vendredi, décembre 31, 2010

Virtual arrival

A few days ago I got a text from the Lancaster area -- "Merry Christmas!" When I inquired who it was, the message came back -- "It's Jim from Salunga, do you remember me?"

Jim isn't the only former date to get in touch with me. A friend emails from the Middle East, where he has gone back to teach --another sends a terse message from Lancaster.

And after I congratulate a friend getting a degree in the city from removing his profile from the dating site (he's on his way to see his wife in Havana) he texts me back with cheerful impudence. He's made another profile with a different name -- and let's do coffee in the New Year. Even though I have spurned his sexual advances, he still apparently recalls me fondly -- the last time he communicated was to let me know that he thought of me (of us?) every time he walked by that restaurant.

And I remember him, on the subway platform, something in his eyes I could not name.

Why get in touch, I asked the teacher. You stand out, he told me -- you seem down to earth. We go back and forth a few emails, then peter off, challenged by the miles and starved of more than text.

Inevitably, even if one isn't out at a party bringing in the year, New Year's Eve is a night for taking stock. I watch my kids developing social lives of their own and know that, as much as I would like to spare them the loneliness and the disillusionments and drama of loving and losing and loving again, they will have to find their way.

Maybe they will be fortunate, and get it right the first time.

"It's a dog-eat-dog world" somebody told me earlier this evening. I try to relate to others as though that wasn't true. I hope that the guys who have checked back in this year, for whatever purpose, don't think of me as one of the dogs -- but maybe as someone who offered a little kindness on their journey.

And I hope that the New Year will offer me a kindred spirit, who reciprocates that chastened hope and wants to not only check back in -- but walk the road with me.

But for now, my son and daughter are spending the first night of the New Year in my room -- so eager to fly, but so unsure as yet, as to whether they have wings.

dimanche, décembre 26, 2010

Unwrapping the present (s)

I sat there during the musical introduction enjoying the music. The prelude was ambitious, but our organist, the instrumentalists and choir were all doing what they were supposed to do -- and then it happened. An instrumentalist put down his trumpet, apologized to the crowd, and walked away.

For me the mood of the service was shattered -- as the celebrant, I was the maestro who needed to keep things moving. People having fits wasn't in the program. I couldn't wait for the service to be over, and it wasn't until "Silent Night," with its candles shining on the stained glass picture of Jesus behind the sanctuary, that I recovered.

But the odd thing was that most of the congregation apparently didn't feel that there was a serious issue.

How was your Christmas? Were you tripped up by your expectations? How about New Years resolutions? Will you be hard on yourself if you don't meet all of them?

Is it hard for you to remain in the present moment?

One of my resolutions this to be more "present" to what is occuring in front of my nose -- as opposed to worrying what may happen in a few weeks, or a year.

A more peaceful stance has a few advantages. I'll be less stressed...and it gives us plenty of time to get that Christmas service fixed. ;-)