On the Threshold

From Beauty Is an Edge of Becoming by Krista Tippett and John O’Donohue:

“If you go back to the etymology of the word ‘threshold,’ it comes from ‘threshing,’ which is to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold, in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness. There are huge thresholds in every life. You know that, for instance, if you are in the middle of your life in a busy evening, fifty things to do and you get a phone call that somebody you love is suddenly dying, it takes ten seconds to communicate that information. But when you put the phone down, you are already standing in a different world. Suddenly everything that seems so important before is all gone and now you are thinking of this. So the given world that we think is there and the solid ground we are on is so tentative. And a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit, and very often how we cross is the key thing.”

And where is beauty in that?
“Where beauty is — beauty isn’t all about just niceness, loveliness. Beauty is about more rounded substantial becoming. And when we cross a new threshold worthily, what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”

Beautiful!

For more, you can read Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue.

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A Song for Christmas (just add music!)

Working 2 part times, ‘round minimum wage
I pay all my debts but I can’t turn the page
So during the year I put coins in a jar
To make Christmas special and point to the star

In our simple home it’s just me and my son
His mother was taken when he was just one
Though strong till the end the disease was still stronger
It’s seven years later, some nights still feel longer

Chorus:
The best part of Christmas right here in this part
Is the time spent together, it’s here in the heart
The star of great wonder that shines from above
Is not about presents, it’s all about love

There’s one gift to cuddle and something to wear
One gift for learning and a fun-thing we’ll share
Most were bought used, now cleaned and with bows
I imagine him smiling from head to his toes

The four little presents wrapped, under the tree
There’s a gingerbread cookie for him and for me
The night before Christmas he sits in my lap
Together we read, together we nap

Chorus

I heard him start coughing and quickly awoke
The house wasn’t burning but filled up with smoke
The candle that flickered to brighten the night
Burned into the table and gave us a fright

“It could have been worse,” the firemen said in my ear.
“Insurance can fix it, there’s nothing to fear.”
I cried as I listened, still hugging my boy
Who whispered, “Merry Christmas, Dad” with tears and some joy.

Chorus

Unexpected Amazed

As I knelt to plant my vegetable garden
the sown seeds, unexpectedly, had been mixed
At some point
by no one in particular
A loose box, open envelopes, perhaps

The vegetables were few and far between
But the flowers
The flowers
They were beautiful mixed with greens
Unexpected
Beautiful

When I stood to paint this mural
To reflect the sea and the sunset
The waves and the gulls
A sudden elbow slip, a few misstrokes
new-strokes
And the sea became a flowing river
All re-framed
With tall buildings reflecting the sky
Beautiful
Unexpected yet
Beautiful 

Sitting at the piano bench to write
The song of minor tones and sadness
Oops, a major third, hmmm, a new progression
With a walking bass line
And a piano solo
Jazzy
Classy
Unexpected and beautiful 

Lettings loose the best of creation
Rolling with the punches
Not knowing the end result
Why did the character sneeze?
Why did the colors blend?
Why did the music roll?

Ahh, the way of creation
Beautiful and unexpected
And beautiful
Accepted and beautiful
For if the end were pre conceived
Would it be art?
Would it be creation?
Would it be life?

Unexpected beauty happens
Be amazed!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

20        A Charlie Brown Christmas

When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is.

Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown, is from St. Paul, MN.Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 9.41.49 PM

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

16        How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmq9i7_how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-1966_shortfilms

http://xmasfun.com/stories/Grinch/Text.asp

Every WhoScreen Shot 2012-12-15 at 1.22.20 PM
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot…

But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But,
Whatever the reason,
His heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, hanging a mistleoe wreath.

“And they’re hanging their stockings!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!”
Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

11        Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5sYJfIYOF8&feature=related

 Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 5.41.20 PM

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Had a very shiny nose,

And if you ever saw it,

You would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer

Used to laugh and call him names;

They never let poor Rudolph

Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,

Santa came to say,

Rudolph with your nose so bright,

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him

As they shouted out with glee,

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,

You’ll go down in history.