In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?
* C.S. LEWIS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN, SHERLOCK HOLMES, G.K. CHESTERTON, N.D. WILSON, AND P.G. WODEHOUSE, ARE ENCOURAGED
Read a few verses: Like these
Do some yoga: yoga with Adriene is my favorite, and here's one just for stress relief.
Read a seasonal book: Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon, or The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
I listen to both on unabridged audio every year at this time.
Fold some paper: whether it's these fun origami stars, or wrapping presents while watching a holiday episode of your favorite show, a bit of 'paperwork' can be good for the mind.
Watch a Christmas movie: old classics, cheesy new ones, or obscure ones like this: A Child's Christmas in Wales, based on a Dylan Thomas poem. It's delightfully cozy and atmospheric, with a nostalgic sense of place, and has found its way into my personal Christmas traditions.
Light a candle or two, or eight: Today is the sixth night of Hanukkah, and while I don't always get around to lighting the menorah, I love to remember God's work in that story, his promises. An extra reminder, as we light our Advent candles too, in wait, but also in joy that our Messiah came.
Some of my entries placed in the popular vote category (they will later be published in an e-book), so I'm only posting my other entries here.
This post is late, so weeks 5 & 6 are also done, and I will be posting my non-placing entries here when I can.
Dorothy Sayers, Strong Poison
"Not in the least, I'm afraid."
"I often wonder what we go to school for," said Wimsey.”
“There is something about wills which brings out the worst side of human nature. People who under ordinary circumstances are perfectly upright and amiable, go as curly as corkscrews and foam at the mouth, whenever they hear the words 'I devise and bequeath.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Sometimes it seems that if we were in a new spot, or new circumstances or scenery, then all would be well. It would be easier to appreciate things, easier to be active, easier to get involved, to not be discouraged, to study harder, or read more, easier to love. But so often that isn't true.
Now, I am a great believer in fresh scenery, in getting away for a bit, visiting, traveling, seeing the world. But it doesn't solve our problems. It freshens our perspective, lets us see again the wonders we have grown dull to. But whether you are at home or abroad, it is hard to get up early, exercise when you should, study hard, work, help, read good books, manage your time, pray, memorize, love people, serve. It's hard to eat right, be thankful, say no, say yes, limit tv; live and learn and care about the whole spinning world, with its vast diversities and wonders, without becoming discontent in, or blind to, our own hobbit-hole lives.
It's hard. But then, we weren't meant to lean on our own abilities. (And thank God for that, as my abilities will never suffice.) In every moment it is God we must trust and lean on. Christ is enough. And as I have been here, and been there recently, I am reminded: lean into prayer.
|plums from the tree!|
(some I dipped in honey--mwah!)
|don't have any pictures of the sails up, because I was too busy enjoying myself...|
|they even let me help with the jib-sheets, and take the tiller for a bit!|