Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Dear Past,
     Thanks for all the lessons.
Dear Future,
     I am ready.
It's a little after 10pm and Cat and I have just about drawn 2015 to a close. We are both curled up on the sofa very content, I having imbibed my bubbly and she her cream. In taking stock of the old year and in committing myself to resolutions for the new year, I looked for a new year prayer and found the following by Rabbi John L. Rosove, which seems to me to be very appropriate for 2016:
May we hold lovingly in our thoughts
those who suffer from tyranny, subjection, cruelty, and injustice,
and work every day towards the alleviation of their suffering.

May we recognize our solidarity
with the stranger, outcast, downtrodden, abused, and deprived,
that no human being be treated as "other,"
that our common humanity weaves us together
in one fabric of mutuality,
one garment of destiny.

May we pursue the [...] vision of peace,
that we might live harmoniously with each other
and side by side,
respecting differences,
cherishing diversity,
with no one exploiting the weak,
each living without fear of the other,
each revering Divinity in every human soul.

May we struggle against institutional injustice,
free those from oppression and contempt,
act with purity of heart and mind,
despising none, defrauding none, hating none,
cherishing all, honoring every child of God, every creature of the earth.

May [...] all peoples
know peace in this New Year,
And may we nurture kindness and love everywhere.


Wishing all my kind readers a year of hope, peace, joy and love.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A (Fabricated) Christmas Story

Behind every sewer is a huge pile of fabric.
Unknown, but very probably a quilter

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little fabric remnant wrapped around a recycled cardboard box and used for display as a fake wrapped gift. It wasn't with the other fabric remnants because it was considered too small. After a couple of years taped to the box, the little remnant was a little dusty and yet someone came along and thought it very precious because, among the thousands upon thousands of meters of fabric in the shop, it was unique. The shop clerks weren't sure they should dismantle the manager's display but took pity on the sewer, who said she just had to have it. While she wasn't quite sure what the little piece would become, she certainly knew just the person who would enjoy it. And so the little remnant came home and joined a big pile of other fabric stored in a closet. Until Christmas. Then the little remnant was measured and found to fit perfectly a tabletop, and so it was quilted and bound with love and given to a very special person.

And that's the story of the little Christmas remnant that became a real present.

The End.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Isn't Over

When the song of the angel is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
     To find the lost,
     To heal the broken,
     To feed the hungry,
     To release the prisoner,
     To rebuild the nations,
     To bring peace among brothers and sisters,
     To make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman, African American author, educator, philosopher (1899-1981)

As the sleet of our first winter storm beat against my window, I sat in my rocker tonight with Cat curled on the footrest and some hand-stitching on my lap, a Christmas gift that didn't quite get finished in time for the 25th. All is calm, all is well, in my little abode. Advent and Christmas have been heart-warming and I'm hoping to hold fast their messages of building hope, joy, peace and love throughout the coming year.

I did manage to finish the wine carrier with the appliqued Nutcracker before Christmas. Just. Those who sit around me on the daily commute have watched him materialize over the past few weeks but he finally stood tall with some help from Mom. S-I-L has a thing for men in uniforms . . . and wine . . . so I figured this was an apropos gift. ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Perfect Gift

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.
Charles Dudley Warner, American writer (1829-1900)

My "Secret Santa" presented the perfect gift at our office's low-cost gift exchange: tea and biscuits for those times when work is a bit frantic. While the provisions will provide comfort and soothe frazzled nerves, the motto and thoughtfulness of this perfect gift will bring a smile for as long as the tins prevail. What a treasure my Secret Santa/colleague is!

Monday, December 14, 2015

♬ I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas ♬

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white
Irving Berlin, Russian-born American composer and lyricist (1888-1989)

White Christmas was only one of the season's movies that I watched this weekend and it really resonated as the ol' hometown is looking very un-white this year, much like the Vermont of Irving Berlin's story. So instead of looking out the window at the rainy pavement, I'm enjoying casting my eyes over the fake snow of my Dicken's Village tableau. There is a child's pleasure in setting up the houses and the little figurines and then turning on the lights -- all under the watchful eye of the Divine Miss.

The season is full of glistening lights. The weekend began with a little Christmas shopping at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Its impressive sculpture of Canada geese, Flight Stop by artist Michael Snow, never fails to halt me in my tracks and cause me to crane my neck upwards. Awesome. Now, if we could only have some snow for them to land on.