I should be doing my honey-do list but could not resist blogging something in lieu of my failure to send Christmas cards. Below I'll try to attach pictures of everyone in our family, including the pets.
To all my readers a Merry Christmas. I don't like the generic "Happy Holidays" any more than I like the tyranny of tolerance to which our culture has been subjected. I say "Merry Christmas" because I'm an unabashed Christian. If I were a pagan I would likely say, "Happy Saturnalia." It is a diverse holiday but diversity is best served by individual commitment. As I often advise, it is better to pursue one path (or religion) assiduously than sample them all like chocolates. The spiritual discipline of every path does or should lead to the love of God. All else is dross.
Regarding peace on earth, our cats and new dog are finally co-existing in a semblance of harmony. He rarely barks at them and some nights both he and a cat sleep in our California king. But when the cats are roaming outside, he still thinks them fair game for a good treeing.
I'm grateful for so much this year: Kathleen, my children (all doing well), this beautiful place I live in, friends, enough to eat, shelter, and of course the miracle of the incarnation that ennobles man more than anything. To the PETA people: notice he didn't come as a bunny!
I used to dislike Christmas, but over the years my heart has healed from the bleak ones I've known, particularly those endured during a depression. Each ornament, each hug, each gift speaks of a generosity within in us that I wish we could access all year long. Then there might be peace on earth.
And I think of all our troops in places far away--I even have a good friend serving in Afghanistan as a psychiatrist. May they come home soon; may Obama keep his pledge to withdraw from Iraq in 16 mos., and may he reconsider expanding the mess in Afghanistan.
I'm also naturally grateful to my publisher, Kelly, who sought me out to publish my first volume of poetry in over ten years. Poetry is a great joy to me, especially as a reader. There's no better brain candy--I think stockings should be stuffed with poems, although the children would no doubt complain.
"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts then every day would be Christmas." --Dutch Proverb.
Here's a poem by Emily:
The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—
The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that 'twould be
A rugged Billion Miles—
To all you who read me but whom I've never met, I hope my ramblings, especially about my difficulties with manic-depression, have somewhat extended your compassion and understanding for a disease that affects one in a hundred worldwide. And I'm grateful for all those who read my literary musings and poems. It is a strange thing, this anonymous connection through the ether. I would name all the countries from which people come here, but it would take to long. For now hello to Iran, Kuwait and the Ukraine.
Have a blessed Christmas!