Monthly Archives: December 2012
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
When you look back on 2012, what single word would you use to describe your year? Was it a year of triumph, of joy, of wealth or misfortune? Was it a year of stability or change? Was it a year of loss, grief and pain? Was it a year of peace and tranquility? Is it a year you are glad to have lived or is the year for you already reminiscent of heartache, failure, struggle or regret? Is there, if you were to consider it, a theme to your year?
Another year has come, tarried awhile, and is on the verge of bidding us all adieu. This year no doubt brought its share of surprises, joys, disappointments, challenges and successes. Maybe, for some, it was a year almost completely pocked with pain or personal failure. Maybe, instead, the year painted broad brushstrokes of blessing on the canvas of your days.
I know it is an idiom. The idea of a broken heart. Your heart doesn’t literally break like some glass ornament that can shatter when it falls from the tree. It is merely an expression indicating great pain. Pain usually associated with the loss of a love.
I know this pain. I know this pain intimately. For me, this pain, while usually referred to in emotional terms, is one I experience on a physical level as well as on an emotional level. It resides in my chest, just to the right of center and it feels like someone wedged a pickax in at that particular point and is now trying to pull my heart right out from my body. It is a physical pain as well as an emotional pain.
What I didn’t know, until this last year, was that sometimes a broken heart occurs for reasons other than lost or unrequited love. A broken heart can occur absent love. A broken heart can occur when a dream that you loved, that you hoped for, that you worked for, dies. Broken hearts might always be about love, but they are not always about lovers.
Ever notice how we human beings have ways of marking the passage of time? Sure, we have our calendars, our reminders, our clocks and gizmos. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious ways of marking time. The methods which mark time in subtle ways that leave you realizing after the fact how time has passed rather than noting it up front.
I am not a winter person. I like cool weather but I’m really a sunny, summer person. I mark my years mostly by noting the passage of the seasons. The months from January to the end of March are dreadful for me. In the region where I live winters are relatively mild, but temperatures can vary from a balmy 60 degrees one day to snowing and freezing levels the next. I find this pretty tough on my system. I’m always glad when Daylight Saving Time arrives. Even though I lose an hour, I can see that summer is on the way, and with it, some more consistent temperatures.
During the holidays this year, I attended a couple of interesting theme parties. One was the Ugly Christmas Sweater party. This is, of course, where everyone wears an ugly Christmas sweater and the sweater voted ugliest wins. I wasn’t going to go, but then, my oldest daughter, who can find any reason to celebrate, wouldn’t let me off the hook. We happened to be in Goodwill one day and I noticed the ugly Christmas sweaters. She pointed to the perfect one. The typical Christmas appliqués, with ribbons and jingle bells placed randomly all over the thing. The buttons were jingle bells and there was even a hole in it were the sweater had worn. Well, once I bought it, I had to attend the party. I was sure my sweater would win. Read the rest of this entry
Here in my neck of the Pacific Northwest woods, we’ve experienced some strange weather this winter. First, it started off with an unusually long summer. We were still having 80-90 degree weather in October. Summer was followed by an unusually short autumn. I think it lasted two weeks. Since then, we’ve had more rain than we usually do, more flood warnings than we have had in years, and wind. Wind warnings of all things! We’ve also had snow, something that usually doesn’t happen here until January or February, if it happens at all.
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It’s Christmas Day. Many of my friends and all of the rest of my family will be waking to stuffed stockings and gifts wrapped elegantly and placed neatly under or around the Christmas tree. Later they will enjoy a feast. My day will roll very differently. There are hardly any presents under my tree. The stockings hang limp and lifeless by the fireplace. This year I am alone on Christmas Day.
As a single parent the holidays can be tough. For many single parents, with an alternating holiday rotation in the parenting plan, Christmas or the holidays, must be modified. In my situation, one of us has the kids on Christmas, the other gets them Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Others work it out so that one person has the kids on Christmas Eve, and the other has them on Christmas Day. This seemed to disruptive to me. I really don’t care to interact with any of my ex’s during the holidays, and though it was hard at first, I am glad it worked out this way for us. Read the rest of this entry
This is where I should place an overused quotation about dreams and broken-winged birds. Right here. Right up front. It would be here to draw The Reader in. It would be The Hook. The Reader would read the quotation, and sigh longingly in agreement. Yes! Yes! Life without dreams is like that broken-winged bird that cannot fly (wait, isn’t that redundant?). The Reader, so enamored with my clever use of the quotation could not help but read on. Read the rest of this entry
I didn’t realize how much I was dreading today until today happened. I have a number of friends who are teachers. They are pretty distressed after the events in CT. They all know, we all know, it could happen to any school. I also have school age children. We all know or fear it could happen to any of our children. As I headed of to work, I recognized a deep sense of malaise within me. I felt tired. Weary of the evil and darkness. Weary.