not-quite Journaling, 2
12/22/2020: Everyone is missing so much these days: getting together with family, being able to go to school or work in person, being able to safely walk around other people unmasked, being able to go to Times Square on the 31st (for those in NYC). The pandemic often makes me miss those things, too. But today what I’m really missing is spending a handful of hours browsing through old books. What’s the seemingly small pleasure you miss most during this time of isolation?
12/24/2020: The coquettish expression on the face of our elf on the shelf makes me wonder what sorts of ‘naughty or nice’ stories she might take back to the North Pole. What do you think?
rise and be merry—
the Sun’s born of your belly;
in joy, Mary danced!
12/25/2020: One of my first philosophy of religion debates exploded around the story of Mary. I was given the role of Mary in a play and was promptly fired by a young priest because of “exuberancia excesiva/excessive exuberance”. I remember thinking, ‘All those S’s make him sound like a snake in a collar’, which made me laugh, which made him really mad… and all went downhill from there. I just thought that any being who had just learned that they would birth the son of the god they worshiped would burst with joy. But like an older (and considerably more pissed off) priest mansplained to me then, “Mary would’ve never acted like that. She knew her place. And you need to learn yours.” Yes, there was more laughter. Still, if you ask me, he was full of it. So, for anyone who celebrates the birth day of the Christ Child—and I’m all for celebrating anything that inspires people to be more decent to each other—rejoice and be merry with Mary. Let the excessive exuberance spread…
Burst into constellations
12/26/2020: After having to take a break that ended up being a lot longer than I expected (or wanted), I’m exercising again💪🏾💃🏾—mostly running on my trampoline and dancing Perico Ripiao and Bachata. I wish I could say that my current speed and grace *cough* bring to mind lovely “constellations of dance”. But the reality is more like a wild (and rather slow) meteor drizzle. But I’m not complaining (too much): I’m enjoying myself, my flesh and bones will grow stronger (s l o w l y), and soon… constellations! What are you up to these days?
weave a shroud made of winter,
broken by berries
12/27/2020: In winter, forests seem to be populated by the living skeletons of trees. That thought made me think of graveyards, which made me think of shrouds, which was about to make me sad…until I saw the berries, which made me smile. Nature is just so good at reminding us that even in the heart of winter, there will always be something warm quietly whispering of spring (and better things).
12/29/2020: When asked “What do you believe will be most salient small detail of your 2020?” almost everyone participating in the discussion responded “face masks”. Personally, I think face masks are a ginormous detail of 2020, so when it was my turn to answer the question, what kept coming to mind was the rage displayed by certain people towards social distancing mandates and towards those who follow them carefully (something one is rather serious about doing when one lives with a small collection of chronic illnesses). This poem was born out that discussion and a handful of not-so-pleasant elevator incidents. So, what about you, “What do you believe will be most salient small detail of your 2020?”
In troubling times,
poetry can soothe me.
12/30/2020: I shared this magnetic poem sometime back. Those of you who read it here might remember that the “troubling times” bit was borrowed from Poems to Live By in Troubling Times, an anthology edited by Joan Murray; also, that this is a rather timely read. Most of the poems are dark, even “disturbing and not soothing at all” (according to some interpretations). In my opinion, the poems in this collection nudge the reader to explore difficult topics. And I believe that sometimes being able to dissect difficult issues in ink prepares us for living them in the flesh. And to me, that’s a soothing thought. The whole thing reminds me that there are people out there who have felt—and probably lived—the same things I feel. They survived it (and many times turned those feelings into good art). I find that very comforting, don’t you?
12/31/2020: The snow in the photos that follow has already been washed away by wintry rains. Still, I wanted to end 2020 with memories of that snowy walk, since it was one of my favorite bits of the year. And I’ve always thought that the best way to move forward is to let go of the bad (lessons in hand) embrace the good, and use the experiences to grow… better.
Am I alone in wondering why they are so positive about not playing with balls? 🤔
May 2021 be good (or, at least, considerably less horribly interesting than 2020 was) to us all.
Have a healthy, safe, and very happy New Year.