Posted in Christianity, Liliana Negoi, Meditation, meditative, Mortality, mystic, Spiritual Practice

On giving

DSC_0313My kids had a small festivity at kindergarten. They sang songs, and recited poems, and then Santa Claus came and gave gifts to all of them…overall it was nice. And obviously crowded, because for each of the kids in the festivity, there was at least one adult in the public in front of them, admiring them and cheering them and…doing whatever adults do when attending their children’s festivities.

After we left, when we got back home and the kids opened their presents and began to play, I couldn’t help thinking about the children of this world whose Christmas gift may not be big enough as to contain more than some fruit, let alone toys or other things. And that’s sad, because, above all, Christmas is a time of giving. Not because of Santa Claus, but because of its original meanings. Go beyond the birth of Christ, which was a gift in itself, given to the world (yes, I know that according to some new calculations Christ was actually born in spring, but it’s the symbol I’m talking about here), go back to those times of yore, when the only thing celebrated during this period of the year was the winter solstice – the joy that, after slowly shortening its gift of daily light for six months, the sun was beginning to turn the wheel around and days were starting to “grow” again. This was the gift people got back then – light. More light. Which, come to think about it, is such an awesome and priceless gift!

Anyway, the point of this pondering was that of reminding you all that, even if I don’t believe that giving should be the appanage of Christmas time alone but a way of life, I do believe that this is a good time to remember about all the gifts that we have ever been given, no matter by whom, and to try and imagine how our lives would have been had we not received those. Starting with the gift of life from our parents, and to the gift of blessings from our children.

And if you can, if you have the means, help those in need by filling their Christmas time with a little more light. You don’t have to give huge gifts – the simple fact that someone thought about them and gave them anything at all will be more than what they would expect. And their joy when receiving your present will be a priceless gift you give yourselves.

© 2013 Liliana Negoi

The photo attached was taken from http://morguefile.com.

IMG_7667LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.  Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.

Posted in Jamie Dedes

I DANCE FOR THEM

from a rain forest

Here the dancer stops

to regain her balance

and re-elaborate the distance

In the Empire of Light, Michael Palmer

·

I DANCE FOR THEM

by

Jamie Dedes

·

We danced in step we four, a pas de quatre on river rocks,

me dreaming wild of unicorns and rainbows.

In that faraway place of  raging river, ancient Cloister –

escaping to the city with my once-young mother,

embracing antique stories told in graceful moves and music

made for those with better breeding, more cultivated minds.

·

Home, our home, a place of first loves, unfounded hope

where simmering, Sidto* served soup to my sister,

a dark-olive girl-fugue in tar black  and char dust.

In that place whirling with church spires and myrtle trees,

hooting and shrieking, we strode tortured shores,

then buried our anger in silence, bitter as bile.

I broke my ballerina legs in a premature grand jeté.

I failed to heal those fissured old hearts.

·

We were lost then, somewhere out in crazy time, lazy mind –

passing green humid summers, silver crisp winters,

fielding the slings of earth-bound distress. Home  . .  .

At home, such a tangled skein of love and lies and ties,

where, by some bogey breeze, we danced lockstep on river rocks,

me dreaming wild of unicorns and rainbows . . .

Solitary now, alone now above rainforest layers of fertile mind –

my energy moves triumphant, a pas marché on gray status clouds,

which rain down hard-won poems in roses, willow greens, and light.

With twice found hope and tender love, I dance for them.

·

Sidto – grandmother, derived from the Arabic.

Dance terms:

  • pas de quatre – a dance for four.
  • grand jette – a broad, high leap with one leg stretched forward and one stretched behind. In effect, a “split” that is airborne.
  • pas marché – the regal marching-step of the premiere danseuse, the principal female dancer in a ballet company

© poem, 2011, 2012 Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Illustration courtesy of Fran Hogan, Public Domain Photograph.net.

Posted in Fiction, General Interest

FOR CHRISTMAS EVE: A Story

CHRISTMAS WITH GRANDMA

by

Anon

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.

I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered.  “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were  world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.

“No Santa Claus?” she snorted…”Ridiculous!  Don’t you believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!!

Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go?  Go where Grandma”, I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

“Where” turned out to be Kirby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

“Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it.  I’ll wait for you in the car.”  Then she turned and walked out of Kirby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church.  I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.  He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter.  His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!  I settled on red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?”  The lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

“Yes ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.” The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat.  I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes.

That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were:  ridiculous.  Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care…

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Give back – what you can, where you can, whenever you can.

We don’t know the origin of this story or who wrote, but we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Our thanks to Linda F. for passing it on to us and to the anonymous author. 

Photo credit ~ morgueFile