Saturday, December 1, 2012

Map of the World, on the Saturday before the First Sunday in Advent

Today is the Saturday before Advent I - the first of the four Sundays before Christmas Day. Today, I place three purple candles and one pink one into a brass wreath I keep in a cupboard. In that same cupboard the set of Fontanini figurines I add to each year is waiting, in the happy hope of someday having a whole village surrounding the Holy Family, and a pack of grandkids to help me set it up in future years, and in the meantime, I have my own peaceful delight in placing the characters on top of the piano, interspersed with the various candles I will light every night from now until Epiphany. This year, I will also work on some final projects for school - and I will wonder how many more years the first half of December will be a time of school projects (and whether I can find a way for this always to be true). And my office. I want to start on another straightening up and rationalizing of my work space because my map of the world after the new calendar year will include a more explicit intention for the things that happen in here. My map of the world does not need new continents placed into it. It just needs new labels and illustrations.

There are a lot of ways to look at a thing - at a life - at a life's work. Perhaps I have finally traveled far enough to know a little more of what is important and what is not, and what is important to me and what is not, and to make room for building the things I can build. Maybe we have to know enough about living before we can choose our lives. In any case, my map of the world is changing again, and this time, I know it. This time, I choose it.

And what that's called when it's at home is this: writing in the wee hours, before the rest of the world wakes up (which I hesitate to say online because I don't want anyone to take this as an invitation to call me!) Writing at least once a week at the Hood River Library, which I discovered this week, and where I felt precisely like Alice. All I did was fall down a hole, and suddenly worlds and characters and places and many, wonderful, lovely, perfect words and a universe of impossible things were --- they just were.

“It's no use trying,” said Alice. “One can't believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven't had enough experience,” said the White Queen.
“When I was your age, I did it for an hour a day.
Why sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (1832–1898), aka Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

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