Tuesday, December 24, 2013

And it's not from being overwhelmed by a to-do list as long as my arm. The gatherings are not here this year but will be at Lily's both tonight and tomorrow morning. So I don't have to clean or make pretty. I don't have to remember the infinite number of details like ice and drinks and paper plates and clean-up that porch! I don't have to cut flowers and put them in vases or string lights or make sure there are enough places for people to sit and tonight I won't have to put together toys after a party or fill stockings either.
I have wrapped everything I need to wrap. I simply have to make chicken salad and bake a ham and get over to Lily's tonight with those and the presents and the fruitcake.
That's all.
And yet, I woke up this morning wondering how long I'll be living, what horrors await me in whatever time that may be, despairing of ever enjoying anything again in my life.
And this cannot be normal. I have no reason to think I'm dying, I have a beautiful family who will come together tonight and a grandson who is vibrating with the excitement of it all and another who can't get or give enough kisses just because he's alive and he loves and it should all be so sweet and so good and I'm on the verge of tears and there is no other explanation except that I hate Christmas and somewhere, somehow, it was ruined for me or I ruined it somehow and there you go.

Get through it. I have to get through it all and pay attention because there will be remarkably beautiful moments and it would be a sin to miss them, to not acknowledge them.

It rained all day yesterday and today is clear and it is cold and getting colder. It will be in the twenties tonight. We had the boys all day yesterday and Mr. Moon did the brunt of the childcare. Gibson won't let his grandfather get farther than arm's reach. He adores and worships him. There was painting, there was coloring, there was couch and bed-fishing. There was a movie and Sponge Bob. There was block-building and there was fancy dancing. There was supper and Owen set the table for me, spreading each napkin out at each place with the knife and fork set nicely upon. He carried water glasses and plates and salad bowls and pepper and hot sauce to the table. I read an article in the New Yorker by Michael Pollan which absolutely blew my mind entitled "The Intelligence of Plants."

See? I am paying attention. I am being grateful and I am capable of wonder. I am surrounded by trees so old and dignified that I have no doubt they have an intelligence of their own and one that surpasses mine in ways I cannot imagine. Entire eco-systems live within them and around them and I am just a small part of it all.
Sometimes that is all enough.

Sometimes it's just a fact.

It is Christmas Eve. Babies are being born everywhere in the world in hospitals and homes and maybe even in a stable. Each one of them is as Holy as any other and the stars shine cold above, even if we cannot see them.

That is my Christmas Eve statement.

And I would wish us all peace.


  1. Merry Christmas Ms Moon. I know you'll love your celebrations with that family of yours. And the sad parts - I say again, stop feeling badly that you aren't dripping with sugar. Enjoy what you are able and don't beat yourself up about the rest.

  2. I wish us all peace too, including you, Mary Moon. This is the most stressful time of year for many, many people, as you know, so maybe there is comfort to be found in the fact that you are not alone. And yes, there will be magical moments to savor, among the angst.

    I have not read that Michael Pollan article, but I think I have that issue with me. I'll look for it.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Moon and all the family members who populate your world and your blog!

  3. One foot in front of the other, my love. Once you get to Lily's, it will all probably be good and lovely. Till then, breathe, breathe, breathe. Bake that ham. Make that chicken. Just do the next thing.

    One of my favorite quotes this year is "Love your sorrow. it won't last."

    Love your sorrow. It is what it is. Joy will elbow it out soon enough. Both have their place.

  4. Oh dear, don't fret the future. You can't stay the course of illness and death permanently. It will come when it comes. I have been in that moment many times. And I know that when illness comes, so does unbelievable kindness from those around. When the illness is unspeakably horrible, the moments of grace and compassion is what the mind focuses on. So now, before the illness comes focus on the moments of joy and goodness around you. Have a very happy Christmas.

  5. Oh, Ms. Moon. Since I turned 60, I also find myself worried about death more often than I ever thought I would. It's a shock, actually, and takes great effort to shift the focus. And the holidays make it harder, but there is always joy, isn't there, if we unsquinch our eyes and breathe.
    Here's to finding the strength to be gentle with ourselves and others.

  6. More and more I find that when I am touched by love in whatever miraculous or mundane way I tend to think of death at the same time. I am no longer frightened (she says bravely) because these two are too closely connected. Your future will be full of the wonder of love and there always will be death waiting. This is life, we cannot run away.
    Don't let it worry you too much and enjoy the next days with all their beauty and promise.

  7. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Mary. I share your morbid thought process, I can't make it stop, and if I actually told you all the things in my head you'd feel a lot more normal, I'm sure of it. You know I have too many theories, but I think chronic pain creates too much cortisol in the brain which fuels the surely I'm dying thoughts and worries. I don't actually care if I die, but I worry my ass off about how my children and my husband and even my dog would be affected, even down to who would have to get rid of all my stuff. It's sick, silly and stupid, but that's how my brain works.

    This time of year is hard, no matter who what or where. Those boys and all the hugs you're going to collect tonight will surely help. I wish you peace too. xo

  8. Wishing you and your family a good day filled with love. That's the most important gift. Love. Embrace it.

  9. Ms Moon, you will be surrounded by those you adore and who adore you right back! You will eat and smile and and maybe cry and you will come back here and tell us all about it and we will lovingly bear witness to all of it and I for one will marvel that even in the depths of your sadness you embrace and absorb the beauty and love around you. That is everything. I love Angella's quote!
    love you.

  10. Ugh! I feel the same way today and all I have to do is just BE, yet I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my face off. My uterus is rebelling (for the second time in December) and I've eaten so much chocolate and it's not even noon. Nuzzle those Grandies tonight.
    Merry Christmas Eve.

  11. Yes. Love your sorrow. Thank goodness Angella wrote that. Thank goodness that you are who you are and not some mealy-mouthed person. I love you a lot.

  12. Jill- I am not beating myself up. I promise. Thanks.

    Steve Reed- Yes! Read that article! And thank you for the wishes. I'll pass them on.

    Angella- But how do you do that? How DO you love your sorrow? Is it possible?
    I am waiting for joy. That, at least, I can do.

    Lisa- I am taking your words to my heart. Thank you.

    Sylvia- The odd thing is, I don't fear death. I don't think, anyway. It's all that bullshit that comes before. Sigh.

    Sabine- If only I could corral/control these insane (because they are NOT sane) feelings. I know what you say is true.

    Mel- Dear god. We are the same woman. You understand exactly.

    Syd- You are right.

    Ms. Yo- Wishing you and yours the best. May there be joy. Thank you. As always.

    heartinhand- I am looking at the tequila. I am wondering...
    I am thinking, "no."
    But. If only chocolate helped me.

    Elizabeth- I love you a lot too. Count on that.

  13. I am sorry you are having a hard time this morning and despite how hard it is to be in that awful place, as time and time again we learn, it will pass. Your sweet boys, family and friends love you so much and I hope keeping those thoughts in your mind today will sustain you. Sweet Jo

  14. http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/arcady31/arcady311003/arcady31100300022/6597624-stop-sign.jpg
    Sometimes I have to do this - flash a stop sign up in front of my eyes. My little dose of Citalopram does a pretty good job of stopping that death and misery cycling though, I've no idea how.

    I know you have a wonderful family, and you love their company, and they are all excellently loved by you, and lucky to be so. That's all this needs to be - a day where you have time to be in each other's company, and celebrate that fact. And eat all the food. We invest so much in this holiday and it comes to represent so much. I don't know - I think it doesn't have to.

    I know there's no point trying to talk yourself out of those stresses and feelings, but I also know you will enjoy your sweet moments over the next couple days, and you will share them with us and that will make us happier too. I hope you can put up your stop sign and sidestep the bad associations and love and laugh with your babies and your beautiful husband and enjoy your cake n ham. Love to you, Mary xx

  15. Sending all the love to you and your beautiful family. xoxo

  16. Honey, I know but my lovely Maya was born on Dec 25th so it's never a total bummer. I send you some of her light.

    love and kisses and hope you got a wee gift from me.



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