Saturday, December 26, 2009

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown"

Envelope No. 4 contains the sparkly glittery letters "M" and "T" with the following quote:

Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring.
If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature--
if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep,
if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you--
know that the morning and spring of you life are past.
Thus may you feel your pulse.

Still no return address and I google the quote. It is written by Henry David Thoreau. Spring and Bluebird both have special meaning to me. Whoever is sending these, do they know?

The day before Christmas I receive envelope No. 5. Still no return address, the letters "I" and "R" are enclosed with the following quote written by Ruth Stout:

There is a privacy about winter which no
other season gives you. In spring, summer
and fall people sort of have an open season
on each other; only in the winter, in the
country, can you have longer, quiet stretches
when you can savor belonging to yourself.

I am still giddy with wonderment....these all have a deep inner meaning to me. Who knows me "that" well?

Kristi spends the night so we can all wake up together Christmas morning (I secretly hope that this never changes). We sleepily go to our "Christmas morning positions." I am first handed an envelope. It is a silver envelope and I readily know what is inside.

About a month earlier she was over and had spotted a card that I had purchased. I had purchased two of them once upon a time and she asked if she could have it. My love for her outweighs my love for my cards so I said of course. I opened the envelope and there, yes, was that beautiful favorite card of mine.

I opened the card and enclosed were four sparkly glittery letters "Y", "H", "R" and "E", our two nicknames for each other in glitz "Dix" and "Pix"

and the following quote:

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the
glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were
sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for
behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the
city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this
shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly
there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt

Kristi is my giddy mystery person. The person that knows of my longing to learn, to step outside of my comfort zone, to experience all that is offered. She knows I need the winter quietness but my deepest love is the first day of spring. And there is nothing in nature that will make me stop and breath the deepest breath as when I spot a blue bird.

And my most cherished Christmas love is when Linus quotes Luke 2:8-14 and ends with saying "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Because it is at that moment every year, for the past 25 years, when Kristi is by my side watching that show, that I know that I can overcome and tolerate all of the commercialism and stress that the holiday takes on. That one moment, with Pix so close by my side, that I know what Christmas is really all about. I love you Pix, and that's what it's all about!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"R" and "S" ~ My Third Giddy Mystery Envelope

I received a third envelope. Just like the two previous ones, it was handwritten and had no return address.

Inside were two more sparkly glittery letters ~ "R" and "S", and the following quote:

"In the depths of winter
I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer."

I google and learn it is written by Albert Camus and I read about his other works and life (he's actually a very handsome man).

Each three I have received have a special meaning to me - I love them. This one like the other two will be safely tucked away.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"A" and "C" - the Giddy Mystery Continues....

A trip to the mailbox yields yet another handwritten envelope with no return address. Inside once again are two sparkly glittery letters - this time an "A" and a "C" and another quote typed on a torn piece of paper which reads:

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I. And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

Kristi tells me it is from the season 2 finale of Mad Men. Sherri tells me her interpretation. I google (of course). I find it is written by Frank O'Hara. It is a poem titled "Mayakovsky" from his book Meditations in an Emergency. It is the fourth and final part of the poem.


My heart's aflutter!
I am standing in the bath tub
crying. Mother, mother
who am I? If he
will just come back once
and kiss me on the face
his coarse hair brush
my temple, it's throbbing!

then I can put on my clothes
I guess, and walk the streets.

I love you. I love you,
but I'm turning to my verses
and my heart is closing
like a fist.

Words! be
sick as I am sick, swoon,
roll back your eyes, a pool,

and I'll stare down
at my wounded beauty
which at best is only a talent
for poetry.

Cannot please, cannot charm or win
what a poet!
and the clear water is thick

with bloody blows on its head.
I embraced a cloud,
but when I soared
it rained.

That's funny! there's blood on my chest
oh yes, I've been carrying bricks
what a funny place to rupture!
and now it is raining on the ailanthus
as I step out onto the window ledge
the tracks below me are smoky and
glistening with a passion for running
I leap into the leaves, green like the sea

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.


Sherri's interpretation is exactly how I feel my life is right now. My giddy mystery continues. I have plans to back track and watch all previous episodes of Mad Men until I am caught up.

I am off to the bookstore to get copies of Meditations in an Emergency by O'Hara and Walden by Thoreau.

The sparkly glittery letters, envelopes and torn pieces of paper have all been tucked away for safe keeping. But I still wonder with giddiness....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Knee Socks and Lemonade

Last weekend I attended the wedding of my gorgeous niece Mandii. No typo...her name has two i's. I first met her almost 28 years ago; and everyday since she has blessed my life. Her smile is huge; her laugh is infectious. And she always makes lemonade when handed a lemon.

When it came time for me to help put her blue garter on, I gleefully noticed that she had white knee socks on...YES! I have taught her well.

And then 5 minutes before the ceremony was to begin.....she needs to the bathroom. How many bridesmaids does it take to hold up a wedding dress? Kristi is able to capture one of the best wedding pics of the day.

The following day Stan and I took off for a couple of needed mindless days in Vegas; my treat to myself for putting the wedding together and for finishing Fall Term.

The first night I have booked to see Andrew Dice Clay. Front row seats....was that a good idea when you're seeing Andrew Dice Clay? hahaha!

The second night I have booked to see The Jersey Boys ~ the life of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The production is WONDERFUL, except......

...... I am sitting next to a lady who sings "as well" as I do and she thinks its her duty to sing along to every song they do. I think of Mandii's ability to always find that glass of lemonade and I decide to do what Mandii would do. I smile big and sing with her!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"M" and "S" - A Giddy Mystery

I've written before about my love of receiving anything personally handwritten in the mail.

I opened my mail box and there sat an envelope, addressed to me but with no return address.

Excited giddiness....what was inside? And who sent it?

Inside was a small piece of torn paper with a quote on it and two glittery sparkly letters... "M" and "S". Are they someone's initials or are they part of a word? What could this mean as I begin to read the quote:

"Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round
your life, as a dog does his master's chaise.
Do what you love. Know your own bone;
gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

I google the quote and find out it is written by Henry David Thoreau and learn that it ends with:

"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good - be good for something."

I google further and find a quote by Anne Truitt (a sculptor) in Annie Dillard's book "The Writing Life" in reference to Thoreau's:

"Why do you never find anything written about that idiosyncratic thought you advert to, about your fascination with something no one else understands? Because it is up to you. There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. It is hard to explain because you have never read it on any page; there you begin. You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. "The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one's own most intimate sensitivity."

Currently I have several bones I am gnawing on and am about to embark on a new one next month.

I love receiving personal handwritten envelopes, I love googling and learning about authors and quotes and the synchronicity of one thing leading to another. And I love a Giddy Mystery!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

George Malley and Arrowheads

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from my niece Lynda which read, "Are you free Sat or Sun for a few hours? Rick wants you to come walk in the mud with him."

Rick is Lynda's husband. I've written about him before. He's the guy that knows she's an artist and he "buys her chairs". He is her George Malley from the movie Phenomenon.

My heart skipped a beat. Walking in mud means only one thing....searching for Arrowheads and other Native American artifacts. It's right there with searching for T-Rex bones!

Lynda said I would need to bring a flask to offer up to The Gods. I didn't have a flask but I did stop off and buy some mini-bottles to fill my pockets! My hair in braids and we were off....

Through the mud,

and more mud ....

.... and then he spotted the first one. A beautiful pinkish one. An hour later and I spot my first. A mind blowing brown one. I was ecstatic!!!!

I spot something else sticking out of the mud, he laughs and says it's a Bobbie Bryan artifact (it's nothing more than the top of a wine bottle!)

Throughout the day we find bits and pieces, I treasure them all....

At the end of the day, we leave muddy boots in his garage and sit at the kitchen table. He shows me a rock that he had previously found. A weight that the Multnomah tribe had used on their fishing nets. I am nothing short of awestruck!

He gave me that rock. And as I drove away from one of the best days I have spent in a very, very long time, I realized that Rick....the gentle giant our family knows him to be, is actually THE ROCK of our family.

Thank you Rick for a wonderockin' day!!!!