Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mr. Owl - and These Dark Days

Mr. Owl
Oil on canvas, 6x12

I will never love the holidays as much as I loved them when my mother was alive. That pang of sadness, it's always with me, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I know I'm not alone. 

Friends of mine are facing deep and painful losses now. Other friends are going through the holidays without loved ones, for the first time. The distance between death and this part of life need not be small to matter. It's been decades since Peter's mother and brother died, in the holiday season. Decades since we lost our dog Najim on Christmas Eve, since my grandparents passed away. 

It's hard to celebrate the birth of Christ, to find joy in family and in friends, to seek peace and goodness and look ahead to a new year when pain is your canvas, sadness your colors. 

The holidays go on around you, with presents and sweets and Christmas carols, and they swirl and shine and don't touch you. And that's how it has to be, this year, next year, for however long. You must feel what you feel. There is no hurrying grief.

In years to come, the holidays will never be the same. They will never look as sparkly or as innocent. But the years will put a distance between you and the pain, and in time, you will celebrate again, remembering the ones you love and the light they brought to your darkest winter days. 

Dog of the Day

It's a long-legged Abby. She's had some bad days lately, behaving 
like the big, dumb puppy she is. But with training
 and some time, she'll learn. 


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