I am sitting here at the keyboard trying to figure out where this writing session is heading. Outside it’s raining and windy. Inside it’s warm, the Christmas tree is lit and carols are on the CD player. I’ve made a batch of snickerdoodles and had me afternoon tea. Frankly, I’ve thought of just skipping the writing and moving on to a nap.
But I just can’t give up the idea that there is something in my brain that needs to come out. In church this morning I wrote a list of subjects I could write about. I suppose I should have been listening to the pastor, but I figured it would look like I was taking notes. Well here’s the list:
- Christmas Post
- Thoughts on bringing peace – Creating God’s Kingdom on Earth
- Workshop update
- Looking back at my first year of having prostate cancer
- Music – the power of
- Rain on the roof
But sitting here now, none of that really seems like the thing I should be writing about. There is something stuck in my brain. It’s kind of like being mentally constipated – sorry, I won’t finish that analogy.
There is just a lot going on in the world and in my mind. If I really wrote everything that I am thinking of, I’d be writing for two days and would miss Christmas, so like I do at a Christmas buffet dinner, here is a spoonful of each:
I enjoy Christmas a little, more now than in the past. It is a season that brings to mind a mixed bag of feelings. I remember happy days as a child. I remember the difficult times as a teen when my family was racked and torn apart by the after effects of alcoholism. I remember finding comfort at the 11:00 pm Christmas eve service singing “Silent Night” with friends and family. In recent years I have been privileged to join my wife’s family for Christmas and get to bask in the glow of children’s excitement of the season. In the last few years I’ve even been known to decorate the front yard and complain that too many of my neighbors don’t.
Christmas is a time when I think more about bringing peace to this world. Too many children go hungry. Too many people are shattered by the violence of crime and war. Too many people know pain and suffering rather than joy and contentment. Too many people in the Christian community focus only on the rewards they’ll receive in heaven for being good believers and miss the point that God wants us to build heaven here on earth. Our job is in the here and now. Our job is to feed the hungry, give hope to the hopeless and care for one another.
This year I’ve tried to spend more time in my workshop. I am convinced that I need to be making things with my hands. When you give a gift that you’ve made, you’ve given a piece of your heart. I didn’t finish making all the gifts I’d hoped to. Most family won’t mind if they get their Christmas gift in say July, but there is one little boy’s gift I just couldn’t get done in time. Instead of a package, he’ll get an envelope with a picture of the gift on my scroll saw and a promise to finish it soon. That bothers me deeply. Once I finish that gift there will be a big change in the workshop. First there is a major reorganization in the works and then for a few months I’ll be turning my attention to cabinetry and making the kitchen cabinets and the entertainment center I’ve been promising for years.
As always the elephant of prostate cancer is ever-present. Last year at this time I had received my diagnosis and had selected my treatment. The treatment process started two days after Christmas when my urologist place the markers in my prostate that the CT scanner would use to deliver my daily dose of radiation. It’s not something one likes to remember but it is one of those marks in life that just won’t ever go away. This year I am looking forward to better health and being able to do more.
The pastor talked about the power of music during his sermon today (yes, I did listen to some of it). As I write the sounds of Christmas music occasionally drift into my consciousness and I pause on the keyboard to remember something. Music has the power to change how we feel or to remind us of some past pain or joy. In my workshop I have the habit of putting in one of my sea shanty CDs and working for, a “CD” or about an hour. I can’t really explain why I am attracted to that music but there is some in the working song that just makes me sing along. Perhaps it’s a good thing there are power tools running while I am singing.
Today the other music has been rain on the roof. Life giving water. Water to wash the world clean. Tears of God. Rain that drives us indoors and to the fireside. This rain is needed but also it is a barrier. It’s keeping us off the road and delaying our travels. We have boxes of gifts and bags of food and a long drive to Heather’s daughter’s house. There, the grandkids are, and there is where we plan to celebrate Christmas with food, gifts and family. But in the way is a major California storm and a mountain pass blocked by snow. I look out the window and see the rain. On my computer screen are the traffic reports, radar and webcam images of place I need to get through.
The hope is that tomorrow the storm will clear, the snow plows will work and we’ll be able to make the journey. At the end of the road we’ll be surrounded by family and love.
Well, I’ve spent too much time on the keyboard. Time to stop writing – there are other preparations to make.
Peace to you and yours.