Writing through the Holly-daze

The events: Aunt Rita’s annual Christmas open house, Jennifer and Sarah’s cookie party, dinner at Cathy and Gina’s, a playdate for P. & K., the Voces, Inc. alumni solstice lunch, Navidad con Las Meganenas, Matt & Sheila’s Cochinita and Tequila party, Hannukah with Mark and Marla, latkes with Frances and Harvey, the Olivas family annual matanza. Coronado Elementary School’s Holiday International Cultural Celebration.

Las Meganenas, Summer 2010

The food: vanilla ice cream, homemade pizza, chips and salsa, latkes, guacamole, tamales, pinto beans, homemade tortillas, dessert crepes, pozole, pinot noir, eggnog, the vegetarian platter at Yanni’s, sugar cookies, lemon bars, chicharrones, brie, pastelitos, red chile, Frito pie, sangria, elk chile, Dion’s Greek salad.

Christmas shopping.

A day of rain.

A trip to Deming.

Birdies in Deming, Henry Rael

And every day, some writing.

This weekend, I wanted to sleep in long enough to just get up, put on some clothes and head with Henry to his parents’ house for our weekly Sunday brunch. I questioned the wisdom of saying in a very public way that I would write every day (except Christmas) in December. As the precious minutes until our departure ticked by, I began fierce internal negotiations, reasoning that I could write later, after breakfast and Christmas shopping and making lemon bars and Mary’s monthly poetry salon and wrapping gifts and the Meganenas Christmas gathering. Fortunately, Henry intervened with, “Get out of bed and write.”

So I did.

These are weeks of constant motion, and in them, I am rebuilding a disciplined writing practice. I am rediscovering the importance of showing up every day and am so thankful to Suzanne and Rufus and Marisa for offering me a place to show up.

My cousin’s friend attends Aunt Rita’s Christmas party every year. Every year I ask about his real estate business, and he asks about my writing. I told him about Vessels and my decision to take on no outside work until February. I told him about my blog and ArtSpark and invited him to be part of the Vessels team. He seemed intrigued and asked, “Have you had any big breakthroughs?” I shook my head and told him that I rarely feel inspired or experience big “Aha!” moments when I write. I said I was enjoying the work, the daily practice of being with these stories, of paying attention and bringing them into the world. He seemed sad for me as he headed for the eggnog.

This is not a sexy or glamorous time, not a time of breakthroughs or amazing discoveries. It is a time of joy, yes, good will toward all. And it is a time of work.

Tune in for a short ArtSpark update Thursday, December 30.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love it. i’m right there with you–with the holiday parties and FOOD. And I know that eggnog guy look…but that look inspires me -among other things- to get to the page every day. it matters.
    feliz todo!

    • Let’s get to the page together, amiga Macondista.

  2. I have no doubt that your hard work will bring you joy overall! From my Advent meditation book: “As we grow old[er], there is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a suffering that will continue to tempt us to think that we have chosen the wrong road. But don’t be surprised by pain. Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.
    With a heart trusting that we will get what we need, and a spirit always surprised by joy, we will walk through this valley of darkness performing and witnessing miracles.” Henri Nouwen

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