The Marvelous Crumb

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Making Magic in the New Year

Buddha buried in magic snow

I’ve missed you, and yet, some time away was exactly what was needed.

At home in Utah it snowed most of Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day – big, soft flakes that settled on a quiet world. It was just my dad and I this year. We started the morning with meditation, then a leisurely breakfast and gifts in the late afternoon. The pace and stillness of the day was an obvious contrast to every Christmas morning past. I reminisced on the holidays of childhood when my  sisters and I would eagerly bound down the stairs before sunrise to see if “he” had come – evidenced by a consumed glass of milk and always half-eaten cookie. “Santa must be so full of cookies by the time he gets to our house to only eat half,” I would think. Sometimes I’d venture outside to see if I could make out in the snow where his sleigh had landed on our roof. Most always I found the hoof prints of reindeer.

How I miss the confidence I had in magic in my youth.

Christmas Cookies

Ripped open with rabid bear-like precision. Yes, I did most of this damage.

This year, Dad I and dined on his specialty – chili, which we paired with nachos and a tin of Christmas cookies. I introduced him to Outlander (luckily, no sex scenes in the episodes we watched); we talked about “serious matters” (money, career, legacy, retirement) and then hit the hay around 11.

The day struck me as decidedly grown up and a little sad. Christmas is for kids.

Back in Berkeley, I spent two days at a meditation retreat sifting through thoughts about it all – the holiday, the New Year, the serious matters. My time on the cushion reminded me of the snowfall I’d watched back home – each flake a swirling thought or memory. Some moments it was a blizzard. During breaks I would rise feeling battered and overwhelmed. In other moments a settling would occur. I would feel blanketed in crisp and quiet. From this place, though I tasted it only fleetingly, a new magic unfolded.

This snowy wonderland of my mind was piercingly bright, sharp and clear. It could see without distraction and was most attuned to the truth of the moment. It felt like a blank tableau on which a new first print could be made in any direction without the hindrance of fear and hesitation. It was a landscape of immeasurable possibility. Though it is not a place in which I could reside – too cold, too vivid, too extreme – it is where dreams are born. I believe this place of stillness, clarity and inspiration resides in us all; and pilgrimages to this land (where we might reclaim confidence in taking the first step toward anything we’d like to create) is one print I’d like to make in the coming year. Maybe you’d be interested in joining me? More soon.

Happy New Year!

4 Comments

  1. Yes! Happy New Year Kelsey

  2. Your line of coming to the “place where dreams are born” reminds of this quote from Peter Matthiessen’s masterpiece “The Snow Leopard”:
    “The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no “meaning,” they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.”
    I wish you joy, peace and fulfillment in this coming year.

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