And then it was 2013. I celebrated the first day of the New Year by lolling in bed until early afternoon. There are so few days anymore when there is no place to be, nothing that needs doing now, no demands to be filled, and no person needing something from me.
I seized the day, folks! I squeezed every last drop of delicious relaxation out of this morning, happily watching the sun move across the room from under the covers, and not an ounce of guilt.
Until at last, hunger got the best of me. A quiet kitchen, golden eggs, left over red potatoes co-mingling with onions, garlic, and herbs atop flame and cast iron. The cats weaving around my legs hoping to catch a break, and Mr. Verbosity emerging from upper chambers, led by his nose to the kitchen.
After our simple brunch, Mr. V made a fire so I could continue with the lolling. It feels natural, right, and good to welcome in the New Year this way, without fanfare or adding obligations in the form of resolutions to the never-ending list of “to-dos” and “shoulds”.
Sitting by the fire I decided to go through some holiday photos. Here are a few favorites.
The holidays are over now, just some garland left on the railing I couldn’t bear to take down. The house feels quiet. I suppose it is resting just like me after all the guests and the lights and the noise.
Welcome to a New Year word-nerdlings. I can’t wait to see what’s in store. For now, a new word from a little vintage treasure, Woodland Book by Elmer Ransom:
*Elmer was referring to the redheaded woodpecker, of course, but you can do what you will with it.
My dear word-nerdlings,
I hope the holiday season is treating you well, whatever you celebrate, wherever you are. Will be back after the New Year!
Instead, I found myself re-reading this blog post, and all the comments – the supportive, and the horribly judgmental. And then this condemnatory post by another mother, and her two back-pedaling posts (at least there’s that), and again all the comments.
Then I read posts on Facebook about the Sandy Hook shootings, watched videos from various politicians and talking heads – some making abrupt and conscious about-faces in their thinking on various policies (gun control, free speech, mental illness, health care), and others clearly gearing up to fight the same, old, tired, useless battles.
I couldn’t sit down and write this post, because all that wanted to come out is how mother-effing heartbroken I am. Not just for the children and adults who lost their lives. Not just for the young man who was so broken inside that he felt the need, or perhaps a demented sense of justification, to enact such a vicious attack on children, children in their SCHOOL. Not just for the parents who will never know life without grief again. Not just for the community, or all of us who have been shaken to the core.
I am also heartbroken that in our need to make sense of things, to find our footing, we so often choose division, and sides, and anger, and finger pointing, and posturing, and witty memes, and bluster instead of being able to sit with this discomfort long enough – the sadness, the grief, the terror, the fear – so that wisdom might naturally arise out of our collective pain. Something sane and measured and kind.
Because folks? This isn’t about violent movies or video games, this isn’t about guns or bad parenting, this isn’t about a broken mental healthcare system, or evil people. It is all of those things and none of those things. It is something deeper, more fundamental, and we have to do the work to dig down to the roots, and we must have patience as we do so. We must be kind and thoughtful in our dialogue. And by kind, I do not mean yielding where we know in our hearts we must not yield. One can keep the heart soft while maintaining a strong back, and that is our responsibility as human beings.
I would apologize for hijacking this post, but I would dishonor myself by not letting out what wants to come out today. And I must ask you to keep your comments to expressions of grief and sympathy because I’m not of a mind to tolerate a debate over this or that issue in my comment section. Not today.
Yes, you still get a word of course. I don’t think we need to make it about this topic…even if I couldn’t bring myself to ignore it in the post. I found that Charles Dickens Christmas Book after all, so I’ll give you a word from that.
I had this realization the other day that the 100 word challenge on Velvet Verbosity started around this time several years ago. Trouble is, I can’t remember what year, and that original blog is long gone now. I think it was possibly 2006, and since that’s my best guess, I’m sticking to it.
So holy crap you guys, SIX YEARS! Just one more year before you all start getting itchy and run off with a new and shiny writing prompt. ;D
Anyway, thanks for coming back week after week. Thanks for the many hundreds of words you’ve submitted. Thanks for digging deep with me, making me laugh, shudder, and weep. I’ve really grown fond of all of you.
I’m into the thick of Christmas Spirit over here at the Verbosity household. We went to our favorite tree farm, trekked through snowy woods, and came home with the sweetest tree ever. Presents are piling up, holiday music is being played, hot chocolate is being sweetened with peppermint candies and cupped in hands, the fire has been crackling, cards have been sent, and the lights are all hung.
Little Man meets a snowman.
I like a little cheese with my Christmas tree farms.
You could be blindfolded and still walk out with a perfect tree.
We love our traditions. We do.
Personal touches of whimsy.
Somewhere in this house I have a Charles Dickens Christmas book, but we have a guest staying and it must be up on the third floor where he’s sleeping. I had to settle for Oliver Twist. The word is:
My dear word-nerdlings, the road to this week’s prompt was paved with good intentions. And then life happened, as it does, and here it is midnight and I’ve got to be up early. So come back tomorrow night around 10 p.m. EST for this week’s juicy prompt.
See you then!