Monday, December 04, 2006

Candles in the Dark

As a child, my favorite aspect of December was making things. My mother and I spent long hours together creating - not gifts, but detailed and finely crafted decorations - sewn, glued, embellished, embroidered, crocheted. It was a pure, unhurried kind of happiness, utterly unsullied by deadline and obligation - if a project wasn't complete by the end of Christmas, we simply carried on the next year. I kept it up for a while after leaving home, but somewhere during the years of my adulthood it dwindled away - or I failed to tend to it - creation for the sake of its own self-evident joy gave way to perfectionism and deadlines, and even our baking this year has all been sequestered in the freezer for gifting.

So this December, I plan to indulge (actually I started yesterday, but couldn't quite articulate the reasons at that moment) in a little piece of no-strings-attached beauty each day - sometimes created, sometimes simply photographed, because both looking and creating are kinds of Noticing, ways of intentionally participating in Being. This year I need more acutely than ever to touch the real things around me, find solid ground beneath my feet. As the winter solstice approaches, these are my candles.

blog photo eye

I'm still finalizing the practicalities of the format (the man of the house is concerned about Holes In The Wall), but I think I will attach the photos to wide ribbons hanging on either side of the fireplace, and they can accumulate over the month. Something like a personal Advent calendar.