Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Christmas Letter

Dear Ones,

I hope all is well in your world. I look forward to hearing from you this Christmas –and any other time, of course.

This year, like last, had a little heartbreak for me. My divorce was final in February. We all know dozens of people who survive that, and of course I have survived it, as well. Christmas letters are, by tradition, recitations of success and glory, so I won't burden you with a recounting of that appalling process. The real story is that this year has not, in the end, been about heartbreak at all -a truth which leads me straight to you. I have learned a small measure of confidence and a large measure of love because you held them for me when I could not and offered them to me when I needed them. Thank you for that. You are the bright spot in this year, and that’s the truth!

So, now I get to meet the challenge of thriving rather than merely surviving. That process is a delight. I have purposely kept the pace a little wild, figuring that it would be healthier in the short-term to stay busy. I’m working on some research that is important -to me, anyway. It has to do with social justice and transformational learning applied to the population of refugees and to the questions of forced migration. I am still rock climbing. I am absolutely unexceptional at that, but I get a kick out of it anyway. I also love my job –which was new last Christmas. I am still learning it, which makes me a little crazy. I am repairing, decorating, and generally tending to my wonderful old house. The garage has been torn down and will be re-built –well, eventually. I have a new super-efficient furnace and central air, which is altogether new for this old barn. I am turning the rooms to new uses, entertaining in new ways, and generally claiming the house as mine. Well, I share it with the two new kittens, Claddagh and Cillian, who keep me nicely humble. I have done some traveling for work and pleasure: New York City, Washington, D.C. and a tiny little village in Italy.

So now I know that I can do all those things. This coming year will be about slowing down a little and steadily building the infrastructure that will hold this new life and its dreams up. I am ready now to meet quietness and calm with delight rather than fear.

Send me e-mail. Call me. Come by for a visit. I really do want to know how it is all going for you! You are in my thoughts and prayers, always.

Have a wonderful, joyous Christmas!


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