Arguably, the best part of a birthday is the giddy hope of presents, the generous gifting of special things on the day we landed on earth. In a very real way, a present is an offset…a concrete manifestation of a thing that we might find attractive or enticing to compensate for the loss of something else…namely, a year of our lives.
Society plugs birthday’s as things to be excited about…but not everyone feels that way. And for that particular crowd, the trade-off (accepting the finality of growing older against the chance to score loot) isn’t enough.
In the same way a present represents a shiny, distracting object, December 2022 asks us to be more aware of what we are thankful for. No, this isn’t a pollianish polemic designed to hoodwink and bewitch. Somewhere in your life, December, a Nine universal Month in a Six Universal Year, celebrates the actual, measurable accomplishments, circumstances that show you’ve moved from a decaying state of being to a nascent one, with respect to your home and hearth, touching on everything from what makes you feel safe, to what you do to make others you love feel likewise.
In August of this year, the home I’d come to think of as my forever place, the seat of my comfort was sold. My wife and I, aging and less agile, could not care for the home we’d so dearly loved for over two decades. Home became synonymous with worry, financial consternation and very real physical woes. When we sold it, we traded our old life for a new one, taking the “gift” of sale funds in exchange for the death of that life. We are still mourning the passing away of that life, but, because we have been prudent and lucky, we are able to secure a new life, a gift we gave to ourselves…which we are still coming to terms with. That’s the thing with a nine…it has a price…an exchange…for transformation, for growth.
Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base.- Frederick B. Wilcox– Frederick B. Wilcox
We purchase a fresh life by choosing what to jettison in the old. It’s an exercise in choice, in progression, of committing to our own development, one begetting the other..the adieu before the bonjour.
Just because there IS a price, doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s merely the circle of life, the cycle of time, the turn of the wheel, a leave-taking, as it were. There is a time to everything, a rhythm and rotation that governs the state of all living things, of all patterns and purposes. Birth…life…death…birth…life…death…repeated again and again.
Lest you think me too moribund here… death is not the cessation of everything, the boundary to…nothing, at least not in my book. In my little family’s life…we are begun again, or at least we are knee deep in our process of beginning, albeit after many angry words, bitter tears and sleepless nights. Our struggle is real and ongoing but necessary.
And this is not to say that others in the same cycle do not go through tragedy, horrendous misfortune and senseless persecution and predation. This too is part of the dramatic dark web of a nine, outside of the realm of choice.
And even in my pitiful grief, I knew my trials were trivial in comparison, tame examples of discomfort and despair. I also knew that the more I railed against it, the harder it would be for me to inch forward; my loud protestations and toe-curling curses did exactly nothing to change reality.
Rather, my contrarian ways distracted me from the attendant endowments of this new life, our new reality. It’s taken the late summer and the early fall to finally come to terms with the writing that had been on the wall for years. This month, I embrace my challenges, acknowledging that the shadows define the developing picture.
This is the essential, avaricious nature of loss: it encompasses, without distinction, the trivial and the consequential, the abstract and the concrete, the merely misplaced and the permanently gone.-Kathryn Schulz, Lost and Found
I went on a walk today looking for the new edges, our new circumstances, the revamped path…knowing full well it was there all along. Fear is my companion for I’m not completely sure where it is leading; don’t exactly feel certain on this road. That’s the thing about a sunset…it get’s dark before it gets light and the gift is in the anticipation…
But…we all know nothing is guaranteed, so we hope. This nine month is reminding us, our time with what we love, what loves us on this plane…it’s delimited.
This last sacred month of the year, accept the fact that life moves…and we are oft times powerless in it’s wake. But if you anticipate the shifting waves … move on to higher ground.
Here’s to the common coming dawn and our ability to ready ourselves for it.
Life will become more pleasant and comfortable if we get rid of some of the abundance…– Margareta Magnusson, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
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