Tonight is for Giving
There's a place for the dark and the light, of course. I have not tried to hurry the former away from me. I ride the waves, no matter how precipitous. But I confess to feeling some relief as I sit here on a wave of gratitude tonight. My New Year's Eve is, at least in part, typically about looking forward, to discover--to create and unfold--what lies ahead. Tonight, however, I feel more drawn to looking upon rather than beyond what is in my midst.
The past handful of days, I have been flooded with living memory after living memory--moment upon moment--of my time in Ireland. Art hanging in Merrion Square, hurrying arm in arm with my beloved past Oriel Gallery on the way to the IFI, brown bread and a cold Smithwicks, taking the bus to meet Anthony for our adventure in Westmeath, and nearly missing the stop but for the driver calling for us. The lilting accent, all around: "t'anks loove," and "shut oop" and "wearld" for world and "honest to God" and "f'ntastic!" Two cups of tea after dinner with much dark outside lighted by the twinkle of our humble little ficus-turned-Christmas tree, decorated with dried orange rind slices hung on kitchen string, and some red beads and balls we found at the dollar store in Polish town, and a cardboard cutout star fashioned for the top. And oddly, the sound of the fire door closing with an echoing slam in the basement of the Alliance building where I would take our recycling every week or so--even the smell of the underground 'car park': it all returns to me, comes alive again, unbidden, pulling on my heart strings.
The fuschia in hedges, forests of holly, the Twelve Pins, Roundstone, stiff winds. Walks home from Donnybrook, Ranelagh, Ballsbridge. The 'funiculi funicula' rhythm of the DART passing the Gasworks countless times day and night. The steam engine and whistle of the Santa train and our trying, trying, and trying again to capture it click! The chime - ping - of the elevator as it reached our floor. Clematis, heather, gorse. A 20-something brass quartet playing carols outside of Bewley's on Grafton Street Christmas Eve. Sitting down inside with Marek for a long cup of tea. Newgrange and the marvel of it, continuing to amaze me with the precision of its design, the accomplishment of its purpose year after year after year, for 5,000 now, and counting. Oooh, I cood goo on and on, loove, trooly I cood--honest to God.
But there is more than there; there is here. Cleo sated and sleeping peacefully beside me in an open position, warmed by the radiant heat of fire. Cleo whose right leg wouldn't quite work this morning so that when she walked, she turned a tight circle. Cleo who looked at once troubled and nonplussed by this. Cleo who soaked up the Reiki I gave to her tonight, which I know by now means that tomorrow she will walk just fine. Cleo who for all I know will cross over this new year, who I may not have the privilege to stroke--soft, soft--to soothe, to love come next Christmas. Cleo, my "heart kitty" who has taught me so much about Love.
And not far from where she sleeps rests a book of French poetry, and tucked inside it is a card covered with abundant good wishes for my new year sent the 22nd of December from Paris. It has been making its slow and gentle way to me since then, arriving on this, the last day of a most exceptional year. It is passionate, heartfelt, pure, this poetry, and between it and the card's sentiments, I was moved to tears. Then moved to write, all this, to speak of my wealth.
Never mind tomorrow; tomorrow will come soon enough. Tonight is for giving. Giving thanks. To Sees for the butterscotch under the tree. To Gene for the exchange that has allowed me to repeatedly open the Reiki channel on his behalf. To dwell in the purity of that offering. To give and receive all at once. To enjoy the gift of his hands in the three smooth ceilings upstairs.
To Anne for this beautiful, blessed laptop that serves me every day, providing ease and comfort and convenience--and portability!--to every moment I sit with it. And for this beautiful book which I will devour with a reverential presence and pleasure. For the wholeheartedness in the giving.
To Anne for my daily light in Dublin that brought me through the winter in good form, for the wonders and delicacies of Stockholm, the magnificence of Provence, the sparkle and chic and amitie, en famille, in Paris. For two of the most extraordinary, unforgettable years of my life. For superb wines "Cherry!," for Montmartre and her fine French bottes that Brian called sexy on me the other night. For guitar I can sing to, for hands that gave and gave and gave and continue to tenderly give. For the Bank of Ireland debit card left out on a weekday on the table, and the echoes of "Oh, but you must, you must..." in my ear as I took it for the shopping. For Prosecco and lamb and mint and Christmas pudding with hard sauce all enjoyed with relish. For walks at Howth and Sandymount, across Stockholm and les Calanques. For chocolate and honey, olives and crevettes. For always coming back, to talk through, to walk through--whatever it took. For family, delight and play, for comic notations on the calendar of days. For slideshows, for Metros. Saint Chapelle, et fleurs si belles! For profoundly companioning countless moments, over countless days. For the riches of love, laughter, light-filled eyes and smiles. Side by side on this train or that bus or this cab or that plane. For listening, following, for living true. I am forever indebted to you.
And for Aina's gifts of presence of hands of light and of love. For my sister's meeting my confrontation with concern, and what else but all her heart. For my brother's steady pulse, at the ready when he's needed most. For my mother, her living long enough that we could come to know and love one another so much. For her sharing a moving moment of crowning glory in professional achievement--live--and her hearty congratulations. For an enchanting, classic, gentle little snow to walk out in this last day before First Night. For snow balls and winter light. For the perfect carpet to bring warmth and welcome and a grounded willingness to the healing room. For Tibetan bowls and wood fires, pate and Sofia. For the pain of loss and the promise of dreams. For friendship and romance, the "dream bed," the new pants. For trifle and truffles, taxes and tussles. For candlelight and this full-moon night. For wisdom and innocence, knowing and foundering, pause and progress, radiance and darkness.
That all roads lead to joy and love infuses them. For grace-filled now and now and now, and what's to come: blessed be. Blessed be. Blessed be.