other than champagne). I am willing to travel a little bit. I want to at least have to fix my hair. I prefer there to be other people around me. (ie me dressed up, sitting on my sofa with a glass of champagne and alone is not what I’m going for.) I need to be able to burn scraps of paper. I don’t want to see vomit. I’m even willing to host a party if anyone would show up.

OK, help! I’m accepting suggestions here and via email.

The artful dodge

What is it about Thanksgiving that can be so stressful and fantastic at the same time. Culinary stars are born, family that you’ve not seen in ages coming together. The parade. The odd things kids say and do. It’s all so warm and loving and a great way to reminisce and ponder upon family.

And yet . . .

Well, I’ll be honest. I usually stress out during this time of year. I think it’s all of the guilt about food, the family I’ve not seen in years, the garish parade, children underfoot and bored. It’s all so taxing and reminds you of how tight some strings are.

Like everything, Thanksgiving comes with a pull and tug. So, for those of you spending time with family and looking for some tactful ways out of emotionally ugly conversations, here are some tips:

1. If the conversation, say “how’s your relationship/love life/marriage” occurs over the table, immediately compliment a nearby dish. This is very effective if the asker is also the cook. I don’t care if you don’t know a teaspoon from a tablespoon, ask how it’s made, what goes in it, where did the recipe come from.

2. Then there is the frequent bladder syndrome. Someone corners you about work or finances or anything that makes your eyes roll to the back of your head normally, then go to the “oh, sorry, be right back. I think I had too much tea/coffee/jack daniel’s.”

3. Extended conversation (this requires cell phones). A younger cousin is asking advice or wanting to know about what you are getting out of life, you reflect the questions back on them and while listening, send a friend an SOS text message so they can call you and you pretend it’s important, life threatening, cats are out, water pipe is broken, etc.

4. Now, to all of you that are single, this is the mother of all dodges. As soon as nosy-so-and-so asks when you are getting (I’m shuddering on the inside just typing it) married, look them dead in the eye and ask “are you honestly happy in your marriage? If you are, I’ll consider it one day.” And then walk away.If they are divorced or widowed, then just ask how they feel about Obama and Hillery working together. Maybe your tact will spread.

It’s my observation that the people that ask you these personal, gut wrenching questions on a celebratory holiday are deeply unhappy human beings. There is a petty dark spot in my soul that wants to shine the light of their misery upon them. Not this year though. This year I have enough to be thankful for that I know I’m out ahead by leaps and bounds. A president that most Americans wanted got elected. I have my family and friends for the long term and don’t have to squeeze every moment of my time here, because I’m here. Though I miss Luigi and Lexie and all the other elements of Florence, I’m lucky that I live now, in a time where the only boundaries are really time zones. I can hear their voice and occasionally I can fly and see them. Life is beautiful.

Wishing everyone a Thanksgiving of grace and joy.