A Christmas Letter to the Heart

Dear Heart (and you know who you are),

This is my Christmas letter to you. It is not one of those falsely upbeat icky things that make you want to chuck it in the trash. I have no grandchildren to brag about nor have I taken any trips to “update” you on. But simple as it is, I wish you a heart connection to what is real.

I have learned that my job as a writer is to hitch myself to something higher and go along for the ride. Ironically, this also means that I get dragged through the mud, thanks to the law of opposites. Balance, my friends, balance. We are all teetering on the brink of exhaustion, bewilderment and surrender. This keeps life interesting.

Leonard Cohen spoke to a reporter about what “baffled” meant. He said something about life being baffling and that all we can manage is a hallelujah. So from me you will never get any tidy explanations about what it means to be “enlightened.” Neither will I mask my emotions to give you a kinder, gentler read.

My life is about living with an upset apple cart and rather than sorting it out, writing about it. Don’t you ever feel like you have fallen in the street and your most important papers are now blowing around so that everyone can see? That is something that my teacher said once. Oh, the shame and embarrassment of it.

I know who my real friends are. They are the ones who read these notes and feel like they are looking in a mirror. The ones that reveal themselves as broken and in need of a good bracing cup of words that transform into feelings that transform into a higher state of consciousness. But first one must limbo under the broom of gloom. Then you can stand upright in your humility.

I have no way of ending this except to say hallelujah that I have written my way through yet another challenging year. I did as Leonard said about the darkness, I “just drank it up.”


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