W. H. Auden in his poem “For the Time Being,” said that as he took down his Christmas trimmings he became aware that he had tried his best and failed again to love all of his relatives. The holidays are both glorious and hard. So many ideal scenes of harmony and familial love, and so many real families who try to express so much with a gift or a ritual. It’s no surprise to me that the release of the film August: Osage County, is timed for release just after Christmas. Its a masterpiece of family dysfunction. Let’s take the shame out of the after holidays let down. If we have loved well enough, it’s enough. Whatever the monetary value or just right “fit” in our gift giving, sometimes showing up is the most important part, and this involves the whole year not just one day or one season. What I learned at my recent decade changing birthday is that my passions for justice, children, the planet and healing are the constants in my life. Staying human is the goal, perfection is the illusion. On the Christian calendar after the twelve days of Christmas (and I celebrate all twelve) light appears in the sky, both by the lengthening days and the ancient story of Epiphany. May we all have a few light bulb moments, a candle to burn brightly, and people to love and be loved by.
Happy New Year!