stretching time

It is exactly a month since I last wrote and I realize I have been living in a period of stretching time that can happen between family holidays.  It seems particularly poignant this year.  Something about the auspiciousness of the date 12:12:12 followed by the imminence of the ending of the Mayan calendar on 12:21:12 at the cusp of the winter solstice.  Stretching time for me is that quality of being in a space that feels stilled, where every glance at the clock tells only another few minutes gone but feeling like hours has passed…full and rich and satisfying.  And in this space of the past month it is the quality of being in ‘making Christmas’ mode, a most precious space to be….

I realize it begins with feeling concretely connected to a community of family first.  As a child Christmas for me was hours holed up in my room making things, all sorts of things that became gifts for my loved ones, not fully conscious at the time of my love and passion for making things with my hands, yet pouring all that love into everything I made nonetheless.  I’ve learned over the years to just enter this space and make what is there, not necessarily always clear on who it is for at the time, knowing whatever I make will find its way and have purpose.  I’ve also learned that making Christmas is not just about making ‘things’ but about creating context for time spent together.  For years now Thanksgiving has always taken place in my parent’s home and Christmas taking place here in my home.  The particularly sweet Thanksgiving this year…

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…came home with me and infused the quality of the next four + weeks (not insignificantly, a whole week more than usual!!).  Simply said, the month was characterized by a stream of captured moments, of making quilted things, baked things, written things and things with pictures, wrapping acquired stocking things, and packaging things for post office santa to deliver…all which  signal the release of my effort into the arms of my loved ones….

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…of setting the stage with ornaments and decorations but leaving gaps for new arrangements for my mother to make when she arrives, for my father to cook in the kitchen or rearrange in the woodpile outside, and for the kids to fill with their presence of being home for the holidays…

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…of relishing the many stages of experiencing the tree with lights,  and then its beauty even in the day without lights…

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So today is the December full moon, and post holiday silence has set in, cold and white with fresh snow on the ground and family now departed.  I am sitting in my favorite spot on the couch next to the lit up tree in the dark before dawn, the cacophony of ornaments beckoning.  And then my gaze rests on the one spot that seems naked in comparison to the richness surrounding it….

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I have been obsessed with this ’empty’ place…found myself rearranging ornaments for days to try to fill it but could never find either the perfect ornament or the perfect branch to hang it on to fill this spot.  My mother laughs each time she sees me doing this, telling me that the tree is already perfect!  Of course.  But here I am again, drawn into the depth of this space with the single beckoning light and realize this is where the time has gone, where stretching time happens…it is simply the light drawing me into the seeking creative force that is me, and ultimately, to the stillness and peace of accepting what is there…

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