holidays, magic

Christmas Sticker Miracle

A blonde curly-haired toddler refused to sit up in his bum bucket bus seat and squirmed away from his mother’s grip.

“Do you want to sit with Daddy?” she tried.

Daddy was next to me with an empty seat in between.

Mom sent the fussy little cherub over, red rover style. Dad pulled him up and he plopped down with bright aqua blue sneakers, kicking the air.

“Are those narwhals?” I asked excitedly, trying to make friends with the new mini monster to my right.

“Yes,” dad confirmed, “and they squeak, so we turned them off.”

“Like, electronically? Or with pressure?”

“Mostly when he jumps,” Dad said. It was not hard to imagine that this one jumped a lot.

Mom handed over a sheet of Christmas stickers and Squeaky Narwhal got to work peeling and sticking them to dad, the seat, the floor, himself, and me.

The first sticker he gave me was a small elf.  He stuck it to my work bag and looked up at me for approval.

“Oh, thank you!” I cooed. “Did you know that’s my nickname? Good job!”

He smiled and drew his fingers down around his mouth and chin, stroking an invisible beard.

“He’s saying “Santa,” his father interpreted.

“You’re Santa?” I asked, playfully.

He plucked another circle from the page and stuck it to his nose. A picture of a tiny Santa head in a red cap.  He giggled, pleased with himself.

“Smart boy!” I lavished. He played coy and giggled again. Little flirt.

I’m always amazed by how much children hear and understand, and cannot say with words, but can express in their eyes and body language, or in this case, sign language.

He proceeded to affix me with a set of snowflakes in blue, red, and green, a miniature reindeer, a candy cane, and a gingerbread man. I stuck them to the tips of my fingers and waggled them back at him.

“Hi!” he barked and we both laughed.

I peeled them off and lined them up the spine of my travel hairbrush like a Christmas Chakra, the elf at the root. Dad approved of the creative re-purpose.

His parents thanked me as I gathered my bag to leave.

“Of course,” I smiled. Hey—it was entertain and distract, or endure the screaming call of the Squeaky Narwhal, which, once heard, could be accurately described as a duck chainsaw.  I ventured that this little person, much like the narwhal, has a high-pitched biological sonar he could fire up on demand, and whether or not you turn his shoes off, he clearly doesn’t thrive in captivity, so we allow him to be his wild, sticker-covered self on the long bus ride home.

“Say bye!” mom entreated. Squeaky Narwhal stuck out his hand and waggled his fingers at me in his bum bucket and shouted “byeeee!”

It’s little bits of holiday magic like this that expand my heartspace ?

death, drinking, music, photography

Cry To Me

hey look! i'm a picasso!
hey look! i’m a picasso!

“Nothing could be sadder, than a glass of wine, all alone.” — Solomon Burke, Cry To Me

Beg to differ honey, but i’ll miss your music…

Solomon Burke, Cry To Me

friends

Phoenix Rising

There are few things more precious than handmade cards, more endearing than hearfelt, honest words of encouragement and well-wishing, or more accurate than the thoughtful gift sent by a friend or lover who truly understands your taste & style and shows attentive interest in the things that interest you.

Dominique, sent me a print of my most favorite and famously representative red elfin female – “Ember – The Fire Sprite ” by Ruth Thompson. Matted.

and . . . SIGNED, by the artist, to ME!

She also sent a hilarious card that brought the realm of friendship down to earth (yes, we must go to that place some day, plenty of beers and people for ridicule)

But it was the deeply buried card that i almost overlooked that struck something in me. A handwritten card with red & blue-accented artful text, well-placed stamps and a quote from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman that made me think of the places i’ve been. The strange and personal suffering i’ve felt. The quiet undertow of sadness that at times, burst and burned full to misplaced anger.

Only the Phoenix arises and does not descend,
And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost

Of course, we all know the myth of the Phoenix well . . . it represents eternal life, grace, beauty, good luck, the Empress, female energy, and the southern direction. Dominique, hailing from Georgia and bringing all this goodness and light to me, you are an Empress of the highest order from the southern direction.

And you have reminded me that i am loved, respected, thought of, supported, believed in, and a friend – in all this spirit, despite having never met in the flesh.

“Life’s like an hourglass glued to the table,” says folk singer Anna Nalick and “endurance makes one divine,” says the wisdom of death-metal band Morbid Angel. And i have to deeply agree with both . . .

For as the Phoenix, though we are not immortal, we endure a cycle of self-immolation and resurrection, tiny tragedies, minor catastrophies, and sometimes – major hurt, heartache & loss and the sand keeps slipping. All of it is a burning, and from our own ashes we are able to emerge in a new flame, a new life spread out before us, bearing feathers of red and gold.

health, myth, nature

darkness

light elvin things
often retreat to dark places.
damp caves and mossy quiet.
seems i am exploring that side just now.

because i cannot see
a breadth of light
i am submerging instead
so i will better appreciate it.

i hope i come out
with some thoughtful gifts.