Tuesday, December 26, 2017

With Holiday Pen and Spoon

In the days before Christmas, I sometimes awaken with a whole bag of chilling thoughts.  What if I have forgotten someone, not carried out some holiday task or other? What if guests fall on our sidewalk or have an accident on their way over for dinner? What if the leg of lamb (and all the stuff that goes with it) is a charred fiasco and our holiday meal is a disaster? In predawn darkness, my unsettled mind worries, frets, ponders and spins on its axis like a tiny, cold and unknown planet somewhere beyond the rim.

Why didn't I just embrace the uncertainty, and what on earth was I worrying about? Refrigerator and larder were stuffed with good things waiting to be braised, sauteed or roasted.  Gifts were wrapped and ready to be opened. The cookie jar was full. There was a fine detailed list in the kitchen, and it kept getting longer by the hour.  There was a telephone to use in offering alternative ways for guests to get safely to our threshold. There was e-mail, for heaven's sake.

Somewhere in the midst of all the toings and froings on Christmas morning, I looked down at one of my lists and found myself engaged in what can only be described as a moment of eccentric pleasure: pleasure at the lovely thick lined paper I was writing on, at my old Waterman pen and how it felt in my hand, at the color of the ink and the effortless way it was flowing onto the page, at the sound of the silky nib lightly caressing the paper. In hectic times, such small pleasures are vivid, graceful and unexpected, a comfort in one's life.  They are also a powerful reminder that things usually turn out somehow, if not as one expects they will, then certainly as they should.

Whatever 2018 brings (and there are bound to be surprises), there are fountain pens and lovely pots of ink (garnet, purple, turquoise???) in my future, other velvety paper too. Perhaps I will try my hand at making my own paper.

I am very tired, but Christmas was perfect, and I would love to be around for several more. Please let it be so.


Barbara Rogers said...

I feel the silky drag of your pen across the paper, and your anxiety, and your relief and joy in the abundance. I appreciate your way with words, your way with photographs. To stay in the moment is so hard, when the hopes of future times drag my mind into wishes for you, and me too. Loving this time we can share here and now.

Mystic Meandering said...

I so relate to this. I "struggle" with the same monkey mind that wants to pull me into all kinds of worries and fears. And look for ways to distract the mind to escape its torture, and then, like you, realizing that there is always awareness in the moment (although easier said than practiced :)) But am learning to return to this beautiful space of awareness, just being, in which all that is good and gives us joy ("eccentric pleasure" as you say) is noticed and indeed comforting, bringing our minds into peaceful harmony again...

Indeed I hope you get to enjoy many more Holidays :)